Keeping them honest on Tax Day
Although tax day traditionally falls on April 15, the date was pushed back this year because Emancipation Day -- a holiday observed in the District of Columbia -- fell on Friday April 15 and was followed by a weekend.
Unaffected was the tradition of politicians using the milestone to rail against taxes.
In honor of that tradition, we offer you two tax day fact-checks:
First up is a claim from Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus that "Americans will pay more in taxes in 2011 than they will spend on groceries, clothing and shelter combined."
When you look at it as an aggregate measurement -- total amount spent on groceries, clothing and shelter versus the total amount Americans paid in taxes -- he's correct. But of you consider it as a description of the pattern for individual Americans, he'd be wrong more often than he's right. On balance, we rated his claim Half True.
Next, we looked into a claim made by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, who offered this striking statistic describing how much of the tax burden in the United States is borne by the wealthy: "The top 1 percent of income-earners pay about 40 percent of all taxes into the federal government."
Bachmann would have been right if she’d said, "the top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of all income taxes into the federal government." But she didn't. And if you look at the overall tax burden, she's wrong. We rated her statement False.
See individual items.
Researchers: Louis Jacobson
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
Keep up to date with Politifact:
- Sign up for our e-mail (about once a week)
- Put a free PolitiFact widget on your blog or Web page
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Truth-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on GOP Pledge-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Obameter items
- Advertise on PolitiFact
- Shop the PolitiFact store for T-shirts, hats and other PolitiFact swag