Who’s Offering the Bigger Cut?
ISSUE GUIDE - Taxes
The Candidates’ Tax Plans at a Glance
John McCain would maintain the Bush tax cuts on income and investment for all tax
brackets, and he proposes other measures to lower individual tax bills --including a
drastic retrenchment on the estate tax. He also proposes banning taxes on e-commerce
and communication. Corporations would also see a big tax cut, plus credits designed to
encourage investment and R&D. But he would also close special-interest loopholes and
find other ways to expand the corporate tax base.
Barack Obama proposes a bevy of income tax cuts and credits for middle- and working
class individuals, while repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and raising
other taxes, including on capital gains and dividend income, that largely affect them. Big
businesses would find it harder to shelter income in tax havens and lose other loopholes,
but start-ups would be exempt from capital gains taxes. All firms would be encouraged to
invest in R&D.
ISSUE GUIDE - Taxes
The McCain Agenda, in Detail
While very few Americans would actually pay more taxes under John McCain, not
everybody would see a tax cut, particularly at the outset. He would maintain the Bush tax
cuts that are due to sunset in 2011, including the low rates on capital gains and dividends.
He would gradually increase the exemption for dependents from $3,500 to $7,000. (Low-
income married couples could take advantage of the bigger exemption immediately.) And
-- depending on whether you ask the candidate or his advisers -- he would either repeal or
permanently fix the Alternative Minimum Tax to keep it from reaching deep into the middle
class. Finally, he would greatly reduce the estate tax, carving out a $10 million exemption
and limiting the levy on the excess to just 15 percent.
McCain would also ban taxes on online sales, and would act in advance to prohibit taxes
on cell phone calls and text messages. He wo