Wash. Post uncritically reported false McCain claim that Obama "would raise taxes"

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

The Washington Post uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false claim that Sen. Barack Obama "would raise taxes." In fact, the Tax Policy Center concluded that, compared with 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.

In an October 1 Washington Post article, staff writers Anne E. Kornblut and Michael D. Shear reported that "[Sen. John] McCain, still stung by the defeat of a [bailout] compromise he had championed, changed the subject slightly on Tuesday to focus on tax policy, hammering [Sen. Barack] Obama with the oft-repeated charge that the Democratic nominee would raise taxes." But Kornblut and Shear did not mention that McCain's "oft-repeated charge" is false. In fact, the Tax Policy Center concluded that, compared with 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."

During the September 26 presidential debate, McCain himself noted that Obama would provide "tax cuts" but then returned moments later to suggesting that Obama would "raise people's taxes":

McCAIN: Now, Senator Obama didn't mention that, along with his tax cuts, he is also proposing some $800 billion in new spending on new programs.

Now, that's a fundamental difference between myself and Senator Obama. I want to cut spending. I want to keep taxes low. The worst thing we could do in this economic climate is to raise people's taxes.

From Kornblut and Shears' October 1 Washington Post article:

McCain, still stung by the defeat of a compromise he had championed, changed the subject slightly on Tuesday to focus on tax policy, hammering Obama with the oft-repeated charge that the Democratic nominee would raise taxes.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes, Elections
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Person
Anne Kornblut, Michael Shear
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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