Carly Fiorina, a surrogate for the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, said last week that under the tax plan of McCain's opponent, Senator Barack Obama, "23 million small businesses will see their taxes raised" because "23 million small businesses file their income tax as individuals."

Senator Obama has promised that, if elected, he will allow the Bush tax cuts to expire (as current law provides) only for people making more than $250,000 a year. Analysts generally agree that this means the lower rates Bush enacted for the top two tax brackets will expire. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, only 1.4 million taxpayers will be in the top two tax brackets this year.

Although it's impossible to determine how many of those 1.4 million taxpayers are small-business owners, two things are crystal clear: It's a lot less than all of them, and it's certainly not 23 million.

"John McCain has admitted that economics is not his strong suit," noted Robert S. McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice. "Apparently, he and his surrogates don't even grasp basic arithmetic."

Fiorina previously achieved notoriety as head of Hewlett-Packard, where she spearheaded HP's 2002 merger with Compaq Computer. That merger, which led to Fiorina's firing, turned out to be one of the biggest corporate follies since Dick Cheney, as head of Halliburton, bought an asbestos company in 1998, a deal that subsequently cost Halliburton billions of dollars to settle hundreds of thousands of medical-injury claims.

For more details, see the CTJ press release.

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