The Truth-O-Meter Says:
Chain email

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to raise taxes on all income brackets.

Chain email on Thursday, March 13th, 2008 in a chain e-mail

Dems don't propose tax increases on lower incomes

A chain e-mail going around the Internet announces, "Voters Beware! ... We are in for big time trouble if either H. Rodham Clinton or B. Hussein Obama were to be elected as President of the United States." ( Click here to read the chain e-mail in its entirety .)

The e-mail asserts that Sens. Clinton and Obama want to raise capital gains taxes and dividends taxes, as well as raise tax rates for all income levels . We'll look at the income taxes claim here.

The e-mail says Clinton and Obama will roll back the Bush tax cuts for people making $30,000 a year and up, while Sen. John McCain won't. These cuts are set to expire during the next president's first term.

But the e-mail wrongly describes the Obama and Clinton plans. Obama and Clinton have both said they don't want to let the tax cuts expire for people earning under a certain amount.

When we first looked at this e-mail, Clinton had said she would not raise tax rates on people making more than $250,000 a year, and Obama had made similar statements. They further clarified their stances on tax cuts at a debate in Philadelphia on April 16, 2008. Both candidates said said then they would not raise tax rates for people making less than $250,000 a year. Both indicated they would consider raising the capital gains tax. ( See the statement on capital gains here. )

So the e-mail is wrong about what Clinton and Obama have actually proposed. It's correct that McCain supports making the Bush tax cuts permanent for all income levels.

Also, the e-mail calculates the current taxes for different income brackets, purporting to show what taxpayers would pay under McCain's "no changes" plan. But the numbers appear to be slightly off. We calculated the tax rates using the 2007 tax tables listed by the IRS. The taxes are as follows:

Single making 30K - tax $4,113; not $4,500

Single making 50K - tax $8,930; not $12,500

Single making 75K - tax $15,180; not $18,750

Married making 60K- tax $8,221; not $9,000

Married making 75K - tax $11,604; not $18,750

Married making 125K - tax $24,098; not $31,250

We find this chain e-mail gets facts both large and small wrong. It doesn't list the higher tax brackets that actually would go up if Clinton or Obama implemented their plans, and it accuses them of wanting to raise rates on lower incomes that they've said should stay the same. So we rate the chain e-mail's claim False.

UPDATE: This statement has been updated to reflect comments the Democratic candidates made about the capital gains tax at a debate in Philadelphia on April 16, 2008.

About this statement:

Published: Thursday, April 17th, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Taxes


CNN, Democratic Debate Transcript , Jan. 31, 2008

CNN, Democratic Debate Transcript , Feb. 21, 2008

Associated Press, Obama says he would cut $80-billion in taxes on workers, seniors and homeowners, Sept. 18, 2007

Associated Press, McCain: Make Bush tax cuts permanent , Feb. 15, 2008

Internal Revenue Service, 2007 Federal Tax Rate Schedules

New York Times, Debate Transcript , April 16, 2008

Written by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Researched by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Edited by: Amy Hollyfield

How to contact us:

We want to hear your suggestions and comments.

For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.

For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.

Browse The Truth-O-MeterTM: