Friday, September 19, 2008
The McCain campaign has released a new TV ad, Painful Times, which accuses Barack Obama of planning "painful income taxes, skyrocketing taxes on life savings, electricity and home heating oil":
The nonpartisan FactCheck.org assails the ad for misrepresenting Obama's tax position:
The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new ad that once again distorts Obama's tax plans.
- The ad claims Obama will raise taxes on electricity. He hasn't proposed any such tax. Obama does support a cap-and-trade policy that would raise the costs of electricity, but so does McCain.
- It falsely claims he would tax home heating oil. Actually, Obama proposed a rebate of up to $1,000 per family to defray increased heating oil costs, funded by what he calls a windfall profits tax on oil companies.
- The ad claims that Obama will tax "life savings." In fact, he would increase capital gains and dividends taxes only for couples earning more than $250,000 per year, or singles making $200,000. For the rest, taxes on investments would remain unchanged.
The McCain campaign argues in its documentation for this ad that, whatever Obama says he would do, he will eventually be forced to break his promise and raise taxes more broadly to pay for his promised spending programs. That's an opinion they are certainly entitled to express, and to argue for. But their ad doesn't do that. Instead, it simply presents the McCain camp's opinion as a fact, and it fails to alert viewers that its claims are based on what the campaign thinks might happen in the future.