DNC - McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and Middle Class Tax Relief

Washington, DC - John McCain says he wants to cut taxes for middle class families. But the reality is Senator McCain would do even less for the middle class than President Bush, which is definitely not the change Americans are looking for. McCain is masking a tax cut for the wealthy as a middle class tax break, saying that 100 million people have "something to do with capital gains." The truth is fewer than seven percent of families earning less than $100,000 received capital gains income in 2005. [CNN Live Feed, Town Hall (Charlotte, NC), 5/5/08; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1/30/2006]

McCain's distortion on capital gains comes as no surprise considering that Senator McCain himself has admitted he doesn't understand the economy. But given the tough times American families are facing everyday, how can we afford four more years of a president who doesn't understand the number one issue affecting America and has no plan to fix it?


Old McCain: Tax Cuts Benefit The Rich At The Expense Of The Middle Class. "After having consistently voted for tax cuts in the 1980s, he was one of the few Republicans to oppose the administration's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. He said at the time that they benefited "the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans."" [New York Times, 1/26/2008]

New McCain: We Shouldn't Skew Tax Cuts Toward Certain Groups; Should Lower Taxes for Everyone, Rich and Poor. On CBS's Face the Nation, McCain argued against the idea of skewing tax cuts toward those with only moderate incomes, saying that he supported "lower taxes for everybody." "I think everybody needs a tax cut. I'm for lower taxes for everybody. And I'm not--I think what we just got from Senator Obama was this redistribution of the wealth, rich vs. poor, exacerbating quote 'differences' between the wealthy people and poor. I want every American to have tax cuts. I want every American to have an opportunity in this country, and I think across-the-board tax cuts and reductions in taxes is good." [CBS News Face the Nation, 2/3/2008]

McCain's Plan To Make Bush Tax Cuts Permanent Will Benefit Highest Earners. "Tax cuts, mostly for corporations and wealthy individuals, remain the centerpiece of McCain's economic agenda." According to the Tax Policy Center, "a worker with income between $50,000 and $75,000 got an average tax cut from the dividend and capital gains changes of $43. Those with incomes over $1 million saved $37,962 on average." According to the US Census Bureau, the 2006 median household income in the United States was $48,200. [Washington Post, 4/16/2008; US Census Bureau Press Release, 8/28/2007, http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/010583.html ]

McCain Tax Plan Offers "Much Less For The Middle Class Than Bush." "John McCain is offering 'much less for the middle class than Bush,' said Robert Gordon, a senior fellow with C.A.P. Although a large portion of Bush's tax proposals were geared towards upper-income voters, Gordon argued that Bush was able to cast his plan during the 2000 campaign as benefiting the middle class by discussing the marriage penalty and his desire to expand child tax relief. Norquist responded to the charge that McCain is offering less to the middle class than Bush by saying, 'You can't slam him for wanting to continue the non-progressive 2003 bill if you don't give him credit for extending . . . the tax cuts that are weighed more heavily on a percentage basis to low-income people.'" [ABC News, 4/14/08]

"Tax Breaks On Fairness And Need" Have Been "Ignored In Bush Tax Policy." The New York Times editorial published in December of 2007 said that the Bush tax cuts have ignored tax breaks for Americans based on "fairness and need" and that the nation is in "dire financial straights." The Times continued, "Ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich would raise about $1 trillion in revenue over 10 years. Extending all the tax cuts and piling even more on top of them, as some Republicans propose, would only dig the budget hole deeper." [Editorial, New York Times, 12/13/2007]


MCCAIN: 100 Million Have "Something To Do With Capital Gains." [CNN Live Feed, Town Hall (Charlotte, NC), 5/5/08]

FACT CHECK: Less Than 7% of Middle-Income Households Received Capital Gains Income in 2005. The Tax Policy Center also reported that merely 6.6% of U.S. households earning less than $100,000 received capital gains income in 2005. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1/30/2006]

After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth.