Angie Drobnic Holan
By Angie Drobnic Holan March 17, 2008

Both millionaires; McCain supports Bush's cuts

An ad goes after Sen. John McCain for being just like President George W. Bush, hitting McCain on Iraq, oil companies and health care. It also criticizes him on tax policy.

"A millionaire who's for tax cuts for millionaires. McSame as Bush," the ad states.

It's true that Bush and McCain are both millionaires, with McCain being somewhat wealthier. Bush's net worth in 2006 was between $7.6-million and $20.1-million, based on his personal financial disclosures required by law and analyzed by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

McCain, meanwhile, is worth somewhere between $27.8-million and $45-million. (Sen. Hillary Clinton's net worth is between $10.4-million and $51-million, while Sen. Barack Obama's is between $456,012 and $1.1-million.) So McCain and Bush are both millionaires, and that part of the statement is correct.

We couldn't find any proposals John McCain supports that offer new tax cuts for millionaires, so we suspect this is a reference to McCain's support of the Bush tax cuts.

Bush's tax cuts lowered rates across the board for those who pay federal income taxes, so they benefited both millionaire and nonmillionaire taxpayers. But data compiled from the Congressional Budget Office indicate that millionaires saw the most sizable drops to their tax rates measured as a share of income. Those tax cuts will expire during the next presidential administration unless Congress acts to keep them in place.

McCain actually opposed the Bush tax cuts before changing his mind and supporting them now. He said the reason for his change of heart is that rescinding the tax cuts would be the equivalent of a tax increase after they had been in effect for so long. (Both Obama and Clinton want to roll back the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes.)

If you're trying to identify the candidate who supports the Bush tax cuts, McCain is your man. But we're concerned that the ad leaves the impression that McCain advocates new, additional tax cuts for millionaires rather than keeping the present situation in place. For that reason, we knock this claim down one peg on the Truth-O-Meter and find it Mostly True.

Our Sources

Campaign to Defend America, McSame as Bush , March 5, 2008

Center for Responsive Politics, George W. Bush personal financial disclosure , 2006

Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain personal financial disclosure , 2006

Congressional Budget Office, Historical Effective Federal Tax Rates: 1979 to 2005 , December 2007

New York Times, Tax Cuts Offer Most for Very Rich, Study Says , Jan. 8, 2007

U.S. Senate, McCain 2001 vote opposing tax cuts

U.S. Senate, McCain 2003 vote opposing tax cuts

U.S. Senate, McCain 2006 vote favoring tax cuts

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Both millionaires; McCain supports Bush's cuts

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