Fact check: Viral video of Joe Biden on running for Senate is missing context
A viral Facebook video claiming Joe Biden said he was running for Senate has been altered and leaves out key words. We rate it missing context.A viral 12-second clip on Facebook is now being used to claim that the former vice president got confused about which office he was seeking in the 2020 election.
The claim: Biden voted in favor of taxing Social Security
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's tax plan remains a sticking point for some voters. A meme posted to Facebook on Sept. 15 says Biden is no friend of working folks because of his voting history on taxes, such as his vote for a 1983 bill authorizing a 50% tax on Social Security.
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The former senator from Delaware was also the deciding vote in raising the Social Security tax rate to up to 85% in 1993, according to the meme.
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"His voting record on Social Security records over the years is one slap in the face to retirees after another," says the claim. "Now he wants to tax our 401k's and IRA's ... and he also wants to introduce a 3% annual tax on our homes."
Biden has said he would raise the income tax bracket for families that earn over $400,000 a year as well as corporate taxes, according to reporting from USA TODAY.
Fact check: Biden owns 2 of the 4 homes pictured in a viral meme
A viral meme purports to show four $3 million-$7.5 million homes Biden owns. He only owns two of them, neither of which cost more than $3 million.“Bidens 4 3.7.5 million-dollar homes on a 200k a year salary,” a reads meme posted to Facebook Oct. 20.
More: Fact check: Biden tax plan would raise rates for those who make more than $400K, corporations
USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.
Did Biden vote to tax Social Security?
The Social Security Amendments of 1983, which led to its taxation, is such a contentious topic on the internet that the Social Security Administration added it to its list of myths and misinformation.
Social Security benefits were "explicitly excluded" from federal income taxation before Republican President Ronald Reagan signed the amendments into law, according to the SSA. Up to 50% of benefits could be added to taxable income based on certain income thresholds from 1984, onward.
A provision of the 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act raised the Social Security tax rate from 50% to 85% for households in a higher income bracket. The act was Democratic President Bill Clinton's first budget and marked the highest peace-time tax increases on high-income earners in U.S. history up to that time, according to the University of California, Berkeley.
Kristen Welker praised for ‘masterclass’ debate moderation, Chris Wallace is ‘jealous’
After Fox News' Chris Wallace failed to maintain order during the first presidential debate, NBC News' Kristen Welker earned solid marks Thursday.After Fox News' Chris Wallace failed to maintain order during the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, Welker was applauded for Thursday's controlled exchange.
Biden voted to pass the 1983 amendments, according to records maintained by the SSA. GovTrack, a government transparency website, recorded Biden's yea vote on the 1993 Act.
Individuals who report a combined income between $25,000 and $34,000 may be liable for income taxes for up to 50% of Social Security benefits. For joint filers, the bracket is $32,000 to $44,000. Those whose earnings match or exceed the upper tier of each bracket could pay tax on up to 85% of benefits, according to the SSA.
Did Biden propose taxing 401(k)s and IRA's?
The claim alleges the Biden campaign proposes taxing retirees' 401(k)s and IRAs in addition to a 3% federal tax on property.
"It's on page 78 of the Dems' platform," says the meme.
But there's no indication of proposed taxes on 401(k) or IRA retirement accounts on Biden's official campaign website. The Democratic presidential nominee said he wants to equalize retirement plan tax benefits across the income scale, according to the Biden campaign.
Biden would accomplish this by eliminating the current deduction for contributions while providing a 26% refundable tax credit for each dollar contributed to a traditional retirement account, according to The Tax Foundation. The tax credit would be deposited into the retirement account as a matching contribution.
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Sixty-five percent of voters said the candidates were mostly respectful of each other's time, as opposed to 10% who said that after the first debate.Fifty-four percent of voters who watched the Thursday debate said Biden performed the best, while 39% said that Trump did. Eight percent of voters who watched weren’t sure or had no opinion on who did best.
Aside from raising taxes on families in the top tax bracket, other proposed tax policies include raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, a 15% minimum tax on book income "so that no corporation gets away with paying no taxes," asking families earning over $1 million to pay wage and investment income taxes at the same rate and instituting a true minimum tax on U.S. companies' foreign earnings while penalizing corporations that outsource jobs overseas.
More: Fact check: National property tax isn't part of Joe Biden's plan
The part of the claim stating Biden would propose a 3% federal property tax has already been debunked by USA TODAY. Property taxes are collected at the state and local level, according to the article.
Our rating: Partly false
We rate this claim PARTLY FALSE, based on our research. As a senator, Biden voted in favor of two laws that authorized taxation of Social Security benefits. But Democratic presidential nominee Biden has not proposed taxing retirement accounts or a federal property tax.
Our fact-check sources:
USA TODAY, Sept. 17: "Fact check: Biden tax plan would raise rates for those who make more than $400K, corporations"
USA TODAY, Sept. 17: "Fact check: National property tax isn't part of Joe Biden's plan"
GovTrack, accessed Oct. 6: "H.R. 1900 (98th): Social Security Amendments of 1983"
GovTrack, accessed Oct. 6: "H.R. 2264 (103rd): Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993"
University of California, Berkeley, The Bancroft Library, access Oct. 6: "1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act"
GovInfo, accessed Oct. 6: "103rd Congress in Session H.R. 2264, An Act"
Social Security Administration, accessed Oct. 6: "MYTHS AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY- Part 2"
Social Security Administration, access Oct. 6: "Vote Tallies, 1983 Amendments"
The Tax Foundation, Aug. 26: "Biden’s Proposal Would Shift the Distribution of Retirement Tax Benefits"
Biden-Harris Campaign, accessed Oct. 6: "A TALE OF TWO TAX POLICIES: TRUMP REWARDS WEALTH, BIDEN REWARDS WORK"
Social Security Administration, accessed Oct. 6: "Income Taxes And Your Social Security Benefit"
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Kristen Welker: 5 things to know about the moderator of Thursday's presidential debate
Kristen Welker has been criticized by President Trump as "terrible & unfair." Get to know the White House correspondent ahead of the last debate.The NBC News White House correspondent and "Weekend Today" co-anchor will moderate the debate at Belmont University in Nashville (9 EDT/6 PDT). The second presidential debate was axed after Trump declined to participate virtually, following his COVID-19 diagnosis. Instead, he and Biden held dueling town halls , and the former vice president beat Trump in the Nielsen ratings.
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President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden appear in the first Presidential debate in the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion at the Cleveland Clinic, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Cleveland.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for his acceptance speech to the Republican National Committee Convention on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington.
US President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican Party nomination for reelection during the final day of the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn of the White House on August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
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