For almost ten years, George W. Bush has repeatedly dissembled about the impact of his tax policies on small business (among other demographic groups). Many people (including me) have pointed these things out to the press. But as Paul Krugman points out, McCain is using the same playbook to vastly overstate the effect of Barack Obama's planned rollback of Bush's upper-income tax cuts on small business and it's still working:
John McCain makes a typically Bush-like conflation: there are 21 million small business owners; there are small business owners in the top two tax brackets; therefore, Barack Obama plans to raise taxes on 21 million small businesses. It was nonsense, of course. (Most living things are microbes; men are living things; therefore, most men are microbes.) But sure enough, McCain’s claim is being reported as a fact.
Currently, there are the 21.6 million sole proprietorships filing under the individual income tax. When Senator Obama talks about raising income tax rates on those making over 250,000 dollars -- that includes these businesses as well.
Here's what I wrote in a comment below about McCain's tricky use of language in this passage:
McCain's quote obliterates the some/all distinction in exactly the way that Bush does on this issue (hence the headline). Rather than clarifying that the increase would not apply to the whole group, he says "that includes these businesses as well" -- a phrase that suggests that all 21.6 million small businesses face an increase. If he instead said "that includes *a small fraction* of these businesses as well," I would have no objection.