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McCain Campaign on Tax Report: Yesterday Bad. Today Good. « The Washington Independent

Just an initial reaction to today’s McCain campaign conference call with reporters. There was some discussion about the Tax Policy Center analysis of the two campaigns’ competing tax plans, which found:

The two candidates’ plans would have sharply different distributional effects. Sen. McCain’s tax cuts would primarily benefit those with very high incomes, almost all of whom would receive large tax cuts that would, on average, raise their after-tax incomes by more than twice the average for all households. Many fewer households at the bottom of the income distribution would get tax cuts and those whose taxes fall would, on average, see their after-tax income rise much less. In marked contrast, Sen. Obama offers much larger tax breaks to low- and middle-income taxpayers and would increase taxes on high-income taxpayers. The largest tax cuts, as a share of income, would go to those at the bottom of the income distribution, while taxpayers with the highest income would see their taxes rise.

To be fair, the report does say that neither of the plans will really deliver everything they promise. However, Doug Holtz-Eakin, Sen. John McCain’s senior economic adviser, said this about the report yesterday:

"There was a widely discussed report put out yesterday by the Tax Policy Center which was really an incomplete analysis. At the heart of what’s missing in that analysis is the impact of the tax proposals of Sen. Obama, by raising taxes on small business, by keeping taxes high on our corporations [and] driving jobs offshore."

And:

"The Tax Policy Center makes some fundamentally unrealistic assumptions."

And:

"The analysis is incomplete. It’s got an enormous amount of holes and ought to be taken with a grain of salt." [emphasis added]

Here’s what McCain surrogate and former Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said today about the same report:

Yes. It certainly has.

And here’s Holtz-Eakin, speaking today:

Campaigning must have been a lot easier in the days before recording equipment…

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