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The One Percent Claim

Recorded on December 8, 2011

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

In a major speech in Kansas, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy. He said, and I quote, “Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1 percent -- 1 percent. That is the height of unfairness.” Unquote.

But that wasn't true.

Challenged by The Washington Post, an administration official conceded the White House had no actual data to back up Obama's claim. The Post also reported that the average tax paid by the top 400 taxpayers—all billionaires--was nearly $50 million each, with a typical tax rate of around 35%. Collectively, those 400 people paid over 8-billion dollars in tax.

The Post concluded that if any billionaires paid only 1 percent, they are a very tiny number, contrary to what Obama led people to believe. So The Post gave Obama three Pinocchios for not being truthful.


From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.