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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

The Washington Independent

Tyreece Bauer
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Aug 22, 2008

In its newest TV ad, titled "Higher," the McCain campaign once again hits Sen. Barack Obama on taxes and his "celebrity" status — and seeks to link Sen. John McCain with average Americans. Here’s the ad:

PRODUCTION NOTES: The ad begins with the now-familiar crowd chanting Obama’s name. As flash bulbs go off, a female announcer says, "Celebrities don’t have to worry about family budgets, but we sure do. We’re paying more for food and gas, making it harder to save for college, retirement." Wait a second. We? Who is the announcer referring to — herself and the rest of us? Since she is an employee of the campaign, it would be fair to assume that the campaign is linking itself — and its candidate — to average Americans. "We" are all in this together, and "we" are all worried about higher taxes.

The purpose of this language is obvious. The Obama campaign attacked McCain yesterday for being out of touch with regular people after he could not say for sure how many homes he and his wife own — clearly not a problem most Americans have. Now the McCain campaign is coming back and saying, "Don’t worry, McCain is one of you guys."

The announcer also says, "[Obama]‘s ready to raise your taxes." However, as McCain’s ads frequently do, the spot falsely implies that Obama wants to raise taxes on all Americans, because his tax plan calls for a tax increase on some Americans in higher tax brackets. I believe this is what’s known as a logical fallacy. Under Obama’s tax plan, most Americans do not have to worry about tax increases — but McCain does. Even conservative analysts have acknowledged that Obama’s plan will deliver larger tax cuts to middle class Americans than would McCain’s. But Obama would raise taxes on those making more than $200,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a couple — which, by the way, the McCains do. So maybe the "we" to which the announcer refers is actually John and Cindy McCain. That would actually make sense.

Tyreece Bauer | Analyst and photographer in the field of technology. When I'm not working on my laptop, I like to go surfing, hiking with friends, and go karting or play soccer with my nephew. I enjoy traveling and am excited to visit Tokyo this summer. What are your plans for your next trip?


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