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November 9, 2012

Fact check: Would tax hike on wealthy kill 700,000 jobs?

(Continued)

In other words, focusing just one variable — an increase in taxes — is a bit simplistic. By itself, raising taxes likely leads to a reduction in employment. But the use of that additional revenue over the long term is also important — such as whether it is used to reduce budget deficits or boost government spending.

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Sessions is able to point to a study (though he stated the 700,000 figure as a fact), but on several levels his claim is misleading.

First, the study was underwritten by the White House's opponents. Second, the study never examined what Obama claims he will do with the revenue — dedicate it to deficit reduction. And finally, the total figure is so "long term" — more than 10 years away — that it is absurd to suggest those jobs would be lost in the near term.

As for Boehner, he did attribute the figure to Ernst & Young, but he went even further in saying the top rates would "destroy" 700,000 jobs. As we said, that is simply absurd.

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Read The Fact Checker: the Truth Behind the Rhetoric, at www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker

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