Discuss as:

Repeating fact-checked lines

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
McCain
and his campaign repeated at least two lines of attack against Obama, which when first said in early July, were called "bogus," "wrong," "inflated" and "misleading" by independent fact checkers.

At his town hall today, McCain repeated that Obama wants to raise taxes on those making as little as $32,000 a year and in his campaign's response to Obama's event in Springfield, Mo., today, repeated that "...Obama's bad judgment led him to vote in support of higher taxes 94 times...."

Of the $32,000 point, FactCheck.org called that "bogus" and "wrong." "The McCain campaign falsely claims that Obama voted to raise income taxes on individuals earning "as little as $32,000 per year," Fact Check wrote on July 8.

"The resolution Obama voted for would not have increased taxes on any single taxpayer making less than $41,500 per year in total income, or any couple making less than $83,000. The $32,000 figure is approximately the taxable income of a single person making $41,500 per year, after all deductions and exclusions. Obama's vote (for a non-binding budget bill) does not change the fact that his own tax plan would provide a tax cut of $502 for a non-married taxpayer earning $35,000." It also points out that despite the fact check, the Republican National Committee still aired radio ads "in two states repeating the bogus $32,000 figure."

NBC's Ken Strickland wrote at the time, "There was no vote during the budget resolution process to actually raise taxes.  Simply put, there was not a vote which in effect said, "let's raise taxes by 3% on certain tax brackets." So Obama did not vote to raise taxes per se. BUT... the overall budget resolution does assume the BUSH 2001/2003 tax cuts will expire (or have to be offset by new spending.) And if they expire, taxes in the 25, 28, and 33 percent tax brackets would increase 3% as Holtz-Eakin suggests. (Democrats are happy to remind folks that McCain was against those tax cuts, before he was for them.) ...

"While it may be a bit of a stretch to say Obama voted to raise taxes, it is accurate to suggest that Obama's support for the budget resolution indicates a willingness to let the tax cuts expire--thus potentially causing a tax increase."

NBC's Andrea Mitchell pointed out that the Obama campaign "maintains the budget resolution encompassed middle class tax cuts, more than offsetting the lost benefit of the Bush tax cut extensions for lower-income taxpayers."

On the support for higher taxes 94 times, Fact Check titled its post, "Tax Tally Trickery." "The McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee both claim that Obama has voted 94 times 'for higher taxes,'"  We find that their count is padded."

"Twenty-three were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all; they were against proposed tax cuts. Seven of the votes were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on a relative few, either corporations or affluent individuals. Eleven votes the GOP is counting would have increased taxes on those making more than $1 million a year -- in order to fund programs such as Head Start and school nutrition programs, or veterans' health care. The GOP sometimes counted two, three and even four votes on the same measure. We found their tally included a total of 17 votes on seven measures, effectively padding their total by 10. The majority of the 94 votes -- 53 of them, including some mentioned above -- were on budget measures, not tax bills, and would not have resulted in any tax change. Four other votes were non-binding motions related to conference report negotiations.

"It's true that most of the votes the GOP counts would either have increased taxes for some, or set budget targets calling for such increases. But by repeating their inflated 94-vote figure, the McCain campaign and the GOP falsely imply that Obama has pushed indiscriminately to raise taxes for nearly everybody. A closer look reveals that he's voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers."