Thursday, September 4, 2008

Leaving 100 Million Families Behind

More confirmation that McCain's tax plan offers nothing to about 100 million families. Here's hoping that like Sarah Palin's speech, Martin Feldstein and John Taylor's misleading op ed was written for them. Jeanne Sahadi of CNNMoney writes:

Obama gets to his "more than 100 million" charge primarily from an analysis that two Harvard researchers did for the campaign. They examined 2004 tax return data from the IRS and estimated that 101 million tax returns would not benefit from the increase to the exemption in 2009. That represents more than 140 million people. The Obama campaign claims that number is actually low because the data did not include non-filers.

The Tax Foundation, a group unaffiliated with the Obama campaign, reached a similar conclusion.


The bottom line: It's not fair to say that McCain's dependent exemption proposal is his "only middle-class tax cut." But Obama's claim that "more than 100 million Americans" will be left out of tax relief under McCain seems to be in the ballpark.

When the Tax Policy Center, which has analyzed both candidates' tax plans, considered McCain's proposals as a whole minus his health care plan, it estimated that 66 million tax "units" - or 78 million people - would still not see tax relief next year. Add their kids and Cousin Itt (sic?) upstairs, and you get closer to that 100 million number Obama touts.

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