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McCain, RNC robo-call Iowans with misinformation on taxes
An automated call going out in Iowa today on behalf of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee is using information that has already been identified as misleading.
The caller, who identifies himself only as “John,” says that Sen. Barack Obama has “voted for at least 94 tax hikes in the past four years.”
According to FactCheck.org, the “count is padded.”
The non-partisan group found that 23 of those votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all because they were votes against proposed tax cuts. Seven more of the votes were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on a relative few — such as corporations or affluent individuals. Annenberg Political Fact Check also found that 11 of those votes would have increased the taxes on those making more than $1 million a year “in order to fund programs such as Head Start and school nutrition programs, or veterans’ health care.”
Finally, the majority of the votes being counted by the Republicans — 53 total — were on budget measures, not tax bills, and “would not have resulted in any tax change.”
It’s true that most of the votes the GOP counts would either have increased taxes for some, or set budget targets calling for such increases. But by repeating their inflated 94-vote figure, the McCain campaign and the GOP falsely imply that Obama has pushed indiscriminately to raise taxes for nearly everybody. A closer look reveals that he’s voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers. That’s consistent with what he’s said he’d do as president, which is to raise taxes only on those making more than $250,000 a year.
The call also highlights Sen. Joe Biden’s longtime call that it is patriotic for wealthy Americans to pay taxes. The call, however, omits the “wealthy” qualifier that Biden has included as a part of this statement.