During his press conference tonight, Obama made claims on taxes and jobs that invite rebuttal:
“We began by passing a Recovery Act that has already saved or created over 150,000 jobs and provided a tax cut to 95% of all working families.”
First, cutting taxes for “95% of all working families” is mathematically impossible. Obama is referring to the “Making Work Pay” refundable tax credit, which took effect on April 1. According to IRS data, one-third of all income tax filers don’t have a federal income tax liability. About 15 percent of all working families don’t even have a FICA tax liability, and these numbers are before taking into effect all the new refundable tax credits of the Obama budget. For these “working families,” all Obama’s budget will do is cut them the equivalent of a welfare check.
Second, there is no intellectually honest way to measure “saved or created” jobs. As Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said on March 4 to Tim Geithner: “You created a situation where you cannot be wrong. If the economy loses 2 million jobs over the next few years, you can say yes, but it would’ve lost 5.5 million jobs. If we create a million jobs, you can say, well, it would have lost 2.5 million jobs,” Baucus said. “You’ve given yourself complete leverage where you cannot be wrong, because you can take any scenario and make yourself look correct.”