When Sen. John McCain twice touted the idea of a gas tax "break" during an interview on NBC's Today, Matt Lauer failed to challenge him over whether economists believe a gas tax holiday is a good idea. But when Sen. Hillary Clinton mentioned her proposal "to get the gas tax paid this summer out of the record profits of the oil companies" on the same program a month earlier, Meredith Vieira challenged her, saying that economists are "saying it's not sound policy."
The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "has vowed ... to end the cap on Social Security taxes, which amounts to a tax hike on anyone who makes more than $100,000 in income," and he later asserted that "New York Rep. Joseph Crowley says a couple with earnings of $100,000 could be 'a police officer and nurse.' 'In New York City,' he adds, 'they'd be struggling.' " Moore's inclusion of a reference to "a couple ... [who] could be 'a police officer and nurse' " falsely suggests that Social Security taxes are assessed on households. In fact, Social Security payroll taxes are assessed on individual income.
The New York Post reported CNBC host Maria Bartiromo's assertion that Sen. Barack Obama would "take the capital gains tax at 15 percent right now all the way up to 25 to 28 percent." The Post further quoted Bartiromo: "Sell anything, like a home or stocks, and make a profit ... [almost] 30 percent of the profit will go to the government instead of 15' " [brackets in original]. But Bartiromo's suggestion that the entire profit on the sale of a house is always subject to tax is false; single homeowners can exempt up to $250,000 in gains realized from the sale of an owner-occupied home from capital gains taxes, and married homeowners can in most cases exempt up to $500,000. Politico's Mike Allen uncritically reprinted the Post report of Bartiromo's comments in its entirety.
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy gratuitously used Obama's middle name and echoed a false suggestion by Sen. John McCain that Obama supports raising taxes for middle-income Americans by claiming, "Under a Barack Hussein Obama administration, you will wind up with higher taxes." In fact, Obama has pledged to establish a tax credit for families.
The New York Times' John Harwood wrote that Sen. John McCain "prevailed over a field of Republicans who almost unanimously shared his support for the Iraq war, embrace of President Bush's tax cuts, skepticism toward government-run health care and opposition to abortion rights," while Sen. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "both staked out opposite ground from Mr. McCain." But neither Obama nor Clinton has proposed "government-run health care"; the Times has previously pointed out that McCain has "inaccurately described Obama's and Clinton's health care proposals" by likening them to "government-run health care systems."
Discussing passage of a budget resolution for fiscal year 2009, The Washington Post reported Rep. Dan Lungren's accusation that Democrats are "plotting 'the largest tax increase ... in the history of the world' " without noting that by Lungren's standard, it is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who were responsible for the "largest tax increase ... in the history of the world."
On Your World, Dick Morris claimed that Antoin Rezko sold Sen. Barack Obama a strip of land "for an amount that was substantially below its apparent market value." However, according to documents posted on the Obama campaign website, Obama paid $104,166 for the piece of property -- well above its appraised value of $40,500.
In contrast with The New York Times' 2004 analysis of the benefit Teresa Heinz Kerry gained from the Bush tax cuts, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, and The New York Times did not note, following the May 23 release of a summary of her 2006 tax returns, that Cindy McCain also benefited significantly from the tax cuts -- which Sen. John McCain has pledged to make permanent.
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Glenn Beck falsely claimed that former President Bill Clinton said, "We've got to slow down our economy" in order to combat global warming, and aired a portion of a speech Clinton made in January. However, as Clinton's full remarks make clear, he did not suggest "slow[ing] down our economy" to fight global warming.
Newsweek has corrected George Will's false assertion in his Newsweek column that Social Security taxes are levied based on household income. Will made the same assertion on ABC's This Week, but ABC has yet to issue a correction on the show.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer made the misleading assertion that "the House of Representatives just passed a $300 billion plan to help struggling homeowners." In fact, while the bill to which Blitzer referred would authorize the FHA to insure up to $300 billion in homeownership retention loans for qualified homeowners, the Congressional Budget Office estimated a total cost of $2.7 billion for the program.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto misrepresented the projected cost of a federal "housing rescue package" by saying it was going to cost "300 billion bucks," while an on-air graphic read, "House lawmakers set to pass $300B housing bill; bailout?" In fact, while the legislation would authorize the FHA to insure up to $300 billion in homeownership retention loans, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the program would cost the government $2.7 billion between 2008-2013.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer did not challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham's claim that Sen. John McCain opposed President Bush's 2001 tax cuts because he "wanted a tax cut, a very healthy tax cut, but he wanted spending limitations." In fact, when he voted against the cuts in 2001, contrary to what he now says on the campaign trail, McCain made no mention of deficit concerns or of the absence of offsetting spending cuts.
In his Newsweek column, George Will falsely claimed that Social Security taxes are levied on household income. He had similarly falsely asserted on ABC's This Week that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to raise taxes on a lot of people, beginning with those earning about $100,000 a year, a household." In fact, Social Security taxes are levied based on individual income, and contrary to his assertion in Newsweek, a married couple with each spouse making less than $102,000 would not face a payroll tax increase if the income cap was raised, even if combined they made more than the current cap.
On The Situation Room, Dana Bash uncritically aired a clip of Sen. John McCain saying of health care plans put forward by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama: "This will accomplish one thing only. We will replace the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of the current system with the inefficiency, irrationality, and uncontrolled costs of a government monopoly." In fact, neither Clinton nor Obama has proposed a "government monopoly" on insurance coverage; rather, both have called for individuals to choose their own insurance.