McClatchy uncritically reported McCain claim that Obama "would raise taxes" on Americans like "Joe the Plumber"

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

McClatchy Newspapers reported that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin are claiming that Sen. Barack Obama "would raise taxes on ordinary folks such as Joe the Plumber." The article did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and that "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher himself has said that he would not see a tax increase under Obama's plan.

In an October 22 McClatchy Newspapers article, chief political correspondent Steven Thomma reported that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have engaged in a "concerted effort ... to cast [Sen. Barack] Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal who would raise taxes on ordinary folks such as Joe the Plumber," referring to Sam Joe Wurzelbacher. But Thomma did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and raising taxes only on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year. Wurzelbacher himself has said that he would not see a tax increase under Obama's plan.

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." Even McCain's own chief economic policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."

From Thomma's October 22 McClatchy Newspapers article:

On issues, Obama has gained ground among voters across the board, even on issues where McCain still has an advantage and on some where the Republican usually would expect to be ahead.

On taxes, for example, likely voters now prefer Obama over McCain by a margin of 8 percentage points. This is despite a concerted effort by McCain and running mate Sarah Palin to cast Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal who would raise taxes on ordinary folks such as Joe the Plumber, an Ohio man whom McCain cited repeatedly in the last debate and since then in ads and on the campaign trail.

On family values, a subject Republicans have used to court Christian conservatives and suburban moderates since the 1980s, likely voters now prefer Obama over McCain by 8 points. That's up from 3 points in mid-September.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
McClatchy Newspapers
Person
Steve Thomma
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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