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Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More on McCain tax lies

Sometimes I find a post somewhere that totally illustrates what I want to say. So why not share it with you here. I don't think we have many of the same readers and the information is too important to just glide over. We're talking about your money. You do want to keep track of your money, right? You don't want to just believe McCain's tax rhetoric without looking at the facts, do you? I didn't think so!


1) John McCain is a liar. The campaign, and McCain himself, have repeated over and over again that Barack Obama wants to raise taxes, and the media has uncritically reported it. Given John McCain's track record lately for telling the truth, I don't really want to take his word for it. Instaed, let's have a look at this tax-plan chart, from Chartjunk:



Is there more blue surface area on the chart, or more red surface area? First one to guess correctly wins a John McCain condom (not really, I never could get my hands on one).

2) The Washington Post doesn't understand averages. Contemplate this chart, covering the same data, linked here before:

It shows proposed tax cuts for various income brackets under Obama and McCain. As discussed at ChartJunk, the chart is flawed because it gives an equal amount of space to each bracket. However, what's worse is that the "Average Cut" line at the bottom makes no sense. What did they do to calculate the 'Average Cut'? They added together the nine numbers above and divided by nine. But that's idiotic. That's why we have something called a "weighted average," which is what you use when you have data points that apply to different-sized groups of objects. The WaPo's method is like saying: If 10 people are given a hundred dollars and 1 person gets $0, the average received by the eleven people is $50.

The "Average Cut" is not just misleading, it's wrong. It proclaims that John McCain will lower taxes overall more than Barack Obama will, when in fact just the opposite is true. Barack Obama's tax plan proposes larger cuts for the income brackets with the most people in them, and in fact, his tax cut is only smaller for the top 20% of earners. So let's recap: larger tax cut (than McCain) for 80% of the population, smaller tax cut (than McCain) for 20% of the population. I don't have the population numbers at hand (if someone gives me a link, I'll be happy to calculate the actual average), but what I've just said makes it clear (given the small difference margins) that the average tax cut under Obama will be higher than under McCain.

Let John McCain continue to proclaim that Barack Obama will raise taxes, and let's keep harping on his lies. Even now, his advisor are starting to sputter.

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