Obama Lets Part of Bush Tax Cuts Expire; McCain Lets Virtually None Expire

October 29, 2008

Today at NRO, Mark Levin has a brief post that is designed to link to an American Thinker piece that contains all sorts of calculation errors about Obama's tax proposals. Here's what Levin says:

We too often ignore the fact that Obama's policies would allow the Bush tax cuts to lapse, which would significantly increase taxes on individuals earning $25,000, $50,000, and $75,000 a year. And his plan to lift the cap on Social Security taxes will directly increase taxes on individuals earning far less than $250,000 a year. Moreover, Obama's tax increase on capital gains will ensnare many who are "middle class" income-earners. Obama intends to tax the heck out of everyone, including the "middle class." Here's a very good, common sense piece from the American Thinker.

Obama's income tax plan is relatively clear. There are only a few parts of the Bush tax cuts that are not extended under Obama. They include: reducing of the top two rates (33 goes to 36 and 35 to 39.6), PEP/Pease reinstated, lower rates on cap gains and dividends (Obama pushes them from 15 to 20), and the estate tax (Obama brings it back as does McCain albeit at a lower level than it is set to be in 2011). Except for the estate tax, McCain basically extends the Bush tax cuts 2010 law going forward.

Somebody earning $50,000 would not face a direct tax hike under Obama's tax plan as stated by his advisers. They would likely receive a tax cut given Obama's proposed credits, although it's basically just a handout. (There are lots of tax cuts that are just handouts and really no different than government spending.) If you want to argue that the higher rates on those at the top will reduce investment and thereby have trickle-down effects on those in the middle, you can argue that. But it's still likely that Obama's plan would on net reduce the tax burden of a person making $50,000 when you balance the lower wages due to higher taxes on investment of those at the top and the tax cut/handout the person is receiving in the form of a tax credit from Obama's plan.

I mean, isn't this "sharing the wealth" what the McCain campaign has been saying for the past three weeks? You can't deny that somebody is getting it.

Was this page helpful to you?


Thank You!

The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?

Contribute to the Tax Foundation

Related Articles