Obama: He stuck to the facts, except when he stretched them.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Revmitchell, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Tax Spin


    Obama said: “I will cut taxes ... for 95 percent of all working families.” And he said McCain proposes “not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans,” a claim his running mate, Joe Biden, made the night before.

    Obama is right about his plan's effect on working families. More broadly, though, the plan cuts taxes for 81.3 percent of all households in 2009, according to the Tax Policy Center. The TPC also says McCain’s tax plan would leave 65.8 million households without a cut, not 100 million.

    The TPC’s calculations factor in what's in effect a hidden tax on individuals that results from taxing corporations. McCain proposes to lower the corporate income tax rate, and Obama proposes billions of dollars in increased corporate taxes in the form of “loophole closings.” Individuals wouldn’t experience those changes as an increased tax bill from the government, but both the Congressional Budget Office and TPC allocate all corporate tax to owners of capital rather than to consumers. That means rather than flowing through to consumers in the form of higher prices or lower wages, corporate tax changes would show up as higher or lower returns on investments, which typically come in the form of corporate dividends, and profits or losses from stock sales.

    Only by ignoring the hidden benefit to individuals can McCain’s plan be said to produce no cut for 100 million households. According to a calculation the TPC did at FactCheck's request, 101.9 million see no benefit if the effects of a corporate reduction are set aside.

    For the record, Obama aides say the indirect effect on holders of capital won't be as large as TPC says. "We dispute TPC's methodology here," says Brian Deese of the Obama campaign. He says several of the "loophole closers" that Obama is proposing won't affect corporations or are on offshore activity that will not directly filter through.

    We'd also note that retirees would fare quite a bit less well than working families under Obama's tax plan: The TPC estimates that 32 percent of households with a person over age 65 would see a tax increase.


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