Diary

FactChecking Obama - He stuck to the facts, except when he stretched them.

This is from factcheck.org – Annenberg Political Fact Checkhttp://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_obama.html

Excepts from the webpage:

Summary

We checked the accuracy of Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination, and noted the following:Obama said he could “pay for every dime” of his spending and tax cut proposals “by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens.” That’s wrong – his proposed tax increases on upper-income individuals are key components of paying for his program, as well. And his plan, like McCain’s, would leave the U.S. facing big budget deficits, according to independent experts.

He twisted McCain’s words about Afghanistan, saying, “When John McCain said we could just ‘muddle through’ in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources.” Actually, McCain said in 2003 we “may” muddle through, and he recently also called for more troops there.

He said McCain would fail to lower taxes for 100 million Americans while his own plan would cut taxes for 95 percent of “working” families. But an independent analysis puts the number who would see no benefit from McCain’s plan at 66 million and finds that Obama’s plan would benefit 81 percent of all households when retirees and those without children are figured in.

Obama asked why McCain would “define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year”? Actually, McCain meant that comment as a joke, getting a laugh and following up by saying, “But seriously …”Obama noted that McCain’s health care plan would “tax people’s benefits” but didn’t say that it also would provide up to a $5,000 tax credit for families.

He said McCain, far from being a maverick who’s “broken with his party,” has voted to support Bush policies 90 percent of the time. True enough, but by the same measure Obama has voted with fellow Democrats in the Senate 97 percent of the time.

Obama also pulled some sleight of hand when he stated that “the average American family” saw its income “go down $2,000” under George Bush. That’s not correct. Census figures show average family income went down $348.

As it turns out, when Obama said “average family income,” he didn’t mean “average,” and he didn’t mean “family,” either. An Obama aide says he was really referring to median income – which is the midpoint – and not to the average. And Obama was talking only about “working families,” not retired couples.

For all families, median family income actually inched up under Bush by $272.

– by Brooks Jackson, with Viveca Novak, Justin Bank, Jess Henig, Emi Kolawole, Joe Miller, Lori Robertson and D’Angelo GoreSourcesBurman, Len, et. al. “An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Tax Plans: Revised August 15, 2008.” Tax Policy Center, 15 Aug. 2008.

Table T08-0182, Senator McCain’s Tax Proposals as Described by his Economic Advisors, Distribution of Federal Tax Change by Cash Income Percentile, 2009. Tax Policy Center, 19 July 2008.

Gleckman, Roberton Williams and Howard. “An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Tax Plans.” 28 August 2008. The Tax Policy Center. 29 August 2008

Nicholas, Peter. “Adding Up the Cost of Obama’s agenda.” 8 July 2008. The Los Angeles Times. 29 August 2008

CQ member Profiles: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz). 1 Apr. 2007. Congressional Quarterly, 9 June 2008.

CQ member Profiles: Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill). February 2008. Congressional Quarterly, 12 June 2008.

Transcript, “Saddleback Presidential Candidates Forum” CNN.com 16 Aug. 2008.

Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, “Table T08-0203 – Senator Obama’s Tax Proposals of August 14, 2008: Economic Advisers’ Version (No Payroll Surtax), Distribution of Federal Tax Change by Cash Income Percentile, 2009” 14 Aug 2008.