The Plank

About Those Tax Cuts

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John McCain, moments ago:

I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them.

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center, last week:

The Obama plan would reduce taxes for low- and moderate-income families, but raise them significantly for high-bracket taxpayers (see Figure 2). By 2012, middle-income taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise by about 5 percent, or nearly $2,200 annually. Those in the top 1 percent would face a $19,000 average tax increasea 1.5 percent reduction in after-tax income.  McCain would lift after-tax incomes an average of about 3 percent, or $1,400 annually, for middle-income taxpayers by 2012. But, in sharp contrast to Obama, he would cut taxes for those in the top 1% by more than $125,000, raising their after-tax income an average 9.5 percent. 

(Emphasis mine)

Now, it's absolutely true that, overall, Obama will raise more revenue than McCain would, mostly because he lets some of the Bush tax cuts expire. But remember that McCain is selling his cuts as relief for working families. And it's clear that Obama offers those taxpayers the most direct relief.  

--Jonathan Cohn 

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