Fox News' Jon Scott allowed Sen. Orrin Hatch to falsely claim on Happening Now that the Medicare payroll tax increase in the Senate health care bill will hit "42 million people out there who are earning less than $200,000 a year." In fact, the bill states that the 0.9 percent increase applies only to income that exceeds $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals.
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Scott lets Hatch falsely claim the tax increase will hit those "earning less than $200,000 a year"
From the December 22 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
SCOTT: Eighty-seven billion dollars worth of increased payroll taxes. That's just part of this bill, at a time when the economy is struggling. How do you justify that?
HATCH: Well, guess who's going to pay for that? That's an unconstitutional mandated payroll tax as well. Guess who's going to pay that payroll tax? It's gonna be -- it's gonna be about 42 million people out there who are earning less than $200,000 a year. In other words, President Obama's promise has been broken 42 million times if this goes through. So we all know that promise didn't mean anything anyway. It wasn't worth the paper it wasn't written on.
In fact, the change applies only to wages over $200,000
Payroll tax increase affects only upper-earners. The tax increase, which was originally set at 0.5 percent and changed in the manager's amendment to 0.9 percent, applies only to income that exceeds $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals. The Congressional Budget Office has said this provision will raise $87 billion over 2010-2019 for the Medicare Hospital Insurance program. From the Senate health care bill: [emphasis added]
SEC. 9015. ADDITIONAL HOSPITAL INSURANCE TAX ON HIGH-INCOME TAXPAYERS.
(a) FICA. --
(1) IN GENERAL. -- Section 3101(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended --
(A) by striking ''In addition'' and inserting the following:
"(1) IN GENERAL. -- In addition'',
(B) by striking ''the following percentages of the'' and inserting ''1.45 percent of the'',
(C) by striking ''(as defined in section 3121(b)) -- '' and all that follows and inserting ''(as defined in section 3121(b)).'', and
(D) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
''(2) ADDITIONAL TAX. -- In addition to the tax imposed by paragraph (1) and the preceding subsection, there is hereby imposed on every taxpayer (other than a corporation, estate, or trust) a tax equal to 0.5 percent of wages which are received with respect to employment (as defined in section 3121(b)) during any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2012, and which are in excess of --
''(A) in the case of a joint return, $250,000, and
''(B) in any other case, $200,000.''
Payroll tax increase doesn't take effect until 2013. During the interview with Hatch, Scott stated, "Eighty-seven billion dollars worth of increased payroll taxes. That's just part of this bill, at a time when the economy is struggling. How do you justify that?" But contrary to Scott's suggestion that the tax will take effect during the recession, the bill states that the increase applies to pay received after December 31, 2012:
(c) EFFECTIVE DATE. -- The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to remuneration received, and taxable years beginning, after December 31, 2012.