Politics & Policy

Boxer Thinks ‘Stim’(ulus) Cut $1.2 Trillion in Taxes

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday, Sen. Barbara Boxer said, “I voted for over $2 trillion dollars of tax cuts. The largest one was in the stimulus bill.”

That surprised Blitzer, who later interrupted her and asked, “When you say you supported $2 trillion dollars in tax cuts during the stimulus — ?”

Boxer clarified that she meant during her career, not during the stimulus. “$1.2 trillion with the stimulus,” she added.

“There was $1.2 trillion dollars in tax cuts in the stimulus?” Blitzer asked.

“There was a lot,” answered Boxer. “Well, I will put it this way. Over time, that’s what it will be, when you figure all the tax cuts over time. And what we did for the senior citizens, giving them back those refunds. So there was a lot.”

“Actually, a third of the stim was direct tax cuts,” she said.

“Yeah, but that would be maybe two or three hundred million dollars,” Blitzer pointed out. “We’re not talking about a trillion.”

“So let me say this,” said Boxer, “a third of the stim and over my time, — let me correct it, you’re right, thank you — $2.2 trillion I voted in tax cuts, $1.2 trillion of which became law. A third of the stim was tax cuts and it was considered the biggest tax cut in a history over a two-year period.”

The stimulus cost $862 billion, with $236 billion allotted to tax cuts.

This is not the first time Boxer has used erroneous statistics. The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes recounts a similar story:

“You know, like, I don’t want to go back to the days when thousands of people died every day because they had no insurance,” she [Boxer] declared in a debate in late September. Boxer, as best one could tell, was referring to the era before President Obama’s health care plan was enacted.

If true, at least 730,000 people were dying annually in America for lack of health insurance. (To do the math, it’s a minimum of 2,000 deaths every 24 hours multiplied by 365 days.) …

[In a q & a session after the debate] The senator briefly continued the discussion of deaths due to lack of insurance. I mentioned a study that concluded 40,000 people die annually because they aren’t insured. (At least one other study has put the death toll at zero.) But Boxer didn’t flinch. She didn’t back off from her claim. She left the press room, only to return about 10 seconds later. “Fred, did I say thousands a day?” she said. “I meant thousands a year.” It was a wise tactical retreat.

Watch the video of the interview here:

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...


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