John McCain likes to talk about how he will balance the budget. He also likes to tell those gathered to hear him speak that he will lower taxes, while Obama will raise them (h/t Salon).
"The choice in this election is stark and simple," McCain said at the Denver town hall. "Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won't. I will cut them where I can."So while his tax plan (who knew there was something to the right of Bush when it came to taxes?) may not be all that budget balancing, at least he's right about Obama raising taxes, isn't he? Well, not according to his own advisers-
But according to a respected, independent group of tax-policy experts, McCain’s plan would balloon the deficit and provide a windfall to the wealthy while affording only nominal relief to middle-class taxpayers. McCain has moved toward the Republican base on a handful of issues this campaign season, but his tax plan might actually shift the erstwhile deficit hawk to the right of the current president.
It's an old argument you already know — Republicans cut taxes, Democrats raise them. Except it's not true, at least not in the way that it seems. But don't take my word for it. Here is Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's chief economic policy adviser. "I used to say that Barack Obama raises taxes and John McCain cuts them, and I was convinced," he told me in a phone interview this week. "I stand corrected."
That's because the policies proposed by Obama are, unlike sound bites, actually complicated. He would raise taxes on those who make more than about $200,000, in some cases by significant amounts, through increases in taxes on capital gains, dividends and regular income. But Obama has also proposed a whole range of other tax cuts, for health care expenses, poor seniors, working people, homeowners, parents and even renewable energy. The net effect, according to experts in both campaigns and independent analysts, is a reduction in government revenue over 10 years. In other words, a tax cut.