Tonight in Seattle:  

Even Business Week thinks Obama's tax plan is better

I don't know about you, but I have several very right-wing relatives. Mention Obama to them and -- when they're not raging about how he's a Muslim terrorist in disguise -- they will usually say something like, "He's going to tax tax tax us all!" McCain has drilled that message home as a campaign point. And since I was a communications major, not an economics one, I don't always have the ammunition to counter.

Today I do.

And it's from the highly centralist and respected Business Week, which is not one of the websites I typically hit in my ritual morning perusal of the world wide web. But since it's election season, I read (and must say, enjoyed) this article in today's Business Week, comparing the McCain and Obama tax plans.

Guess whose plan Business Week favors? Obama's.

Here are some great excerpts from the article to help fuel your next dinnertime political debate with those right-wing relations.

According to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint venture between the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, two Washington think tanks, this round goes to Obama. The TPC took a look at the various tax proposals put forth by the two candidates and estimated that Obama's plan would lead to a boost in aftertax income for all but the highest earners, while taking a smaller bite out of government tax revenues than would McCain's plans. 

This zinger would also follow "please pass the mashed potatoes" nicely:

"It's just flat wrong" to say people would do worse under Obama, says Burman. "Most lower- and middle-class people would pay less taxes under Obama than they would under the proposals being put forth by McCain." 

But wait! There's more! Here's more about how Obama will lower taxes while increasing incoming revenue to the government:

Obama still comes out well ahead. Indeed, when compared with current tax policy, his proposals would actually increase revenues coming into government coffers. Although he has promised tax cuts to many middle- and working-class families, along with the elderly, the TPC concludes that those cuts would be offset by his plans to increase taxes on high-income families and to close corporate tax loopholes. Together, those moves would bring an estimated additional $734 billion to the Treasury over 10 years, according to the Tax Policy Center study. 

And it's McCain with the tax FAIL:

McCain's proposed tax changes would still leave the Treasury coming up short. According to the study, McCain's combined proposals would slash tax revenues by an estimated $253 billion over the 10-year period compared with what would come in under current tax policy. 

Even your conservative Uncle can't argue with Business Week, right?

Unfortunately, those prone to defend the GOP can always find a way to do so. For example:

"It plainly says here that Obama would raise taxes by $734 billion and McCain would reduce them by $253 billion! Damn ultra-liberal!"

Michael, you scare me. :)

The truly scary thing is that somewhere, someone is most likely saying exactly that. Unsarcastically. And it's probably Sean Hannity.

That's why you scared me -- you made it look so effortless!

This article in the NY Times is a good read regarding Democrats and improved financial times. In case you don't have an account with the NYT, here's an excerpt:

Simply put, the United States economy has grown faster, on average, under Democratic presidents than under Republicans.

The stark contrast between the whiz-bang Clinton years and the dreary Bush years is familiar because it is so recent. But while it is extreme, it is not atypical. Data for the whole period from 1948 to 2007, during which Republicans occupied the White House for 34 years and Democrats for 26, show average annual growth of real gross national product of 1.64 percent per capita under Republican presidents versus 2.78 percent under Democrats.

That 1.14-point difference, if maintained for eight years, would yield 9.33 percent more income per person, which is a lot more than almost anyone can expect from a tax cut.

Phew. I need to go home and listen to some new CDs and stop reading so much political news before my brain explodes.

Much as I love my conservative friends, I do not believe most of them belong to the reality-based community. They are always arguing fantasies -- that is, ideologies -- rather than facts.

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