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Obama Cites 'Independent, Non-Partisan Study' Written by Former Staffer, Close Ally

"This wasn’t my staff," Obama insists.

1:14 PM, Aug 1, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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President Obama cited an "independent, non-partisan study" in Mansfield, Ohio earlier today: 

"And you do not have to take my word for it," said Obama. "Just today, an independent, non-partisan organization ran all the numbers on Governor Romney’s plan. This wasn’t my staff. This wasn’t something we did. Independent group, ran the numbers."

The president is right, up to a point: The study was not written by an Obama staffer, but by a former Obama staffer--and a close ally.

The study, titled “On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform,” was written by Samuel Brown, William Gale, and Adam Looney.

As Looney's biography page at the Brookings Institution states, "Looney was the senior economist for public finance and tax policy with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and has been an economist at the Federal Reserve Board."

As for Gale, another coauthor, he's in favor of tax hikes and another stimulus. "As the debate over the so-called fiscal cliff and its potential effects continues in policy and political circles, it just may be the case that the U.S. economy will be set on a better path, says Brookings Institution senior fellow William Gale. … And for good measure, tie in a temporary fiscal stimulus, he says. Enacting a payroll tax cut or government spending on infrastructure will have a stronger impact on the economy than the Bush tax cuts, Gale argues," according to the Washington Post.

Likewise, Gale's a close ally of the White House and took part in Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's "Fiscal Responsibility Summit" in 2009, not that he's partisan or dependent, according to President Obama's statement today.

While there, at the summit, Gale again pushed for tax hikes. “William Gale said that there needs to be an “exit strategy” for the recession, especially since we got into this by spending and taking on too much debt. He went on to urge policymakers to consider what happens when the government cuts back and, further, what types of taxes are needed in order to have a smooth landing,” according to the White House.

So far, "independent, non-partisan" economist William G. Gale has visited the White House 12 times.

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