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. Julie

    If you make over 250,000 a year you NEED to get taxed!

    September 16, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Jill

    Ohooooo. . . McCain just played the dirty "Raising Your Taxes" card.
    i think EVERY Republican has used this trick card...hopefully, the voters won't pick this card up and put in their hand. They'll lose.
    OBAMA/BIDEN in 08!

    September 16, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Frank, MO

    The vast majority of Republicans does not believe in facts.

    So what's the difference ? McCain and Palin can lie all they want and the truth is, the more they lie, they more the Republican base gets energized. It plays on their level.

    September 16, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. W. Axl Rose

    Jees, you Obama supporters are clueless. Obama's tax increase are going to hurt small businesses. Small businesses employ the majority of people in America. So what will they do once they're taxed into oblivion by Obama? Lay off employees and raise their prices. Then you can all feel good about that.

    September 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. D

    Teri...just go to each candidates web site and get details on the policies they are pushing. Make an objective decision by actually reading instead of just counting on CNN to display the facts. I make over 250K and you know what I don't mind the tax increase if it means someone who make less can benefit. But, this is coming from a guy who hasn't always been in that tax bracket to begin with. In other words I know how to share unlike the repubs!!

    OBAMA 08

    September 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Gene

    Rick, your comment makes no sense. If you read the article it states that Obama will not raise taxes according to his plan on 80% of the population, he will cut them, and by a significantly higher margin. However, Obama will raise taxes on those making a decent income to offset the cuts he is giving to the poor. McCain with be cutting taxes across the board, but at a higher percentage for the wealthy, and he will not have anything to offset those cuts, just driving us deeper into debt. I wish people would look up the issues rather than just talking about points they hear others make. That's what has got us into the Bush debacle the last 8 years.

    September 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Michael in Mexico

    If I make over $250,000 per year because I work 80+ hours a week and so cannot take advantage of all the government granted perks I should have my taxes raised in an Obama government? Or, not cut so much in a McCain government?

    September 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    That's right. And when McCain says that he will "raise your taxes" or raise them for everyone, he's talking to his party's base. But, he says it to all voters. Very misleading.

    September 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. ibjg

    j williams – a real fact check back at ya:

    "Poverty in the United States is cyclical in nature with roughly 12% to 16% living below the federal poverty line at any given point in time, and roughly 40% falling below the poverty line at some time within a 10 year time span."

    Current poverty line in US for a family of 3 is 17k/year (22k in Alaska, the largest welfare state in the country).

    September 16, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. joey from nc

    September 16th, 2008 4:07 pm ET

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

    McCain/Palin 08

    Hey mel! I work full time, I CAN BARELY AFFORD RENT!! HOW CAN I GO TO SCHOOL IF I WORK FULL TIME AND ALWAYS BROKE?!?! YOU GUNNA PAY FOR MY SCHOOL??!

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

    Teri, your point is one sided. What sayest thou about McPalin's theft of the the slogan of change? Also, since the Repubs can only play dirty to win and Sen. Obama is too refined to counteract, the "dysfunctional children" will do the job for him. Got it?

    September 16, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. former puma

    the problem mccain have is his wife company not to pay any tax. so that he will still be wearing $570 shoe, so that 80% of us will not even try to dream of wearing his kind of shoes.

    September 16, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    What else is new? More lies from Republicans. Say anything to get elected. We are tired of this. I just want to have a decent living and I am tired of fear, smear and rear *&**.

    September 16, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. AncientRvr

    I totally agree with the person above. I make enough that I do not need a tax break. I make more than enough after the basics to have a pretty good life. Why should I want more of a break when someone who needs it for food, housing and a chance for school needs it more?

    September 16, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Gail

    NOW (National Organization of Woman) Endorses Obama this morning.

    On pay equity. Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation to end wage discrimination against women.

    On reproductive rights. Sen. Obama is a co-sponsor of the Prevention First Act, to strengthen access to contraception and reproductive health care, and prevent unwanted pregnancies. He strongly supports Roe v. Wade and will oppose any efforts to overturn it.

    On violence against women. Sen. Obama supports the continued reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act — of which Sen. Joe Biden is the chief sponsor — as well as the Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act, which is legislation to provide legal, medical and financial support to victims of domestic violence.

    On the Supreme Court. Sen. Obama opposed the nominations of George Bush's extreme right-wing nominees to the Supreme Court, who have consistently ruled against women's rights,

    CNN!!!! Why aren't you reporting this ????

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

    Why are reporters allowing John McCain to get away with the claim that Obama will raise taxes on everybody?.

    Why don't you do your job as a reporter by confronting John McCain with the fact rather than after he has made his claim?.

    Journalists should extol the confidence imposed on them by the society, and they should not be part of a lying scheme which is what the McCain campaign has become.

    September 16, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Independent for Obama

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

    McCain/Palin 08

    Wow speaks volumes for the typical McCain supporter. Thanks for your input.

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

    Its cares me that people actually buy mccains lies hook line and sinker. Rick do your research. When your confronted with the truth and reality from the opposite party after months of being bumrushed with lies from your home party , i can understand your first reaction being denial. next comes withdrawl symtoms

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

    These people ARE out of touch if they think they can just blatently lie and lie and lie and nobody's gonna notice.

    ....chuckle....chuckle....unbelievable.

    Obama/Biden 'till 2024

    September 16, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Rob

    Hey, to all of you who are posting here on CNN about how McCain and Palin are covering up, how do you explain this??:

    Chicago radio station WGN-AM is again coming under attack from the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama for offering airtime to a controversial author.

    It is the second time in recent weeks the station has been the target of an "Obama Action Wire" alert to supporters of the Illinois Democrat.

    Monday night's target was David Freddoso, who the campaign said was scheduled to be on the station from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Chicago time.

    "The author of the latest anti-Barack hit book is appearing on WGN Radio in the Chicagoland market tonight, and your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don't gain credibility," an e-mail sent Monday evening to Obama supporters reads.

    "David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering," the message said. "And WGN apparently thinks this card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine needs a bigger platform for his lies and smears about Barack Obama - on the public airwaves."

    The Tribune-owned station was flooded with calls and e-mails about an hour before an Aug. 27 interview with Stanley Kurtz, a conservative writer who examined Obama's ties to former 1960s radical William Ayers.

    A WGN producer said Monday night's response was about the same as when Kurtz was on the station.

    First question is will CNN post this? Second question, all you Obamaholics, how do you explain yourselves after this?

    September 16, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Independent

    Laura ur taxes will go up like $12...Do poeple see how fair this tax plan is. He makes sure to not mention that $250,000 would get like no tax increase (cause $12 is not much) but he still get lambasted for it.

    September 16, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. chas alabama

    Why does McCains posters say "country first" and not "America first"

    September 16, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Teddy California

    I think the 20% figure includes capital gains, interest rates (not sure, usually a part of income taxes), and dividents, not only income taxes. Obama would also raise payroll taxes for wealth people. I think if your income is over 250,000, you need to pay more payroll taxes too under Obama's plan. I am not sure 250,000 is for family income (Wall Street Journal claimed so) or individual income (ake more sense). Therefore, for the income below around 100,000 (increasing every year) and above 250,000, you have to pay social security taxes. Right now, you only have to pay social security taxes for income below 100,000.

    So McCain campain did not lie when they said Obama would raise taxes. However, for most of the swing voters, the blue colar workers, they would not pay more taxes under Obama. It is very hard for Obama to tell voters on the fact.

    September 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. America think for you

    Smears, lies from these republicans ad even Carl Rove said so.
    I am a Democrat and I am voting for McCain. Oh no! Why are you betraying Barack? You know why! Because John McCain had invented the Black Barry. I love my blackberry. McCain know Washington for 30 years, Barack is new to Washington. McCain is smart and does not understand the economy and I am thrill to vote for McCain. McCain is rich and Barack is not. McCain has many houses and Barack does not. If I Americans get evicted from their homes they can get a room each from McCain. McCain is the real deal that will shake up Washington and himself because he is an insider. Sarah Palin is a foreign policy expert because she can see Russia from Alaska Joe Biden cannot see Russia from Delaware. This is why I am not voting for McCain.

    September 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. super independent

    So how exactly is Jonn McCain going to give everyone a tax cut but still increase spending without making the US's economy worst?

    September 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8