Kerry's Voting Record: Taxes 

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Bush administration's official claim about Kerry's voting record is that he "voted for higher taxes 350 times." Sean Hannity, the idiot blowhard and official "no accountability" mouthpiece for the Bush Administration often says "Kerry raised taxes 350 times." One of these statements may be true from a certain perspective (we'll get to that) and the other is a blatant and outright lie (Hannity, do you even know what truth is?).

The Bush Administration is using a play on language. Their phrase "voted for higher taxes" lacks any proper context, and leads the unexpecting recipient of the words to draw their own conclusions on what it means. Blowhards like Hannity want it to mean that Kerry raised taxes, so he rewords it to "Kerry raised taxes 350 times." But since he didn't use Bush's Orwellian language, he not only takes their bait and lies for them, but he proves the effectiveness of this technique. It is a technique that says something that's true in some obscure context of opinion, and allows their followers to "mistakenly" turn their phrasing into the perpetuation of a lie (in this case, turning "for higher" into "to raise").

The distinction here is the difference between objective fact and subjective opinion. When you say Kerry voted against a decrease, it's a matter of objective fact that he voted to keep taxes the same. The subjective opinion of the Bush admin is that it is for higher taxes, my subjective opinion is that it is for a balanced budget, and fair taxes. But regardless of subjective opinion, the fact is that Kerry voted to keep taxes the same if he votes against a decrease or against an increase.

To keep it straight, pay attention to the part of speech: is it a verb (action), or an adjective (description of a noun)? The words "to raise" verses the words "for higher" is a critical mental exercise. "To raise" is declaring an objective fact of action, whereas "for higher" is describing a subjective opinion of the taxes. The Bush admin uses "higher" to express their opinion of taxes after Kerry's votes to keep taxes the same. Their followers "mistakenly" turn it into "raise," implying an untrue verb (raise) out of a subjective adjective (higher). Bush's opinion that keeping taxes the same is voting "for higher" taxes, does not make the action of raising taxes true; the action, in their example, is "to keep" the same tax. Thus, blowhards like Hannity are lying for the Bush admin. Look for the verbs (action) of Kerry's record, and form your own opinion of that action. And pay attention to when people turn the adjective (opinion) into an untrue verb (action that didn't happen), like the lying Hannity!

It's like if my boss tells me he's not going to cut my pay, then tells people he enacted a policy for higher pay. Did I get a raise?

Hannity's claim, that Kerry raised taxes 350 times, could not possibly be true, as there aren't even 350 tax raises on record during Kerry's tenure with the Senate (with few exceptions, tax changes are only enacted once a year)! Hannity doesn't even bother to tell the lesser lie, that Kerry voted to raise, he turns it into an even bigger lie saying that Kerry raised taxes. BIGGEST FATTEST LIE TOLD ABOUT A TAX RECORD EVER.

So, I will go about brining some truth about Kerry's tax record. Because it's very balanced. It tells me this truth: Kerry is for fiscal responsibility, Kerry wants the wealthy to pay their fair share, Kerry wants corporations to pay their fair share, Kerry supports giving the middle class a break, and Kerry supports the earned income tax credit for poor families.

I went to a great web site called "Project Vote Smart." They have a collection of voting records that display "key votes." They describe the criteria for "key votes" here.

Kerry's record on taxes is very different than the Bush Administration is presenting – very different. I counted his votes under several categories of action (listed below). Some things to note: Votes are for bills and for amendments to bills, and not all the bills voted on went on to pass into law. These are merely votes. Also, some amendments contained both tax cuts and tax increases; in those cases I put a number under both the appropriate categories (so if you add up all these numbers, it'll come out higher than the total number of votes regarding taxes).

Votes to change taxes:
Vote to decrease taxes: 37
Vote to increase taxes: 13

Votes to keep taxes the same as they are:
Vote against a tax decrease: 55
Vote against a tax increase: 9

To close a tax loophole: 5
To pay for mandatory spending with a tax increase, if needed: 1

So, the surprising thing here is that if Kerry votes to change taxes, he is more than twice as likely to cut taxes than to raise them! Kerry voted 37 times to cut taxes!

Furthermore, of the increases he voted for, not one of them was for an income tax on the middle class, working class, or low income families!

If you're an average American, Kerry as voted your way 100% of the time in regards to taxes – holding you to pay your fair share, and giving you a break when the budget allowed. If you make under 100,000 /year in taxable income, Kerry has never raised your taxes, ever. And you if you make 100,000/year or more in taxable income, Kerry has only raised your taxes once (1994) – and the biggest economic boom ever, followed.

I do have one issue with his record. Among his votes for tax increases were several raises on cigarette taxes. I'm sure this was with the intent of discouraging people from smoking. It does, however, effectively amount to a tax increase for lower income people, who are more likely to be smokers. BUT, it is a volunteer activity tax (you don't have to smoke).

My source:

Kerry's voting Record by category

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