On Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "wants" "higher taxes." In fact, the Tax Policy Center concluded that, compared to Sen. John McCain, "Obama would give larger tax cuts to low- and moderate-income households and pay some of the cost by raising taxes on high-income taxpayers" -- those households earning more than $250,000 per year.
On the September 29 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "wants" "higher taxes." Scarborough stated: "Americans don't want higher taxes, they don't want more spending, they don't want the things Barack Obama wants." In fact, the Tax Policy Center concluded that, compared with Sen. John McCain, "Obama would give larger tax cuts to low- and moderate-income households and pay some of the cost by raising taxes on high-income taxpayers" -- those households earning more than $250,000 per year. Indeed, McCain's chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."
As Media Matters for America has documented, Scarborough previously failed to challenge McCain campaign senior adviser Steve Schmidt's false claim that Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton were "talking about raising taxes across the board," and vouched for the effectiveness of a McCain ad accusing Obama and Clinton of planning to respond to economic troubles "by raising your taxes" without noting that that the ad's central claim is false.
From the September 29 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
SCARBOROUGH: And -- and, you know, as I was watching the debate -- and we talked about it the Saturday morning after the debate -- I thought that ideologically, for me personally, ideologically, John McCain made the most sense. He was talking about cutting spending, he was talking about cutting taxes, he was talking about less of a government, he was talking about making sure we didn't retreat out of Iraq after our troops were already there, but I could tell that night when it got to temperament that Barack Obama had a more reassuring temperament. And that is just as important for so many Americans as ideology, Pat.
PAT BUCHANAN (MSNBC political analyst): Well, I think so. I think, well, McCain was really -- when you talk about taxes and spending and earmarks, frankly, for a lot of people, their eyes glaze over. They don't know what you're talking about, earmarks, but he was playing to the Republican base. And Barack Obama in terms of his persona, I think, and his demeanor, and frankly, his graciousness -- John McCain is dead right -- I think that he comes over as a nicer guy, a more pleasant guy, a more attractive guy, and he had enough substance there that people said, "Look the guy knows his onions, he's not a wimp, he's a tough guy, he disagrees with so and so, but he's a tough guy."
SCARBOROUGH: And, you know, Mika, I think actually John McCain ideologically is -- I know he is -- a lot closer to where America is than Barack Obama. But this year it may not -- because let me tell you something, Americans -- I don't care what the talking heads said -- Americans don't want higher taxes, they don't want more spending, they don't want the things Barack Obama wants, but it comes down to temperament, and I think this year that may be the tipping point for Obama.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (co-host): It's interesting to see the transitions that have taken place even through the primaries and talking about whether or not you know these candidates can connect with the voter -- the incredible success of Sarah Palin when she was first chosen because of her ability to connect with the voter -- but now we find ourself in tremendous crisis, and Obama, who you could argue fails to connect but is looking like, well, he may have the temperament, I don't care if I can have a beer with him or a shot of vodka with him.
SCARBOROUGH: But Mike Barnicle, he may have the temperament, but, my gosh, neither of these gentlemen know anything about complex financial concerns that we have right now. So, am I going to be reassured by somebody that decided that he was going to run for president after being in Senate for 100 days? No. I think that may be why a lot of Americans are going, "We don't know which way to go."
BRZEZINSKI: But look at the people who got us into this mess. They've been in Washington forever.