By Joe Campbell
September 5th, 2008
I just received another one of those mass emails being used to spread lies about Obama. I’ve interspersed the text of it with data contradicting the claims:
INTERESTING DATA JUST RECEIVED ON TAXES
Spread the word…..
This is something you should be
aware of so you don’t get blind-sided.
This is really going to catch a lot
of families off guard. It should
make you worry.
Proposed changes in taxes after 2008 General election:
CAPITAL GAINS TAX
0% on home sales up to $500,000
per home (couples) McCain does not
propose any change in existing
home sales income tax.
28% on profit from ALL home sales
How does this affect you?
If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes.
If you are heading toward retirement
and would like to down-size your
home or move into a retirement
community, 28% of the money you
make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.
This claim about Obama taxing profits on home sales comes from nowhere. Any gains on the sale of one’s principal residence is not taxed under section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code. Neither McCain nor Obama has proposed to amend this section.
MCCAIN 15% (no change)
How will this affect you?
If you have any money invested in stock
market, IRA, mutual funds,
college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama become president.
The experts predict that ‘higher
tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.
As for Capital Gains taxes in general, Obama is proposing to raise the capital gains tax rate from 15 percent to 20 percent for those American families making more than $250,000.00 per year or singles making over $200,000.00 per year. Those families or singles making less than these respective amounts will not have a tax increase. Further, IRAs and college funds are exempt from taxation entirely – and neither candidate is proposing to change this.
MCCAIN (no changes)
Single making 30K – tax $4,500
Single making 50K – tax $12,500
Single making 75K – tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K – tax $18,750
Married making 125K – tax $31,250
(reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K – tax $8,400
Single making 50K – tax $14,000
Single making 75K – tax $23,250
Married making 60K – tax $16,800
Married making 75K – tax $21,000
Married making 125K – tax $38,750
Under Obama your taxes will
more than double!
How does this affect you? No explanation needed. This is pretty straight forward.
This claim is worse than all those above – because Obama is actually proposing to lower taxes for all of these groups listed. Here’s a site which provides an Obama tax cut calculator. I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but it seems to be based on the Tax Policy Institute’s analysis of both candidates’ plans. The email also inaccurates states that Obama plans to revert to “pre-Bush tax cuts” which is only true for those making over $250,000.00. As Obama said in his speech on Thursday night:
I will cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.
Sarah Palin in her speech this past Wednesday made the same claim the Republicans keep making:
Taxes are too high, and he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan. And let me be specific: The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, and raise payroll taxes, and raise investment income taxes, and raise the death tax, and raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.
As Politifact.com writes – Palin’s claims are deliberately misleading. This email is worse than misleading – it is entirely fase.
This little list conveniently does not include those making over $125,000.00. It is this group of people – especially those making over $250,000.00, and even more, those making over a million dollars a year – to whom the profits of the past eight years has gone. The economy has been growing for eight years while the income of those in the middle class has decreased by approximately $2,000.00 when accounting for inflation since Bush took office.
MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)
OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax
How does this affect you? Many families have lost businesses, farms and ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax.
Those willing their assets to loved
ones will not only lose them to
As for this section – again, falsehoods galore. According to FactCheck.org:
The claim that Obama proposes to “restore the inheritance tax” is also false, as are the claims that McCain would impose zero tax and that Bush “repealed” it. McCain and Obama both would retain a reduced version of the estate tax, as it is correctly called, though McCain would reduce it by more.
The tax now falls only on estates valued at more than $2 million (effectively $4 million for couples able to set up the required legal and financial arrangements). It reaches a maximum rate of 45 percent on amounts more than that. It was not repealed, but it is set to expire temporarily in 2010, then return in 2011, when it would apply to estates valued at more than $1 million ($2 million for couples), with the maximum rate rising to 55 percent.
Obama has proposed to apply the tax only to estates valued at more than $3.5 million ($7 million for couples), holding the maximum rate at 45 percent. McCain would apply it to estates worth more than $5 million ($10 million for couples), with a maximum rate of 15 percent.
Again – this email is counting on people accepting its’ allegations without checking them and hoping that stereotypes about liberals are strong enough that people will accept these charges.
NEW TAXES BEING PROPOSED BY OBAMA
* New government taxes proposed on
homes that are more than
2400 square feet
* New gasoline taxes (as if
gas weren’t high enough already)
* New taxes on natural resources
gas, water, electricity)
* New taxes on retirement accounts
and last but not least….
This section is even more fanciful than the rest. Obama has never proposed taxes on water. He isn’t proposing to increase gasoline taxes. He isn’t proposing to increase taxes on retirement accounts. The taxes on homes with more than 2400 square feet – neither the number nor general idea can be found anywhere aside from in references to this email.
The one thing that is partially true is that Obama – and McCain – are proposing to create a “cap-and-trade system” which would impose a cost on businesses’ carbon emissions. Although neither McCain nor Obama call these costs “taxes” they can reasonably be called that. Further, Obama, though not McCain, plans to offset any potential increase in costs for consumers with a refund from a windfall profits tax.
* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!
This final claim is way over-the-top. Obama’s plan calls for every American who wants to preserve their health insurance plan to be able to keep it. His plan even includes incentives that reward employers that do provide health insurance and penalizes employers that do not (with exceptions for small businesses.) In addition to this, Obama’s plan will open up the government health care plan used by members of Congress to allow consumers – in a free market – to opt into it. Obama’s plan is designed to create incentives within our current system to gradually close the huge holes in insurance coverage and over time bring down costs. It’s a conservative plan, in the best sense of that word.
John McCain’s health care plan is radical. McCain says he wants to:
Reform The Tax Code To Offer More Choices Beyond Employer-Based Health Insurance Coverage
In other words, McCain wants employers to stop providing health insurance coverage. He proposes to include the cost of health care in each employee’s taxable income – and to offset this by offering a $2,500.00 tax rebate for individuals and $5,000.00 for families. This isn’t enough to purchase health insurance coverage in many states, so in addition, McCain proposes to effectively deregulate the insurance market and allow insurance to be sold across state lines – eliminating the consumer protections states provide, including protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
The theory behind the McCain plan is that we already have too much health insurance coverage and are going to the doctor too often because we don’t have to pay every time we do. So he proposes that every individual – or family – purchase individual or family health insurance – a radical change, and one that places much greater power in the hands of the insurance industry. As a matter of fact, it would be accurate to say it is exactly what the health insurance industry is asking for.
So, there we have it. An email full of lies deliberately designed to mislead those Obama’s plans are designed to help. Obama’s plans – which are the fruit of a kind of Democratic consensus that has emerged in the past ten years on how to deal with the destabilization that has come from globalization. Obama is asking that those individuals who have gained the most from our society and economy should give a bit more in this time of need. All McCain and Palin and the Republicans offer is more tax cuts for the richest indivudals and the biggest corporations (tax cuts that go further than Bush’s tax cuts in favoring the wealthy) – for which their only defense is to make the false claim that Obama is planning on raising everyone’s taxes.
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