Comparing the McCain and Obama Tax Proposals – Who Gets the D and Who Gets the F!

BlogLand has come up with two very similar and very fair and balanced comparisons. Both rely on some very good analysis from the Tax Policy Center. Ladies first as in Economist Mom:

The Tax Policy Center just updated their estimates of the cost of the Obama and McCain tax plans–estimates that show that the Obama tax proposals would reduce revenues by $2.7 trillion over ten years (same as their previous estimate), while the McCain tax proposals would reduce revenues by $3.6 trillion over ten years (slightly lower than previous $3.7 trillion). As I’ve pointed out before, these are the revenue loss amounts compared with the official CBO baseline under current law, and as such, these are the revenue losses that matter if one is determined to comply with the pay-go rules … So in aggregate, at least in terms of tax cuts, McCain loves taxpayers (even) more than Bush loves taxpayers, and Bush loves taxpayers more than Obama loves taxpayers. All of them are not so fond of our children and grandchildren though, because they’re all willing to have our children and grandchildren (aka future taxpayers) pay for all that love they’re willing to give to us current taxpayers. But how much the candidates love you, in particular, depends a great deal on how “rich”, or not, you are. With his tax cuts, Senator Obama loves those who are not so rich a lot more than he loves those who are. Senator McCain, on the other hand, really loves the really rich. In fact, with his tax cuts, Senator McCain loves the really rich even more than President Bush has loved them.

Paul Krugman is quite succinct:

The key point, again: because of all those middle-class tax cuts in the Obama plan, he collects only 0.4% of GDP more in taxes than McCain. The tax collection comes from different people: lower and middle-income Americans would be substantially better off under the Obama plan. But where is the money for health care reform?

Paul also notes this from the Tax Policy Center:

There is an easy way to cut through this palaver. Forget the baseline. Just think about three numbers: How much would either candidate collect in taxes as a share of the Gross Domestic Product? How much is government likely to spend? And, how much would they have to cut that spending to keep the national debt from ballooning. TPC estimates that in 2013, Obama would collect revenues of 18.2 percent of GDP. McCain would bring in about 17.8 percent. Spending that year would be about 19.5 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office, assuming the Iraq war will be winding down.

In other words, Obama’s proposals are not fiscally responsible even if there are less fiscally irresponsible than McCain’s.