Comparing Obama and McCain on Taxes

News & Politics

Media efforts to minimize the differences notwithstanding, Barack Obama and John McCain couldn’t be much more different, especially on the issues of taxes.

The irony is, McCain, after his last presidential election, thought Bush’s trickle-down, class-warfare-style tax plan was ridiculous. “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief,” McCain said in 2001.

Now, however, McCain is anxious to do precisely what he couldn’t in good conscience do before. Obama, meanwhile, is prepared to deliver for middle-class families and those at the lower end of the scale. The Washington-based Tax Policy Center crunched the numbers.

Both John McCain and Barack Obama promise to cut taxes for the majority of Americans. But an Obama administration would redistribute income toward lower- and middle-class households, while a McCain White House would steer the bulk of the benefits to the wealthiest families, according to a nonpartisan analysis of the still-evolving tax plans of the presidential candidates. […]

Under Sen. McCain, those in the middle — making between $66,354 and $111,645 — would see their after-tax income increase by 0.7%. The biggest benefit would flow to those in the top 0.1% — those with incomes above $2.8 million — who would see their after-tax income increase by 4.4%.

Sen. Obama skews his tax cuts toward the lower- and middle-end of the income scale. Those in the middle would see their after-tax income increase by 2.4% , or $1,042. Americans with incomes above $2.8 million would see their after-tax income decrease by 11.5%.

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