I have recently been exposed to a national TV ad campaign urging viewers to pressure Congress to renew George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, first enacted in 2001 and 2003, which are due to expire at year's end. The ads feature conservative Republican former Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson as the spokesperson. He delivers his script in a reasoned and sober manner, but there is only one thing wrong with it. In this ad, Fred Thompson is lying to you. Deliberately, and with a flurry of bald-faced lies.
The ad is slick and well-produced. To those not knowing better, Thompson's delivery is convincing and rational. But it is a sham.
This deceptive monstrosity has been created by a shadowy far-right organization called The League of American Voters. The organization does not list its founders or donors, but it does claim to have many thousands of members. Clearly, it is very well funded to have produced and distributed an ad campaign of this magnitude.Its only listed officer is Bob Adams, who is listed as Executive Director. That this little bit of Karl Rovian-secrecy and sneakiness should be evidencing itself now as it did during the health care reform debate should not be surprising: Mr. Adams who served as a strategist for the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council during the George W. Bush administration. His current organization shares the very same address and suite number as another shadowy group, Americans for Tax Reform, which, according to the Senate's investigation of the Jack Abramoff sandal, served as a "conduit" for funds going from Abramoff's clients to finance phony grass-roots lobbying campaigns. There is also alleged overlap between these two groups and Tax Day Tea Party organizers.
This suspicious "League of American Voters" has been heard from before. During the health care reform debate, they prepared and tried to circulate a number of bogus scare ads against reform. Several of the major networks refused to air their ads, deeming them to be inaccurate and misleading. FactCheck.org examined a number of those ads and found them to be "filled with misleading claims." But the networks haven't been as careful or conscientious with this current deceptive ad. I have seen it run on both ABC and CNN, and even MSNBC as well, and it has undoubtedly run on Fox "News" and others as well.
Below is the actual text of this current deceptive ad, delivered as it is by Fred Thompson, who should know better. I have inserted my refutations wherever applicable in bold, italicized type like this:
To a background of dark, somber music) "Folks, the American economy is struggling and Congress is about to make it a whole lot worse. Our nation faces a massive automatic tax increase at the end of this year when the Bush tax cuts expire. When that happens, your income taxes could increase by 10% or more." LIE! Taxes will increase ONLY for those making more than $250,00, exactly as President Obama campaigned and was elected on, and as he has been saying for the past two years! He and the Democratic leadership in Congress have stated numerous times that they wish to keep the tax cuts in place for ALL, except for the upper two income brackets which comprise a meager 5% of the population. Not only that, but CBS News reports that the wealthiest 0.7% of the population, those filing jointly earning more than $373,650, will only see an increase of 4.6% (from 35 to 39.6%), while those 1.2% of the population jointly filing with incomes from $209, 251 to $373,650 would see an increase of only 3%, from 33 to 36%. THAT IS A FAR CRY FROM THE 10% THOMPSON JUST LIED ABOUT!
"Capital gains taxes will jump over 30%. Taxes on dividends will more than double.It's not a pretty picture. Back in 2001, when these tax cuts were enacted, they helped jump-start the economy after 9/11, and if President Obama and Congress don't renew the Bush tax cuts, the effects will be devastating." Another LIE. Those Bush tax cuts did very little to jump-start the economy. The creation of millions of new, high-paying jobs was promised, but it never happened. Instead, major corporations shipped entire plants and millions of American jobs overseas to cheaper foreign labor markets in China, India, the Phillippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Mexico. The only salaries that increased here were those of CEOs and their boards of directors, which skyrocketed while yours stayed the same or dropped. In fact, the tax-cutting administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney produced the FEWEST numbers of jobs here since that of Herbert Hoover!
"Recently, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke urged Congress not to raise taxes, saying the economy is just too fragile." Another LIE. This is utter rubbish and all-out distortion, because that is not at all what Bernanke said. Instead, he said that extending the tax cuts would be "one way" to help the economy - but he also said the cuts should be offset, so as to not raise the deficit. HIS predecessor, Alan Greenspan, even echoed this belief by declaring the tax cuts should not be extended using unfunded, borrowed money, which is exactly what they would be if Congress followed Thompson's and the League of American Voters' urging.
"But taxes will increase automatically unless YOU act!I hope you will go to renewthetaxcuts.com and sign the League of American Voters' petition. And call your Congressman and Senators and tell them to renew the Bush tax cuts. I'm Fred Thompson for the League of American Voters."
Fred Thompson and this League of American Liars should be ashamed for putting out such a dishonest and distorted piece of sophistry. This deliberate attempt to scare poor, working, and middle class Americans into thinking their taxes will shoot upward, just to get them to petition Congress to not raise the taxes of the nation's wealthiest 5%, is despicable and disgusting. As our nation's infrastructure crumbles and millions of ourr citizens find themselves unemployed or underemployed, here comes Fred Thompson and Bob Adams urging that the upper 5% not receive a VERY MILD TAX INCREASE and therefore not have to pay their fair share, a share THEY CAN EASILY AFFORD. These conservative Republicans and teabaggers who oppose taxing the rich should simply stop all their crying and moaning and take a look around them. Our wealthiest citizens are not at all "oppressed" by having a tax rate less than half of what others with similar incomes pay all across the globe! Extending these unfair and regressive Bush tax cuts will NOT create a single job, nor will it benefit in the least the other 95% of the population who really need help these days. Fred Thompson, we don't much care for snake oil salesmen---stop lying to us!
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