CNN Thinks Only The Top Five Percent Of America’s Income Earners Count

In an interview with former NBA star Charles Barkley today, CNN host Wolf Blitzer discussed the respective tax plans being offered by Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain. This is the on-screen graphic that CNN displayed during the interview, which the network represented as the “average tax bill change”:


The graphic above only displays the “average tax change” on incomes above $161,000 – the top five percent of income earners in the nation. The graphic is therefore deceptive and misleading, as it suggests that McCain’s tax plan offers a greater benefit than Obama’s. In reality, for most Americans, Obama’s tax plan would offer three times the benefit.

Here’s the impact of McCain and Obama’s tax plan on incomes below $161,000 – the part that CNN left out:

Income Avg. tax bill Avg. tax bill
$112K-$161K -$2,614 -$2,204
$66K-$112K -$1,009 -$1,290
$38K-$66K -$319 -$1,042
$19K-$38K -$113 -$892
Under $19K -$19 -$567

Using his deceptive chart, Blizter tried – but failed – to get Barkley to voice his opposition to an increase in taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for national priorities:

BLITZER: If Obama has his way, you would spend another $701,885 in taxes. $700,000 above and beyond – you pay a lot of taxes right now if you’re making millions of dollars a year as you are. How do you feel about that?

BARKLEY: Well, I think that if you’re rich — I thank God I’ve been very successful — if you’re rich, you’re always going to be rich. If we pay more in taxes, I got no problem with that. If you’re making that kind of money, a couple hundred thousand dollars here or there are not going to change your life.

Let’s be realistic. I’ve been very fortunate and blessed. I did a great job of saving my money. But I got no problem if I’m making that type of money, paying more in taxes to be honest with you.

Watch it:


“Barack Obama said he plans to focus on the struggles of middle-class Americans, including their tax burden, in his Thursday night speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president.”

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