08 Sep Obama vs. McCain -- 57 days to go. It's the economy, stupid.

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Political IssuesOver the weekend, Senator Obama observed, "They must think you're stupid. . . if you think they are suddenly change agents . . . after voting with George Bush 90% of the time over the past 8 years."

If we are going to make an intelligent choice, the issues that are important should drive our choices. So, let's start with the issues that are most important to everyone. Your issues probably look the same as these. Topping everything by a wide margin is the Economy.

The most immediate economic impact of changes that are proposed by both candidates is how your personal imcome will be impacted. Cutting through the hype is an analysis by THE TAX POLICY CENTER -- Urban Institute and Brookings Institute. Below is an excerpt from the executive summary of how each proposed plan will impact you.

The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's tax plan would benefit middle-income taxpayers more than McCain's. However, Obama would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year also would see taxes rise.

The Obama plan would reduce taxes for low- and moderate-income families, but raise them significantly for high-bracket taxpayers (see Figure 2). By 2012, middle-income taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise by about 5 percent, or nearly $2,200 annually. Those in the top 1 percent would face a $19,000 average tax increase-a 1.5 percent reduction in after-tax income.

McCain would lift after-tax incomes an average of about 3 percent, or $1,400 annually, for middle-income taxpayers by 2012. But, in sharp contrast to Obama, he would cut taxes for those in the top 1% by more than $125,000, raising their after-tax income an average 9.5 percent.

Obama has proposed raising the payroll tax for those earning over $250,000. Again, he has not provided details, but TPC assumes this would be a 2 percent income tax surcharge on adjusted gross income above $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for others and an additional 2 percent payroll tax for employers on each worker's earnings above those levels. Such a plan would increase taxes on high-income workers by nearly $400 billion over a decade.

Download a PDF of the comlete executive summary here:
Last modified on Sunday, 02 October 2016 23:55