Refuting more Tea Party lies

Wow! A Pants on Fire rating for each of three claims about “Obama’s health care plan” in a July 25th letter to the editor. [Morrow County, OH Sentinel] Is this a record?

First, the claim about a 3.8% tax on home sales: Forbes, an American business magazine, published a piece which said of this claim: “It is the unfounded rumor that never dies. It is an urban myth. It is the revenue equivalent of death panels.”

The April 2012 Forbes article went on to say that only couples who earn more than $250,000 per year (about 5% of the population) will have to pay the tax. Also, the first $500,000 in profit from the sale of a home is exempt from the tax. Only the profit is taxable, not the proceeds. Forbes gave this example: “A couple that bought a house for $100,000 and sold it for $599,000 would owe no tax, even under the health law.” Why? Because the couple only made a $499,000 profit on the sale, all of which is exempt. National Association of Realtors Director of Tax Policy, Linda Goold, said, “it [the 3.8% tax] will never affect anyone with less than $200,000 of income ($250,000 for a couple).” Politifact rates the 3.8 tax rumor Pants on Fire!

Second, the claim of a 1% tax on all bank transactions: In 2010, Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania offered a “Debt Free America Act” to eliminate the National Debt. It would have replaced the Federal income tax on individuals with a transaction tax. No committee took action on the bill and it died at the end of the 111th Congress. In the next session of Congress, Rep. Fattah introduced the bill again, this time with exceptions for “any deposit into a personal account of an individual” and for “any transfer between accounts of the taxpayer.” This bill couldn’t find co-sponsors and died in committee. Politifact New Jersey rated this rumor Pants on Fire, saying, “Obama – and his financial team – have nothing to do with the legislation.”

Third, the claim that Hillary Clinton will sign a UN treaty that will somehow help our president “who wants to take our firearms away from us:” Politifact Texas says, “This claim runs so substantially counter to reality, it’s ridiculous. Pants on Fire!”

Here’s why this rumor is so ridiculous: (a) international treaties must receive approval of two-thirds of the Senate. Fifty-eight senators have written letters to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton saying that they will not support a treaty which “in any way regulates the domestic manufacture, possession or sales of firearms or ammunition,” (b) in the unlikely event that the Senate did ratify such a treaty, the U. S. Supreme Court, in a 1957 decision, Reid v. Covert, ruled that the Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate. Finally, (c) the Supreme Court, just four years ago, ruled that the D.C. handgun ban violated residents’ rights under the Second Amendment. Neither the Senate nor the Supreme Court will permit new restrictions on Second Amendment rights.

Edward Taylor
Mount Gilead, OH

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