Charles Barkley: Not your average taxpayer

With Barack Obama expected to focus on the struggles of middle-class taxpayers in his Thursday address, CNN bookers chose Charles Barkely to compare the effect of the candidates' economic proposals.

CNN is taking some heat for its segment.

Why? Not because Barkley isn't exactly the model of sound investing.

But because CNN came up with a graphic that purported to show "the average tax bill change" and then only gave numbers for those earning $161,000 and up.

Think Progress called the cable network on it, saying it was showing figures for only the top five percent of U.S. income earners:

 The graphic is therefore deceptive and misleading, as it suggests that McCain’s tax plan offers a greater benefit than Obama’s. In reality, for most Americans, Obama’s tax plan would offer three times the benefit.

Barkley, the former Sixer, turned out to be the wrong man for the job of complaining about a tax hike for the wealthy. Here's his exchange with Wolf Blitzer:

BLITZER: If Obama has his way, you would spend another $701,885 in taxes. $700,000 above and beyond – you pay a lot of taxes right now if you’re making millions of dollars a year as you are. How do you feel about that?

BARKLEY: Well, I think that if you’re rich — I thank God I’ve been very successful — if you’re rich, you’re always going to be rich. If we pay more in taxes, I got no problem with that. If you’re making that kind of money, a couple hundred thousand dollars here or there are not going to change your life.

Let’s be realistic. I’ve been very fortunate and blessed. I did a great job of saving my money. But I got no problem if I’m making that type of money, paying more in taxes to be honest with you.

Video here:

Did he say he did a great job of saving his money?