Tuesday, October 14, 2008

McSame's Tax Plan

I haven't touched on the economic crisis yet in this blog, but I did some reading today specifically about where we are as a result of Bush's policies. CNN just reported that McCain is again sliming Obama for things he didn't do or say. Here's a gem:
McCain criticized Obama as a "man who now presents himself as a tax cutter and champion of middle-class America" despite revising his tax plans "with each new poll."
Obama has been championing himself for the middle class since the very goddamn beginning, and every time he repeats that sorry lie about a new tax plan every poll, the reporter - whoever it is - then repeats the very same tax plan that Obama has stood by since the goddamn beginning:
Obama's tax plan would cut taxes for most taxpayers, but raise them for the wealthiest. The largest increases would be on the top one-percent of earners, according to analysis by the Tax Policy Center
Seems pretty clear to me, Johnny, as it has all this damn time! But, after that statement from CNN, there's a Fact Check link. "Does Obama want to raise taxes?" Curious, I clicked the link and read it.

The conclusion is, literally, "TRUE, BUT INCOMPLETE." (Emphasis not mine.) Right, because as CNN just said in the original article, he wants to raise taxes for the wealthy. Why is this so hard to figure out?

But here's the really good stuff. Further down, CNN quotes Obama and Biden as saying that McCain's policy is "a day late and 101 million middle-class families short." Now, I hadn't heard that claim yet. So I clicked the link: "Fact Check: McCain's plan gives 100 million no relief?"

The conclusion is "False. The Obama campaign bases its assertion on just one part of McCain's economic plan, while ignoring the tax consequences of the rest of McCain's plan." Okay, Obama has tended to exaggerate (as most other average politicians) throughout this campaign. So what part did he ignore?
[Len Burman, Tax Policy Center director] said that while "something like 100 million people are not affected by the McCain individual income tax cuts," millions would benefit from the corporate tax cuts McCain proposes — "anyone who owns stock, and that includes retirees with modest pensions and 401(k)s."
Emphasis mine. This is a classic Republican economic policy, so far as I'm aware - the "trickle-down" concept. If you give cuts to companies and rich people - who are left after you factor out the 101 million Obama claims would be factored out, "the vast majority of the US population," the article says - the extra money will somehow, inexplicably "trickle" down to us poor folk. One of the ways this is supposed to happen, I would surmise, is through tax breaks on investment income (i.e. stocks, as mentioned in the quote). I could be wrong here, but who tends to own the most stock? Rich people, who have the most extra cash onhand with which to invest. Well, this was Bush's idea too, as this chart shows (dug up from an old Shakesville post). See how profound cuts are for "anyone who owns stock," and who exactly they benefit the most? So did this "trickling down" idea work?

Obviously not. But it's not supposed to either, and that's the important part. As corporate taxes drop, individual taxes skyrocket; as corporate profits rise, individual compensation plummets. Working on the assumption (that might not be correct) that tax cuts translate almost directly into profit, it becomes frightening how much "Joe Sixpack" is actually getting ripped off. And, by the way, that means Obama was telling the truth, and he was not exaggerating.

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