CNBC Interview: Obama Would Raise Taxes on Investors, Cut Taxes for Some

March 27, 2008

The Politico has posted a transcript of a CNBC interview that Barack Obama did with Maria Bartiromo. In it, he talks about how he feels it is proper tax policy to raise taxes on capital gains, while cutting taxes for targeted groups like seniors and low-income homeowners. Here’s an excerpt of the interview:

BARTIROMO: How do you plan to change the tax code when it comes to capital gains? How high will that 15 percent rate go?

Sen. OBAMA: Well, you know, I haven’t given a firm number. Here’s my belief, that we can’t go back to some of the, you know, confiscatory rates that existed in the past that distorted sound economics. And I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton, which was the 28 percent. I would–and my guess would be it would be significantly lower than that. I think that we can have a capital gains rate that is higher than 15 percent. If it–and if it, you know–when I talk to people like Warren Buffet or others and I ask them, you know, what’s–how much of a difference is it going to be if it’s 20 or 25 percent, they say, look, if it’s within that range then it’s not going to distort, I think, economic decision making. On the other hand, what it will also do is first of all help out the federal treasury, which is running a credit card up with the bank of China and other countries. What it will also do, I think, is allow us to make investments in basic scientific research, in infrastructure, in broadband lines, in green energy and will allow us to give us–give some relief to middle class and working class families who have been driving this economy as consumers but have been doing it through credit cards and home equity loans. They’re not going to be able to do that. And if we want the economy to continue to go strong, then we’ve got to make sure that they’re getting a little relief as well.


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