Most people regard persistent lying as a character flaw. So it is with dismay that I viewed the campaign ads put out recently by John McCain (photo below, right), the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States.
The McCain commercials are based on lies – not mistakes, not misconceptions, not misstatements, not exaggerations or distortions, but deliberate fabrications. Here is what a web site called FactCheck.org has to say about the most recent McCain ad:
The tax falsehoods continued with the release of a McCain Web ad Aug. 11 claiming that the “perks” of joining the Obama “fan club” include “a tax incease for everyone earning more than $42,000 a year.”
(In fact, Obama’s tax plan promises cuts for middle-income taxpayers and would increase rates only for families with incomes above $250,000 and individuals with incomes above $200,000.)
FactCheck.org lists several other misleading McCain ads:
A TV spot claims Obama once voted for a tax increase “on people making just $42,000 a year.” That’s true for a single taxpayer, who would have seen a tax increase of $15 for the year – if the measure had been enacted. But the ad shows a woman with two children, and as a single mother, she would not have been affected unless she made more than $62,150. The increase that Obama once supported as part of a Democratic budget bill is not part of his current tax plan anyway.
A Spanish-language radio ad claims the measure Obama supported would have raised taxes on “families” making $42,000, which is simply false. Even a single mother with one child would have been able to make $58,650 without being affected. A family of four with income up to $90,000 would not have been affected.
The TV ad claims in a graphic that Obama would “raise taxes on middle class.” In fact, Obama’s plan promises cuts for middle-income taxpayers and would increase rates only for persons with family incomes above $250,000 or with individual incomes above $200,000.
The radio ad claims Obama would increase taxes “on the sale of your home.” In fact, home-sale profits of up to $500,000 per couple would continue to be exempt from capital gains taxes. Very few sales would see an increase under Obama’s proposal to raise the capital gains rate.
A second radio ad, in English, says, “Obama has a history of raising taxes” on middle-class Americans. But that’s false. It refers to a vote that did not actually result in a tax increase and could not have done so.
Summing up, FactCheck.org states:
These ads continue what’s become a pattern of misrepresentation by the McCain campaign about his opponent’s tax proposals.
FactCheck.org is not connected to Barack Obama or his campaign. The web site is operated by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania – a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters. Its sole purpose is to “reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” So I am prepared to accept the foundation’s assessment of McCain’s veracity – or, rather, mendacity. In the “straight talk” that McCain (ironically) claims to employ, the man is a liar.
It’s up to the voters of America to decide whether they want a habitual liar in the White House… Make that another habitual liar…