“A Half Truth is a Whole Lie” – Or is it Propaganda?

From Dictionary.com:”prop·a·gan·da

   /ˌprɒpəˈgændə/ Show Spelled[prop-uhgan-duh]Show IPA, noun

 1. Information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.

 2. The deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.

 3. The particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.”

Today I received an email subject -“Home Sales Tax 2012 to fund Obamacare“. 

This came from someone I know who is smart, successful, and well-educated. He tells good jokes and has great stock tips too! So, I opened his email and read it.  When I told him the email was not accurate, but a deliberate mis-representation of what is actually in the bill,  he was quite surprised. He said it came from a friend of his who is a college professor. 

 A google search “Are home sales going to be taxed for Obamacare?” produced this result: Search  About 7,700,000 results(0.16 seconds). Clearly quite a bit of mis-representation out there!

Forbes Magazine says:

“There Is No Obamacare Tax On Most Home Sales. Really.”

“It is the unfounded rumor that never dies: You will have to pay a 3.8 percent federal health care tax on the sale of your house.” Click link to read article.

Here is the headline from the link my friend sent:

ObamaCare Flatlines: ObamaCare Taxes Home Sales – Clobbers Middle-Class Americans

This site is WWW.Gop.Org,  the official website of Republicans in our house, the citizens of the United States, of Congress. Meaning we, the taxpayers pay for incorrect information. I am including it for your review.

If you were taught, and value, critical thinking skills, is this an example of propaganda? Let me know what you think. I include it to show how the “information” presented is a half-truth.

Here is the Readers Digest Version of Just the Facts, please:

  • First, there is No “sales tax on home sales in the health care bill.
  • Second, there is no “hidden” tax in the law -that is an out right lie, it’s all clearly spelled out.
  • The law goes into effect in 2013. The capital gain on the home sale must exceed $500,000 if this is a primary home and you are a married couple ($250,000 for singles). Even if you and your spouse make $300,000 in wages and you bought a home that you lived in for a while for $600,000 and you now sell it for $1 million, your capital gains tax on that home sale would be zero.  If the home sold for $1.2 million,  resulting in a capital gain of $600,000, only $100,000 of that capital gain would be subject to the new tax ($500,000 exclusion).
  • For those who earn above those income thresholds ($250,000/$200,000) and who have a capital gain on a home that is a second home or one that does not qualify for principal residence (i.e., lived in for too short of a time period), the full capital gain would be subject to the new 3.8 percent tax.

 From FactCheck.Org: the sort of people who would have to pay the tax might include: 

  • A single executive making $210,000 a year who sells his $300,000 ski condo for a $50,000 profit. His tax on the sale of that vacation home would amount to $1,900, in addition to the capital gains tax he would have paid anyway.
  • An “empty nester” couple with combined income of over $250,000 a year who sell their $1 million primary residence to move to smaller quarters. If they cleared $600,000 on the sale, they would be taxed on $100,000 of the profit (the amount over the half-million-dollar exclusion). Their health care tax on the sale would amount to $3,800 over and above the usual capital gains levy. However, a typical home sale would not incur any tax. In March, for example, half of all existing homes sold for $170,700 or less, according to the National Association of Realtors.  Clearly no profit over $250,000 on a $170,700 sale, so none would be subject to the tax. The Internal Revenue Service says that to qualify for the $250,000/$500,000 exclusion, a seller must have owned the home and lived there as the seller’s “main home” for at least two years out of the five years prior to the sale.

The National Association of Realtors has an  11 page document clearly outlining several tax resulting scenarios. Read it if you want facts and useful information.

FYI – a link to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), HR 4872, (all 2310 pages) if you want to read it. Let me know if there is anything in there about a tax on all home sales.  Some of our elected officals (see the www.gop.org site) think it says so. But, maybe they didn’t read it.

And finally, please check your facts when an email comes around! The only way things are going to change in this country is when we are educated about the issues and get active.  Use your valuable critical thinking skills, don’t jump to conclusions. Democracy works when you work it.

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2 Responses to “A Half Truth is a Whole Lie” – Or is it Propaganda?

  1. craig byrum says:

    Good Info. Thanks for the clarification.


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