Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has built her public image on attacking the “lamestream media” for supposedly getting everything wrong. But she praised the lamest-stream media outlet of them all — the Associated Press — last night on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show for agreeing with her about President Obama’s tax proposal:
PALIN: The president is way off on his math for one. And I hope that you will get into what the AP did in terms of fact checking. I so appreciate that they just wanted to get to their readers, some information that helps us make better decisions. And I appreciate that they called the president on some of these — you know, I call them lies. Because I think surely, the president is too smart to not have people around him with a calculator and can tell us truly what people’s tax rates are and what his proposals will result in new tax rates been.
As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, the AP’s “fact-check” completely missed the point of Obama’s tax plan, which would make sure that wealthy Americans don’t pay less in taxes than middle-class Americans. The provision is dubbed the “Buffett Rule,” in honor of Warren Buffett, who has been advocating for higher taxes on the wealthy, like him.
The AP “fact check” claims that Obama is wrong because the average tax rate on the wealthy is already higher than that on the middle-class. But no one is disputing this. What the AP and Palin ignore is that there are many wealthy people who do not pay anywhere close to that higher rate.
In 2009, 1,470 households reported income of more than $1 million, but paid zero federal income tax. For the richest 400 people in the country, the average effective federal income tax rate in 2008 was just 18.11 percent. The Buffett rule is meant to ensure that this group of people can no longer slip through the tax code’s cracks.
Moreover, Palin’s invocation of the word “lie” — a word, while often hinted at, that is almost never used in politics — is notable, especially considering the AP never alleged anything of the sort.