September 16th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Fact Check: Obama wants to raise taxes?

McCain says Obama wants to raise taxes.  True?
McCain says Obama wants to raise taxes. True?

The Statement:

"First of all, Sen. Obama wants to raise taxes," John McCain said in an interview on CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday, Sept. 16. "I'm not going to raise anybody's taxes ... ."

Get the facts after the jump!

The Facts
While it's impossible to know what policies any candidate would implement in the future, as described by his public statements, Obama's tax plan would increase taxes in 2009 on the wealthiest 20 percent of households, while offering tax cuts for the other 80 percent. The largest increases would be on the top one-percent of earners. That's according to analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group whose staff of experts includes former economic advisers to the White House and Congress under both Republicans and Democrats.

By comparison, the Tax Policy Center analysis says McCain would offer tax cuts across the board. Those at the top end of the scale would get the biggest percentage cuts under McCain, while households with the lowest incomes would receive the largest percentage cuts under Obama's plan. Obama's plan would offer a tax cut for people earning up to $111,645 a year, according to the analysis. McCain also would offer relief to those taxpayers, but his cuts would be smaller.

The center has different figures based on how the staff and economic advisers of both candidates have described the plans - as opposed to what candidates have said in their speeches. According to Obama's staff, even the top 20 percent of earners would, on average, get a small tax cut - with the top one-percent seeing the largest increases. McCain's staff says his cuts for people making roughly $66,000-$111,000 a year would get a slightly higher cut under his plan than Obama's and that his cuts across the board would be slightly larger than what McCain has said they would be.

Verdict: TRUE, BUT INCOMPLETE


Filed under: Fact Check
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Republicans Equal Hypocrites

    McCain/Palin are liars

    September 16, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. MikeH

    McCain is a lying Republican scum. The sooner America is rid of the Republican political cancer, the better.

    September 16, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Susan

    McCain – a LIE you can believe in!

    September 16, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. TESAP:SAVANNAH, GA

    Obama's tax plan would increase taxes in 2009 on the wealthiest 20 percent of households, while offering tax cuts for the other 80 percent.

    EXACTLY WHY MCCAIN AND THE REST OF THEM ARE ANGRY...........

    September 16, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Melissa Petoskey, MI

    Um, yes he's raising taxes..... for people making darn near triple digits a year. It would benefit my family, who is barely making $30,000 a year.

    September 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Bulldog

    "In my administration we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible and we're going to enact and enforce reforms that make sure that these outrages - and they are outrages - never happen in the first place," McCain said

    But wait, this is completely opposite of what McCain has supported and stood for the last 20 plus years.

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 deregulated the financial system by opening up competition among banks, securities and insurance companies and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge.

    John McCain voted for this bill along with the entire Republican Senate. The Senate Democrats objected against it. Phil Gramm introduced this bill and was John McCain’s top economic advisor before he was forced to resign but still gives McCain economic advice to this day.

    John McCain has a direct responsibility in the financial crisis we are in today along with the banking lobbyists he is employing in his campaign. McCain has supported the very philosophy and mentality that has caused the economy we are facing today. Is that what you want? Another 4 years of this? Look it up, McCain has truly supported DEREGULATION throughout his career and now all of a sudden he is FOR regulation. He’s blowing smoke and just telling more lies.

    September 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Dan

    I'm stunned, STUNNED that Senator McCain would give a misleading answer.

    September 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Eye Opener

    Thanks CNN for clarifying this. These Republican idiots just bark like dogs that Obama is going to increase taxes etc. just one of the Karl Rove tactics.

    September 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Go Sarah!

    Do you think the recent stock market collapse or troubles in the banking system are good news?

    Well, according to CNN's Candy Crowley, the Obama campaign does.

    On Monday's "Anderson Cooper 360," after CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said "what happened over the weekend with the economy and the bottom falling out of the financial markets...is the opportunity for Obama to seize the momentum back on his side," Crowley actually said, "[J]ust as foreclosures were showing up on B-17, or in the real estate section, along comes this horrific headline out of Wall Street...I mean, this is what they wanted."

    I kid you not. The transcript of this disgraceful exchange follows (video embedded right, h/t Steve Malzberg):

    September 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Rick

    Obama says he's only going to raise taxes for those making over $250,000. Do 20% of all households make more than $250K? No way. Obama is lying.

    September 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Vince

    But of course....another lie from McCain. It would be news otherwise

    Obama / Biden

    September 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. The Voice of Common Sense (Independent Voter - Charlotte, NC)

    "...Obama's tax plan would increase taxes in 2009 on the wealthiest 20 percent of households, while offering tax cuts for the other 80 percent."

    GREAT! That works for me! But...how about a balanced budget to go along with that idea, Obama!

    Baldwin/Castle 08

    September 16, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Frank

    So McCain is telling the truth out of one side of his mouth and a lie out of the other side.

    Typical Republican.

    September 16, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Ken in Dallas

    The difficulty here is that McCain's trying to cut taxes AND increase spending, and the arithmetic just won't work. Even the United States' credit isn't infinite, and McCain's plans will bankrupt us.

    September 16, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Belle

    Fact check FAILS to mention that on the stump, Obama took McCain's position of NOT raising taxes during bad economic times. Seems Fact Check needs to get their facts straight.

    September 16, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Aaron Carter

    Exactly

    September 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Latina for Obama

    thank you for printing the facts!

    MCCAIN YOU ARE A LIAR...AND SO ARE YOU PITT BULL

    September 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Lolo

    Obama is essentially rolling back the Bush tax cuts to reflect what we had under Clinton. If you ask me, our economy wasn't doing so bad under Bill Clinton. I highly encourage people to actually READ the Tax Policy report. It's incredibly informative and shows just how much McCains plan is biased to support trickle-down economics which we know DO NOT WORK.

    September 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. John

    The "Verdict" is idiotic; every statement is incomplete. The only important part is that one word, TRUE. Obama will raise your taxes!

    September 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. joey from nc

    i make 1300 dollars a month at a bank. THAT IS NET!! The government takes away 350 of my hard earned dollars a month. And for what? A war?? Are you kidding me? This is the greater cause? How about taking my money and helping the community. Making MY life easier? Maybe I could be able to afford going to school and get an actual career with Obamas plan. But with Mccains plan, I don't even know how much longer MY JOB WILL BE AROUND.

    Obama is my final HOPE for this nation to turn around and start caring about the people again.

    September 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Aaron Carter

    Obama, will give tax breaks to the people who need it the most, and that's the way it should be.

    September 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Well, this was useless.

    So Obama's biggest cuts go to the poorest people; McCain's biggest cuts go to the richest. Obama would raise them slightly on the very richest. Overall, there are more cuts in Obama's plan.

    Is that about right?

    September 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Real Real Change

    Its about time….thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  24. Alec

    What about capital gains taxes?

    September 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. TONY

    McCain will say and do anything to attract a vote. His ads have been proven to be false and misleading.

    September 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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