LA Times, Wash. Times uncritically repeated McCain camp's false assertion that Obama "propos[es] to raise taxes on millions of small businesses"

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Times uncritically repeated the McCain campaign's claim that Sen. Barack Obama "propos[es] to raise taxes on millions of small businesses." In fact, Obama has proposed rolling back President Bush's tax cuts only on "people who are making 250,000 dollars a year or more," and according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 481,000 -- not "millions of" -- small businesses fall into the tax brackets that would be affected by those increases.

In June 24 articles about Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama competing for female voters, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Times uncritically repeated comments by McCain national communications director Jill Hazelbaker that Obama "propos[es] to raise taxes on millions of small businesses." However, neither article reported that the claim, which McCain and his campaign have repeatedly made, and which has been uncritically reported in the media, is false, according to the results of an independent, nonpartisan analysis of Obama's tax proposal.

In fact, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, Obama has proposed rolling back President Bush's tax cuts only on "people who are making 250,000 dollars a year or more," and according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center's table of 2007 tax returns that reported small-business income, approximately 481,000 -- not "millions" -- of those taxpayers are in the top two income tax brackets -- which include all filers with taxable incomes of more than $250,000 -- short of the "millions" that Hazelbaker cited.

From the June 24 Los Angeles Times article:

McCain's campaign, for its part, criticized Obama for recent remarks on uniting his party after his defeat of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the protracted nomination battle. Obama privately told lawmakers that Clinton supporters would "get over it" once they realized McCain took the wrong side on women's issues, according to a Democratic congresswoman speaking to ABC News.

McCain communications director Jill Hazelbaker said: "When you consider women are a major driving force behind small business start-ups in this country, Barack Obama's proposals to raise taxes on millions of small businesses isn't going to help women voters 'get over it.'

From the June 24 Washington Times article:

The McCain campaign fired back, using Mr. Obama's own words from last week, when he said that once Clinton-supporting women realize "John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it."

"When you consider women are a major driving force behind small business start-ups in this country, Barack Obama's proposals to raise taxes on millions of small businesses isn't going to help women voters 'get over it,'" McCain spokesman Jill Hazelbaker said.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
The Washington Times, Los Angeles Times
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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