The Hill, Bloomberg uncritically reported McCain's false suggestion that Obama would increase taxes on 21.6 million small businesses

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

The Hill and Bloomberg News uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false suggestion in a June 10 speech that Sen. Barack Obama plans to raise taxes on 21.6 million small businesses that file taxes under the individual income tax. However, Obama has proposed rolling back the Bush tax cuts only on "people who are making 250,000 dollars a year or more," and according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, only 481,000 small businesses fall into the tax brackets that would be affected by those increases.

June 10 articles published by The Hill and Bloomberg News discussing Sen. John McCain's speech that day at the National Small Business Summit uncritically reported McCain's false suggestion that Sen. Barack Obama plans to raise taxes on 21.6 million sole proprietorships that file taxes under the individual income tax. However, Obama has proposed rolling back the Bush tax cuts only on "people who are making 250,000 dollars a year or more," and according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center's table of 2007 tax returns that reported small-business income, only 481,000 of those returns are in the top two income-tax brackets -- which include all filers with taxable incomes of more than $250,000 -- not 21.6 million.

McCain stated in his speech: "Senator Obama's plans would add to the difficulties of small business in other ways, too. Currently, there are the 21.6 million sole proprietorships filing under the individual income tax. When Senator Obama talks about raising income tax rates on those making over 250,000 dollars -- that includes these businesses as well." The Hill reported: "The heart of McCain's speech and his biggest criticism of Obama's approach to tax policy are rooted in the Democrat's pledge to repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year," and added, "McCain argued Tuesday morning that because there are currently more than 21 million small-business owners filing individual tax returns, they would fall under the category of taxpayers making more than $250,000 a year." Likewise, the Bloomberg article reported that McCain "said Obama's plans would subject 21.6 million small-business owners to income-tax increases." Neither The Hill nor Bloomberg noted the Tax Policy Center's finding.

From the June 10 Hill article:

The heart of McCain's speech and his biggest criticism of Obama's approach to tax policy are rooted in the Democrat's pledge to repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year.

In what amounts to a repeat of sorts of the same tax battle waged between Bush and Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) in 2004, McCain is charging that Obama's plan to repeal the tax cuts translates into a tax increase for all Americans, especially small-business owners.

McCain argued Tuesday morning that because there are currently more than 21 million small-business owners filing individual tax returns, they would fall under the category of taxpayers making more than $250,000 a year.

From the June 10 Bloomberg News article:

McCain, in his speech, said small business is crucial to creating jobs "in this very tough time'' for the U.S. economy.

"I intend to keep the current low income and investment tax rates,'' he said. "And I will pursue tax reform that supports the wage-earners and job-creators who make this economy run.''

He said Obama's plans would subject 21.6 million small- business owners to income-tax increases.

"Americans of every background would see their taxes rise,'' McCain said.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
The Hill, Bloomberg
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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