Fact check: No, Joe Biden isn't trying to 'raid' your retirement account

2755

A dark money group's fearmongering attack ads are funded by an anonymous donor.

A dark money group is spending millions of dollars on ads falsely claiming President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats want to raid middle-class Americans' retirement accounts.

The tax-exempt Common Sense Leadership Fund is reportedly investing $10 million in attacks targeting 14 House Democrats.

In one of the ads paid for by the fund, aimed at Rep. Dan Kildee, who represents a competitive district in Michigan, the voiceover says, "You've done the best you could, played by the rules, and saved for retirement, putting away a little each year, trusting it would be there. Now Washington liberals want to break that promise, raiding your retirement to pay for their power grab: amnesty for illegal immigrants, while funding a radical environmentalist agenda, stealing your retirement and so much more." Without mentioning Biden's $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan, the ad urges, "Call Dan Kildee. Tell him you're counting on him to protect your retirement."

A second spot targeting Kildee says, "Washington liberals want to tax your retirement funds to pay for their new trillion-dollar power grab. They call it progress, but it's theft, pure and simple."

Common Sense Leadership Fund's YouTube page calls the group a "501c4 non-profit organization that promotes conservative policies of individual freedom, lower taxes, and less regulation while using digital innovation to build a conservative grassroots community."

According to Politico, the group was founded by Kevin McLaughlin, a Republican operative who ran the National Republican Senatorial Committee's unsuccessful attempt to keep control of the Senate in the 2020 elections. He told the outlet in August that the fund was mostly bankrolled by "an anonymous concerned citizen." He later wouldn't specify the actual number of funders, Politico said.

While the Build Back Better plan would raise taxes on corporations and those making $400,000 or more annually, it would actually reduce them for middle- and lower-income families.

One provision of the bill would crack down on the richest Americans using retirement accounts to shelter their money and avoid taxes; it would require them to withdraw a minimum amount each year and limit new contributions.

But those rules would only would apply to those with $10 million or move saved for retirement — not to those who "played by the rules, and saved for retirement, putting away a little each year."

This is but the latest Republican lie to voters about what is in the Build Back Better plan, which would invest in climate change, clean energy, child care, health care, universal pre-K, free community college, and caregiving infrastructure.

Biden ran for president on a promise to raise taxes only for those making $400,000 or more, and polls show strong public support for doing so — even from a plurality of Republicans. Polls also show support for the plan's climate investments and for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and essential immigrant workers.

GOP lawmakers have unanimously opposed the proposal, incorrectly claiming it would raise taxes on middle-class Americans.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, falsely tweeted on Sep. 2 that the package contained "crippling tax hikes hurting small biz, middle class workers, family owned farms/biz, American-made energy….sending jobs overseas."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.