CNN's Henry falsely suggested Obama's tax proposals would affect taxpayers in all income brackets

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Ed Henry falsely suggested that President Obama's proposals to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire and to increase the capital gains tax rate would affect taxpayers in all income brackets. In fact, Obama has proposed allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire -- and increasing the capital gains tax rate -- only for individuals earning more than $200,000 in income and for joint filers earning more than $250,000 per year.

During the March 3 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, senior White House correspondent Ed Henry asserted of tax provisions in President Obama's budget proposal: "[The administration] would insist that it is only a few taxes [being raised]. For example, capital gains tax rates going up from 15 percent to 20 percent. As you know, they're going to let the Bush tax cuts -- at least they're proposing to let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2010." Henry did not explain that Obama has proposed allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire -- and increasing the capital gains tax rate -- only for individuals earning more than $200,000 in income and for joint filers earning more than $250,000 per year.

By contrast, during the February 26 edition of CNN Newsroom, Henry reported that Obama's proposal would "reinstate the 36 percent and 39.6 percent rates for those taxpayers earning over $250,000 -- again, for a married couple." In that instance, on-screen text of the budget proposal also made clear that both the capital gains tax and income tax provisions are limited to individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and married couples earning more than $250,000 per year.

From the March 3 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

HENRY: And there's been heavy criticism in the last couple days of this president, mostly by Republicans, but by some conservative Democrats as well, raising concerns, as you mentioned, on the hill today with some of those Obama officials about the budget, about the fact that there are some taxes being raised --

DOBBS: Some taxes? Some taxes?

HENRY: -- and there is some spending going up as well.

DOBBS: Did you say some taxes?

HENRY: I did say some taxes.

DOBBS: I mean, my God, that -- that budget is filled with new, higher taxes. It is -- it's off-putting the degree to which Peter Orszag, the president's budget director, is saying that the world will collapse if that isn't immediately passed. The rhetoric of fear has apparently seized this administration, its imagination, as well as its public statements to the point that only a rushed, unthinking approach is acceptable. I mean, this is ridiculous.

HENRY: Well, they would insist that it is only a few taxes. For example, capital gains tax rates going up from 15 percent to 20 percent. As you know, they're going to let the Bush tax cuts -- at least they're proposing --

DOBBS: Yes --

HENRY: -- to let the Bush tax cuts expire --

DOBBS: But it's the same thing again, Ed.

HENRY: -- at the end of 2010.

DOBBS: But, I mean, if I may. This is the same nonsense we've seen with administration after administration, only this one dealing with a real economic crisis. Making these absurd projections on economic growth in the midst of what this president is saying is, you know, approaching a catastrophe economically. It makes no sense at all what we witnessed today -- at least to my view.

Thanks very much.

HENRY: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: Ed Henry, at the White House.

From the 1 p.m. ET hour of the February 26 edition of CNN Newsroom:

HENRY: Let's take a look at some of the other taxes that are going to be here. You're going to hear Republicans already talking about them; specifically here: reinstate the 36 percent and 39.6 percent rates for those taxpayers earning over $250,000 -- again, for a married couple.

What does that mean in layman's terms? That means the Bush tax cuts will expire at the end of 2010. And so, you -- those people who were benefiting from the Bush tax cuts will see their tax rates going up a few percentage points.

Posted In
Economy, Budget, Taxes
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Ed Henry
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.