[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/27/art.mccain.phone.jpg caption="Does McCain's plan provide no relief to the middle-class?"]The Statement:
At a campaign stop Friday, October 3, in Abington, Pennsylvania, Sen. Barack Obama argued his opponent, Sen. John McCain, is "out of touch." Obama asked, "How else could he come up with an economic plan that leaves out more than 100 million middle-class taxpayers from any relief whatsoever?"
Get the facts!
CNN/Money reported last month that the Obama campaign "says it bases that number on McCain's proposal to increase the exemption tax filers take for dependents, and adds that it is the 'only middle-class tax cut' the Republican nominee has offered."
The CNN Truth Squad has previously reported that the Tax Policy Center - the nonpartisan agency whose figures the Obama campaign regularly cites - says some members of the middle class would also benefit from other parts of McCain's tax plan.
Obama's assertion also ignores McCain's health-care plan altogether, which is part of his tax plan. As the CNN Truth Squad has reported, the Tax Policy Center says virtually all Americans would come out ahead initially under McCain's health plan, and the middle class would benefit through 2018, which is far ahead as the center projected.
Len Burman, the center's director, told CNN Friday, if you include McCain's health plan, Obama's assertion is "patently untrue." And Burman said that while "something like 100 million people are not affected by the McCain individual income tax cuts," millions would benefit from the corporate tax cuts McCain proposes - "anyone who owns stock, and that includes retirees with modest pensions and 401(k)s."
In his remarks, Obama referred to McCain's "economic plan" - not solely to his plan for individual income taxes.
In Thursday night's debate, Obama's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, was even more off the mark, saying that under McCain's tax proposal, "100 million families, middle-class families, households to be precise, they got not a single change, they got not a single break in taxes." One hundred million "families" or "households" would include the vast majority of the U.S. population.
False. The Obama campaign bases its assertion on just one part of McCain's economic plan, while ignoring the tax consequences of the rest of the McCain plan.