An October 28 McClatchy Newspapers article reported that Sen. John McCain "hammered" Sen. Barack Obama "as someone who'd ... rais[e] taxes on small businesses, much like the plumbing business in Ohio that 'Joe the Plumber' Wurzelbacher said he wanted to buy someday." In fact, McClatchy itself noted in an October 18 article that Wurzelbacher would not likely see a tax increase under Obama's plan if he bought the plumbing business.
Fox News' Sean Hannity again repeated the false claim that in a 2001 interview, "Sen. Obama said it's a tragedy, quote, that redistribution of wealth was not pursued by the Supreme Court." In fact, the "tragedy" Obama identified during the interview was that the civil rights movement "became so court-focused" in trying to bring about political and economic justice.
The Boston Globe uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's false claim that Sen. Barack Obama proposes to "fine" small businesses that do not provide employee health insurance. While Obama has proposed requiring large businesses that do not provide employer-sponsored health coverage to pay a percentage of their payroll into a National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans purchase private health insurance, small businesses would be exempt.
CNN's Anderson Cooper stated: "On taxes, Senator McCain pledges not to roll back the Bush tax cuts, which Democrats say favor the rich." In fact, it is not just Democrats who say that the Bush tax cuts favor the rich. McCain himself made the same claim in 2001, in explaining his opposition to the tax cuts, a fact that Cooper did not mention.
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, Lester Holt and the AP uncritically repeated the McCain campaign's claims that Sen. Barack Obama is already writing or has already written an inaugural address. The claims are reportedly based on a New York Times article, which asserted that Obama transition chief John D. Podesta "has already written a draft Inaugural Address for Mr. Obama, which he published this summer in a book called 'The Power of Progress.' " But neither O'Donnell nor the AP gave any indication that they had attempted to verify the accusation or obtain a response from Podesta, who issued a statement calling the charge "a complete fabrication."
Tom Brokaw did not challenge Sen. John McCain's false claim that under Sen. Barack Obama's health care plan, "[S]mall-business people who have employees without health insurance, that he is going to fine them if they don't have, have the insurance policy that they want, that Senator Obama wants them to have." In fact, while Obama has proposed requiring large businesses that do not provide health coverage to pay a percentage of their payroll into a National Health Insurance Exchange, small businesses would be exempt.
Uncritically repeating Sen. John McCain's mischaracterization of Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan, CNN's Dana Bash stated that McCain has "been saying, basically, Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to raise your taxes; I'm going to lower your taxes." But Bash did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, or that McCain's own chief economic policy adviser has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."
Fox News' Gregg Jarrett falsely asserted that The New York Times recently found that "the average plumber would pay less in taxes under John McCain than Barack Obama." In fact, the Times did not assess how "the average plumber" would fare under Obama's and McCain's tax plans -- he or she would get a bigger tax cut under Obama's plan, according to the Tax Policy Center -- but, rather, how their respective plans would affect an individual who is "a partner of a two-person company," that earns $280,000 "after business expenses are deducted," "[o]wns his own home and itemizes his taxes," "[i]s divorced but does not pay alimony," and "is a single parent with one dependent child."
The AP reported that Sen. John McCain has said that Sen. Barack Obama "would hand out 'welfare' because even people who pay no taxes would receive a $500 tax credit" under Obama's tax plan. The AP did not note that Obama has proposed "a tax cut of $500 for workers or $1,000 for working couples" who pay payroll taxes, and that, in fact, all American workers are required to pay taxes on their wages for Social Security and Medicare.
The Los Angeles Times reported without challenge Sen. John McCain's claim that Sen. Barack Obama plans to "raise taxes on small businesses." In fact, the number of taxpayers declaring small business income who would see a tax increase in 2009 under Obama's plan is less than two percent, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center. Additionally, the AP reported an RNC spokesman's claim that Obama "will raise taxes," without noting that Obama has proposed raising taxes only on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.
Fox News' Steve Brown accused Sen. Barack Obama of omitting the purported reason Sen. John McCain initially opposed the Bush tax cuts, which Brown claimed was "because they didn't match up with corresponding cuts coming out of the budget." In fact, the reason McCain gave for voting against the tax cuts in a May 2001 floor statement was that "so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief."
The Los Angeles Times reported that "[Sen. John] McCain has not budged from his insistence that he can balance the budget within four years." But in the article, the Times did not note that McCain's chief economic policy adviser backed off the commitment to balance the budget in four years and that McCain has repeatedly shifted on his time frame for balancing the budget.
The Washington Times quoted Sen. John McCain saying of Rep. John Lewis: "Here, a guy I admire and respect, a hero of the civil rights movement, saying, making a statement that somehow [Governor Sarah] Palin and I are involved in segregationist behavior, I mean, is beyond reason. In the debate the other night, Barack Obama refused to repudiate those remarks." But the Times did not quote Obama's actual comments during the final debate: that Lewis "inappropriately drew a comparison between what was happening" at McCain-Palin events and "what had happened during the civil rights movement."
ABC's David Wright reported without challenging Sen. John McCain's claim to voters in New Hampshire that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to confiscate their hard-earned money." Wright did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, while raising taxes only on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.