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Posted at 7:09 PM ET, 10/28/2008

John McCain and the Middle Class

By Michael Dobbs


Campaigning in the rain.

"And 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... Not even George Bush proposed a plan that would leave out 100 million middle class families."
--Barack Obama, Chester, Pa., October 28, 2008

It has reached the stage of the "closing arguments." As he tries to clinch his case for a vote against John McCain on Nov. 4, Barack Obama repeats the claim that his rival's tax plan provides no benefit for "100 million middle class families." But where does the Land-of-Lincolner get his figures?

The Facts

The principal McCain tax cut for middle-income Americans is a doubling of the dependent exemption, from $3,500 to $7,000, to be phased in over the next decade. In other words, if you are a married couple with two children, you will eventually be able to subtract $14,000 from your income for tax purposes. Clearly, the doubling of the dependent exemption does not benefit taxpayers without children who they can claim on their tax forms. Nor does it benefit low-income families with zero tax liability.

According to the Tax Foundation, the doubling of the dependent exemption would have resulted in lower taxes on 26 million returns filed in 2004 -- out of a total of 132 million returns. Nearly 96 million tax filers would have seen no benefit, either because they had no dependents or because they had no tax liability. Projected forward to 2009, it is reasonable to claim that 100 million tax filers would see no benefit from McCain's promised dependent exemption.

Tax returns are not the same as "middle class families," however, whatever the Obama camp may claim. The 100 million tax filers includes single people, married couples without children, and married couples with children. In speeches around the country, Obama has used the terms "100 million Americans" and "100 million middle-class families" virtually interchangeably. It is misleading to suggest that the McCain plan will leave out "100 million families," unless you consider one person to be a family.

The Obama critique also skips over another important McCain tax proposal that does include "middle class Americans." The Arizona senator is proposing a $2,500 refundable health care tax credit for individuals ($5,000 for families) in return for abolishing the tax exclusion for employer-provided health benefits. According to the
nonpartisan Tax Policy Center
, this will result in a net gain of $1,559 to middle income tax filers in 2009, declining to $830 by 2018.

Obama aides argue that McCain's refundable health care tax credit does not represent real income for Americans because -- in the case of people who get their own coverage -- it is paid directly to the insurance companies. But this is beside the point. Whether paid in cash or in kind, it still represents a net benefit for millions of "middle class Americans," according to independent studies.

The Pinocchio Test

When Obama says that "100 million American families" will fail to benefit from the McCain tax plan, he is conveniently overlooking his rival's refundable health care tax credit and focusing exclusively on the increase in the dependent exemption. He is also blurring the distinction between "families" and "tax payer units." Definitions are vital in discussing the tax plans of the two candidates.

(About our rating scale).

By Michael Dobbs  | October 28, 2008; 7:09 PM ET
Categories:  3 Pinocchios, Barack Obama, Candidate Watch, Economy, Health  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama's Redistribution 'Bombshell'
Next: Palin and the Maybe Pipeline

Comments

McCain's & middle class is an egregious oxymoron... even for a plain moron.
"Income redistribution" -a.k.a. "marxism" among the brain-dead GOP campaigners- has been practiced by Bush II administration for 8 straight years in a row, taking the top income 1 % earners to own 25% total national income -2 times what it was at the end of Clinton's second term-. Hence, GOP-Bush were for all practical purposes, practicing "marxists" in favor of the rich echelon (let's call them "Hood Robins")
Obama's proposal of bringing them back to their original 39% under Clinton -yes, when we had 5.7 trillion-dollars surpluses and a growing economy- just makes common sense.
If you want a Xmas present for those earning 1 million + , just vote for McCain.

Posted by: mbernardez | October 28, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

why did you not take into account that McCain will also tax health benefits.

Posted by: puredemo | October 28, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see that the Fact Checker still checks out some of Obama's silly claims. There are many that are much worse, but I'll take what I can get.

If I'm not mistaken the tax cut that Obama promises is merely an extension of some of the Bush tax cuts. And Obama criticizes Bush all the time. Maybe praise is in order.

Has anybody, including the Fact Checker, noticed that when Obama refers to "the failed policies of the last eight years" in regard to the financial crisis, he's actually talking about policies that Bush and McCain OPPOSED and that Biden and Dodd SUPPORTED? That would be the Community Reinvestment Act and other measures to force banks to make bad loans. Obama supported them too, for the limited time that he's been a Senator.

Before the CRA, does anyone think that banks joined into an illegal conspiracy to LOSE money by denying creditworthy people mortgages? Logic tells you they didn't.

Voters, I suggest you pull the lever for the guy that at least tried to do the right thing, not the guy that deliberately got the policy wrong, and created a huge financial crisis for the rest of the nation.

Vote McCain. America would be better for it.

Posted by: angrydoug1 | October 28, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 28, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

puredemo, McCain would only "tax" health care benefits in the sense that he'd remove an exemption that big business has enjoyed since the Cold War. He would also enact some common sense reforms like allowing people to buy health care policies (which McCain alone would also subsidize) across state lines. Obama's for more of the same - favor Big Business, squelch small businesses and individual entrepeneurs.

You shouldn't have to find work at a big firm to get a good health care policy. Obama glosses over this in his phony concern for the middle class. McCain gets it.

mbernadez, the tax code became MORE progressive under Bush, not less as you suggest. Read up on it. The wealthiest 1% received a tax cut that was the smallest percentage of their income as any taxpayer group. The rich pay their share, take note:

http://cbo.gov/publications/collections/taxdistribution.cfm

The wealthiest, people like Warren Buffet, weren't hurt much by Clinton's top tax rate increase or helped much by Bush's top tax rate cut. But he WAS helped tremendously by Bill Clinton's capital gains tax cut. You haven't heard much about this because the MSM and liberal blogs don't like talking about it.

Check the facts, they make McCain look better all the time.

Posted by: angrydoug1 | October 28, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the $5000 is great for people who are currently uninsured, but I have a hard time believing that middle class families will come out ahead under McCain's plan.

Hey, I'll sell you a health plan for only $99 a month. The deductible is 90%, and we don't cover any hospital stay or operations, but we do drive a bus down to Tijuana every other week so you'll probably save a bunch of money over your existing plan. It's not like any other insurer will take you with your pre-existing conditions.

Incidentally, if you lost your home this year, we've just cut your property taxes by at least a thousand dollars a year! Congratulations!

Posted by: jl85 | October 28, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey FactChecker-
Can you use your political "clout" to get that LA Times tape released?

Posted by: CoolPillow | October 29, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I have this right, I get a tax credit of $5,000.00 but my company that pays $12,000 in insurance loses their tax exclusion. But if they stop paying my health insurance my 5000 is supposed to cover it?

The point that is not being talked about is that I'm supposed to get a 12,000 raise and pay my own insurance, except that 12k is taxed and the difference between McCains 5k and the taxes owed is the net gain of 1,559.00. What happens if I can't get individual coverage? What happens if my company decides not to give the 12k raise?

Posted by: KD11 | October 29, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Did everyone check out the sources described in this article?

Take a moment to check out the link to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Drill down to conclusions II, C.

Kent

Posted by: KD11 | October 29, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

McCain's health plan taxes health benefits and therefore discourages current employer plans.

The tax credits of $5000 per family will help young and healthy employees who do not need a medical plan. They will pocket the tax credit and forgo the coverage.

The McCain Plan fails once the young reach middle age and start to worry about their health. The $5000 tax credit the McCain Plan offers is considerably less than the $12000 it costs for any decent employer plan. Without employer plans, the average middle age and older employee will end up spending far more on health care than the $5000 tax credit.

The McCain Plan is intended to cap medical costs. How else does one pay for tax breaks for the richest one percent of families in the United States?

Posted by: OscarMayer2 | October 29, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Confusing tax filers with families is surely an error. It seems like an inattentive conflation of concepts.

Still, the point does not lose much steam when you clarify that it is 100 million tax filers, not families, that will receive no benefit from the increased exemption. As you say, there are 132 million returns filed so 100 (96 really) out of 132 receive no benefit. The basic point -- that only a small minority will benefit -- holds.

Posted by: nodebris | October 29, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Its not that hard but Fact Check gets it wrong. If you have an employer sponsored health plan for you and your family, your employer is paying about 10K to insure you. The realized cost of insuring you is obviously higher because of the co-pay on visits and prescriptions.

Now mccain wants to give you 5k but take away your employer's tax exclusion. The net result is that your employer will drop your health coverage and you are stuck with less than half of what it is going to cost you for insurance. Recall that bush tried to promote this very scheme and was laughed out of congress.

Posted by: HopingForABetterWorld | October 29, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Just one problem with claiming that the Bush administration redistributed wealth to the top- the Government didn't give them that money, they earned it. The Government just didn't take as much of it away from them. That's an important difference, as those lower down on the food chain will discover when Obama's socialist utopia runs into financial reality and more and more petty expropriators will have to be expropriated along with the grand ones at the top.

Posted by: billmosby | October 29, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

My employer's good family healthcare plan in rural MASS costs over $2200/mo. Thats over $25K per year.

So, under McC's plan I'll pay income taxes and my employer will pay FICA taxes on the $25K. Assuming a 30% tax rate, it looks like I'll pay $7500 in income taxes and my employer will pay just under $2K in FICA taxes. I'll get a $5K tax credit and net $2500 after paying the taxes. And my employer will be out another $2K.

And if the young people leave the plan, to take their $2500 credit elsewhere, my $2200 premium is likely to go up even more.

I'm not seeing how this works for an average worker like me.


Posted by: klooutlaw | October 29, 2008 6:07 AM | Report abuse

My employer's good family healthcare plan in rural MASS costs over $2200/mo. Thats over $25K per year.

So, under McC's plan I'll pay income taxes and my employer will pay FICA taxes on the $25K. Assuming a 30% tax rate, it looks like I'll pay $7500 in income taxes and my employer will pay just under $2K in FICA taxes. I'll get a $5K tax credit and net $2500 after paying the taxes. And my employer will be out another $2K.

And if the young people leave the plan, to take their $2500 credit elsewhere, my $2200 premium is likely to go up even more.

I'm not seeing how this works for an average worker like me.


Posted by: klooutlaw | October 29, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

klooutlaw, a big difference is that the health care market would become competetive if McCain is elected. Premiums would fall for individuals. Think like a health care company for a minute, do you compete for the business of one family at a time, or for thousands of families in one big company?

One other thing most people posting here are missing is that an employer paying $12k a year for your health care could pay you more (I think $12k more, pre-tax) in SALARY if they didn't provide the coverage. That, plus the McCain health plan $5k credit, plus the benefits of a competetive health care market, make the middle class and everyone else better off.

Another hidden benefit to the McCain plan is that you don't have to seek work at a large firm in order to get good health care at a good price. And changing jobs doesn't mean you change health plans.

Posted by: angrydoug1 | October 29, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

The only problem with McCains message is simple. It created to appeal only to ignorant folks who have no understanding of basic math, let alone tax law.

Anyone who really takes some time to look at what he offers can see it amounts to each and every middle class person paying more of the burden then Obama's plan ask for.

McCain and his party think it is ok to ROB the American people. And the only Americans that cannot see that are either, jaided by race, religion, or outright stupidity!

Posted by: vicbennettnet | October 29, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

KD11-

You miss the point of McCain's plan. That $12k to insure you would never be taxable to the employer. The employer would deduct it as a business expense. It would, however, be additional taxable income to the employee, but would be offset by the tax credit.

For example, say you make $50k. Your employer can offer you the same health plan you have right now and take the same tax deduction they do right now. Under McCain's plan, your taxable income would increase to $62k. At the 25% tax bracket, you'd owe an extra $3k in taxes. Then, you'd take the $5k tax credit, so you'd actually save $2k on your taxes, overall. That $2k could go into your HSA, and you'd be good to go.

My first reaction to McCain's plan was, "Oh god does this stinks like feces." But the more I think about it, it's much better than the Obama plan.

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | October 29, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

So, was this supposed to be two, or three, Pinocchios?

Posted by: JakeD | October 29, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

You don't really know what McCain's plan will be. His record on kumping around from one thing to another is breathtaking. Steady at the helm he is not.

If I were insurance compaines, I would do what many other companies do when faced with a virtual monopoly of services: I would keep prices high. McCain's assertion that "competition" will drive down prices is dumb. Increased demand increases prices, not the other way around. A drop in demand decreases prices. Duh.

Posted by: lkbbm | October 29, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

YES, I'M A BAD AMERICAN

I Am the Liberal-Progressives Worst Nightmare.

I am an American.

I am a full-time employee and believe in God.

I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles and believe in American products.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some Liberal governmental functionary be it Democratic or Republican!

I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!

I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer, it makes you a smart American.

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything. Get over it!

I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac, do it in English.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.

My heroes are John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.

I've never owned a slave, or was a slave, I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks and neither have you! So, shut up already.

I believe if you don't like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and change your own country! This is AMERICA ..

We like it the way it is!

If you were born here and don't like it you are free to move to any Socialist country that will have you.

I want to know which church is it exactly where the Reverend Jesse Jackson preaches, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution.

Can I get an AMEN on that one?

I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are.

And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my driver’s license.

I think it's good.... And I'm proud that 'God' is written on my money.

I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.

I believe the president of the United States should put his hand over his heart and say the pledge of allegiance and should have no reservations about wearing American flag pins on his lapel.

I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me stuff or trying to guilt me into making 'donations' to their cause. Get a Job and do your part!

I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents.

I believe 'illegal' is illegal no matter what the lawyers think.

I believe the American flag should be the only one allowed in AMERICA !

If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.

If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know.

We want our country back!

We NEED GOD BACK IN OUR COUNTRY!

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE,

ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

Posted by: jumland | October 29, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I see it as a real positive that the Democrats will potentially control both the ledislative and the executive branch of govt. The we can finally get something done. If they fail to get things done - they will have no excuse. Or, if their ideas do not rebuild the country, then we will know and can discard them. THing is, what we have now is a dismal failure of the political system. Time to throw the bums out and start anew.

Posted by: lkbbm | October 29, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

jumland - you forgot your prozac this morning.

Posted by: lkbbm | October 29, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I have been in the individual insurance market, and I can report that there is no way to buy decent individual or family insurance for $2500 or 5k per year. The policies I could get for that had deductibles that were close to $5k, so I am out the $200-300/ month premium, or about $24-3600/year for a crappy (no preventative care, etc.) insurance. How is that a benefit? I am about 50 with no preexisting conditions. If I were a diabetic or had another chronic condition, I couldn't even find a policy. There is no guarantee that my employer would give me my health insurance premium as extra salary. If I were to be on my spouse's insurance, I wouldn't get the premium my company would have paid for my coverage. I asked and they said no way.

Obama's plan has flaws, but at least it is moving in a reasonable direction.

McCain wants health care to be a commodity to be balanced against buying food, shelter, saving for retirement, etc. Since people can't save now for anything (as evidenced by the almost 0 savings rate in the US), health care would come down to going to the emergency room when conditions become acute, the least efficient way to distribute health care. We pay significantly more than any other modern economy for inferior health care. McCain would only make this situation worse.

Posted by: srw3 | October 29, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

McCain vs. Obama: Which Candidate Can You Afford? How Could the Next President Affect Your Financial Plan?

Voyant:

http://www.planwithvoyant.com

I am loving this tool. I created a better plan than my financial planner gave me. I fired him. I’m done with paper financial plans.

Posted by: JimTallby74 | October 29, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

srw3, I agree. I have had medical care in four other countries on the planet, and in other countries it is available to everyone. although we have health care with all the bells and whistles, it isn't available to everyone. If you believe, as I do, that access to basic healthcare is a right, then the govt should be finding a way for every citizen to have access to basic medical care. Some jobs are just so big that only the govt can do them, like roads, bridges, and health care.

Posted by: lkbbm | October 29, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

What if things were switched around?

Would the red states collective point of view be different?

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, following the debate, including a three month-old infant, and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his almost 900 person college graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair with her while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?
(The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama could not remember a question for more than 15 seconds unless he writes it down?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven airplanes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to publicly display a serious anger management problem?

You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected a reality, if the tables were turned, do you really believe the election numbers would still be as close as they are?

And, think of this - the candidates' educational backgrounds:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a
Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. History and B.A. Political Science
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D)

John McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho – 2 semesters – journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College – 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism
9 semesters for a BA?

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land, two of the most complex jobs, as well as our standing in the world.

You make the call.

Posted by: gap378 | October 29, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

How can John Mc Cain relate to the Middle Class when his example of one is this imposter "JOE"?The worst part of this "JOE THE NON-PLUMBER, PLUMBER" is the fact that he can't even vote. He's a tax evader and he has a warrant out for something he did, which is called breaking the law. I find it very insulting that McCain is using this person as the " All American Working Class Guy" as an example when he (JOE) hasn't lifted a finger for the past 20 months as far as campaigning for any candidate and now he wants to dictate what right for Middle Class America!!! How dare John McCain, Sarah Palin and "JOE THE NON-PLUMBER-PLUMBER insult the intelligence of the American people!!!!

Posted by: Missmarilyn | October 29, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Missmarilyn, are you sure that people with warrants can't vote? Better not tell that to half of Obama's voters.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It completely escapes me how the Republicans can look in a mirror after claiming that Obama is socialist or communist for wanting to "spread the wealth". Great sound bite but hasn't that always been our economy? Republicans believe the wealthy deserve more tax breaks because they are going to then rush out and start companies that hire thousands providing benefits - it is referred to as "trickle down" (spreading the wealth downward). In all my years working in corporate America have yet to see that happen. Sure the wealthy buy stuff -- a yacht, a plane, 3-4 (or 7) homes and yes that means they hire a staff but that's it. Spreading the wealth downward is slow and in drips. While it is far from perfect Obama intends to make it easier for MIDDLE-CLASS (not rich, not those on welfare but working Americans) to get a tax break. They will take that money to buy clothes for the kids, a new car, take a vacation, go out and eat, hire a plumber instead of fixing it themselves -- in other words spreading the wealth among the MIDDLE CLASS. I've given up all luxuries and even some general stuff -- no extra $$$ -- according to calculations I should have at least $900 more in my pocket next year. I can maybe buy a new LCD TV instead of using the converter kit or buy a new sofa since the old one is pretty ratty. I've needed these things for 4-5 years but not been able to afford extra. So who should I vote for? There is only "that one".

Posted by: Lemon722 | October 29, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Lemon: You have to make the decision, but I for one am voting for McCain and for the simple fact of his experience and patriotism far out weighs what Obama has done. I would rather hire someone who has experience then someone who just came out of college because they still have to learn how to do the job. We can't afford to have Obama learn as he goes because being President is not about trial and error which I feel he will do plenty of. A tax break of only a few hundred dollars is nothing especially once a year because most middle class people spend that in a week with all the bills that continually build up. This isn't about who is going to give us a measily payout through taxes, it's about America and having a strong leader which Obama is not. I wonder where he gets his millions and to spend millions just to have an half an hour on TV to preach to people is worthless. Maybe he should start giving that money to the poor rather then spending it on himself and HIS agenda.

Posted by: jumland | October 29, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Why do I feel that McCain's health plan was written by health insurance companies? The "tax credit" is sent directly to the insurance company, isn't it?

What about people on Medicare? Do they get the credit sent directly to the government? Will that allow individuals to get supplemental and drug insurance?

Doubling the child deduction is nice if you have kids, but what benefits would be available to those without children? Don't we get something after the Republican's brought in the Child Tax Credit?

Posted by: KHMJr | October 29, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS for OBAMA


OBAMA BIDEN 08...!!!


NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Posted by: fu_buki | October 29, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA BIDEN 08...!!!


NETHERLANDS ANTILLES

Posted by: fu_buki | October 29, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

angrydoug1 -

What happens when companies DON'T raise salary $12K to compensate? You really think companies will? You must be one of those Republicans that thinks all regulation is bad and that all taxes should be outlawed. Why? Because all we have to do is borrow from our economic competitors like China and let someone else pay for it!!

Posted by: VeloStrummer | October 29, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama already broke a promise when he declined money for his campaigne and has now raised more money then Kerry/Bush combined in 2004. Where did he get 600 million plus dollars? If you think it's the American public gave it to him think again because we are in a recession right now and no one has that kind of money to give away and especially African Americans. If you lie once you will most certainly do it again as we have seen with the Bush Presidency.

Posted by: jumland | October 29, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

McCain's health care credit isn't part of his tax plan, it is a separte health plan initiative that would be dead on arrival as it is designed to destroy the employer based health insurance without providing sufficient credits to add any appreciable decrease in the uninsured. The article completley ignores the fact that any benefit from the credit will be off-set, in the long run, by the elimination of employer exemption of haelth benefits from employees salaries.

As to the difference between "families' and "taxpayer units," that is idiotic. Many single people, particularly single women, are living hand to mouth and need a tax break as much as families with children.

Posted by: dcwsano | October 29, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

pelosi and reid will set the agenda and obamasuit will just sign any law they want into law...
but America will get what they deserve and they deserve having leaders that walked out on vacation when America needed them most when gasoline was hitting 5 dollars a gallon, which will return when the pass the new gas tax...the dems don't think you were hurting...

Posted by: DwightHCollins | October 29, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Want to know how much you're going to save under Obama's tax plan? Go here to find out: www.taxcutfacts.org.

Meanwhile, McCain will tax your employer health benefits you receive as if those benefits were CASH. So, you'll have to pay your tax bracket for your health benefits as if you were receiving money, yet you aren't, you get your benefits from your employer, but you are not given money for them. So McCain will tax you. You'll pay MORE taxes under McCain. McCain will kill the middle class.

Do yourselves a favor, McCain supporters, and read up on this. You'd be shooting yourself in the foot to vote for McCain. That is if you really care about taxes. Perhaps most of you are just bigots.

Posted by: Russell4America | October 29, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

If you lie once you will most certainly do it again as we have seen with the Bush Presidency.
Posted by: jumland | October 29, 2008 5:22 PM

So then, jumland, in no way would you be able to vote for McCain since all he's done is lie lie lie about everything. Right? No vote for the liar, McCain; correct?

Posted by: Russell4America | October 29, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Missmarilyn, are you sure that people with warrants can't vote? Better not tell that to half of Obama's voters.
Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 29, 2008 12:30 PM

In case anyone is interested in seeing who will be voting for McCain, look no further than the post above. Bigots, all of them. Hateful bigots who seek to turn back the hands of time to the days of slavery. A shameful, anti-American, unpatriotic bunch.

Posted by: Russell4America | October 29, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be one HUGE flaw in McCain's health care plan that no one mentions. The gains to workers are based on assumption that if employers decide to stop offering health care under McCain's plan then they will give employees raises that are comparable to the amount these companies pay into their health plans.

That seems like a big assumption. It seems just as likely, if not more likely, that employers will stop offering health plans and pocket the savings; leaving their employees with the same income and a $5000 credit towards a $14000 health care bill.

If we don't assume employers are going to be uncharacteristically altruistic, then the average family is out $9000. I suppose this doesn't bother McCain so much as the average company will make $14,000 minus the taxes they would pay under the McCain's plan.

This is standard GOP policy. Money goes from middle class Americans into corporate pockets.

Posted by: zosima | October 29, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

The whole idea of insurance is that if you spread risk among a large group of people, the cost of protecting against that risk declines for each person covered. That's why ship owners banded together from mutual self-interest to form Lloyd's of London several centuries ago.

By definition, the larger the pool, the lower the cost to each person in the pool. The most efficient insurance, and thus the best for an insured person, is the largest possible pool, so risk is spread among as many participants as possible. With health insurance, it's especially important that the pool include all ages, so that, essentially, the healthy young subsidize the aged and infirm in return for being so protected themselves someday.

But that's not the way our free market system has worked out.

That's because an ideal situation for an Insurer who seeks profit would be a pool of insured that presents no risk. So that's what for-profit insurers are shooting for. Best case, if they're good at limiting the pool, then rates are very low for a select pool of insured who don't need insurance anyway, and the money that the Insurer collects from them for the protection that none of them will ever need is All Profit.

But that leaves a lot of people uninsured: The folks most likely to benefit from insurance. In fact, it leaves the nightmare scenario for both the Insurer and the Insured: a pool of only the most risky people, which guarantees that everyone is going to wind up spending the maximum amount. It's almost like not having insurance at all, but just paying full price for everything. That's the pool the government gets stuck with (Medicare, Medicaid), because free-market insurers don't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole if they and their lobbyists can help it. It reduces their profit. Not *eliminates* their profit, mind you. It's just that risky people *reduce* their profit.

Insurance will not get fixed and costs will stay unreasonably high until there is a small number of very large pools that include all risk profiles. The lowest cost health insurance, in fact, would be a single pool that spread all risk equally over everyone. But if that's too scary, it is still more efficient to have the smallest possible number of very large pools, as long as the participants of each pool represent the population at large and not some cherry-picked sub-segment of it.

Some people may call this "spreading the money around" and "socialism." But it's the founding concept behind the very capitalistic institution of insurance.

More importantly, whatever the hell you call it, it works.

Posted by: nodebris | October 30, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

The fact the economy is a worry on everyones mind should we really trust what the canidates are telling us about their tax policies. Hanlon has been bashing McCain for the last couple weeks but now he starts an attack on Obama's tax plan. It also has links to a tax caluclator that would show you how much your family would be effected. Interesting read.

http://www.greenfaucet.com/hanlons-pub/dueling-obama-tax-calculators/91256

Posted by: macebruce | October 30, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

A question of perspective :Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around? Think about it. Would the country's collective point of view be different? Could racism be the culprit?

Ponder the following: What if the Obama’s had paraded five children across the stage, including a three-month-old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter? What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?• What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?• What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?• What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?• What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married? • What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to painkillers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?• What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?• What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were 5 US Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)• What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?• What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?• What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?• What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?• What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?• What if the Obama’s had adopted a white child?• You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are? This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

EDUCATION BACKGROUND:• Barack Obama: Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations. * Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude / Joseph Biden: *University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science. *Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.) vs. • John McCain: *United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899 / Sarah Palin: * Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester *North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study * University of Idaho - 2 semesters – journalism *Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester *University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism.

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.

Posted by: moosedog66 | October 30, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Isn't 37thandOstreet violating the terms of service by spamming the comments to advertise his boring, amateurish blog?

Posted by: zosima | October 31, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Nor does it benefit low-income families with zero tax liability." What the heck, they don't pay anything into the system as it is. Should we give them money for just being there and breathing? Great post from the illuminati elitists.

Posted by: mdrew378 | November 2, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

We all will decide on our own - but since knowledge is power, I am passing this along...

A question of perspective :
Obama/Biden v.s. McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around?..... think about it. Would the country's collective point of view be different? Could racism be the culprit? Ponder the following:

• What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three-month-old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
• What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
• What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
• What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
• What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
• What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?
• What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to painkillers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
• What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
• What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)
• What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
• What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?
• What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashi ng seven planes?
• What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?
• What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?
• What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?
• You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

Educational Background:
• Barack Obama:
o Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
o Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude
• Joseph Biden:
o University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
o Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

vs.

• John McCain:
o United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

• Sarah Palin:
o Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
o North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
o University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
o Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
o University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.

Posted by: moosedog66 | November 3, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

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