McCain's Convenient Untruth

Higher tax rates mean a lower budget deficit. According to the Tax Policy Center, over the course of a decade Obama's plan would result in a national debt $1.2 trillion smaller than you would get under McCain's plan. Less government borrowing ultimately means lower interest rates and more private investment. This positive effect may well outweigh the blow to growth and jobs from weaker work incentives. Full Story »

Posted by Kaizar Campwala
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Subjects: U.S., Politics, Business
Topics: Presidential Election 2008, U.S. Economy, John McCain, Obama Administration, Taxes
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Mark Monday
by Mark Monday - Oct. 1, 2008

The tax issue -- and the economy -- are key to the elections. Reporters, from personal experience, have too little understanding of economics to ask the right questions, or explain the answers they do get. This has been done well here and congratulations are in order.

See Full Review » (13 answers)
Joel Kulenkamp
by Joel Kulenkamp - Oct. 1, 2008

This article explodes a lot of myths: for instance, his citing of Joel Slemrod of the University of Michigan that tax hikes don't necessarily add up to job losses, op. cit the Clinton Administration.

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Kaizar Campwala
by Kaizar Campwala - Oct. 1, 2008

For an opinion piece, Mallaby has done a great job of presenting solid evidence.

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Terry Gamble
by Terry Gamble - Oct. 1, 2008

Very well thought-out and articulate column on the implications of the tax policies of the candidates for president. During these weeks of hyperbole, rhetoric, and outright obfuscation, issues of real substance must be clearly stated and restated by a media that so often fails to go beyond talking points into real analysis.

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Mike LaBonte
by Mike LaBonte - Oct. 1, 2008

This has evidence for most claims, but not for key ones like "careful academic postmortems ...", for example.

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Fred Gatlin
by Fred Gatlin - Oct. 1, 2008

Despite the truth Repubicans continue think lowering taxes will will increase total taxes. This is a good commentary story.

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Chris Finnie
by Chris Finnie - Oct. 1, 2008

I am always grateful when a journalist states the obvious. In my experience, it's somewhat rare. But tax cuts have not worked to stimulate the economy so far. In fact, just the reverse. We are losing savings, personal equity, and jobs at a great rate. Just this last quarter, the downturn even finally hit high wage earners. So they now get to suffer along with the rest of us. All tax breaks are doing is borrowing against our children's future--and rewarding people who don't need it. It's nonsense and I'm glad Mallaby had the courage to say so.

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Steve C
by Steve C - Oct. 1, 2008

The article is very obviously partisan. Only two strong source are cited, although one is a non-partisan organization which elevates it. I'm glad the author considers and counters the arguments to be made by the other side. The point is extremely pertinent to the upcoming election and I think it's important to elevate awareness that federal economy is about more than just whether a candidate is going to raise or lower taxes--in particular poor and middle class should read this article to understand that Obama's plan is *not* bad for them.

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Dwight Rousu
by Dwight Rousu - Oct. 1, 2008

Mallaby provides a brief informed and informative analysis of taxing policies and the tax platforms of the two candidates. He seemed to feel compelled to appear "fair" by giving McCain undue credit on campaign finance, which he did for political purposes to regain stature after the Keating Five scandal. Undue credit is given for opposing earmarks when McCain is most beloved by his surrounding hordes of lobbyists/advisers who do not need earmarks if they can get blanket bushie favors for a whole industry at once. Undue credit is given for McCain's principles on Iraq, when he has strongly favored an illegal and immoral war based upon lies, that must be won at any fiscal or moral cost. But these are the only major backsteps in an ... More »

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Jack Dinkmeyer
by Jack Dinkmeyer - Oct. 1, 2008

A "tell-it-like-it-is" article. Tax cuts never create jobs. And trickle-down tax plans don't stimulate the economy. No one can be sure where all this "voodoo economics" is leading, because no one really knows the true extent of the economic crises Bushies may be hiding. Come mid-2009, when the miscreants are out of power, all will be revealed in its full ghastly glory.

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David Dresser
by David Dresser - Oct. 1, 2008

Fiscal matters tend to be difficult to understand. That is one reason why the falsehoods are not well addressed. This article explains these things very well and has trustworthy sources to validate several points. It is sad to see McCain going the way of prevaricators after having built a reputation as a straight shooter concerned about wasteful spending. Cheney might say that he has gone to the dark side.

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Wayne Barker
by Wayne Barker - Oct. 1, 2008

This somewhat liberal leaning opinion proposes that Obamas tax plan would benefit the nation more that McCains. It is not overly partisan, and has good sourcing.

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Norman Rogers
by Norman Rogers - Oct. 1, 2008

This is partisan politicking. First of all the marginal rate would be much higher than 46% because he is forgetting the "employeers" share which is usually the taxpayers share at the upper income levels. Add state tax and you have more than 60% marginal rate for most upper income wage earners or self employed. Obama's plan is just blatant vote buying - many of the people who's taxes are reduced don't pay any tax now, so they get a check. Vote buyng is dangerous for our future.

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Roland F. Hirsch
by Roland F. Hirsch - Oct. 1, 2008

This opinion piece has minimal journalistic merit. It is in effect an Obama campaign piece with no attempt at objectivity. Further, it gets the facts exactly wrong by relying on left-wing pressure groups. In fact cuts in the tax rates have resulted in increased Federal government tax revenues, under Kennedy, under Reagan, and now under Bush.

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Mark Coffman
by Mark Coffman - Oct. 1, 2008

I think this story is pretty good journalism, although I would have to say that the writer is definately pro Obama. Most of the article is spent discussing McCains tax plans, but focuses little on Obama's plan. Parts of Obama's plans are mentioned, but they never really go into much detail. I also thought that more could have been mentioned about the running mates of the two candidates, since little is known about them and little is known about how they are going to actually help both Obama and McCain. As for the sources used in this article, I have to say it's a little light for a story from the Washington Post. The article is also fairly short and I didn't feel as if a whole lot was accomplished in it. As I said before this ... More »

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Scott Kennedy
by Scott Kennedy - Oct. 1, 2008

Mallaby’s story talks about the different tax plans of McCain and Obama. It is highly slanted in favor of Obama. It compares some aspects of each Presidential candidates tax plan. Since it's an op-ed piece, the author is expected to be more biased and share more of one side. However, the author goes so far as to be somewhat dishonest when he says that McCain lies about the effects of Obama's tax plan. The statements McCain makes about Obama's tax plan are not untrue. However, simply because the author doesn't agree with McCain's stance on taxes he decides to dismiss it as just being untrue. Unfortunately for the author of this story, tax plans are not that black and white. Tax plans always have different consequences for ... More »

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