McCain versus Obama. In this supposed year of twiddle-dee, twiddle-dumb left-of-center presidential candidates, some pretend it’s easy to argue that John McCain’s presidency wouldn’t be so very much different from Barry Obama’s.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When you compare the Republican’s tax position of enlightened free-market capitalism versus the Democrat’s heavy socialist agenda, the differences become obvious — especially to anyone who pays taxes. Obama’s tax plans will hit the middle class American where it hurts the worst: in his wallet.
Let’s take income taxes first.
McCain calls for no changes to today’s low rates. Obama will revert to the pre-Bush tax cut regime. Bottom line: if you’re single, making $30,000, McCain will tax you $4,500. Obama will extract $8,400 from your wallet — almost double the take! Single making $50,000: McCain’s tax is $12,500; Obama’s is $14,000. Single making $75,000: McCain’s tax is $18,750. Obama will bite you for $23,250.
And it’s no better if you’re married. Married making $60,000: McCain’s tax is only $9,000. Obama will hit you for $16,000. Married making $75,000: McCain’s tax is $18,750, Obama’s $21,000. Married making $125,000: McCain’s tax is $31,250. Obama’s hit — $38,750. Ouch, Obama!
So much for Obama’s plan to tax the “filthy rich”. Now we know just what that means: everyone in the middle class.
Well, you say, what about capital gain taxes?
Again, McCain says he’ll make no changes. The maximum rate will stay at 15%. Obama is all for change. He’ll roll back this tax cut to the pre-Bush rate of 28%, again almost doubling your taxes overnight. This plan is especially cruel to older folks who have planned to sell their bigger homes and count on using this income (after their homeowner’s exclusion) to help fund their retirement. Ouch again, Obama.
Then there is the dividend tax.
OK, you’ve been religiously saving over the decades and buying up blue-chip stocks whose dividends you now count on to carry you through your golden years. Or, you have your savings invested in an IRA or retirement plan, mutual fund or life insurance annuity. McCain’s dividend tax won’t change from the maximum rate of 15%. Obama will once again repeal the Bush tax cuts, bumping this tax rate up to 39.6%, an increase of — hold your wallets — over 160%. The impact on the middle class, much less our barely-growing economy — are obvious. Really ouch, Obama!
Finally, when you die and have arranged to pass on your hard-earned savings to your family, the differences are truly staggering.
McCain’s proposal is, once again, stay the course. His tax rate is zero (Bush repealed the death tax). Obama promises to bring back the bad old days, which will hit the middle class but barely touch his billionaire supporters who’ve used sophisticated tax planning strategies to escape this tax. Under the Obama plan, the government will take up to 60% of your estate away from your children and family — and pocket your money via the inheritance tax. For Obama, the politics of envy trumps common sense, fundamental morality and basic economics. So what’s new?
Unfortunately, the horror story above is only the start. The Democrats are calling for yet more new punitive taxes on the working and middle classes: 1) a higher federal gasoline excise tax, 2) new taxes on electricity and heating gas, 3) new retirement account taxes, and 4) taxes on “oversized” homes over, say, 2500 square feet are but a few of the wacky ideas being floated.
Of course, if these new taxes actually are passed, the US economy really will tank, and on the Democrat’s watch. The economy continues to grow because consumers still have money in their wallets to continue buying — just. The Democrats would confiscate this money to fund more boondoggle and pork-filled government spending schemes like 3rd-world socialized medicine schemes, so-called global warming carbon credit schemes promoted by Al Gore’s profit-making carbon trading company, and ever-expanding government bureaucracy. Who will have any money left to buy that latest plasma TV, much less the $5/gallon gasoline and $10/pound hamburger?
So lots of Americans are dreaming of “change” in this presidential election year. Let’s pray that their nightmares don’t come true.
One real measure of personal freedom is how much money the government lets you keep to spend for yourself as you see fit. In the old Soviet Union, the communists took almost 100% of the people’s earnings in their “worker’s paradise”. They created a prison state of slaves. It’s an old axiom in politics — and economics — that the more you tax the people, the more you can control them. McCain’s policy is to continue the current relatively low tax program. Obama hopes that he will carry us all into the “Brave New World”, a world of draconian taxes that will crush our personal freedoms.
Of course, Obama’s words may be all rhetoric and political pandering designed to gain votes. In this case his followers are once again being hoodwinked into believing that his call for “change” is genuine. Let’s hope that’s the case. This would mean Obama may be cynical — but rational in his populist strategy. However, suppose he really does believe that what we need is massive tax hikes? May God help us all.