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|
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.