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. lindapuma

    Why isnt this story running on a loop 24/7 on CNN? SAY IT LOUD AND OFTEN. MCCAIN LIES! PALIN REITERATES MCCAIN LIES!

    September 16, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Matt

    If you repeat a lie long enough, people will start to believe it.

    September 16, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Chris

    What about business tax? Capital gains? Etc. What people are ignoring or failing to grasp is that Obama will raise taxes on large (and small) businesses. When their taxes go up, their costs go up. When their costs go up, their prices go up.

    It's not rocket science, people.

    September 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Nancie

    The Republican ticket is an absolute mess. John is becoming laughable and Sarah is starting to squeel. Palin has lost her "fluff" and John has lost his mind. They're starting to look pathetic.

    September 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. charles

    McCain its easy for him to dupe the voters by just saying Obama will raise taxes and he wont. he thinks that line will sell because voters will just asume he will cut taxes. thus another lie to try and get votes. he never explains anything, Obama will raise taxes and he wont. McCain you are banking on the ignorance of voters that they wont know the truth except that you wont raise taxes and Obama will. McCain you are a vicious typical Washington politician who lies his way to the white house. shame on you senator McCain. enough of your half truths.

    September 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Linda

    McCain is using the Big Lie theory: if you tell a big lie loud enough and often enough people will eventually believe you. It's a propoganda technique advocated by Nazi Germany (Check your history). CHECK the facts often in this race!!! Factcheck.org is a great nonpartisan place to start. Why won't McCain stop lying?? Because winning is apparently more important to him than honesty.

    September 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Pearl Donald

    Of course the race is close-too close because of race, but I can't believe that America will be stupid enough to re-elect a Republican. We do need change. I think the new voters will make the difference.

    September 16, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. don in naples, florida

    bush didn't want to raise taxes either, but curiously enough gas has doubled in price, home prices grossly inflated, (although now going down), home insurance rates curiously haven't gone down, costs of goods and services have increased. Well i don't know about the rest of you guys but if not raising taxes the way bush hasn't raised taxes is the formula for economic success... I would volunarily offer up a raise in taxes i pay if you would control the rest of the stuff.

    September 16, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Pitbull without lipstick

    TAX those rich people good!!!! Yeah they don't work harder than the rest of us, and most of them are trust fund babies.

    Cindy McCain we are comin for ya!

    September 16, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Chris

    Sorry CNN,

    I don't trust the source of this information, because I've gotten much different numbers from other sources. Would you should do is look at analysis from economists who have analyzed both plans. I recommend factcheck.org for info on this story.

    September 16, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. empty vessel

    That's not what Obambi has been saying, his lie, oops I mean idea is that he will tax the top 5 percent and give the other 95 percent a tax break.

    The only uh, uh, uh, uh problem is that over 40 percent of that 95 percent don't uh, uh, uh, pay any FEDERAL tax to begin with.

    So he is going to tax the people that create the small businesses that make our economy run, a put this in your pipe FACT CHECK, small businesses are the folks thae CREATE MORE NEW JOBS THAN ANY OTHER SECTOR.

    I hate when supposedly smart people just simple LIE or make stuff up.

    September 16, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. This soccer mom can whip your hockey mom any day!!!

    Wow!! Someone in the media actually Fact Checked John McCain!!!!!! Oh my God.... who will he lie to now? The horror...the horror.....!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    The proof is in the puddling.We will all be standing in lines for food if McCain and wonder woman is elected.

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

    The Republican party is over.....literally!

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

    Hey j.williams, get your facts straight: its the welthiest americans who find all the loop holes in the tax code who don't pay their fair share. If reversing that amounts to socialism, I'll take it.

    September 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Lie-a-day Palin Ain't Ready for Primetime

    And she's being bolstered by lie-a-day McCain. And all the idiots talking about SOCIALISM need to go back to their caves!

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

    John McCain needs to STOP lying. Sen. Obama would raise taxes on anyone making $250,000 a year. I make about $300,000 and I can AFFORD to pay more in taxes. I don't have a problem in doing so. People NEED to get a clue and start doing their homework.

    George W/ Bush and John McCain believe the "Trickle Down" theory. The wealth NEVER trickles downward, if you believe that, then you just sit around for your share to hit you at the bottom. The VERY WEALTHY will squander it before it trickles down.

    Voters NEED to understand, Sen. Obama is on the right track, by taxing about 2-3% of the population that makes over $250,000 it will cut our economic deficit and help to stabilize our economy. It won't solve it, but it will greatly help towards minimizing the problem, which is FAR better than what McCain is offering..

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

    It doesn't mention that payroll taxes, capital gains rates, and corporate taxes would also go up under Obama, and that rich people will just start to bring their money off shore if the tax burden is too high which means you will get lower revenue. Obama even admitted that raising the capital gains rate will likely lower revenue. Isn't the point of taxes is to give the government revenue?

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

    Frank September 16th, 2008 3:50 pm ET

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

    Typical Republican.
    _____________________________

    I think most of what we hear from McCain comes out his other end.

    September 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. fella from Chicago

    They both speak with forked-tongues. Get on with the debates and let's argue after.

    September 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. This soccer mom can whip your hockey mom any day!!!

    No Teri...

    Dysfunctional is voting for George W. Bush twice, spiraling our country into hell, and then voting for his older, mental – twin to continue America's fall into misery.

    September 16, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Dave

    the key point missing here is fact Obama wants to stick it to corporations, who will in fact do the following:

    A) take their business elsewhere, lost jobs
    B) eliminate jobs to cut costs
    C) increase prices on products to cover tax increases

    Obama = socialist redistribution of wealth

    McCain = capitalist, let people make their own future, this country has more opportunity than any other in the world, key thing is you have to want to WORK FOR IT!

    Dems use hands to take handouts, Conservatives use hands to help themselves and others, WORK

    September 16, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Donna

    Teri..the DEMS are not in a panic..probably just tired of the mudsling coming from the Repubs..everyone has their limit...it's about time they started hitting back....

    September 16, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. AncientRvr

    The wealthy need to be taxed at least at the same rate as the rest os, although I wouls argue they need to be taxed at a higher rate. Currently they are paying a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than the rest us, a fact that John McCain would like to feep as it is, and that is not even taking into the tax breaks they have that the rest us don't. Even Warren Buffet said that he thought it was ridiculous that with his millions he payed a smaller percent of his income in taxes than his secretary. With the obscene wealth of the CEO's that are running this country into the ground, you'd think we could at very least demand that they pay their fair share in taxes. And the corporations that are reaping such profits need to stop getting their corporate welfare checks. Not a reform McCain is in favor of either. He and Palin want instead to cut the earmarks that build our roads, schools and bridges, maintain our natiomal treasures and force us all to pay higher local taxes to maintain these things.

    September 16, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. FactCheck

    I make well into six figures and support a family of three. I have no problem with paying a few thousand extra in taxes so long as the economy can support my ability to (1) hire folks who want to work for me, (2) allow them to maintain a decent existence on what they are paid, and (3) keep me from having to cut costs by laying off staff.

    September 16, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8