Uncritically repeating Sen. John McCain's mischaracterization of Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan, CNN's Dana Bash stated that McCain has "been saying, basically, Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to raise your taxes; I'm going to lower your taxes." But Bash did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, or that McCain's own chief economic policy adviser has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."
Fox News' Gregg Jarrett falsely asserted that The New York Times recently found that "the average plumber would pay less in taxes under John McCain than Barack Obama." In fact, the Times did not assess how "the average plumber" would fare under Obama's and McCain's tax plans -- he or she would get a bigger tax cut under Obama's plan, according to the Tax Policy Center -- but, rather, how their respective plans would affect an individual who is "a partner of a two-person company," that earns $280,000 "after business expenses are deducted," "[o]wns his own home and itemizes his taxes," "[i]s divorced but does not pay alimony," and "is a single parent with one dependent child."
The Los Angeles Times reported without challenge Sen. John McCain's claim that Sen. Barack Obama plans to "raise taxes on small businesses." In fact, the number of taxpayers declaring small business income who would see a tax increase in 2009 under Obama's plan is less than two percent, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center. Additionally, the AP reported an RNC spokesman's claim that Obama "will raise taxes," without noting that Obama has proposed raising taxes only on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
Fox News' Steve Brown accused Sen. Barack Obama of omitting the purported reason Sen. John McCain initially opposed the Bush tax cuts, which Brown claimed was "because they didn't match up with corresponding cuts coming out of the budget." In fact, the reason McCain gave for voting against the tax cuts in a May 2001 floor statement was that "so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief."
ABC's David Wright reported without challenging Sen. John McCain's claim to voters in New Hampshire that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to confiscate their hard-earned money." Wright did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, while raising taxes only on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
The Washington Times reported that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin "slamm[ed]" Sen. Barack Obama "for supporting higher taxes," but did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and raising taxes on only individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
Linda Bergthold was not impressed by the work of CNN's Drew Griffin:
Griffin allowed her to openly lie about a number of issues without any interruption or challenge. She claimed Obama had never reached across the aisle to work with Republicans, even though his work with Sen. Dick Lugar on nuclear weapons is well documented. . She lied about Obama's tax plan over and over again, saying that he will tax ordinary Americans and small businesses, even though he as clearly stated he will not do that.
McClatchy Newspapers reported that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin are claiming that Sen. Barack Obama "would raise taxes on ordinary folks such as Joe the Plumber." The article did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and that "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher himself has said that he would not see a tax increase under Obama's plan.
On The War Room, Jim Quinn falsely claimed that most average-income bus drivers, teachers, and autoworkers "don't pay any taxes." In fact, all U.S. workers are required to pay taxes on their wages for Social Security and Medicare, and people in the United States are also subject to excise taxes.
The Los Angeles Times uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's claim that Sen. Barack Obama "proposes" to raise taxes on small businesses, while the Chicago Tribune reported McCain's accusation that Obama "clearly wants to" raise such taxes. In fact, as FactCheck.org wrote in response to a prior McCain claim that Obama would increase taxes on small-business owners: "[T]he overwhelming majority of those small-business owners would see no increase, because they earn too little to be affected."
In criticizing Sen. Barack Obama's "mindset about taxes," Fox News' Brit Hume said that "when you've lowered [capital gains tax rates] in the past, you get a gusher of revenue, because people go ahead and take their capital gains and the revenues go up." However, in suggesting that cuts in the capital gains tax result in greater revenue, Hume did not note that many economists have challenged the idea that tax revenue increases over the long term as a result of cuts in the capital gains tax rate.
On two successive nights, Bob Schieffer asserted that Sen. John McCain will tell voters that Sen. Barack Obama is going to raise their taxes without noting that the charge misrepresents Obama's tax plan. In fact, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and raising taxes only on single people earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
The Washington Post reported that Sen. John McCain "railed against [Sen. Barack] Obama for wanting to raise taxes" and uncritically quoted McCain's attack that Obama would raise taxes on Americans like "Joe the Plumber," a reference to Sam Joe Wurzelbacher. However, the Post did not point out that, according to Wurzelbacher himself, he would not be subject to a tax increase under Obama's proposal. Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families and raising taxes only on households earning more that $250,000 per year.
While talking about Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan, Lou Dobbs falsely asserted that "just about 40 percent of all Americans -- working Americans -- don't pay taxes." In fact, all American workers are required to pay taxes on their wages for Social Security and Medicare, and people in the United States are also subject to excise taxes. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office found that the average effective federal tax rate for households in the lowest quintile of income earners in 2005 was 4.3 percent, while the second lowest quintile paid an average effective rate of 9.9 percent that year.
Discussing Sam Joe Wurzelbacher ("Joe the Plumber") on MSNBC Live, Tamron Hall said that "according to the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for a plumber: $45,000. ... I think it would be rude to ask Joe what his income is." But Wurzelbacher's income -- or expected income -- is the issue in determining the veracity of McCain's charge that Wurzelbacher's taxes would increase under Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan.