« GOP Cong. insiders on global warming | Main | Post-nomination Obama smear watch »

June 11, 2008


Brendan, perhaps you could help me find the Obama promise to lower taxes on Americans earning less than $75,000 a year. I couldn't find it on his website or in his Blueprint for Change.

If he has made such a commitment somewhere other than on his website or in his plan, look carefully at whether it is to lower taxes on families earning less than $75,000 or on individual Americans earning less than that amount. The New York Times says it would be on "people" earning less than that amount, which implies individuals, and your statement reflects that interpretation, referring to "Americans making less than $75,000." But is that factual?

he's most likely referring to the lewin group's cost estimate of the hacker insurance plan. see here: http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/lewin-report-good-news-obama-clinton-health-care

the hacker and obama plans are quite similar, and over the long run they do save money. call it dynamic spending analysis.

Rob, here's a Tax Policy Center analysis of the Obama and McCain plan with details. (See the update pertaining to Matt's comment above.)

Thanks for the citation to the Tax Policy Center analysis of the candidates’ tax proposals. Upon review of the analysis, however, it appears that the Times article you http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2008/06/nyt-fact-checks.html”>described as “excellent fact-checking” isn't quite so excellent after all.

The Times article states, "Mr. Obama’s plan would raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 by allowing Mr. Bush’s tax cuts on top earners to expire. . . . " However, according to the Tax Policy Center, Obama would "restore the 36 and 39.6 percent rates and increase the rate on capital gains and dividends for taxpayers in those brackets." Those brackets start at $164,550 for single individuals and $200,300 for married couples filing jointly--far lower than the $250,000 figure used by the Times.

The Times article further states, "Mr. Obama’s plan calls for cutting taxes on people earning less than $75,000 a year." Based on the Tax Policy Center analysis, it appears this statement is overbroad. Obama has apparently proposed a refundable tax credit for wage earners and the self-employed, which the Tax Policy Center "assume[s]" would be phased out on adjusted gross income beginning at $75,000. But that's not a cut in taxes for all people earning less than $75,000 a year, since some of us derive income from sources other than wages, such as pensions, interest, dividends, capital gains and withdrawals from Individual Retirement Accounts.

So the Times article understates how many Americans will find their taxes higher under the Obama proposals and overstates how many Americans will find their taxes lower. As fact-checking goes, that isn't very factual.

Regarding national health insurance - the US pays far more per capita for health care than any nation, out of a group of 30 industrialized countries.

But the quality of care we receive and the measures of levels of health are not appreciably better. In some areas they are even deficient.

The comments to this entry are closed.