Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Check this out: The Trump attack ad leaves out important details about Haley’s position on the gas tax

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Before the Republican primary in South Carolina, Donald Trump’s campaign launched an ad attacking Nikki Haley on her stance about the state’s gas tax during her time as governor.

However, the Trump ad is similar to past attacks in the 2024 race, lacking important details about Haley’s position on the gas tax. It leaves out crucial comments to portray her as a clear supporter of tax hikes, which she was not.

To set the record straight: Haley, as governor, stated that she would only approve an increase in South Carolina’s gas tax if it was part of a larger package. This package included a substantial reduction in the state income tax, resulting in a significant net tax cut for residents. In 2015, the state economic board estimated that Haley’s proposal would save the average taxpayer hundreds of dollars per year once fully implemented. However, state legislators rejected the proposal, fearing it would lead to a substantial loss of tax revenue. Importantly, the state gas tax was never increased during Haley’s governorship from 2011 to 2017.

The Trump ad selectively plays a clip of Haley suggesting a gas tax increase without providing the full context. In her 2015 speech, Haley emphasized that the increase was part of a three-part package deal, which included restructuring the state Department of Transportation and reducing the state’s top income tax rate from 7% to 5%. The ad fails to mention these critical details.

Haley made this proposal when some legislators were advocating for a gas tax hike without a significant income tax cut to fund road improvements. Despite her proposal, Haley did not sign any gas tax increase during her term. The legislature passed an increase in May 2017, well after Haley resigned to become the US ambassador to the United Nations.

The Trump ad also accuses Haley of lying about fighting the gas tax in a 2023 debate with Sen. Tim Scott. While Haley had shifted her stance on the gas tax by 2015, she continued to oppose legislative proposals for increases that lacked substantial income tax cuts. In the debate, she explained that her support for a gas tax increase was contingent on a threefold income tax deduction, framing it as a negotiation tactic.

In summary, the Trump ad distorts Haley’s position on the gas tax by omitting crucial information and presenting a misleading narrative about her actions and statements.

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