AD WATCH: Evaluating the accuracy of political advertising
Bush Hits Kerry on Taxes
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 26, 2004; Page A12
Candidate: President Bush
Images: Kerry's face on a video checkerboard that includes boxes labeled "$900 Billion" and "Kerry Taxes"; two elderly people; a late-night diner; a credit card in a gas pump; a woman working on her taxes.
Producer: Maverick Media
Time: 30 seconds
Audio: John Kerry's economic record: Troubling. Kerry voted to increase taxes on Social Security benefits. And he voted against giving small businesses tax credits to buy health care for employees. Kerry even supported raising taxes on gasoline 50 cents a gallon. Now John Kerry's plan will raise taxes by at least $900 billion in his first 100 days in office. And that's just his first 100 days.
Analysis: This latest attempt by the Bush campaign to paint Kerry as a tax-loving liberal accurately cites his votesóbut they are mostly old ones. Kerry voted to boost taxes on some Social Security recipients as part of President Clinton's 1993 deficit-reduction package, which is widely credited with helping to produce a sustained economic boom.
Kerry expressed support for a 50-cent gas tax in 1994 but later changed his mind. He joined all but one other Democrat in opposing a GOP plan on business tax credits in 2001 but voted to cut taxes on small business last year. It's not difficult for an opponent to pick and choose from a long legislative record.
Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said the president has "no credibility" on the economy because he has presided over record deficits and job losses. But Bush spokesman Steve Schmidt called Kerry's responses "another example of his rhetoric being completely detached from the reality of his record."
The ad also repeats an unsubstantiated charge that Kerry has a $900 billion tax plan. The senator has no such plan, although he hasn't fully explained how he will pay for his domestic proposals.
In a new positive ad, the president touts his tax cuts and says he has "plans to help people get the skills necessary to fill the new jobs of the 21st century." This refers to $500 million for education and job training, but Congress has not approved the proposal.
-- Howard Kurtz
© 2004 The Washington Post Company