Monday, November 03, 2008

Top 10 Tax Related Lies from the Candidates

Election Day is just a few hours away, and although most people have already decided which candidate they are voting for, there are still many people who are undecided. To help the readers of my blog who are trying to sort through all of the lies that the candidates have been spreading I have put together the following list of the top 10 tax related lies this election season.

1. McCain’s claim that Obama’s plan will increase taxes on 50% of small business revenue.
Facts: The candidates have both been trying hard to win the hearts of small business owners waiting too see which candidates plan better benefits their business. McCain’s statement however, was simply false. Studies have found Obama’s plan will not raise taxes for the large majority of small business owners and McCain’s numbers were very inflated.

2. Obama’s claim that for every dollar that he has proposed in new spending, he has also proposed an additional cut so it matches.
Facts: The Tax Policy Center (TPC) debunked Obama’s plan (as well as McCain’s) saying Obama’s plan would “substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years”. The only way Obama’s statement could possibly become a reality would be the introduction of some huge government spending cuts he has not yet mentioned.

3. McCain’s claim “Joe the Plumber” would face much higher taxes under Obama’s tax plan.
Facts: Obama’s tax plan does give higher taxes to some business owners, but only ones making over $200,000 a year. “Joe the Plumber” would actually be exempt from Obama’s tax increase, as well as the health coverage fine because of his business’ size.

4. Obama’s claim that “independent studies have looked at their respective plans and concluded that his tax plan provides three times the amount of tax relief to middle-class families than McCain’s.”
Facts: The study that Obama is referring to, done by the TPC, did indeed cite this information. However, the TPC failed to include the candidates individual health care tax plans. When you factor in the health care plans, McCain actually gives more tax breaks to middle-class families, and the “three times as much tax relief” no longer works.

5. McCain’s claim that earmarks have tripled in the last five years.
Facts: McCain has used earmarks repetitively throughout the campaign as one of his main points. He has spoken out profusely against them and stated he does not himself partake on requesting them. However, he made the mistake of publicly stating earmarks have tripled, when in fact they have dramatically declined in the past 5 years.

6. Obama’s claim that McCain’s health care tax plan is a loss for the average family.
Facts: Obama makes a point of saying the average plan costs $12,000 and McCain’s $5,000 tax credit will not cover that. However, Obama is basing these figures on two assumptions; the employer will drop the workers insurance, and the workers wages will not increase to offset the loss. A lot of times employers will drop insurance benefits but raise wages to make up most of the difference. In this case, a $5,000 tax credit would more than offset the difference.

7. McCain’s claim that Obama will tax home heating oil.
Facts: In reality, Obama has not proposed a single plan to raise taxes on electricity or home heating oil. In fact, he proposed a $1,000 per family rebate for increased heating oil costs.

8. Obama’s claim that McCain’s tax plan, gives CEOs of Fortune 500 companies an average of $700,000 in reduced taxes, while leaving 100 million Americans out.
Facts: When Obama says that McCain’s plan will give CEOs reduced taxes he is being somewhat misleading. He is referring to the Bush tax cuts, which do in fact benefit a majority of wealthy Americans. However, McCain wants to extend the breaks which are due to expire in 2011, therefore he is not creating new tax cuts but rather extending existing breaks.

9. McCain’s claim that he wants to “double the dividend from $3,500 to $7,000 for every dependent child in America.”
Facts: Although McCain used the term “dividend” incorrectly (he meant exemption), that is not the point. He says he wants to double the exemption, but studies find his plan will actually only increase the exemption by 50% or so.

10. Obama’s claim that under my tax plan, 95% of Americans will get a tax cut.
Facts: Although Obama’s plan does give a high percentage of Americans a tax cut, the actual amount is actually 81.3%. The number, while still high, is not 95%.

Blog Archive