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. Enlightened Voter

    Thank you for FINALLY putting out the truth. And if trickle down economics has worked for you guys in the last 8 years than by all means vote for mccain/palin. Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve for 10 yrs said that mccain's economic plan, such that it is, would be disastrous for the economy. It would destroy it, he said.

    September 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Teri

    Quite honestly, they can both say whatever they want. When it comes down to it, they can change when they get into office...either of them. Funny thing is - Obama talks about "change" but he doesn't specify for the better or worse... So yeah, he can "change" things, but who knows who will benefit from it.

    By the way, I notice more Dems do the name calling lately - perhaps because they are in a panic and lashing out?? Dysfunctional children.

    September 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Ex-Republican for Obama

    no way...McCain lied? Now how about that, who would have thunked it?

    It's pitiful to watch this old man pander his immoral bankruptcy to those foolish enough to listen to it. The man is a walking billboard of what is wrong with america, and it's POLITICIANS LIKE McCain and Palin that are wrong with america.

    Time for the only change and hope we have....Obama/Biden '08!

    September 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Pitbull without lipstick

    TAX those rich GOPS!!!! They are the ones who will get the biggest increase in taxes and I am fine with that!

    September 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. abenj

    Thank you media for finally doing your job.

    September 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Lesley

    What's with the headline? The fact is that Obama would cut taxes for 80% and that is what should be highlighted, not the other way around. And saying it's not possible to know what each candidate would do is a misleading disclaimer that shouldn't even be addressed. This presentation is confusing for people. Am I reading Fox News or CNN?

    September 16, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. SamSunny

    The rule I have adopted this past month is, if McCain accuses Obama of something ..... just accept that the truth is the opposite of what McCain is saying, and then go research it. You know what? on 90% of my research I have been right.....McCain is flat out lying or really bending the truth in all his statements and his ads. Honesty is the foundation of being honorable....John McCain is no longer honest, he has been taken over by the Bush people and has become a full blown NeoCon - they are totally running his untruthful campaign. He has sold his brand downstream for power.

    September 16, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. S. Boatman

    Mccain Is Upset Because His Taxes Will Go Up!

    September 16, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Terry From Texas

    TESAP:SAVANNAH, GA,

    Obama lives in never never land and his gullible supporters live with him.
    Everyone will be taxed to death. I can't believe you trust this man.
    He will tell you anything to get your vote.

    "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."

    GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Laura

    my household makes over $250,000. So what. We can afford to get taxed. I rather help my country and other Americans than be greedy. Under McCain, I'll be getting a nice tax break, but I'm voting for Obama.
    This country is so divided, it makes ill. Either way, my family will be fine. How many of you can say that? Maybe 20%. Greed is the root of all evil. I'm going to donate to Obama, as they say, share the wealth. I'm an independent voter.

    September 16, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. jimmy

    WANT GOOD NEWS REPORTING FROM CNN. WAIT FOR BLITZER.
    DOBBS, BROWN, CROWLEY, MALVEAU , PILGRIM , POWERS, J. KING, TOOBIN, AMY HOLMES , BAY BUCHANAN , AND THE FIRST LINE ANALYSTS: GERGEN , BENNETT, DOBBS.
    CNN AFTER 5 PM IS BEST WATCHIING.

    September 16, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. John McPain

    Shhh, don't let facts get in the way of my best attack lines.

    September 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Barbara GA

    I guess It would raise taxes for McCain and his wife. I think he is protecting his own interest,

    September 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. troy of Mississippi

    John McCain stop telling lies, but I do understand that you know that if you tell the truth that there is no way that you are going to win. Mc Cain while you have found a running mate that is willing to lie to your equal, America is in trouble. If you love these country, get out of the way so Obama may lead us to a point that not only will the world look to us but that we as Americans can see America on the top again. Mc Cain, You are out of touch, you are out of reach by miles. Change is on the way. Obama 08

    September 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. S. Boatman

    Give Me 100 Million Dollars And I Will Gladly Pay More Taxes!

    September 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. Pitbull without lipstick

    another GOP lie that the democrats are socialists! I guess these people who keep claiming that Democrats are socialists are the ones who rather have Fascist Pig with Lipstick Palin and McCain as their supreme leader.

    September 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. Tired of all the lies

    The media made such a stink out of the lipstick comment, what about all the mcsame lies? Why aren't all of these front page news? I have heard at least 20 of them from mcsame and the pitbull!

    September 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Arkansas Undertaker

    Now thats the way it should be! The wealthy should pay their shar of the taxes!

    September 16, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Debby

    Thats not what Obama's aide said on Hardball. She quoted the top 2% which is 250 and over. Fact check didn't mention the raise of payroll, corporate, capital gains and death tax in their report especially on small business's making over 250 and under a million. Bottom line small and large companies will suffer greatly with Obama's proposed tax plan. Although Obama's plan looks good to middle Americal he is robbing peter to pay for paul and that will only bring layoffs, lost jobs, and small and large compainies folding with rasing the so called cap Obama has planned. Even Hillary said this will not work in debate after debate.

    September 16, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. SB

    MCCAIN, LIES LIES LIES AND MORE LIES BECAUSE THE GOP BASE IS SO UNEDUCATED, THEY WILL BELIEVE IT.

    September 16, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. Zion

    Republicans kill me misapplying Reagon's idea on tax cuts. Tax cuts only work when the economy is doing well. Our economy is not doing WELL. That's right McCain doesn't understand that. In addition, we are in a two front war, we need taxes to fund it. Do we want our troops fighting Al Qaeda without weapons, again?

    September 16, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. John

    The democrats have had control of Congress for the last two years, and have done nothing to improve the economy. Why does any one think that Obama is only going to tax the "rich", and solve all of our problems. Have you forgotten that he has been part of the senate, and he is a Democrat also. So he won't get anything done either.

    September 16, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Peter (CA)

    But why beleive the truth when the lie is so much prettier?

    40% of Americans do not pay taxes??? I don't remember the poverty line being that high. Does that include all of the rich with their loopholes? Then I might believe that.

    September 16, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. Mel

    People that need tax breaks the most need to go to school. They choose to live that way.

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 16, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Josh

    "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."

    No wonder why McCain keep repeating that "Obama wants to increase tax"....well baby its going to increase McCain's own tax return...hahhahaha. he is so panic right now. its just rediculous ludicruous how many lies he is saying all this compaign. he has lost all my respect for him. This guy doesnt have any integrity and still american public seems to fall for him.

    September 16, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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