New Obama Attack Hits McCain’s Old Tax Plan
After starting the week with a final “closing argument” speech on Monday, Sen. Barack Obama returns to his starting argument today, with an address again hammering his rival, Sen. John McCain, as the second coming of President George W. Bush.
The Obama campaign is circulating the Democratic nominee’s new remarks, which assail McCain for “doubling down” on Bush’s tax cuts. Obama spoke at morning rally in Chester, Pa., that drew 9,000 people.
In the closing days of this campaign, my opponent is trying to distance himself from the president he has faithfully supported 90 percent of the time. He’s supported four of the five Bush budgets that have taken us from the surpluses of the Clinton years to the largest deficits in history. John McCain has ridden shotgun as George Bush has driven our economy toward a cliff, and now he wants to take the wheel and step on the gas.
Putting aside the hyperbole in presidential campaigns, Obama is clearly arguing that McCain’s tax proposal continues the Bush approach. Consider:
Bush’s signature tax cuts were skewed toward the richest Americans; roughly 31 percent of the money went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. Yet under McCain’s two proposed tax cuts, a staggering 58 percent of the benefits go to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. That finding is from a report by James Kvaal and Robert Gordon, policy experts at the Center for American Progress, about the “Bush-McCain-Norquist Tax Agenda.” Tax activist Grover Norquist, a Republican insider, has crowed that McCain adopted his organization’s “entire agenda” of slashing the corporate tax rate, vetoing all tax hikes, extending the Bush tax cuts and abolishing the alternative minimum tax.
I wrote that in a policy appraisal in July, concluding: “McCain’s tax plan is so regressive that some liken it to a third term for President Bush. But that’s just not fair to Bush.” A new line in Obama’s speech hits this point:
When it comes to the issue of taxes, saying that John McCain is running for a third Bush term isn’t being fair to George W. Bush.
Politically, McCain’s plan is so regressive, it’s not fair to his own candidacy.