Don't worry, average Americans: You'll be getting a tax cut from a President Obama. That's the message from Steven Greenhouse's Friday piece, "For Incomes Below $100,000, a Better Tax Break in Obama's Plan."
At the Times' request, "Independent analyses" from the "nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, and Deloitte, the accounting giant" crunched the numbers and found that, as the Times no doubt hoped, Obama's plan is a boon for everyone making below $250,000 a year. (Problem is, the Urban Institute and Brookings are both left-of-center, so to call them nonpartisan to imply it's some kind of centrist group is misleading.)
Independent analyses of the presidential candidates' tax proposals show that those who make less than $250,000 a year would not see their taxes raised under Senator Barack Obama's plans. Further, Mr. Obama would generally cut taxes more than Senator John McCain would for households with incomes less than $100,000 a year.
Mr. McCain would cut taxes generally on par with Mr. Obama for those making $100,000 to $250,000 a year, the analyses found, but those making $250,000 a year and above would typically pay less in taxes under Mr. McCain.
Greenhouse, the Times' labor reporter, could have easily said, "but those making $250,000 a year and above would definitely pay more in taxes under Mr. Obama." Greenhouse's formulation cushions the blow and keeps the Republican-helping "tax-hike" meme out of the story. In fact, he barely mentioned Obama's planned tax hikes for those making over $250,000 a year. There's precisely one paragraph on Obama's tax hikes - paragraph 14 out of 24.
The paper even ran a huge photo showing that hardly anyone at the Obama rally would publicly admit to making that much money. Here's the photo caption of the waves of hands held high in the air.
A show of hands at an Obama rally Thursday after the candidate asked who made less than $250,000. Senator Barack Obama says those audience members would benefit from his plan.
Well, not if they start making more money at some point in their lives. Let's assume that even liberal Obama supporters want to do that.