Whopper of the Week: George W. Bush, Rep. Jennifer Dunn, and/or the Treasury Department

I strongly believe we need to drop the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent.  (Applause.)  I’ve heard all the rhetoric about what that means, and so have you.  But overlooked in the political hyperbole that tends to take place in our process is the fact that dropping the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent serves as a stimulus to small business growth in America.

“The Treasury Department released a reportearlier today on small business owners who pay personal income taxes and small businesses which pay at the highest rate of 39.6.  According to the Treasury Department, nationwide there are more than 17.4 million small business owners and entrepreneurs who stand to benefit from dropping the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent.”
–President George W. Bush, in a
March 16 speechto small business owners.


“Most small businesses pay at the 39.6 percent rate.”
–President George W. Bush, in
a March 22 speechto the National Newspaper Association.

“Mark, what’s really going to be happening is 17 million small businesses will be helped by this tax cut.”
–Rep. Jennifer Dunn, in a
March 17 appearance  on CNN’s
Capital Gang.

“In fact, fewerthan five percent of these 17.4 million individual and business owners and entrepreneur pay the top rate. A total of only 691,000 taxpayers in the nation (including taxpayers who are not small business owners) paid the top rate in 1997, the latest year for which these data are available.”
March 20 press release by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.


(Thanks to James R. Taylor, Bob McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice, and Nicholas Johnson of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.)

[Click here  to read an update, “Dubya Admits Whopper!”]

Got a whopper? Send it to To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguous lie paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.

Whopper Archive:

March 16, 2001: George W. Bush

March 9, 2001: Russ Freyman, spokesman, National Association of Manufacturers

March 2, 2001:
Paul O’Neill

Feb. 23, 2001: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

Feb. 16, 2001: Oscar spokesman John Pavlik

Feb. 9, 2001: Lynne Cheney

Feb. 2, 2001: Bobby Thomson

Jan. 26, 2001: Denise Rich