NEWS

Fact Checker: Braley Raised Taxes $1 Trillion

U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Representative Bruce Braley looks on at the construction site of the Dubuque Intermodal Transportation Campus in Dubuque on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
U.S. Senate candidate and U.S. Representative Bruce Braley looks on at the construction site of the Dubuque Intermodal Transportation Campus in Dubuque on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Claim

“The best thing Braley does for Iowa, is skip work. (on-screen graphic: skipped 75% of Veterans Affairs Committee Meetings).

“When he does show up, Braley raises taxes (on-screen graphic: $1 Trillion in New Taxes), cuts Medicare ($716 Billion Medicare Cut), and sticks us with Obamacare.”

 

Source of claim

National Republican Senatorial Committee television ad

 

Analysis

Most of this ad is made up of claims we have checked before.

 

Braley did skip 75 percent of full Veterans Affairs committee hearings, many because of scheduling conflicts with other committee work.

The rest of the ad refers to Braley's support of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

The claim Braley and other democrats cut $716 Billion from Medicare was previously rated false. In a 2012 report on the impacts of repealing Medicare, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected Obamacare would slow the rate of increasing costs for Medicare, resulting in reduced spending on the program. Many Republican groups are spinning that decreased spending as a cut.

The new claim in this ad is that Braley raised taxes by $1 trillion. That projection comes from the same CBO, which found repealing the act would reduce government revenues by a total of $1 trillion over 10 years. Included in that forecast is penalty payments for individuals and companies not meeting health insurance requirements of the law, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was a type of tax.

The CBO has since lowered the revenue projections for the insurance provisions of the bill as some elements and penalties have been delayed. Those projected 10-year revenues have dropped from $672 billion in the 2012 report to $436 billion in a May 2014 update. Including the other projected revenue increases in the bill, which have not been updated since the 2012 report, the total projected increase has fallen from $1.242 trillion to $1.006 trillion

It is a bit misleading to call Obamacare a $1 trillion dollar tax increase since that figure is actually a 10-year total that is dependent on nothing within the law changing (and Republicans, in particular, are determined to change it).

On top of that, those projections continue to trend downward as elements of the law change or get delayed. But the claim is supported by nonpartisan projections, so give it a B.

 

Conclusion

The true and false claims cancel out for the overall rating, so we follow the new claim and give the ad a B for truthfulness.

 

2012 CBO report on the effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43471-hr6079.pdf

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