Out of bounds! McCain attack ad gets facts wrong

McClatchy NewspapersSeptember 8, 2008 

Throw the flag against: The Republican National Committee and the McCain-Palin campaign.

Call: Offsides.

What happened: A new 60-second television ad from the RNC and John McCain's campaign that's running in a dozen swing states misstates the facts about opponent Barack Obama's stands on issues.

"Obama and his liberal allies promise higher taxes on your income, life savings, your electric bill. They oppose offshore drilling," the ad says.

Why that's wrong: Obama isn't promising higher taxes on everyone's income. He'd rescind the 2001 and 2003 income-tax cuts for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year or families earning more than $250,000 but would give tax breaks to almost everyone else.

According to a study by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, "the Obama plan would reduce taxes for low- and moderate-income families, but raise them significantly for high-bracket taxpayers.

"By 2012, middle-income taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise by about 5 percent, or nearly $2,200 annually. Those in the top 1 percent would face a $19,000 average tax increase — a 1.5 percent reduction in after-tax income."

In addition, while Obama opposed offshore drilling earlier in the campaign, he said Aug. 2 that he supported a bipartisan Senate plan to permit drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico within 50 miles of Florida's beaches and off the coasts of Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. States could veto the plan.

The proposal is part of a compromise being pushed by 10 senators — five from each party — that also would end many tax breaks for oil companies and would invest billions in researching and developing alternative energy sources. Obama said he could accept offshore drilling as part of a comprehensive plan.

Penalty: Set the McCain campaign's progress back 5 yards.


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