Boehner: Mostly False on Taxes Again
As the deadline neared last month for the congressional “supercommittee” on deficit reduction, House Speaker John Boehner defended a proposal by GOP members against criticism that it broke the party’s pledge on taxes.
The proposal called for higher tax revenues in exchange for lowered tax rates. Boehner called it a “fair offer” that would begin reform of the tax code, to “make America more competitive and produce more economic growth.”
“It’s important for us to reform the tax code,” the Ohio Republican told reporters. “We’ve got a personal tax system that’s so complicated it costs Americans about $500 billion a year to comply with the current tax code.”
That statement rang a bell for PolitiFact Ohio, and we decided to take a look.
The claim is similar to a remark Texas Gov. Rick Perry made Oct. 28, 2011, during the New Hampshire speech that became famous for its animated banter and went viral online.
“You know, we spend half a trillion dollars a year in tax preparation,” he said. “Any accountants or tax lawyers out there — I’m sorry, dude, but that’s too much money, a half a trillion dollars.”
PolitiFact took a look at Perry’s statement, starting with a 2005 paper by the Tax Foundation, a business-backed group that studies tax issues. Boehner’s staff acknowledged that was their source for the information, just as did Perry’s campaign staff.