September 16th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Fact Check: Obama wants to raise taxes?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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.


Filed under: Fact Check
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Tony

    People like the McCain's and the Bush's who have tons of money should be taxed higher than anyone else.

    I know common sense in the republican party is non-existent, but this is a no-brainer.

    McCain wants to keep giving tax breaks to those like himself, his rich Stepford wife, and all the other rich elitists.

    September 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Count VA 2008 ... were making it Officially BLUE

    Thank CNN for finally getting to the issues.. FACT CHECK MCCAIN YOU LOST

    September 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. cecil

    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!

    I Quess Your Not Keeping Up With The Current News Dave!

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

    To "Voter", your numbers posted above, can you link to where you got those? I think, to be fair, CNN needs to spell it out like your post did. The $38k – $66k range comprises A LOT more of the country than the top 3 slots do, which means a lot more people benefit. This is why the GOP is against it, because THEY are the top 3 slots. PLEASE somebody at CNN research and post these comparitive numbers for all to see. This is what should be a front page story, not what Sarah Palin had for lunch.

    September 16, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. right turn

    Obama will raise other taxes including cigarette taxes. How else could he pay for his big govt health care?!

    September 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Phil-Texas

    Here we go the headline reads Obama is going to raise taxes. Did you know that over half of americans will only see the headlines and believe that Obama will raise everyones taxes. The news organizations know this and why they mislead readers is beyond my comprehension.

    September 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Gail

    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

    Hey Dave, I see YOU'VE missed the Key Point in Obama's plan.
    Corporations will get a tax credit for keeping jobs in the USA
    Corporations will get a tax increase if they move jobs overseas
    Creation of 5million new Green jobs that can't be shipped overseas
    Helps economy, prevents and discourages jobs being sent overseas.

    What is wrong with a hard working middle income and lower income (all hard working people) getting a piece of the pie? I imagine you'd like that too, wouldn't you Dave.

    Don't be fooled by the smoke and mirrors of the GOP. Obama is the better choice, in fact the ONLY choice this country can afford.

    September 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Independent from GA

    Taking from the RICH and giving to the POOR.. Does that sound familiar? Robin Hood. No wonder the McCain camp is upset.

    September 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Sarah Bell

    Facts? Screw your facts. If you repeat facts over and over they become lies. Just like if you repeat lies over and over they become facts. Ask John McCain.

    September 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Vincent

    What hasn't been mentioned is, if those income figures are after the deductions and exemptions. If they are for what I just wrote, it would stand to reason that most of us would be better off with Obama's tax plan.

    September 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Independent for Obama

    Dave, conservatives lie

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

    Here is the way I read this. Obama will increase federal income taxes for some people. McCain will not increase federal income taxes for anyone.

    I've also heard that Barack intends to reinstate the death tax, increase the capital gains tax, increase taxes on energy consumption, increase taxes on cell phones, and pretty much any federal service. Is that correct? Can CNN confirm that? My second question is why are we increasing taxes for any reason? The government is already too big and wasteful. My understanding is that our spending and borrowing practices as a nation are what got us into this mess in the first place. What does Obama need to pay for with increased taxes?

    September 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. jo

    raise or not I had better life on Clinton time than John Bush

    September 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. DMD, New York

    Doesn't FactCheck have an affiliation with Annenberg who has an affiliation with Ayers who has an affiliation with Obama? Would not then, if that is true, anything that FactCheck says is biased towards Obama?

    September 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Ovitshio Branco From Arizona

    It's been years, and the man who murdered so many at the World Trade Center,is still free.

    Years later, many of the katrina victims still have not been able to return home. Instead they spend their
    nights in FEMA trailers that are making them sick.

    Years later, we are still in a war where our men and women are loosing their lives for a war that never should
    have taken place.

    We now live in an economy where the American dollar is fallen fast, people are loosing their homes, gas and
    food prices are on the rise when we have no extra money to give.

    Its time for people to be able to breath again, and not have to go to sleep every night knowing that they might not be able to pay their bills.

    It's time to capture the man who coldly celebrated his success while thousands of Americans cried for their
    loved ones.

    Its time to reach out to the katrina victims who where held captive in a hell with no way out, and help them
    get back home.

    Its time for our troops to be brought home to their familys.

    It' time for a change, and we made this video because we believe with all our hearts that Barack Obama will
    bring that change

    September 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. former puma

    Dave........... Obama will give tax break to people that have there company here while mccain we give tax break to company that shift there job oversea. so make sure u read someone policy before concluding who to give your free vote for.

    September 16, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Sarah Bush

    That's a fact Jack!

    September 16, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Nurse Ratchet

    Dave that's more BS. Why is it that the Blue states pay the majority of the taxes (and seem ok with that) and the Red states use more Welfare. Answer that. While you're at it, why is it that Red states tend to have more high school drop outs and a heck of a lot higher divorce rate?

    Hmmmmm? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

    September 16, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Michelle, St. Louis, MO

    Even Alan Greenspan said the country can't affor McCain's tax plan.

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

    And this why I am voting for Obama.

    September 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. fixthebroken


    Do you research before you say anyone is lying please!

    Check the table that Voter posted. That's a good start for your research.

    September 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. john

    its a help that Obama offers and most of us will get tax cuts and it will be like CLINTON admin we will live happy as ever

    September 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Darryl

    Hello Jack why is that?

    Republican legislators sue to stop Palin investigation
    Five Republican legislators filed suit Tuesday in state Superior Court in an attempt to halt an investigation into abuse of power allegations against Gov. Sarah Palin, now Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate.

    September 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. George in Indianapolis

    To Mel

    Evidence of Absurdity and Proof of Stupidity:

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

    You ever notice that people that don't know what they are talking about are the ones who are most fervent and outspoken of their ignnorance?

    OH! I forgot! Absurdity and Stupidity are the conerstones of the McCain/Palin ticket.

    September 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. not so

    There has been plenty of name calling on both sides of the isle. I find it all rather distasteful. If the best you can do is "rant" while calling someone names, it just makes you sound the fool. Stick to the issues with meaningful dialog.

    September 16, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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