Fox News' Jarrett falsely asserted the NY Times found that "the average plumber would pay less in taxes under John McCain"

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

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."

On the October 24 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, guest host Gregg Jarrett falsely asserted that "several days ago," The New York Times "published a chart and in it, it showed that the average plumber -- not somebody making $250 and above -- but the average plumber would pay less in taxes under [Sen.] John McCain than [Sen.] Barack Obama." In fact, the chart the Times published on its Exonomix blog on October 17 in response to statements by "Joe the Plumber" did not examine how "the average" plumber would fare under Obama and McCain's tax plans but, rather, how much a person who bought a company with earnings of $280,000 after expenses would fare. In fact, based on wage statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an average-wage plumber would likely see a larger tax cut under Obama than under McCain.

According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in 2007 was $47,350. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, an annual salary of $47,350 would fall in the middle quintile -- those earning $38,980, 60 to $69,490 annually. In 2009, people in the middle quintile "would receive an average cut equal to 2.6 percent of income ($1,118)" under Obama's tax plan, and "would receive an average cut equal to 0.8 percent of income ($325)" under McCain's tax plan. In 2012, households in the middle quintile of the income distribution "would receive an average tax cut equal to 4.7 percent of income or $2,197" under Obama's plan, and they "would receive an average tax cut of 3.1 percent of income, or $1,444," under McCain's plan.

By contrast, the Times chart examined how Obama's and McCain's tax 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."

From the October 24 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

JARRETT: All right, let's bring in our guest: Rich Lowry, editor for National Review. Jehmu Greene joins us, Democratic consultant, former president of Rock the Vote. Good to see you both.

LOWRY: Hi, Gregg.

JARRETT: Jehmu, let me begin with you. Even The New York Times, which today, of course, endorsed Barack Obama, several days ago published a chart and in it, it showed that the average plumber -- not somebody making $250 and above -- but the average plumber would pay less in taxes under John McCain than Barack Obama. Is this whole "Joe the Plumber" thing beginning to kind of rock the vote for McCain and rock the ship of Obama?

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment, Taxes
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Gregg Jarrett
Show/Publication
America's Newsroom
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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