Obama vs. McCain on Taxes: A Simple Video Explanation

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


I don’t say this often, but one of the major news networks did a really good job of digging into policy recently. Specifically, CNN was excellent when discussing the effects the Obama tax plan and the McCain tax plan would have on different income brackets. The numbers make things simple to understand:

This puts the lie to many McCain campaign claims. The most brazenly false ones are from McCain economic adviser and failed Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who claimed that Obama has not proposed “a single tax cut” and wants to “raise every tax in the book.” “Everything he’s proposed is a tax increase, not a tax cut,” she told Fox News. That’s self-evidently false, if you (1) know anything about Obama’s economic plan, which centers around a $1,000 tax cut for working families, or (2) have watched the video above.

The point here is not to get into a “our tax cuts are bigger!” argument, because tax cuts don’t substitute for sound economic policy. And “tax relief,” which the Obama campaign likes to say it is offering everyday folks, is most commonly used as a right wing framing device that justifies tax cuts for people who don’t need them. Obama’s economic proposals include much more than tax cuts: he is also proposing a stimulus package, help for struggling homeowners, and greater and more effective oversight of the financial sector.

But people tend to focus more on taxes than on any of those things, so let’s make sure everyone knows how Obama and McCain stack up. The differences are stark.

Update: More here for those who want to dig deeper.

THIS IS BIG FOR US.

And we won't beat around the bush: Our fundraising drive to finish our current budget on June 30 and start our new fiscal year on July 1 is lagging behind where we need it to be.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please consider joining your fellow readers with a donation to help make it all possible. Whether you can pitch in $5 or $500, it all matters.

If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

payment methods

THIS IS BIG FOR US.

And we won't beat around the bush: Our fundraising drive to finish our current budget on June 30 and start our new fiscal year on July 1 is lagging behind where we need it to be.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please consider joining your fellow readers with a donation to help make it all possible. Whether you can pitch in $5 or $500, it all matters.

If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate