- Washington Guardian - Friday, November 16, 2012

As the nation approaches the deadline for the fiscal cliff, members of both parties have been jockeying for position and attempts to place blame on one another.  But no one more so than the party leadership, including House Speaker John Boehner.

The Ohio Republican repeatedly went after President Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes on individuals earning more than $250,000 a year.

But the congressman got his facts wrong and stretched the findings of a study, earning himself the Whopper of the Week, a distinction given by the Washington Guardian to highlight misleading, inaccurate or just plain wrong statements by politicians.

“The problem with raising tax rates on wealthy Americans is that more than half of them are small-business owners,” Boehner said at a Nov. 9 press conference. “Raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs that everyone says they want.”

But multiple sources have shown that Boehner is incorrect.  Although some wealthy Americans are involved with small-businesses, a larger number instead earn their living through large corporations and businesses.

According to FactCheck.org, Boehner’s spokesman said the Speaker misspoke, but its a statement Boehner has said before.

And he didn’t stop there.  Boehner joined several other Republicans in citing a study on President Barack Obama’s planned tax increases.

“According to Ernst & Young, raising the top rates would destroy nearly 700,000 jobs in our country,” he said.

But the Washington Post reported that the study was prepared for business groups that are dead-set against Obama’s agenda, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Independent Community Bankers of America - and likely by people who are earning over $250,000 annually, calling into question the study’s independence.

In fact, the study found the jobs might be lost over 10 years - hardly the immediate threat Republicans say will happen.  And the study didn’t analyze how reducing the deficit could offset the job loss, meaning it didn’t look at what would happen if Obama used the extra tax money to pay down the U.S. debt - which the president has said is his intention.