A new video advertisement released by the Obama campaign says the candidate’s promised tax cuts are for citizens making less than $200,000 a year, not the widely reported figure of $250,000.
Adding to the confusion, Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, said in an interview yesterday the cuts are for even fewer people, limited to incomes of $150,000 or less.
Depending on the source of information, just who will have their taxes raised and who will have them cut under Obama’s plan varies.
The campaign’s homepage, for example, accessed today, reads, “Obama said he wanted to give a tax break to all families making under $250,000 per year, which he said was 95 percent of American workers.”
Yet in the “Defining Moment” ad released on YouTube last week and viewable below, Obama says the tax cut “for 95 percent of working Americans” is only for those who make less than $200,000 per year.
According to the 2006 IRS statistics published by the National Taxpayers Union, “95 percent of working Americans” only includes those making less than $153,542 per year.
And now, Fox News reports Biden told a Scranton, Pa., TV station yesterday that Obama’s tax break “should go to middle class people – people making under $150,000 a year.”
At a rally in Pennsylvania, CBS News reports, McCain took the opportunity to blast Obama as a candidate with more and more taxes on his mind.
“Sen. Obama has made a lot of promises,” McCain said. “First he said people making less than $250,000 would benefit from his plan, then this weekend he announced in an ad that if you’re a family making less than $200,000 you’ll benefit – but yesterday, right here in Pennsylvania, Sen. Biden said tax relief should only go to ‘middle class people – people making under $150,000 a year.’ You getting an idea of what’s on their mind?”
“I’ll launch a rescue plan for the middle class that begins with a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans,” Obama says in the “Defining Moment” advertisement. “If you have a job, pay taxes and make less than $200,000 a year, you’ll get a tax cut.”
The full “Defining Moment” advertisement can be seen below:
The disparity in the numbers has Republican campaigners riled.
The Obama campaign media site, The Record, quotes Tucker Bounds, spokesman for McCain-Palin saying, “By adjusting his tax increases to include anyone making more than $200,000, Barack Obama has reversed himself and issued a shifty new call for at least 1 million more hardworking Americans to be added to his plans for higher taxes.”
The Record immediately rebutted Bounds, insisting Obama’s plan has always included a tax hike on Americans making more than $250,000, but the tax cut is only for those making less than $200,000.
The site then quotes Obama at the Oct. 7 presidential debate: “If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down.”
Biden’s comments yesterday, however, have heated up criticism again.
“You getting an idea of what’s on their mind, huh? A little sneak peak,” McCain said, according to Fox News. “It’s interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down. At this rate, it won’t be long before Senator Obama is right back to his vote that Americans making just $42,000 a year should get a tax increase.”
Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor did not directly address Biden’s comments, but he released a statement about McCain’s criticism.
“The McCain campaign’s attacks are getting more desperate by the hour,” Vietor said. “Obama and Biden have always said, under their plan no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase one cent. And if your family makes less than $200,000 – as 95 percent of workers and their families do – you’ll get a tax cut.”