President Donald Trump greeted the Democratic presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this past week with a litany of distortion and falsehoods, raging against cases of voting fraud where they didn't exist and declining to quash conspiracy theories about Harris' eligibility for office.
President Donald Trump greeted the Democratic presidential ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this past week with a litany of distortion and falsehoods, raging against cases of voting fraud where they didn’t exist and declining to quash conspiracy theories about Harris’ eligibility for office.
Trump also misrepresented Biden’s position on taxes, again minimized the coronavirus threat and exaggerated his own record on the economy. A look at some of the past week’s rhetoric and the facts:
TRUMP: ”If Biden would win … he’s going to double and triple everybody’s taxes.” news conference Wednesday.
THE FACTS: Trump is exaggerating. Wildly so.
Biden would raise taxes, primarily on the wealthy. But a July estimate by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget finds that the increase is a small fraction of what Trump claimed.
The former vice president’s plan would raise taxes for the top 1 percent of earners by 13 to 18% of after-tax income, while indirectly increasing taxes for most other groups by 0.2 to 0.6%, the nonpartisan group said.
To put that in perspective, tax collections would increase by USD 3.4 trillion to USD 3.7 trillion over the next decade. That is a lot of money. But it’s not a doubling or tripling. The government is on pace to collect USD 47 trillion over the next decade, so the Biden plan would be roughly be a 7.8% increase in revenues.
TRUMP, asked about social media claims that Harris is not eligible to run for vice president because her parents were immigrants to the U.S.: ”I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements. … I have no idea if that’s right. I would have assumed that the Democrats would have checked that out.” news conference Thursday.
THE FACTS: Harris, a senator from California, is without question eligible.
Harris, 55, was born in Oakland, California, making her a natural-born U.S. citizen and eligible to be president if Biden were unable to serve a full term. Her father, an economist from Jamaica, and her mother, a cancer researcher from India, met at the University of California, Berkeley, as graduate students.
The Constitution requires a vice president to meet the eligibility requirements to be president. That includes being a natural-born U.S. citizen, at least 35 years old and a resident in the U.S. for at least 14 years.
”I can’t believe people are making this idiotic comment,” Laurence Tribe, a Harvard University professor of constitutional law, told The Associated Press in 2019, when similar false claims emerged about Harris during her presidential run.
”She is a natural born citizen and there is no question about her eligibility to run,” Tribe said. Harris is the first Black woman and Asian American to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket. Trump in past years indulged in the false conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was born abroad.
TRUMP CAMPAIGN: ”Not long ago, Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist and asked for an apology she never received.” — statement Tuesday from Katrina Pierson, Trump 2020 senior adviser.
THE FACTS: She never called Biden a racist.
Pierson appears to be referring to Harris’ remarks during a Democratic primary debate in Miami in June 2019 when the California senator challenged Biden’s record of opposing busing as a way to integrate schools in the 1970s.
Harris prefaced her criticism by telling Biden at that time, ”I do not believe you are a racist. I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.”
She then went on: ”It was actually hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. It was not only that but you also worked with them to oppose busing. ”