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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Counting Errors

McCain said that Obama had voted 94 times for higher taxes or against tax cuts. He’s getting warmer — the first time we dinged him for this one, he said Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes, which is way off. This is still misleading, though. The real breakdown includes: 23 votes against tax cuts (which would have produced no increase in taxes); seven votes that would have lowered taxes for most people, but increased taxes on a few; 11 votes that would have increased taxes on those making over $1 million a year. The majority of the 94 votes (53 of them, including some of the above) were on budget measures, not tax bills, and would not have resulted in any tax change. Four other votes were non-binding motions related to conference report negotiations.

Obama, in turn, repeated the claim that McCain voted 23 times against alternative energy. We found that only 11 of those votes would have reduced or eliminated incentives for alternative energy. The rest opposed creating or enforcing alternative energy mandates.