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Obama Campaign Releases Debate "Pre-Buttal"

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The Obama campaign, hoping to get out in front of expected McCain campaign attacks during tonight's debate, released the following "pre-buttal":

JUST A FEW OF THE DEBUNKED CLAIMS YOU MAY HEAR FROM THE MCCAIN-PALIN CAMPAIGN TONIGHT

DEBUNKED CLAIM: OBAMA VOTED TO RAISE TAXES 94 TIMES

REALITY: Charge That Obama Voted 94 Times For Higher Taxes Is "False"

  • New York Times: Charge That Obama Voted 94 Times For "Higher Taxes" Is "False." "McCain's false charges have been more frequent: that Mr. Obama opposes 'innovation' on energy policy; that he voted 94 times for 'higher taxes'; and that Mr. Obama is personally responsible for rising gasoline prices." [Editorial, New York Times, 7/30/08]
  • CNN: The McCain Claim That Obama Voted To Raise Taxes 94 Times Is "Misleading." CNN wrote that McCain's claim was "Misleading. McCain's summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers. A nonpartisan examination also finds that the 94 total includes multiple votes on the same measures and budget votes that would not directly lead to higher taxes." [CNN, 9/21/08]
  • FactCheck: The McCain Campaign's Claim That Obama Voted 94 Times To Raise Taxes Is "Inflated" And "Falsely Impl[ies] That Obama Has Pushed Indiscriminately To Raise Taxes For Nearly Everybody." "It's true that most of the votes the GOP counts would either have increased taxes for some, or set budget targets calling for such increases. But by repeating their inflated 94-vote figure, the McCain campaign and the GOP falsely imply that Obama has pushed indiscriminately to raise taxes for nearly everybody. A closer look reveals that he's voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers." [FactCheck.org, 7/3/08]

OBAMA's PLAN PROVIDES A BIGGER TAX CUT FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS THAN MCCAIN AND MCCAIN's TAX CUT LEAVES OUT 101 MILLION MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES AND 37 MILLION SENIORS

  • Obama's Plan Would Cut Taxes On The Middle Class Three To Almost Eight Times More Than McCain's Would. "But when it comes to promises, it's worth pointing out that, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center's analysis of both candidates' proposed plans, Obama would cut taxes for those making in the range of $38,000 to $66,000 three to almost eight times more than McCain would." [MSNBC, "First Read," 8/8/08]
  • McCain's Plan To Cut Taxes Leaves Out 101 Million Middle Class Households. "McCain's plan is tilted toward corporations and the most affluent, neglects middle-class Americans and lacks immediate solutions, Obama's advisers said today in a conference call with reporters held to unveil a report critical of the Arizona senator's proposals. ... McCain's plan to cut taxes for the middle class by increasing the dependent exemption leaves out 101 million households without children, according to Obama's report. His plan gives tax cuts to the nation's wealthiest 2 percent and to large corporations, the report said." [Bloomberg, 7/6/08; IRS Tax Stats; Tax Policy Center, Preliminary Analysis Of The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plan, 6/20/08]

 

DEBUNKED CLAIM: OBAMA VOTED TO RAISE TAXES ON FAMILIES MAKING $42,000 A YEAR

REALITY:  Charge that Obama Voted to Raise Taxes on Those Earning $42,000 "Misleading," Obama Plan Would Cut Taxes for The Middle Class

  • McCain's Claim During The First Debate That Obama Voted To Increase Taxes on People Who Make As Low As $42,000 Is "Misleading Or Overstated." "One of the sharpest exchanges Friday night in the presidential debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama came on the issue of taxes. When Mr. McCain charged that his opponent had 'voted in the United States Senate to increase taxes on people who make as low as $42,000 a year,' ... In the past, Mr. McCain has characterized Mr. Obama's position on taxes in ways that proved to be demonstrably inaccurate. His remarks on Friday night, which he amplified on the campaign trail on Monday, seemed to be an effort to shift him away from that shaky ground. However, they too contain assertions that are misleading or overstated. ... In an English-language Web advertisement issued in August, Mr. McCain also claimed that Mr. Obama favored "a tax increase for everyone earning more than $42,000 a year." That statement is patently false." [New York Times, 9/30/08]
  • Washington Post Fact Check: McCain's Claim During The First Debate That Obama Voted To Raise Taxes People Making $42,000 A Year "Is Misleading On Several Levels." "McCain claimed that Obama voted in the Senate to raise taxes on anyone making more than $42,000 a year. This is misleading on several levels. The vote that McCain is talking about was a non-binding resolution on the budget that envisioned letting the Bush tax cuts to expire, as scheduled, in 2011. But these budget resolutions come up every year, and do not represent a vote for higher taxes in future years. In fact, Obama has said that he will continue the Bush tax cuts for middle and low-income taxpayers. He says that he will cut taxes for all but the wealthiest tax-payers." [Washington Post, 9/26/08]

OBAMA's PLAN PROVIDES A BIGGER TAX CUT FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS THAN MCCAIN AND MCCAIN's TAX CUT LEAVES OUT 101 MILLION MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES AND 37 MILLION SENIORS

  • Obama's Plan Would Cut Taxes On The Middle Class Three To Almost Eight Times More Than McCain's Would. "But when it comes to promises, it's worth pointing out that, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center's analysis of both candidates' proposed plans, Obama would cut taxes for those making in the range of $38,000 to $66,000 three to almost eight times more than McCain would." [MSNBC, "First Read," 8/8/08]
  • Factcheck.org: Over 95% Of Households With Children Would Get A Tax Cut Under Obama's Plan. "In fact, an analysis of the candidates' tax plans by the Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center found that 95.5 percent of households with children would get a tax cut under Obama's plan." [Factcheck.org, 9/24/08]
  • McCain's Plan To Cut Taxes Leaves Out 101 Million Middle Class Households. "McCain's plan is tilted toward corporations and the most affluent, neglects middle-class Americans and lacks immediate solutions, Obama's advisers said today in a conference call with reporters held to unveil a report critical of the Arizona senator's proposals. ... McCain's plan to cut taxes for the middle class by increasing the dependent exemption leaves out 101 million households without children, according to Obama's report. His plan gives tax cuts to the nation's wealthiest 2 percent and to large corporations, the report said." [Bloomberg, 7/6/08; IRS Tax Stats; Tax Policy Center, Preliminary Analysis Of The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plan, 6/20/08]

 

DEBUNKED CLAIM: OBAMA HAS PROPOSED NEARLY A TRILLION Dollars IN SPENDING

REALITY:  MCCAIN's CLAIMS ABOUT OBAMA'S SPENDING ARE "MISLEADING" AND OBAMA'S SPENDING PLANS ADD UP

  • Former McCain Advisor: Obama Has Proposed $990 Billion In New Spending But Also $989 Billion In Spending Cuts So The Net Cost Roughly Balances Out. Maya MacGuineas, a former McCain advisor in his 2000 campaign is now the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The Washington Post wrote, "The non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calculates that Obama has promised a total of $990 billion in new spending over his first four-year term. At the same time, he has also proposed spending cuts that amount to around $989 billion, so the net cost roughly balances out...'Obama has talked about a lot of new spending initiatives, but he has also talked about new ways to curb spending,' said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee, whose detailed budget analyses are available here. 'I give him points for holding the line.'" [Washington Post, 10/1/08; Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget Website]
  • CNN Fact Check: The Claim That Obama Would Spend A Trillion Dollars More Is "Misleading" Because It Doesn't Take Into Account The Savings From Other Policy Changes Obama Is Calling For. "The McCain campaign is basing this figure on its own tally of how much money all of the new programs Obama has vowed to fund would ultimately cost. The total does not look at how much money Obama would save through cutbacks in other parts of his spending plan...Verdict: Misleading. The figure McCain gave is based on his campaign's tally of the costs of numerous programs Obama has discussed, but ignores the savings from other policy changes Obama is calling for." [CNN, 9/29/08]
  • New York Times: Obama Has Outlined How He Would Pay For His Various New Programs. "Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton have acknowledged that their various new programs would be costly but have outlined how to pay for them." [New York Times, 4/27/08]

OBAMA'S PLAN WOULD CUT THE DEFICIT FAR MORE THAN MCCAIN'S

  • Obama's Plan Would Lead To A National Debt $1.2 Trillion Smaller Than You Would See Under McCain. "According to the Tax Policy Center, over the course of a decade Obama's plan would result in a national debt $1.2 trillion smaller than you would get under McCain's plan. Less government borrowing ultimately means lower interest rates and more private investment. This positive effect may well outweigh the blow to growth and jobs from weaker work incentives." [Washington Post, 9/8/08]
  • Analysts Say McCain's Plan Would Increase The Deficit More Than Obama's. "Experts say that both the McCain plan and the Obama plan would increase the deficit, and that neither man has adequately explained how his proposals would be paid for. But several analysts have said they believe that Mr. McCain's plan would increase the deficit more, because of the size of the tax cuts he is seeking." [New York Times, 6/11/08]

MCCAIN'S TAX PLAN IS FAR COSTLIER THAN OBAMA'S AND EVEN ALAN GREENSPAN SAID WE CAN'T AFFORD HIS TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY AND CORPORATIONS

  • Alan Greenspan Said The Country Can't Afford McCain's Tax Cuts Without Corresponding Spending Reductions. "Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the country can't afford $3.3 trillion of tax cuts proposed by Republican presidential nominee John McCain without corresponding spending reductions. Greenspan, a lifelong Republican and longtime friend of McCain, said today on Bloomberg Television's 'Political Capital With Al Hunt' that 'I'm not in favor of financing tax cuts with borrowed money.'" [Bloomberg, 9/12/08]
  • Washington Post: McCain's Plant To Balance The Budget By 2013 "Is Not Credible." "McCain says that President McCain would balance the federal budget by 2013. The plan is not credible. ... Mr. McCain sells American voters short -- and he does himself a disservice -- with his implausible claim." [Editorial, Washington Post, 7/14/08]
  • Washington Post: McCain's Approach To Taxes Is Far More Costly Than Obama's. "The country can't afford the tax cuts either man is promising, although Mr. McCain's approach is by far the more costly. We don't expect either side to admit that. But neither side should get to outright lie about its opponent's positions, either." [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/31/08]

 

DEBUNKED CLAIM: OBAMA SUPPORTED AN ENERGY BILL THAT WAS LOADED WITH BILLIONS IN GIVE AWAYS FOR OIL COMPANIES

REALITY: THE 2005 ENERGY BILL ACTUALLY RAISED TAXES ON OIL COMPANIES

  • Fact Check.org: Describing The 2005 Energy Bill As "Corporate Welfare" Is "Misleading." "McCain attacked Obama for voting for 'corporate welfare' for oil companies. In fact, the bill Obama voted for raised taxes on oil companies by $300 million over 11 years while providing $5.8 billion in subsidies for renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative fuels. ... Describing such a complex measure as 'corporate welfare' is misleading." [FactCheck.org, 9/5/08]
  • Fact Check.org: Congressional Research Service Showed That The Energy Bill Actually Raised Taxes On The Oil And Gas Industry. The Associated Press reported, "The 2005 act that [is described] as packed with billions of dollars in oil industry breaks actually raised taxes on the oil and gas industry by about $300 million over 11 years, according to the Congressional Research Service. The nonpartisan analysis found $2.6 billion in tax cuts for the oil and gas industry and $2.9 billion in tax increases. The bulk of tax breaks went to other sources of energy, including alternative fuels favored by both Clinton and Obama." [Associated Press, 2/15/08]

OBAMA INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO REPEAL TAX BREAKS FOR OIL COMPANIES

  • 2005-2007: Obama Introduced Legislation Repealing Tax Breaks And Other Perks For the Oil Industry, Requiring Yearly Increases In CAFE Standards, And Requiring Significant Increases In Renewable Fuel Mandates And Alternative Energy Incentives. Since 2005, Obama has introduced legislation suspending the 2005 energy bill's tax incentives and other perks for the oil industry in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, requiring significant increases in the renewable fuel mandates over the next few years, requiring yearly increases in CAFÉ standards, and providing incentives for E-85 fuel pump installation, alternative vehicle research and production. [S. 115, 110th Congress; S. 23, 110th Congress; S. 133, Introduced 1/4/07; S. 2202, Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. 10/18/2007 S. 2984, 109th Congress; S. 1324, Introduced 5/7/07; Press Release, 5/7/07]

MCCAIN'S CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR CALLED THE 2005 ENERGY BILL THE "BIGGEST LEGISLATIVE BREAKTHROUGH WE HAVE SINCE I HAVE BEEN IN THE SENATE" AND IT HAS CONTRIBUTED TO A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN WIND POWER AND MCCAIN WANTS TO GIVE OIL COMPANIES $4 BILLION IN TAX BREAKS

  • McCain Campaign Co-Chair Lindsey Graham Said The 2005 Energy Bill "Is The Biggest Legislative Breakthrough We Have Had Since I Have Been In The Senate." Sen. Lindsey Graham said of the 2005 Energy Bill that invested in renewable and alternative energy, and which John McCain voted against and Barack Obama for: "This is the biggest legislative breakthrough we have had since I have been in the Senate," said Graham. "The passage of the energy bill will make us less dependent on Middle East oil, expand and diversify our energy resources, and provide billions for hydrogen research." [Graham press release, 7/29/05]
  • McCain Voted Against The 2005 Energy Bill that Contributed to a Dramatic Increase in Wind Power. McCain voted against the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which, as USA Today noted, contributed to a dramatic increase in wind power generation: "The U.S. wind power grew 45% in 2007, the sharpest rise since the 1980s, as developers responded to a federal tax credit, a growing number of state renewable energy mandates and global warming concerns, the American Wind Energy Association said Thursday." [2005 Senate Vote #213, 7/29/05; 2005 Senate Vote #212, 7/29/05; USA Today, 1/17/08]
  • McCain's Tax Plan Will Cut Taxes For Oil Companies by Nearly $4 Billion - Including $1.2 Billion for Exxon. A study by the Center for American Progress Action Fund noted that the corporate tax rate cut included in the McCain tax plan "would deliver a $3.8 billion tax cut to the five largest American oil companies" - ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Valero Energy, and Marathon. According to their analysis of Exxon's financial statements, the company would receive a tax savings of $1.2 billion under the McCain plan. ["The McCain Plan to Cut Oil Company Taxes by Nearly $4 Billion," Center for American Progress Action Fund, 3/27/08]

 

DEBUNKED CLAIM: OBAMA VOTED AGAINST FUNDING THE TROOPS

REALITY: CHARGE THAT OBAMA DIDN'T SUPPORT THE TROOPS "HIGHLY MISLEADING," BY SAME STANDARD MCCAIN ALSO DID NOT SUPPORT THE TROOPS

  • AP: Charge That Obama Voted Against Troop Funding Is "Misleading." "The ad's most inflammatory charge - that Obama voted against troop funding in Iraq and Afghanistan - is misleading. The Illinois senator consistently voted to fund the troops once elected to the Senate, a point Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton made during the primaries when questioning whether his anti-war rhetoric was reflected in his actions." [AP, 7/18/08]
  • Fact Check.org: The Claim That Obama Voted To Cut Off Funding For Our Troops Is "Highly Misleading." Factcheck.org wrote, "Lieberman also said that "colleagues like Barack Obama were voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield." That's a highly misleading claim that McCain also touted in an ad this summer. Obama has voted in favor of war-funding bills at least 10 times since becoming a senator. The McCain camp and Republicans cite one vote Obama cast against a funding bill as justification for their claim - but that vote came after President Bush had vetoed a version of the bill that included a date for withdrawal from Iraq. In fact, most Republicans voted against that 2007 war-funding bill Obama and the Democrats supported." [Factcheck.org, 9/3/08]

USING THE SAME STANDARD, MCCAIN HAS SUPPORTED CUTTING OFF FUNDING TO THE TROOPS

  • FactCheck.org: Using The McCain Campaign's Standards, It Would Be "Literally True" To Say That "McCain Urged A Veto Of Funding For Our Troops." "The McCain camp and Republicans cite one vote Obama cast against a funding bill as justification for their claim - but that vote came after President Bush had vetoed a version of the bill that included a date for withdrawal from Iraq. In fact, most Republicans voted against that 2007 war-funding bill Obama and the Democrats supported. McCain was absent for the vote, but he urged the president to veto the bill. As we said about this subject previously, 'Based on those facts, it would be literally true to say that 'McCain urged a veto of funding for our troops.' But that would be oversimplified to the point of being seriously misleading.' And the same goes for Lieberman's claim at the convention." [FactCheck.org, 9/3/08]
  • McCain Cheered On Bush And Welcomed His Veto Of The Iraq And Afghanistan Spending Bill, Noting That The Congress Needed To Pass A New Spending Bill Because The "Troops In The Field Are Waiting On Our Action." McCain: "I look forward to the President's prompt veto of this misguided bill. After the President rejects the legislation, I sincerely hope that the Congress will finally get serious about passing a measure that can be enacted into law. ... We need to send a bill to the President that he can sign, and we need to do it as soon as possible - our troops in the field are waiting on our action." [McCain release, 4/26/07]
  • McCain Introduced Amendment To Cut Off Funds For Troops In Somalia. On October 14, 1993, McCain introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 1994 Department of Defense appropriations bill to prohibit funding of U.S. military operations in Somalia except for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops. The amendment was defeated by a tabling motion, introduced by Senator Thurman, 61-38 (Republicans: 16-28; Democrats: 45-10). [2003 Senate Vote 313, 10/14/93, Motion agreed to 61-38: R 16-28; D 45-10; Biden: Y to table]

Ø  McCain Later Admitted That He "Regretted" Introducing The Amendment And Stated "In Hindsight, I Wish I Had Not Undertaken So Drastic A Step."  "On October 14, 1993, eleven days after the ambush of our rangers in Mogadishu, I offered an amendment on the Senate floor restricting funds for American forces in Somalia to the purpose of their 'prompt and orderly withdrawal.'  President Clinton criticized the amendment and its supporters for our 'headlong rush into isolationism,' which it was not.  But it was an encroachment on presidential authority and a retreat in the face of aggression from an inferior foe that I would never have contemplated in the past. And even though I regretted my action, I felt the circumstances were so compelling that it was a necessary response to a failed policy that had cost the lives of eighteen good Americans.  In hindsight, I wish I had not undertaken so drastic a step. But, as the administration had already agreed to compromise legislation that would have set a date for withdrawing our forces five months hence, my demand for a more prompt retreat was only a difference of timing not in kind. I could hardly see how our troops' security or America's international reputation would be better served by a slow retreat than a quick one." [John McCain, "Worth the Fighting For," p.280]

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