ABC Cites Left-Leaning Tax Group to Endorse Obama's Plan

     The verdict is in. ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” has determined for the American people that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama will give most people a tax cut, while GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain’s plan only benefits the rich.


     ABC correspondent Bill Weir made that assessment on the Oct. 20 broadcast of “World News,” citing analysis by the left-leaning Tax Policy Center. According to his report, Obama is for increasing taxes on the rich while McCain is for giving them tax cuts.


     “So in Obama’s America, a family making a million bucks a year would see their 2009 tax bill go up $48,000,” Weir said. “In McCain’s America, the same family would pay $12,000 less as he extends a George Bush tax policy built to help business and its investors.”


     Weir cited the Tax Policy Center, but didn’t mention it is run by two left-leaning think tanks: the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. Although Weir did not use the label, media often cite the group as “non-partisan.”


     And what the Tax Policy Center’s representative didn’t explain to “World News” is that a third of those who would receive “tax savings” under Obama’s plan don’t pay taxes at all, as Washington Times chief political correspondent Donald Lambro explained in an Oct. 13 article.


     “But because this provision in his economic-recovery plan is ‘refundable,’ a large number of middle-to lower-income workers who have no income-tax liability after taking tax credits and deductions that the Internal Revenue Service allows, will be given the equivalent of the tax cut in the form of direct payments from the U.S. Treasury - funded by higher-income taxpayers,” Lambro wrote. “Because the IRS says that nearly 46 million tax filers - one-third of all filers - had no tax liability in 2006, there is the question of how millions of Americans can receive an income ‘tax cut’ when they pay no taxes.”


     Instead of explaining the way tax credits would be used to redistribute wealth – the segment included an endorsement of Obama’s plan – claiming the lower and middle class would come out ahead.


     “Bottom line, if you’re a lower or middle income household, you come out ahead in the Obama plan,” Len Burman, senior rellow at the Urban Institute and co-director of the Tax Policy Center, said. “If you're a high income household, you come out ahead in the McCain plan.”


     But even Roberton Williams, principal research associate at the Tax Policy Center, explained Obama’s “tax cut” could be properly viewed as wealth redistribution, according to Lambro. 

     “Asked whether the transfer of taxes from high earners to middle- and low-income earners was a way of redistributing the nation's income, Mr. Williams said, ‘You could certainly view it that way because both [tax] proposals are in the same tax plan. There’s no question that’s one way to perceive the tax plan,’” Lambro wrote.