Legends Times

“News The Way You Want It! The Way It Should Be!”

Fact Check: Does Obama’s ‘tax calculator’ show what an individual’s tax cut would be?

The Statement: On its Web site and in a television commercial, the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama is featuring a “tax calculator” that the campaign says voters can use to see how much their tax cut would be under Obama’s plan.

Get the facts!

 

The Facts: Obama’s tax calculator asks users to input information, ranging from an approximate income range to mortgage balance and number of dependents. If the user qualifies for a tax cut under Obama’s plan, the calculator produces a specific dollar estimate for “tax savings” and compares that with any estimated tax change for that user under McCain’s plan.

For incomes over $250,000, where there would be a possible increase under Obama’s plan, the calculator does not provide dollar estimates and tells the user, “You will probably not get a tax cut under the Obama-Biden plan.”

McCain supporters and conservative groups such as Americans for Tax Reform criticize the Obama calculator, saying it fails to spell out how tax hikes in Obama’s plan would affect a given individual and excludes corporate taxes in its calculations.

In a question-and-answer section, the Obama Web site says it “calculates only how individuals’ income taxes change” and does not deal with proposed changes in corporate tax rates by either Obama or McCain.

Robertson Williams, principal research associate for the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, said that, while his group has not checked all of the calculator’s results and was not involved in creating it, the numbers it produces for individual tax cuts “look reasonable” given that they are for income estimates — not specific amounts — and that not all tax factors are included.

“It generally appears to give accurate estimates of the tax savings under Obama’s tax proposals — for those who get tax cuts,” Williams said, adding that the calculator avoids pointing out possible tax increases or giving estimated amounts of increases. “That clearly focuses attention on the tax cuts rather than the tax increases. But it does not appear to give incorrect results, given very basic assumptions about other factors influencing tax bills,” Williams said.

The Verdict: TRUE! While the Obama tax calculator gives what a nonpartisan authority describes as generally accurate estimates for taxpayers who would qualify for tax cuts under Obama,.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Campaign Facts Check | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fact Check: Did Obama vote 94 times for higher taxes?

“He said he won’t raise taxes for most people, but he’s voted 94 times in his short Senate career for tax increases and against tax cuts.”
-Sen. John McCain, at a campaign stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Friday Sept. 19, 2008

 

The facts:
The effort to convince voters that Sen. Barack Obama would support higher taxes is a central part of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. McCain and the Republican National Committee have repeatedly cited 94 alleged votes by Obama to bolster their argument.

Factcheck.org, a non-partisan project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, pieced through records to determine just what these 94 votes were. Key findings:

-23 were against proposed tax cuts
-7 were “for measures that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on a relative few, either corporations or affluent individuals”
-11 were to increase taxes on people making more than $1 million a year, to help fund programs such as Head Start, school nutrition, or veterans’ health care
-53 were votes on budget resolutions or amendments that “could not have resulted by themselves in raising taxes,” though many “were clear statements of approval for increased taxes”
- The total includes multiple votes on the same measures

Annenberg says a close look at the record reveals that Obama has “voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers.”

Verdict:MISLEADING! McCain’s summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers. A nonpartisan examination also finds that the 94 total includes multiple votes on the same measures and budget votes that would not directly lead to higher taxes.

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment