Forwarding Political Lies Masquerading as Truth is Unpatriotic
Versions of the e-mail contained in the question below are being forwarded around the internet like wildfire. In fact, I have received it twice over the past week.
Pieces like this, whether they smear the political right, the political left, or anywhere in between, are examples of a shameful lack of integrity that is also profoundly unpatriotic. Great republics — or great democracies — however you want to word this — rely on honest debate based on actual facts.
Pontification and propaganda based on spin is subversive. Pundits love to throw around the word "treason" these days for people who have views that differ from their own ideological rightness addiction. I would propose that replacing debate with propaganda. and replacing the complete picture with spin, are grounds for treason.
In this treacherous climate, all of us, from everyday citizens to journalists to anyone who influences others, have an ethical responsibility to significantly upgrade our discernment skills. (Discernment is one of the seven WisePassions that true integrity requires and that I discuss in great detail in my two-award-winning book, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World.)
In this spirit, I call upon each one of us to stop forwarding e-mails containing supposed facts until you have first independently verifyied their accuracy. You can easily do this through visiting scam-busting websites such as www.snopes.com and www.factcheck.org (there are others too).
Please join me in helping to spark the integrity revolution we so desperately need at this pivotal time in history.
Would Obama tax my profits if I sell my home? Would he tax my IRA? Would he tax my water?
I was just sent this and it had 100s of names attached and forwarded over and over – is it real?
Subject: Important read – Taxes
INTERESTING DATA JUST RECEIVED ON TAXES
Spread the word…..
This is something you should be
Proposed changes in taxes after 2008 General election:
CAPITAL GAINS TAX
28% on profit from ALL home sales
How does this affect you?
If you are heading toward retirement
MCCAIN 15% (no change)
How will this affect you?
The experts predict that ‘higher
MCCAIN (no changes)
Under Obama your taxes will
MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)
OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax
NEW TAXES BEING PROPOSED BY OBAMA
* New government taxes proposed on
* New gasoline taxes (as if
* New taxes on natural resources
* New taxes on retirement accounts
* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine
No. A new e-mail being circulated about Obama’s tax proposals is almost entirely false.
Alert readers may already have noted that this chain e-mail does not provide links to any of Obama’s actual proposals or cite any sources for the claims it makes. That is because they are made up. This widely distributed message is so full of misinformation that we find it impossible to believe that it is the result of simple ignorance or carelessness on the part of the writer. Almost nothing it says about Obama’s tax proposals is true. We conclude that this deception is deliberate.
Our own sources for the following are Obama’s own Web site and other statements, interviews with Obama’s policy advisers, and a comprehensive analysis of both the McCain and Obama tax plans produced by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, plus additional sources to which we have provided links.
Two claims in this message, while not completely false, are still grossly misleading.
The claim that Obama would impose "new taxes on natural resources" may refer to his support for a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions, which indeed would impose large costs on industries burning coal, gas or oil and, indirectly, on their consumers. But McCain also supports cap-and-trade legislation, and even coauthored an early version of a bill that reached the Senate floor this year. Obama’s plan would give the federal government more of the revenue from auctioning pollution permits than McCain’s plan. Whether cap-and-trade amounts to a "tax" is a matter of interpretation. The fact is neither McCain nor Obama call it that.
There is also some truth to the claim that Obama would impose "new taxes" to finance his health care plan, depending on your interpretation of "new." He has said he would pay for much of his plan "by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for people making more than $250,000 per year, as they are scheduled to do." That would certainly be a tax increase for those high-income persons, compared with what they are paying now. But whether that’s imposing a new tax, or just letting an old one come back, depends on your point of view. It may well be that Obama will eventually propose tax increases to finance some of his plan. We’ve noted before that the "cost savings" that he says will finance much of his plan are inflated and probably won’t materialize, according to independent experts we consulted. But it’s wrong to say that he’s proposing such taxes now.
The short answer to the question is, no, this message isn’t real. It’s a pack of lies.