McClatchy's Thomma misrepresented Obama's tax plan

››› ››› MORGAN WEILAND

On MSNBC Live, McClatchy's Steven Thomma asserted that Sen. John McCain will likely attack Sen. Barack Obama "as a tax-raiser, someone who'll take money out of your pocket at the very moment you don't want it to happen." Neither Thomma nor Politico's David Mark, who agreed with Thomma's assessment, noted that claims that Obama will raise taxes and "take money out of your pocket" misrepresent Obama's tax plan.

On the October 11 edition of MSNBC Live, Steven Thomma, McClatchy Washington bureau chief political correspondent, asserted that Sen. John McCain will likely attack Sen. Barack Obama "as a tax-raiser, someone who'll take money out of your pocket at the very moment you don't want it to happen." When asked for his opinion on Thomma's assessment, Politico politics editor David Mark stated: "Right, I would agree with that," adding that McCain's "best line of attack at this point is to paint Barack Obama as a traditional big-government liberal -- somebody who's gonna hurt your pocketbook if you vote for them in this severe economic crisis." However, neither Thomma nor Mark noted that claims that Obama will raise taxes and "take money out of your pocket" misrepresent Obama's tax plan.

As Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families and raising taxes only on households earning more than $250,000 per year. Indeed, the Tax Policy Center concluded that, compared with McCain, "Obama would give larger tax cuts to low- and moderate-income households and pay some of the cost by raising taxes on high-income taxpayers." Additionally, McCain's chief economic policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."

During the September 26 presidential debate, McCain himself noted that Obama would provide "tax cuts," but returned, moments later, to suggesting Obama would "raise people's taxes":

McCAIN: Now, Senator Obama didn't mention that, along with his tax cuts, he is also proposing some $800 billion in new spending on new programs.

Now, that's a fundamental difference between myself and Senator Obama. I want to cut spending. I want to keep taxes low. The worst thing we could do in this economic climate is to raise people's taxes.

From the 9 a.m. ET hour of the October 11 edition of MSNBC Live:

JANSING: All right, let me go back to what -- something you said, Steven, and you mentioned the debate that's coming up. So if you're John McCain, and you're 10, 11 points behind nationally, and you're behind in places like Pennsylvania, where you hope to really challenge -- he's already pulled out, as we reported last week, out of Michigan -- what's your strategy gotta be?

THOMMA: Well, I think his strategy has to still be to try to slow this Obama momentum. Now, how does he do it? Does he go after him on the connections to people like Bill Ayers or Tony Rezko in Chicago? Or does he hit him on taxes and pocketbook issues? I suspect he'll do what he did last week, which is go after him on -- as a tax-raiser, someone who'll take money out of your pocket at the very moment you don't want it to happen. I suspect he's going to stay on that course.

JANSING: Is that what you would expect to happen, David?

MARK: Right, I would agree with that. I think probably his best line of attack at this point is to paint Barack Obama as a traditional big-government liberal -- somebody who's gonna hurt your pocketbook if you vote for them in this severe economic crisis. Whether that works, that's still a long shot.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
MSNBC, The Politico, McClatchy Newspapers
Person
Chris Jansing, Steve Thomma, David Mark
Show/Publication
MSNBC Live
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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