September 21st, 2008
05:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Fact Check: Did Obama vote 94 times for higher taxes?

Did Obama vote to raise taxes more than 90 times?
Did Obama vote to raise taxes more than 90 times?

The statement:

"He said he won't raise taxes for most people, but he's voted 94 times in his short Senate career for tax increases and against tax cuts."
-Sen. John McCain, at a campaign stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Friday Sept. 19, 2008

Check out the facts after the jump!



The facts:

The effort to convince voters that Sen. Barack Obama would support higher taxes is a central part of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. McCain and the Republican National Committee have repeatedly cited 94 alleged votes by Obama to bolster their argument.

Factcheck.org, a non-partisan project of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, pieced through records to determine just what these 94 votes were. Key findings:

-23 were against proposed tax cuts
-7 were "for measures that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on a relative few, either corporations or affluent individuals"
-11 were to increase taxes on people making more than $1 million a year, to help fund programs such as Head Start, school nutrition, or veterans' health care
-53 were votes on budget resolutions or amendments that "could not have resulted by themselves in raising taxes," though many "were clear statements of approval for increased taxes"
– The total includes multiple votes on the same measures

Annenberg says a close look at the record reveals that Obama has "voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers."

Verdict:
Misleading. McCain's summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers. A nonpartisan examination also finds that the 94 total includes multiple votes on the same measures and budget votes that would not directly lead to higher taxes.


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