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O'Reilly Needs Google for Dummies -- Or Maybe He'd Rather Just Lie About the California Tax Increase

Reported by Julie - November 11, 2009 -

On 11/4/09, in Bill O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memo, he had all sorts of advice for President Obama, beginning with the sage advice that President Obama should hire him, O’Reilly, as his personal advisor. Now, after bragging that the Factor is a “no gloat zone” – see how I said that with a straight face? -- O’Reilly gloated about the “Republican victories” in Virginia and New Jersey but made sure to state that he was frowning on the Republican gloaters. The “victories” in Virginia and New Jersey, in the No-Gloater’s opinion, were an indication that “many Americans believe President Obama’s policies are simply not working.” O’Reilly believes that he would bring a “common sense perspective” to the Oval Office: “There would be no gloating there, no nutty idealogy, no attacks on Fox News.” No nutty idealogy – does he think we’ve forgotten his mission against abortion doctor, George Tiller, and, subsequently, Tiller’s murder? With video.

Wow, this is . . . I’m speechless. I waited for O’Reilly to finish gloating some more about the fact that Obamacare will “create more problems than it will solve” [this was, by the way, prior to the House passing the healthcare reform bill last weekend] and how “voters in Virginia and New Jersey knew it.” I waited out his gloat about the economy being shaky, how raising taxes is a big no-no and how “voters yesterday went for the candidates who offered lower taxes.” I waited for O’Reilly to finish his rant about how President Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan – under threat of O’Reilly throwing a tantrum in the White House. I waited for all this gloating to end so I could hear some more about the “no gloat zone.”

But – and H/T to reader Scott from Toronto, who noted O’Reilly’s lies on this point – I instead heard O’Reilly slam California for allegedly withholding an additional 10% -- a “tax surcharge” -- from everyone’s paycheck.

“They’re gangsters out there in Sacramento,” O’Reilly cried indignantly. “They just come in and whack every working person with a 10% tax surcharge. Yeah, people might get it back after they file in April . . . the liberal legislature in California has destroyed the state economically and now they’re stealing money from the folks to cover their horrendous mistakes . . . already Nancy Pelosi and her far-left crew want to raise the top federal tax rate to 45% . . . that’s Fidel Castro stuff, confiscating wages that people honestly earn.”

Except . . . it ain’t so. Yes, the State of California did increase the amount of state income tax withheld from paychecks by 10%. But no, it isn’t really a tax increase. It certainly isn’t a “tax surcharge.” It isn’t “stealing money from the folks.” It isn’t “confiscating wages that people honestly earn.” Oh, and it isn’t “Fidel Castro stuff.” Essentially, as reported by the Sacramento Bee, it’s a “cash advance,” a loan, to the State by wage earners that “gives the state some wiggle room in managing California's treasury in a year that saw a titanic political battle to get a handle on the state's budget.” What O’Reilly failed to note is that, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, wage earners can actually avoid this additional withholding by changing their withholding allowances with their employers.

According to the Sacramento Bee, “Essentially, the accelerated withholding program does not generate additional tax revenue. Instead, it front-loads it, bringing cash in more quickly in an effort to keep the state treasury stocked with funds, which is where the ‘cash advance’ tag comes in . . . State officials have estimated that the move will generate an additional $1.7 billion in the current fiscal year . . . The bottom line is that a worker's total annual income tax bill won't rise, and the amount owed at April 2010 tax time will be adjusted accordingly.” (Emphasis mine) A little Googling by O’Reilly or his esteemed staff would have show that the actual increase in state income tax is 0.25%. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times noted, “from a single taxpayer earning $51,000 a year with no dependents, the state will be grabbing an extra $17.59 each month, according to state tax officials. A married person earning $90,000 with two dependents would receive $24.87 less in monthly pay.” In real-life terms, that’s, like, one super-dooper, extra fancy, gourmet cup of Starbucks a week – half a cup if you’re single.

So, after this segment, you’d think O’Reilly and his staff would maybe do a little surfing of the net, figure out the truth, maybe even set the record straight, right? Nooooooo . . . O’Reilly continued to perpetuate the lie on 11/9/09 in the Miller Time segment (see video below), stating that “10% of their take-home pay disappears because pinheads can’t manage the money, give it away, are corrupt, don’t watch it . . . ,” while failing to note that these people will get this money back in April when they file their federal income tax returns and that they can actually change their withholding allowance to avoid this increase.

Let’s summarize. The “no gloating” and “common sense” O’Reilly brings to The Factor, and would ostensibly bring to the White House, consists of scaring people silly about a worker tax bump that amounts to the loss of about one Starbucks coffee a week. The “no gloating” and “common sense” approach consists of lying like a dog about the State of California “stealing” from its workers. The “no gloating” and “common sense” approach means failing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about the fact that these workers will get their one-Starbucks-a-week money back from the Feds at tax time.

As Eminem said to Mariah Carey in his rap diss, “Warning Shot,” I now say to O’Reilly” “. . . So don’t go opening your jibs cos every time you do it’s just another load of fibs . . . .”