Candidates Differ Most Widely on Wealthy

McCain says tax cuts for wealthy will fuel economy; Obama sees taxing as means to an end
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Aug 21, 2008 3:58 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., right and Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left and Pastor Rick Warren.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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(Newser) – John McCain and Barack Obama both target the very wealthy in plans to overhaul the tax code, to the opposite effect: Obama would raise their taxes and McCain would cut them. It's the most profound difference in their dueling proposals to stimulate the economy, the Los Angeles Times notes in a piece spelling out the ideas, and despite their "maverick" and "postpartisan" labels, they fall along traditional Republican and Democratic lines.

"The real fault lines are over how to treat people in the highest tax brackets," says one tax analyst. "It gets to the heart of their economic philosophies." McCain, once a deficit hawk, has become a supply-sider, believing that "wealth creates wealth," while Obama would restore Clinton-era rates for the top brackets, and offer a package of tax breaks for the middle class and poor.