October 29, 2010
Some real whoppers made the list
FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenburg Public Policy Center, has released its list of the biggest falsehoods of the midterm elections, and it’s quite a read. Most of the focus is on the lies and distortions spread by campaigns and shadowy outside groups that don’t disclose their donors, but FactCheck.org says those aren’t the whoppers they’re asked about most often:
Maybe because these claims are pure bohonkey. The falsehoods circulate widely by e-mail, forwarded by people who either don’t know or don’t care that they are spreading misinformation the way a virus spreads disease.
- Whopper: The health care law puts a 3.8 percent tax on all home sales. Actually, the new health care law’s tax only applies to the sale of a primary residence in rare cases. For individuals, it falls on profit that exceeds $250,000, if the individual’s income exceeds $200,000. For couples, the tax falls only on profits exceeding $500,000, if joint income is more than $250,000.
- Whopper: Obama plans a 1 percent tax on all bank transactions. That’s based on a single House member’s bill that isn’t supported by the White House, has no cosponsors, and has never even gotten a hearing in committee.
- Whopper: Congress voted itself a pay raise at the expense of the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment. It’s true that there has been no COLA for 2010 and 2011, but the COLA is calculated automatically based on inflation rates. And Congress voted to freeze its pay for 2010 and 2011.
Now you’ll know better than believe these real whoppers should they arrive in your email inbox.