October 24th, 2008
05:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Fact Check: Obama's plan offers 'no help' for the unemployed?

What are the facts?
What are the facts?

The Statement
At a campaign speech Friday, October 24, in Denver, Colorado, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain criticized Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama for how his policies would impact the jobless. "Just yesterday, we received news that jobless claims increased by 15,000," McCain said. "Yet, just this week, Senator Obama announced that his plan would have a work requirement, meaning that those unemployed receive no help under the Obama plan ... ."

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The Facts
Campaign spokesman Brian Rogers confirmed that McCain's comment is a reference to Obama's universal mortgage credit plan, which Obama says is intended to give tax relief to homeowners who don't itemize their taxes. An Obama advisor said on October 21 that the plan had been changed - adding a work requirement in order to receive the $500 credit.

While McCain accurately describes that single aspect of Obama's tax plan, the Obama campaign Web site lists several proposals it says will create jobs and help unemployed people find them. Obama says he would spend $210 billion on a 10-year plan to create jobs in construction and environmental industries –
plans he estimates will create millions of jobs. He also proposes spending $1 billion over five years in job training with "transitional jobs" and "career pathway" programs."

As recently as this week, the McCain campaign criticized the earlier version of the mortgage credit plan, calling it "welfare" because some of the homeowners that would receive the credit are unemployed. The Obama camp said those people amounted to merely "a sliver" of the 10 million homeowners who would get the credit. The October 21 change, an advisor said, was meant to eliminate the McCain campaign's argument against it. McCain then criticized Obama for changing the plan so close to the election. And then on Friday, he attacked it for not helping the unemployed - essentially the opposite of the argument he'd made earlier in the week.

The Verdict:

Misleading. Narrowly applied to Obama's mortgage tax credit, McCain's statement is true. But to say "unemployed receive no help under the Obama plan" is inaccurate.


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