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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Cheney Bashes Small Business

Overall, it seemed to me that Cheney lied a lot less than he usually does, probably expecting close scrutiny of his remarks. But one lie did leap out at me.

Cheney claimed that rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the rich would also raise taxes for 900,000 small businesses, forcing them to lay off employees. This claim has already been thoroughly debunked by Factcheck.org and the Brookings-Urban Tax Policy Center. The real figure is about half of what Cheney claimed.

Bush frequently makes the same claim on the campaign trail, praising small businesses as "job creators," and charging that Kerry's plan will raise their taxes: "Ninety percent of small businesses pay tax at the individual income tax rate, because they're either subchapter-S corporation or a sole proprietorship."

So it was more than a little hypocritical when, later in the debate, Cheney charged that Edwards had used a "special tax loophole" to avoid taxes during his days as a lawyer. The loophole? Incorporating under subchapter-S, of course!

In their stump speeches, subchapter-S corporations are virtuous job creators, but when their opponent starts a perfectly typical corporation of this type, he's a tax dodger. What a cheap shot.

NOTE: I've re-written this post since the first version was too long-winded.

UPDATE: It looks like I missed some lies. Who'd of thought Cheney would lie about meeting Edwards? Still, I don't think it was more than 4 or 5 lies. So I stand by my original claim: a relatively honest night for Cheney.

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