In anticipation of General Election Day on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, The Wall Street Journal published an article, entitled "Obama vs. McCain: It's About Your Money" (10/26/08) by Shelly Banjo, who compared the positions of the two major party candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, on "money" issues, many of which are key concerns of seniors:
- Short-Term Economic Relief
- Income Taxes
- Estate Taxes and AMT
- Health Care
- Retirement & Social Security
In "The Election Choice: Taxes" (10/25/08), also posted by the WSJ, it was noted that "[t]he difference between candidates is the widest it's been in over two decades."
Both candidates support extending the Alternative Minimum Tax's 2007 "patch" exemption levels and index for inflation, and changing the federal estate-tax law to make the $2 million per-person exemption ($3.5 million next year) portable or transferable from one spouse to another.
Sen. Obama wants to freeze the 2009 estate-tax structure, which taxes roughly 0.3% of estates -- those valued above $3.5 million per person -- at a top rate of 45%. According to Deloitte Tax, a $5 million estate would pay a tax of $675,000 under this plan.
Sen. McCain has proposed a 15% estate tax (down from the current 45%) on roughly 0.2% of estates, those valued at more than $5 million per person. A $5 million estate would pay nothing under this plan, Deloitte Tax notes. * * *
"The Obama and McCain Tax Plans: How Do They Compare?" (10/15/08), by W. Beach, K. Campbell, R. Hederman, Jr. & G. Nell, posted by The Heritage Foundation, compared, in a general, summary fashion, the candidates' positions on federal taxation.
Far more detail on this topic was provided in "2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Proposals," posted by the Tax Policy Center, of the Urban Institute and Brooks Institute, which offered the "latest analysis of the presidential candidates' tax plans (including effects on representative taxpayers and distributional tables)."
Here are some links provided by the TPC:
- Full Report (Posted 9/12/08)
- Executive Summary (Updated 9/15/08)
- The Presidential Candidates' New Tax Proposals (10/27/08)
- How to Find Tables for TPC’s Analysis of the Candidates’ Tax Plans (September 12, 2008)
- Earlier Versions of the Analysis
- Estimates of the individual and corporate income tax changes that different groups of representative families would face under each candidate’s tax plan:
"Your Money: McCain vs. Obama" (updated 10/29/08), posted by CNN/Money, provided a "detailed guide to the economic issues that matter most to voters in the 2008 presidential election," including:
- Budget Deficit
- Economic Crisis
- Energy Security
- Free Trade
- Gas Prices
- Health Care
- Jobs and Wages
- Mortgage Fraud
- Mortgage Giant Rescue
- Personal Taxes
- Small Business
- Social Security
- Taxing Business
- Taxing Wealth
- Wall Street
If you wish to view any of the candidates' positions, as stated on their own websites, on the issues developed during their campaigns, see:
Research their positions to your satisfaction, then vote. Certainly, vote.
(American Clergyman, University President)