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. Republican Trainwreck

    When McCain tell his listeners that Obama is going to raise taxes, it's true. That's because McCain is only talking to the wealthiest 20 percent, not the rest of us.

    September 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Republican for Obama

    McCain thinks people are stupid that is the only reason why he keeps repeating this ridiculous lie, and the media allows him to get away with it. McCain is a fraud!

    September 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Independent Voter

    McCain/Palin 08- LIES you can believe in!

    September 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Slowpoke

    This FACT CHECK article is pretty much written in the most misleading way possible. It has truths, but if you skip a sentence or misread part you are lead to believe he is raising taxes.

    September 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Bama

    Politicians can say anything and will say this is my tax plan. Does anyone with half a brain actually think that Obama is going to cut taxes for 80% of Americans? If you do, you are living in a dream world. Let's look at Obama's record and see how many times he has voted to raise taxes or cut taxes?

    September 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Convicted felon who can't vote

    Tell the whole truth. Stop telling the people lies. Just admit that Sen. Obama's economic plan is better than yours and have some dignity for Christ sake. The respect I had for you went out the window when you picked Palin. You're just making htings worst for you.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. tennessee

    CNN your bias in favor of Obama is showing yet again!!!

    September 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Chapstick Dem

    Obama's plan would benefit us ALL. Take THAT, McCain kool aid drinkers!

    September 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. nls

    Well, we're over a year into this election cycle and this is the first "fact check" that I've seen CNN do.

    You guys are truly appalling. Why check facts when you can just pour gasoline on the BS?

    September 16, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. John in Ohio

    It'd be nice if the Republican candidate could say one thing, one single frigging thing, that isn't a lie and isn't immediately debunked by Factcheck.

    It's clear how dumb the Republicans think we are. It remains to be seen how dumb we actually are. If you like being lied to, vote for McCain.

    September 16, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Dee Jay a young republican

    Thank You Fact Check. ORG

    Tell the Truth and Show that McCain is a lier

    Obama/Biden

    September 16, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Proud American

    Lets stop the bleeding. No more Repulican neglect.
    Obama/ Biden '08

    September 16, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Zane

    As I recall, this "Raising Taxes" ploy is used in every election. Nice try McCain....but the American voters are on to your Repuublican ways.
    OBAMA FOR A NEW DIRECTION.

    September 16, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Open Your 3rd Eye

    YOU ARE JUST PLAIN SELFISH IF YOU REFUSE TO VOTE FOR OBAMA BECAUSE YOU HAVE A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY AND ARE WORRIED ABOUT TAXES??

    OUR COUNTRY IS IN TROUBLE AND IF I HAD IT GOOD LIKE SOME OF THESE RICH FOLKS I WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP MY STRUGGLING NEIGHBORS BACK ON THEIR FEET.

    THESE TAX INCREASES ON THE WEALTHY WILL BE TEMPORARY!!

    ONCE THE ECONOMY STARTS TO SHOW SOME LIFE AND AMERICANS ARE BACK TO WORK YOUR TAXES WILL DECREASE AGAIN.

    GEEZ PEOPLE, HAVE A HEART FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

    PEOPLE'S FAMILIES ARE SUFFERING!!

    September 16, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Ric from NM

    Yes, Obama wants to raise taxes. The distinction between top 20% vs. bottom 80% is too complicated!

    September 16, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Proud to be American

    Gosh... too bad the folks that McCain are talking too and gaining support (the 80% that Obama's plan will help) don't read/know the facts... they react off of their bias ways and the sound bites of what they want to hear which Painlin and McSame tells them on the trail.... ignorance is blissful! America do the right thing for the Country..... vote for Obama and Biden 2008 & 2012

    Thank you!

    September 16, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. John in Ohio

    The headline should be "McCain's claims that Obama wants to raise taxes are false."

    Report the facts.

    September 16, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Laura in PHX

    Is anybody surprised at this? McCain twists the truth to his own liking, while lying about his own plans to protect the rich.

    Why is anyone even considering this man and that lying VP pick to run this country? Are people so afraid of change that they would allow themselves to be stepped on for another 4 years?

    September 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Its Time

    People your gonna have to pay taxes no matter who is in office...

    September 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Nick - Arlington, VA

    So..I mean in other words what McCain and his campaign have been saying about Obama's tax plan is a LIE.

    September 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Trevor

    This Republicans have used this tactic in every election.

    September 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Ryan in Delaware

    It is also fair to mention that Obama's tax plan would NOT pay for all of the big government programs he want's to issue. It is also fair to say that the small companies and corporations will be getting a tax hike. If you think these companies are going to absorb it and not higher their prices of product their selling....your obviously living in Obama land.

    September 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Oh Boy!!!???

    Can you be a VP from jail?

    She'd have all the time in the world to work on policy.

    September 16, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Mark Wagner

    Thanks CNN for debunking a McCain lie that has been debunked for months.

    September 16, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. don from california

    Why does McCain lie? No, seriously. Isn't lying a problem? He lies and then acts cute about it (watch the View). He grins and acts like he's only exagerating. SNL was right. The media DOES need to grow a pair. Also I felt bad last night listening to Candy Crowley. She was put in a bad position when asked which campaign lies the most. But it was obvious what her answer was because she started to stand up for McCain. It's a sorry state the media is in right now. McCain is playing games with you pathetic people. And you're too scared of being labled "liberal" to be fair and balanced. If one candidate lies. REPORT IT. Obama might criticise unfairly (McCain can't use a computer), but he doesn't lie. Get it straight you bunch of weaklings.

    September 16, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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