Monday, October 20, 2008

Candidates' tax-cut rhetoric swamps voters

From the Seattle Times:

In an outbreak of class warfare, John McCain and Barack Obama swapped sharply worded charges over tax cuts Saturday, each accusing the other of shortchanging middle-income Americans at a time of economic hardship for millions.

McCain, in a paid weekly radio address and at a North Carolina rally, fired the first volley, likening Obama to the socialist leaders of Europe and saying he wanted to "convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington."

Obama responded at a St. Louis rally that attracted 100,000 people, saying his rival "wants to cut taxes for the same people who have already been making out like bandits, in some cases literally."

"John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people 'welfare,' " Obama said.

Based on the candidates' tax proposals, Obama would provide more assistance to low-income and middle-income taxpayers than McCain.

Take a family earning the national median income of $50,233, as calculated by the Census Bureau for 2007. The family would pay $4,837 in federal income taxes for 2009 under McCain's plan, vs. $4,309 under Obama's proposal, according to a mathematical program that University of Southern Maine economics professor Jeffrey Gramlich helped develop.

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