Here’s a scenario to ponder.
A talking head on a television network reports that there’s some language buried in the new health care legislation that will impose a 3.8 percent national tax on the sale of all new homes.
Since I’m a public relations guy in the real estate industry, I start getting calls from people who correctly point out that will absolutely kill the still recovering real estate industry. While such a move would certainly be devastating, there’s a problem here – the aforementioned talking head got her facts wrong.
What is actually buried in the healthcare legislation is a 3.8 percent tax on capital gains from the sale of homes. For individuals, that means that gains of over $250,000 (and $500,000 for couples) will be taxed 3.8 percent. In other words, most people won’t have to worry about the tax at all.
While I’m fundamentally opposed to new taxes (particularly at a time when the economy is garbage), there’s a huge difference between the tax as it was wrongly reported and the actual tax at hand. If you’re going to criticize Barack Obama, get your facts straight.
There are plenty of things coming out of Washington to get mad about these days. Why, then, do people seem to be going out of their way to make up things to criticize?
Griping about proposals that don’t exist is counterproductive – it makes Obama’s detractors look less than credible. That’s not the kind of thing we need going on now as we’ve got an opportunity to put a lot of Republicans in Congress.
What’s the best way to spoil the Republicans chances in November? Running around frightening people based on false information would do it – a dumb tactic when there are so many legitimate issues to discuss.