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Friday, June 20, 2008

A Taxing Debate

The Tax Policy Center recently released their analysis of McCain's and Obama's tax plans, and the results are interesting. This chart from that study, via the Washington Post, is worth well more than a thousand words.

The difference between these two plans is made even more stark in light of their spending proposals. McCain supports an indefinte occupation of Iraq, with an option for another war in Iran, to the tune of about $150 billion dollars a year in direct costs and hundreds of billions more in indirect costs. McCain likes to say that he'll cut pork so furiously that he'll save $160 billion a year (sometimes he only says $65 billion), but that's just pie-in-the-sky. He's had to backtrack again and again about popular earmarks that he won't cut, like US aid to Israel (about $3 billion per year), and by the time he's done backtracking, he'll be left with a pittance of savings. There really just aren't that many bridges-to-nowhere.

So McCain is running for president as Bush ran for president. Offering massive tax cuts to the already-haves (Cost of McCain's tax cuts: $650 billion per year) and simultaneously large spending programs (Iraq war, for one...). McCain will then, like Bush, either disregard his campaign plans or he'll run massive deficits. It's been about 15 years now since Republicans could claim to be the party of fiscal responsibilty, and McCain is apparently intent on continuing that modern tradition of irresponsibility.

It's also worth pointing out that the manner and degree that George W Bush lied about his tax cuts during his campaign in 2000, and the way that the media treated the objective math as a he said/she said, was a harbinger of things to come. Let's see if our media has learned anything in the intervening 8 years.