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Obama on Taxes

Obama said that “I want to provide a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans.” He also said the cut would go to “95 percent of families.” The latter is correct. The Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center analyzed the two candidates’ tax plans and found Obama’s would cut taxes for 95.5 percent of households with children. Overall, the TPC found that Obama’s plan would produce a tax cut for 81.3 percent of all households.
Obama was also off the mark when he said “if you make less than a quarter million dollars,”

$42,000 a year

McCain has claimed yet again that Sen. Obama “voted twice for a budget resolution to increase taxes on individuals making $42,000 a year.” As we’ve reported, a single taxpayer making more than $41,500 would have seen a tax increase, but a couple filing jointly would have seen no increase unless they made at least $83,000, and for a couple with two children the cut-off would have been $90,000. Regardless, the increase that Obama once supported as part of a Democratic budget bill is not part of his current tax plan.

Health Care Spin

An Obama-Biden TV ad says Sen. John McCain’s health care plan would be the “largest middle-class tax increase in history.” A McCain-Palin/RNC radio ad says Obama’s plan “will rob 50 million employees of their health coverage.” Both are false.
We lay out the details of each candidate’s health care plans and the misleading claims being made about them in a new article on our main site:
Health Care Spin October 14, 2008

Health Care Spin

Summary
McCain and Obama have sharply different health care plans, and each has made sharply worded attacks that are either false or misleading. McCain proposes a market-based system that relies on tax incentives, which one Obama ad falsely characterizes as the "largest middle-class tax increase in history." Obama proposes new subsidies to expand private insurance coverage and some expansion of government insurance, which McCain falsely claims "will rob 50 million employees of their health coverage."

FactChecking Debate No. 2

We published several tidbits here on The Wire during last night’s presidential debate. Our full article contains a few more misleading statements and falsehoods that we needed a little more time to research. Check it out on our main site:
FactChecking Debate No. 2
October 8, 2008 
Nonsense in Nashville

Health Care Fines for Small Businesses?

McCain said that Obama’s health care plan would mandate that “small businesses” provide coverage for their employees and would fine them if they failed to do so. Actually, Obama’s health care plan, posted on his Web site, says: “Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement.” McCain previously used this charge in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

Dubious Health Savings Claim

Obama said that his health care plan would cut costs, saving $2,500 a year per family. When we asked health care experts about this claim earlier this year, they were quite skeptical. M.I.T.’s Jonathan Gruber told us, “I know zero credible evidence to support that conclusion.” Obama has also said on the campaign trail that more than half of the savings would come from the use of electronic health records, a major part of his plan to cut health costs.

Pakistan Attack

McCain charged that Obama has said he would “attack Pakistan.” What he really said, on Aug. 1, 2007, was: “It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”
As we noted in February, when Sen. Hillary Clinton criticized Obama for his remarks, that’s pretty much what the U.S.

Biden on Hezbollah, and other late debate goodies

In today’s Washington Post, Michael Dobbs, a.k.a. The Fact Checker, writes about a few more stumbles from the debate, including a couple items that we didn’t have in our story on Friday.
Dobbs, a former diplomatic reporter, says Sen. Joe Biden was wrong when he said the U.S. and France “kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon.” He was correct in saying that there was talk of sending NATO forces to the country in 2006.

The Full Fact-Check of the V.P. Debate

We posted several items to The Wire last night as Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden were debating. But in the wee hours of Friday, we also posted a full article on the misleading statements and factual errors we found in their exchange. See our story on the v.p. debate at FactCheck.org:
FactChecking Biden-Palin Debate
October 3, 2008 
The candidates were not 100 percent accurate. To say the least.