When it comes to the facts that matter to the most to the most of us- the ones about the economy, the jobs market, the debt and the deficit, it's pretty easy to obfuscate, shadow dance, and outright distort what's going on. We saw a lot of that in last night's Vice Presidential debate.
I want to get the record straight on these distortions. Vice President, Joe Biden, may have used the word "fact" 26 times in last night's debate, but he sure seemed hard pressed to deliver any.
Take for example, the fiery exchange between the two candidates over tax policy. In addition to being a cheap shot, Ryan wasn't claiming to be Jack Kennedy. Biden was wrong on the facts when he claimed that lower tax rates have never resulted in higher tax revenues.
Here are three examples: In the 1920s, tax rates were slashed from 70% to less than 25%, and tax revenues rose 61% by 1928. President Kennedy cut taxes across the board, taking the top marginal down to 70% from 90%. Tax revenues jumped 33% by 1968.
And, of course, there's the example of Ronald Reagan when he proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. The result? Total tax revenues jumped 99.5%.
Score one Ryan.
Then there was this.
Biden: "We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class"
Not true. Not even close to true.
At least seven of the taxes in Obamacare will fall directly on the middle class. There's the tax for not having health care insurance that could cost families as much as $2,000 a year once Obamacare is implemented. Obama care caps the amount of money people can set aside pre-tax in flexible spending accounts, and limits the usage of that money. It also limits the deduction that families with catastrophic health care costs can deduct from taxes. I could go on, but you get the point.
Score another for Ryan.
Biden scored big points with liberals maintaining that hedge funds will benefit from the Romney-Ryan tax plan.
Biden: "97% of the small businesses in America pay less - make less than $250,000. Let me tell you who some of those other small businesses are: hedge funds that make $600 million, $800 million a year. That's what they count as small business."
The IRS says that the majority of small business profits that fall within households are subject to the top two brackets, the brackets that Obama and Biden want to increase rates on. Those corporations employ 54% of working Americans.
Pretty simple. The Vice President wants to raise taxes on small business. Ryan doesn't.
I could go on and on.
Biden claims the President's foreclosure rescue plans worked, but anyone remotely familiar with the numbers knows that's not true. Biden seems nonplussed by our debt and deficit. The federal deficit is on track to hit $1 trillion for the fourth year in a row.
Look, I get the fact that the Administration doesn't have a lot of bragging rights in this election. 24 million Americans are unemployed,15% of us are on food stamps, and middle class incomes have fallen 5% since the recession ended!
The numbers aren't good. And Biden's rendition of them? All malarkey!
The Willis Report with Gerri Willis investigates the top business stories, outs corporate scams and polices D.C. policy.