How to Make Something Out Of Nothing or, It’s So Much Easier To Just Make Stuff Up, or Let’s Lie to Protect the Rich.
One political party is very good at just making stuff up. I’m not saying other parties don’t do it, I’m just saying the Republicans seem to do it the most.
One really good example started here in Wisconsin with a statistic from the state Dept of Revenue (DOR): for the year 2008, 93% of people with income above $1,000,000, received some of their income from a sole proprietorship, partnership, s-corp, or farm.
That’s right, in 2008, some very rich people received an unknown portion of their income from a sole proprietorship, partnership, s-corp, or farm. They also received an unknown portion of their income from investments, dividends, capital gains, wages, a c-corp, an LLC, a paper route, or recycling aluminum cans.
In the fall of 2011, Rep. Mason and Sen. Larson, both Democrats, wanted to compensate for some of the devastating cuts to education in the 20011-2013 state budget. To help technical colleges offset the record cuts to their funding and provide extra money for worker training, they proposed raising the state income tax for people who earn a million dollars a year or more by one (1) percentage point. That’s right: just one (1) percentage point on fewer than 3,000 very rich people.
This predictably inspired outrage in the Republicans who had cut the funding in the first place.
They had to keep it from happening. But how? It’s easy. If. You. Just. Make. Stuff. Up.
Republican Rep. Suder circulated among Assembly Republicans “talking points” about the proposed bill. Suder reminded his brethren that the “main thing” to remember is that “93 percent of [Wisconsin millionaires] have ‘an interest in small business.’ In other words, [the Mason/Larson] bill is a job-killer, end of story.”
Yes, you are correct:
1. The DOR did NOT say that “93 percent of [Wisconsin millionaires] have ‘an interest in small business.’”
2. Suder had NO factual basis for his claim that the bill is a “job-killer”
Yes, he was just making stuff up.
Republican Rep. Evan Wynn (R-43rd District) knew he could do even better, so he claimed that the “Wisconsin Dept of Revenue just announced that 93% of those hit by the massive tax hikes proposed by the Assembly Dem’s ‘jobs’ proposal are small business owners or co-owners.”
Don’t panic. You’re not crazy. Yes, you are correct:
1. The DOR did NOT make any such announcement.
2. The “Assembly Dem’s” did NOT propose ANY “massive tax hikes”.
3. 93% of filers with income above $1,000,000 are NOT “small business owners or co-owners.”
4. The DOR did not even mention “small business owners or co-owners”.
Yes, he was just making stuff up.
Receiving an unknown amount of income from “a sole proprietorship, partnership, s-corp, or farm” is NOT “an interest in small business” and is NOT ownership of a small business.
Raising the state income tax on fewer than 3,000 very rich people by one (1) percentage point is NOT a massive tax hike.
Unless you’re a Republican trying to protect millionaires. Who wants to mislead people into thinking that Democrats want to impose “massive tax hikes” on small business owners. And who wants to incite opposition to a bill that would impose a small additional tax on the very rich.
Then it’s okay to make something out of nothing, to just make stuff up. Because millionaires are rare. And special. So it’s important to protect them. Even if you have to lie to do it.