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Rendell Touts Obama's Tax Cuts in Pa.

By Jonathan Weisman
DOVER, N.H. -- Convinced John McCain's message on taxes is doing serious damage, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell activated his vaunted political machine today, sending a memo (PDF) to every elected Democrat in the Keystone State to get the word out that Barack Obama's plan would cut taxes for the middle class far more than McCain's.

In an interview, Rendell said the Obama campaign is beginning to push back successfully on McCain's character attacks, but the Republican's charge that Obama would raise middle-class taxes might be the more damaging line. The McCain ads are "just despicable," he said, "but nowhere are they lying more clearly than on the tax issue."

"I think we're losing the air war on this tax issue," Rendell said. "We have to win the ground war."

By Rendell's calculations, a family with income of $75,000 stands to receive just $125 from McCain's tax plan, through his expanded exemption for dependents. Under Obama's plan, that same family would receive a $1,000 refundable tax credit to offset payroll taxes, a net gain of about $1,600 for college tuition and $500 from his universal mortgage tax credit aimed at families that do not itemize their returns, for a total tax cut of $3,100.

Yet McCain has said over and over that Obama will raise taxes, a message believed by 51 percent of voters, according to the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. Rendell said the personal attacks should wash out of the electorate when undecided voters see Obama during the debates. But in a time of economic duress, the perception that Obama represents a threat to their income security will not be dislodged easily.

"We're striking back on a lot of the personal stuff as we should," Rendell said, "but as much as they put up he's raising your taxes, we should put up, they're lying."

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 12, 2008; 12:16 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Economy  
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Next: The Return of Jane Swift


This is the kind of serious discussion that the rest of the press SHOULD be doing.

I am on the fence about who to vote for and I tend to be a limited government guy and am skeptical about Obama's plan for the economy but I do want to know what he really plans.

He says he will lower taxes on the non wealthy but how much does that group even pay in taxes now? I thought the amount of federal taxes (and the president doesn't set what you pay in state taxes) paid by the non wealthy was minimal.

Also, if the wealthy wound up paying MORE to the government by having a lower rate (making more money and being taxed more often) then why does he want to raise taxes on them? Just to stick it to them? If the goal is to bring in as much revenue to the government as possible and that happens to be LOWER taxes on the wealthy then why mess with it? I don't get it.

Posted by: | September 14, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

hey terryw, can you post a source for your information?

Posted by: source | September 13, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and to the ethanol hater who hypothesizes that converting to switchgrass will suddenly replace all of our fields with weeds, kill us all, and increase emissions, you're wrong too. just read, please:

not to mention the new research on enzymes being done by Coskata and several US research universities that will enhance the use of waste cellulostic biomass for ethanol conversion Stop spreading propaganda and start posting verifiable facts. Now could we please get back to taxes and post information about energy policy in the relevant thread?

Posted by: plattform | September 13, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

terryd, you are simply retarded.

Obama has repeatedly said that the increase in capital gains taxes will only be implemented on couples earning $250+ and individuals making $200+, for everyone under, no change. Claiming that he has is not only untrue, it is based on false assumptions and stupidity, yes... biased idiocy. He is proposing to restore the 36 and 39.6% statutory income tax rates, and restore PEP and Pease phaseouts for households making more than $250,000. These are the facts and are completely verifiable at, a nonpartisan group. Notice, they cite the max cap gains tax as 20%, just as Obama cited in his O'Reilly interview aired this week. Not 28%, moron. Reeeeead.

Speaking of non-partisan groups, lets consult, shall we? Oh look what we have here, it appears you copy pasted your ENTIRE post from a bogus memo being circulated among your friends.

My guess is one of two things, either:

1) You're actually a very smart person who is actively pursuing articles about Obama's tax cut proposals and attempting to quickly abort (pun intended) their effectiveness with the commenters, or
2) You're really not too smart and will believe anything you read in your e-mail. In which case I'm guessing you make less than $200-250K and by voting McCain, you are actually shooting yourself in the foot. Smart move.

I am so sick of people claiming that Obama is going to suddenly SWITCH paths and tax the same people who he promised not to - it would mean instant defeat under reelection. He's not stupid. As for "paying down the deficit," neither Obama or McCain truly know which plan will have a greater impact, market forces are too volatile and unpredictable to know at this point. Each has their own team of economists, with their own macroeconomic formulas, equally rooted in practical theory. You are naive to presume that you know more than either, and to suggest that you do is not only misleading, but again, idiotic. Please, just stop masquerading as an armchair economist.

Both McCain and Obama will make arguments for and against raising the corporate tax rate and net tax for high wage earners. If you still believe McCain is credible after this week's advertisements and his oh so honest VP pick (who I happen to feel sorry for and would probably have admired if she had a little more time in the oven), then I have a bridge idea to sell you on in Ketchikan. Otherwise, do some actual research, go to the tax policy center's website and then figure out who is going to actually give you more money back in your paycheck.
My guess is it's Obama. Sorry to burst your bubble Terry. It's just a fact. Prove me otherwise, I'm waiting. And cite your sources, will you?

And to Julie F., stop worrying so much about the 95/5 percentage lingo, that is based on a method of interpreting the corporate tax rate. I agree Obama and the TPC settle on different numbers based on this, but both are EXPLICIT in regards to the real numbers. Check the tables yourself. It's not that hard.

Posted by: plattform | September 13, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Obama says he will raise taxes on anyone making over $250,000. Then he says he will raise it on the top 5%. These two groups don't even resemble eachother. Any family making $150,000 a year is well into the top 5%. Does he not know this? Which is it Obama? For a person who states that our GI's get FHA financing (in his 9/11 Columbia talk), who's out of touch? Here's a clue Obama, GI's get financing with a VA loan, not an FHA loan. Gawd!!!! And this man knows the economy?

Posted by: Julie F | September 13, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

LOL! It was that interview that convinced me that Palin/Mccain is NOT the way to go. Good Lord. No way do I feel comfortable with her as president. She is a lightweight making it up as it goes along. And McCain is a liar.

Charlie owned her on her earmarks and the "Bush Doctrine." And I can't believe she said she had foreign policy experience because she can see part of Russia from Alaska. What a joke!

Posted by: Marisa Lopez | September 13, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Did you all see Gov. Palin with "Charlie" on ABC News just now? Wow, That Ball is Still flying! I think she ripped the cover off of it!

Posted by: Scott | September 12, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Tax giveaways! These are not cuts. The Bush tax cuts are tax cuts. No wonder Obama is in trouble. It is too obvious.

Posted by: acarponzo | September 12, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm for Independence from Foreign Oil AND Against Global Warming- So, I CAN'T vote Democratic this year, because your candidate panders to his Illinois Farmers! (So, I don't know what you're talking about)

Obama's Gift to Illinois farmers-

(I thought he was for a REDUCTION in dependency on foreign oil- corn ethanol requires 1 unit of petroleum for every unit it replaces- the more we make, the more we need, the bigger the profits in Illinois and the warmer the planet gets)

Study: Ethanol may add to global warming
Updated 2/8/2008 5:52 PM
By H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — The widespread use of ethanol from corn could result in nearly twice the greenhouse gas emissions as the gasoline it would replace because of expected land-use changes, researchers concluded Thursday. The study challenges the rush to biofuels as a response to global warming.
The researchers said that past studies showing the benefits of ethanol in combating climate change have not taken into account almost certain changes in land use worldwide if ethanol from corn — and in the future from other feedstocks such as switchgrass — become a prized commodity.
"Using good cropland to expand biofuels will probably exacerbate global warming," concludes the study published in Science magazine.
=0 A
The researchers said that farmers under economic pressure to produce biofuels will increasingly "plow up more forest or grasslands," releasing much of the carbon formerly stored in plants and soils through decomposition or fires. Globally, more grasslands and forests will be converted to growing the crops to replace the loss of grains when U.S. farmers convert land to biofuels, the study said.
The Renewable Fuels Association, which represents ethanol producers, called the researchers' view of land-use changes "simplistic" and said the study "fails to put the issue in context."
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Congress | Princeton University | Thursday
"Assigning the blame for rainforest deforestation and grassland conversion to agriculture solely on the renewable fuels industry ignores key factors that play a greater role," said Bob Dinneen, the association's president.
There has been a rush to developing biofuels, especially ethanol from corn and cellulosic feedstock such as switchgrass and wood chips, as a substitute for gasoline. President Bush signed energy legislation in December that mandates a six-fold increase in ethanol use as a fuel to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022, calling the requirement key to weaning the nation from imported oil.
The new "green" fuel, whether made from corn or other feedstocks, has been widely promoted — both in Congress and by the White House — as a key to combating global warming. Burning it produces less carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, than the fossil fuels it will replace.
During the recent congressional debate over energy legislation, lawmakers frequently cited estimates that corn-based ethanol produces 20% less greenhouse gases in production, transportation and use than gasoline, and that cellulosic ethanol has an even greater benefit of 70% less emissions.
The study released Thursday by researchers affiliated with Princeton University and a number of other institutions maintains that these analyses "were one-sided" and counted the carbon benefits of using land for biofuels but not the carbon costs of diverting land from its existing uses.
"The other studies missed a key factor that everyone agrees should have been included, the land use changes that actually are going to increase greenhouse gas emissions," said Tim Searchinger, a research scholar at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and lead author of the study.
The study said that after taking into account expected worldwide land-use changes, corn-based ethanol, instead of reducing greenhouse gases by 20%, will increases it by 93% compared to using gasoline over a 30-year period. Biofuels from switchgrass, if they replace croplands and other carbon-absorbing lands, would result in 50% more greenhouse gas emissions, the researchers concluded.

Posted by: Scott | September 12, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Exactly HOW are we to pay off the Nation's debt - currently in the TRILLIONS, if we keep cutting the taxes with which we are to pay off this debt, and increasing "subsidies" that we don't have the money to pay for? I admire Senator Obama's intellegence, in that he was able to put himself through college on scholarships -- but it is abundantly clear that he rarely had to actually PAY for things himself - and he has come to the conclusion that the government should pay for everything everybody wants. We do not live in a socialist state, but that sure looks like the path Senator Obama wants to lead us down.

Posted by: knarahs | September 12, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm so tired of hearing about Obama's "tax cuts". You can't "cut" tax, if there is no tax. It's time to call them what they are- government giveaways.
Here's a partial list:
Making work pay- REFUNDABLE
Dependent care- increasing and REFUNDABLE
Savers credit- REFUNDABLE
Mortgage credit- REFUNDABLE
Earned income credit- currently maxed at 4,716- he wants to EXPAND

Posted by: incpa | September 12, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Please read the following before you make your decision on who you are
supporting. Don't forget to pass this on to anyone who can vote.

If you are 'HOPING' for 'CHANGE', this will do it.


0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples) McCain does not
propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

28% on profit from ALL home sales

How does this affect you?
If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain
on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to
down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the
money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will
adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from
their homes as part of their retirement income.


MCCAIN 15% (no change)

OBAMA 39.6%

How will this affect you?
If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds,
college funds, life insurance, retirement
accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now
be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama become
president. The experts predict that 'higher tax rates on dividends
and capital gains would crash the stock market yet do absolutely
nothing to cut the deficit.


MCCAIN (no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

(reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750

Under Obama your taxes will more than double!
How does this affect you? No explanation needed. This is pretty
straight forward.


MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)

OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax

How does this affect you? Many families have lost businesses, farms,
ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations
because they could not afford the inheritance tax.Those willing their
assets to loved ones will not only lose them to these taxes, they may
lose the whole asset.


* New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet
* New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already)
* Taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity)

* New taxes on retirement accounts
and last but not least....

* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same
level of medical care as other third-world countries!!

Posted by: terryw | September 12, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the enlighten effites can explain to me why Obama indicated he couldn't or wouldn't initiate his tax cuts immediately in this economy. It would seem if is tax cuts are so great for the economy he would do it immediately, he would have a very compliant congress and it would immediately be enacted. Does Barky know something about his tax cut policy that he's not sharing with the unelightened. There should be outrage on the left that he won't do it immediately.

Posted by: johs | September 12, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse


You have now "published" this info more than Gov. Palin ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 12, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

im not pro mccain but lets br honest obama wouldnt know a tax cut if it hit him in the face!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: boruch yona loriner | September 12, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Ever wonder why Mccain never talks about his son in Iraq? Not because he is being humble, it is because you never identify a solider, who they are with or where they are deployed. For prominent people like politicians it is even more important. It puts everyone in danger who a around that person. You saw the same thing with the prince in Britain they had to actually bring him home.

So now we had this ditz Palin doing a public event around her son and his whole group. Even publishing this:

Private 1st Class Track Palin, is being deployed with 4,000 soldiers of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division.

This woman doesn't even no the most basic thing about being in command of anything. So now that everyone has her sons picture and knows where he is going, what happens if we have a nice video of him having his head cut off on camera? Or his whole squad get killed as they are trying to kill or capture him? Think she will be sorry for being so stupid? I actually don't know what to say, this is just short of treason it is so stupid. What next, she is going to tell us where Mccains son is? Maybe some nice infor on our troop strengths and where they are. Good going Palin you pig, you don't have a F'n clue.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: KELLY | September 12, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I cant believe John McCAin last night admitted he was out of touch? What a gaff machine., watch clip.

Watch all of last nights debate forum

Posted by: pastor123 | September 12, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse


democrats supporting democrats fiscal planning is not convincing to the American people!

what a surprise!!!!!

Posted by: dale | September 12, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Nothing about the increased taxes under Obama's plan being passed on to American consumers?

Posted by: JakeD | September 12, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

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