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June 18, 2008


Perhaps the our in "our taxes" should be taken narrowly, to include millionaire Senators/Congressmen and their wealthy backers?

Brendan, why do you repeat the false statement that "Barack Obama would cut taxes on Americans with incomes under $75,000"? As I pointed out in a comment to a previous post, the Tax Policy Center analysis relates that figure to a proposed refundable tax credit for wage earners and the self-employed. But that's not a cut in taxes for all Americans earning less than $75,000 a year, since many of us derive income from sources other than wages, such as Social Security, pensions, interest, dividends, capital gains and withdrawals from Individual Retirement Accounts.

For someone who holds others' feet to the fire about misstating facts, including particularly the effect of proposed changes in tax law, you do seem to make a habit of misstating this one.

Rob, the reason I said "incomes under $75,000" is because it's an income tax cut. Saying he will cut taxes doesn't imply he'll cut every tax. But I've amended the text above to say "cut income taxes."

Brendan, your heart is in the right place, but I think you've got it wrong. Obama is not proposing to cut income taxes on all Americans earning below $75,000. I'm an American earning below $75,000, with income from dividends, interest, and at some point Social Security and withdrawals from an I.R.A. My income taxes would not be cut by Obama's proposed refundable tax credit for wage earners and the self-employed. And many other Americans earning less than $75,000 are in the same position I am.

Overstating the reach of Obama's tax cut proposals misleads voters and other commentators. I understand it's easier to ignore the qualifications when describing the proposal, but that's what serious analysis demands.

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