"I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them."
John McCain on Thursday, September 4th, 2008 in St. Paul, Minn.
Obama cuts taxes for some, though
His speech highlighted personal biography and policy positions. At times it made contrasts between McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
"We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans," McCain said. "Government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself. I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them."
McCain is partially right that Obama will raise taxes. Obama intends to roll back the Bush administration's tax cuts on people with incomes of $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for singles. McCain, on the other hand, wants to leave the Bush tax cuts in place for all income levels.
But Obama's proposals also include a number of tax cuts for people who make less than those amounts. Obama advocates eliminating income taxes for seniors with incomes less than $50,000. He also proposes a $1,000 tax credit on income for working families ($500 for singles), to offset payroll taxes.
The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group, has extensively analyzed both candidates tax plans and published a report on their findings.
"The Obama plan would reduce taxes for low- and moderate-income families, but raise them significantly for high-bracket taxpayers," the report concluded. "By 2012, middle-income taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise by about 5 percent, or nearly $2,200 annually. Those in the top 1 percent would face a $19,000 average tax increase — a 1.5 percent reduction in after-tax income."
Given this analysis, McCain abbreviates Obama's plan too much. Obama's tax plan includes tax cuts for many. We rate McCain's statement that Obama will raise taxes to be Half True.