July 18, 2008 12:45 PM | | Bookmark and Share

Carly Fiorina, a surrogate for the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, recently said that under the tax plan of McCain’s opponent, Senator Barack Obama, “23 million small businesses will see their taxes raised” because “23 million small businesses file their income tax as individuals.”

Senator Obama has promised that, if elected, he will allow the Bush tax cuts for people in the top two tax brackets to expire (as current law already provides).1 According to the U.S. Treasury Department, only 1.4 million taxpayers will be in the top two tax brackets this year.

Although it’s impossible to determine how many of those 1.4 million taxpayers are smallbusiness owners,2 two things are crystal clear: It’s a lot less than all of them, and it’s certainly not 23 million.

“John McCain has admitted that economics is not his strong suit,” noted Robert S. McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice. “Apparently, he and his surrogates don’t even grasp basic arithmetic.”

Fiorina previously achieved notoriety as head of Hewlett-Packard, where she spearheaded HP’s 2002 merger with Compaq Computer. That merger, which led to Fiorina’s firing, turned out to be one of the biggest corporate follies since Dick Cheney, as head of Halliburton, asbestos company in 1998, a deal that subsequently cost Halliburton billions of dollars to settle hundreds of thousands of medical-injury claims.

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