E. Klein Quote for the Day + My Own Snark

Klein’s post here.

The analysis of Obama’s and McCain’s tax proposals and their respective effects on their taxes here.


In the Obama plan, the Obamas would have saved about $6,000 off their tax bill in 2006. The McCains would have kept a bit more than $5,000. Notice that the savings get smaller as you travel up the income ladder. Under the McCain plan, by contrast, the Obamas would have saved $49,000. And the McCains? They would have pocketed an extra $373,000! In other words, if you think the primary problem with our tax code is that it should do more to make the top .1 percent of earners even richer, then the McCain plan has got you covered. It’s rather remarkable that the candidate who’s always talking about sacrifice is trying to give himself a $400,000 tax break during wartime and despite massive deficits, but it’s okay because everyone knows McCain is a good guy and lots of fun to talk to. Sigh. It’s hard to know how to write these posts sometimes. Is snark really enough? This sort of thing should be a scandal. Yet the media won’t care.

Now he’s certainly right this should be unconscionable and it won’t be raised at all (Obama did flip flop on campaign finance after all not that er McCain isn’t violation of a law he wrote on the subject but nevermind).  On the other hand, it should be noted that were McCain to win (right now his odds of doing so pushing under 45% in my book) he would inherit a Democratic Congress who would never pass the kind of massive upwardly redistributionist tax policy McCain has at the center of his economic policy.

The $373,000 actually might be an underestimate as the McCains (specifically Mrs.) have done some interesting (not illegal just quite unusual) declarations of moneys earned.  Cindy McCain has not released her full tax records.  Which itself should not be allowed, but there it is.  Also we learned that the Obamas have practiced fiscal responsibility in their lives while the McCains have $100,000+ credit card debt.  That doesn’t inspire confidence in me.

Not only that but McCain has no plan for paying for the cuts in the taxes other than increasing debt.  Not to mention a certain war I recall reading something about via the intertubes.  [Oops I forgot the war is on the “supplemental budget” not the real one.  Like vitamins, just a supplement.]

Here is the Brookings Institute analysis of both candidates taxes plans.  Short version, neither good, but McCain’s much worse.  Much worse.  The only argument again I guess one could make with that is that McCain’s would never see the light of day (since it would never be passed in Congress) while Obama’s most certainly would if elected.  But I’m not sure McCain would engender great affection by campaigning for tax cuts that he will never pass.

I would like to see Obama follow the lead of his adviser Robert Reich and push for an elimination of the corporate tax (as well as the fiction of the corporation as a person/legal entity who can be “responsible”, socially, monetarily, ecologically or otherwise) instead of pushing for an increase in corporate tax rates.  I think his elimination of taxes on elders below a certain income level is questionable.

For a primer and one argument this op-ed by Roger Lowenstein on the taxes that are needed.

[That’s assuming an era of increased governance which while I’m not a big fan of, structurally looks like a done deal, and at least ought to be paid for].

Published in: on June 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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