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Fox News Anchor Demands that McCain Campaign Official Explain Why He Is Lying About Obama's Tax Plan

Think Progress caught Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly last week pushing back at McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds for defending his campaign's claims that Barack Obama intends to raise taxes on working-class people.

"But you guys have suggested he's going to raise taxes on the middle class and virtually every independent analyst who took a look at that claim said that's not true," Kelly said. "he'll raise it on people making $200,000 or $250,000, but not the middle class." When Bounds tried to defend his boss's honor, Kelly shot back, "I'm not giving him any credit. I'm saying what the independent analysts say. They say that claim is false."

Citizens for Tax Justice, along with many others, has made the same point in recent weeks. Last week CTJ released a fact sheet that refuted the McCain campaign's claims that Obama proposes "painful tax increases on working American families." Obama has proposed to repeal the Bush tax cuts for only married couples with incomes above $250,000 and singles with incomes above $200,000. Since the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2010 anyway, this means that for years after 2010, there would simply be no change in the law affecting taxpayers with incomes above those levels (except that a couple of Obama's tax cuts would benefit even these wealthy taxpayers). For everyone else, Obama proposes to extend the Bush tax cuts past 2010 and he also proposes a raft of new tax cuts targeting the middle-class.

Earlier this year CTJ found that only 2.1 percent of taxpayers have adjusted gross income (AGI) above $250,000 and only 3.2 percent have AGI over $200,000. Senator McCain has been telling crowds that "Senator Obama will raise your taxes." Unless Senator McCain is addressing only the richest 2 or 3 percent of Americans (which seems an unlikely campaign strategy) it's hard to avoid the conclusion that McCain has decided to mislead the public. In fact, it's so hard to avoid this conclusion that even Fox News has begun to accept it.

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