June 17th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Blitzer: McCain, Obama worlds apart on taxes

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.blitzeriowa.cnn.jpg caption="Blitzer: Obama, McCain are at odds over tax policy."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - When it comes to tax policy, John McCain and Barack Obama have very different views.

Take the matter of corporate tax rates. McCain wants to reduce that rate. He says that would make American companies more competitive around the world since the U.S. has one of the highest corporate rates. He notes that Ireland used to be an economic basket case until it reduced its corporate rates. As a result, investors from around the world began to flock to Ireland for business deals. That created lots of jobs in Ireland, which now has a strong economy.

Obama wants a windfall profits tax on Exxon-Mobil and the other big oil companies. They have been making record profits as the price of oil has skyrocketed. According to recent polls, most Americans blame big oil for their pain at the pump. McCain opposes such a windfall profits tax. But he goes one step further. Under McCain’s proposed corporate tax rate cut, Exxon-Mobil and other big oil companies would have even larger profits. That’s because McCain has no exemption for the big oil companies.

This is but one tax issue on the table right now. The two presidential candidates disagree on several others. Obama has proposed a $1,000 tax cut for middle class workers.

But the big issue for both will be whether to roll back the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. McCain originally voted against them but now supports them. Obama wants the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year eliminated. He wants to go back to the tax rates that existed during the Clinton administration. This will be a huge fight in the campaign.


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Will in Richmond, VA

    Keep in mind that many deductions will still be available under Obama's plan.

    The wealthiest of Americans have always been able to use whatever the tax codes are to their best advantage. This is one of the reason why they stay so wealthy.

    June 17, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. nick

    We cant keep over taxing the Wealthy Senator Obama, thats why they send jobs outside the U.S. because of people like you.
    Fair tax for everyone!
    But keep it up Obama- your one of the reasons for out-sourcing jobs.

    McCain 08*

    June 17, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Darrel from Denver

    No kidding? Republicans and Democrats have different views on taxes? Really?

    Thank you, CNN and Mr. Blitzer for pointing out the blindingly obvious. You continue to show your lack of capability in your reporting and your postings.

    You cannot possibly bring yourselves to report in an un-biased manner and it clearly shows.

    The time for change has come. The establishment is on its way out. Should you continue to reflect that establishment, you will be irrelevant sooner rather than later.

    It appears several at CNN already are, Brown and Blitzer among them.

    June 17, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Andrew,KS

    I like how Wolf tries to seem non-partisan in these little reports he does, but it doesn't take much to see which whay he really thinks the wind should blow.

    Nice journalistic intergrity Wolf!

    June 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Ed, NC June 17th, 2008 4:23 pm ET

    Does Obama not realize that eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy will cause jobs to be lost? It is the wealthy who invest and create jobs."
    ------------------------
    Do you remember Bill Clinton?
    Do you remember the economy was booming? Everybody made money, even poor people.
    Did he give the rich a tax break? Hell no.
    It's not just about tax breaks. It's about balancing the budget, it's about investment in technology, it's about many other ways of spurring economic growth.
    Do you remember the internet? Well, because of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the internet exploded from military departments and universities to the World Wide Web.
    In other words, if it weren't for them, we wouldn't be having this conversation!
    Got it? Good!

    June 17, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Ready for Change

    Obama wants to go back and snag all of Clinton's ideas it seems. If he didn't have any better than hers why is he the nominee?

    June 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. Joe Six

    Actually, Obama is better for you if you make less than $30,000 per year. Otherwise, you will do better with McCain. Obama will drive the stock market down with capital gains taxes, windfall profit taxes, extra corporate taxes, increased taxes on dividends, etc. As disposable income declines, real estate prices will also decline even more. I'm not a big fan of McCain's economics, but at least he will not hurt economic growth the way Obama will. On the other hand, if you are poor and looking to be supported by Uncle Sam, Obama is your man.

    June 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Winthorp

    Hey Hilary fans, if you won't vote for Obama ordinarily, how about a bribe. Say, an extra thousand dollars in your pocket.

    June 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Ian

    We had a 3 trillion dollar surplus at the end of the Clinton administration.
    We have a 3 trillion dollar deficit now, as the Bush administration ends.

    Who had better tax policies?

    June 17, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Pat Riot

    Obama offers no solution but more government. The socialism that Obama is selling is not progressive and it is not change. Socialism is an old and dated idea. I know it's flashy and fun to be involved in politics Obamites; but if you want something go get it for yourselves. Don't use the government to take something from one person and give it to you because in the end noone benefits. Most of the youth involved in his campaign have likely never even paid taxes. They just think Obama is a Santa Claus that will give everyone what they want. In the end Obama is just as fake as Santa Claus. An opportunist with little experience. It is very sad that so many of you haven't realized this.

    June 17, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Gabrielle, Lancaster SC

    FYI: Eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy will not cause jobs to be lost. Jobs are lost for a lot of other reasons...with all the breaks under the Bush administration, we still experienced a large number of jobs off-shored....

    On another note, I just wanted say that most people who post on these blogs have already decided who they are going to vote for. It doesn't matter what the story reports, people will find ways to praise and criticize Obama from reading the exact same story. I have a secret though. These posts on these blogs only represent the opinion of less that 2% of the voting population. The race will be decided by people who aren't on these blogs who actually vote based on the issues…

    Obama '08

    June 17, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. peakarach,des moines,IA

    HILLARY,PLEASE DO NOT CAMPAIGN FOR BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA PERIOD.
    ================
    MCCAIN 08!
    HILLARY 12!

    June 17, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Willy

    Wolf you can talk now. The Clinton's are gone

    June 17, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. peakarach,des moines,IA

    OBAMA=RAISE YOUR TAX. MCCAIN DOES NOT. ENOUGHT SAID.

    June 17, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Willy

    OBAMA is a TAX & SPEND LIBERAL people, Progressive = liberal

    June 17, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Wolf knows better that Carly Fiorina's take on the economy makes sense. She is right on target about the small businessess. It is said that 51% of the women make up this sector which is encouraging. She knows what she is talking about when it comes to tax cuts. No-one can argue that. She like Clinton is tested and proven.

    June 17, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. FL Dem

    "Supply side economics" can't work when the money trickles down to China to produce the jobs. This isn't 1980 anymore. Vote Democrat.

    June 17, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Agnostic Democrat

    Boy, Wolf, this really took a lot of energy and research. D'uh! Tell us something we don't already know if you think you are such a top-notch reporter. You don't hold half a candle to Russert. Maybe by the time you reach retirement, you'll have scratched the surface of his success.

    June 17, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Mary (Texas)

    Now OBAMA looks back at the "Clinton Administration" as his example of what he wants to do. I think he is so full of it.... And yes Hillary will campaign for him because she is a truly a good individual but I will still not vote for him as I did for Hillary... McCain get off you duff and fire up your supporters - you can beat OBAMA......

    McCain 2008 – Hillary 2012.....

    June 17, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Val

    McCain is absolutely right when it comes to tax and economic policies. In fact, his policies are one hundred times better for our country than that of Obama's. Obama is all for redestribution of income while McCain is all for personal reponsibility. That's huge difference right there!

    I just actually recently read about Ireland and the country's economic boost after years of struggling. The economy in Ireland is very strong now and that's because of the lowest corporate tax rates in that country. That should speak volumes to the American people. Wake up and reject Obama's socialist policies!

    United We Can! Together We Will!

    McCain 08! McCain all the way!

    June 17, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Jon

    S.B. Stein E.B. NJ June 17th, 2008 4:22 pm ET

    It is a question of who does a better job. It is also a question of what the goals and priorities are. How do the corporation give back to the country and the communities that they work in? Often times, they don't give back at all or very little.
    ________________________________________

    Well, in 2005, corporations gave over $13.8 billion to charitable organizations. But yeah, they don't give back much, do they???

    Also, corporate dividends and stock prices are tied to most people's retirement accounts, so lower corporate taxes mean higher dividends and more money for many of us when we get to our golden years.

    But, by all means, keep thinking the corporations are the bad guys.

    June 17, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Ben

    Obama will not put money in your pocket, if anything he will be taking more of it out...not to mention withdrawing from Iraq could possibly be the biggest mistake a president would ever make in history to date..

    June 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    MCBUSH IS TOTALLY AGAINST SPENDING ANY OF OUR TAXES

    ON US. I WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY A HECK OF A LOT MORE

    TAXES IF THEY WENT TO OUR CHILDREN, OUR VETS, OUR

    SCHOOLS, OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. WE ARE GETTING

    ROBBED BY THIS ADMINISTRATIO & MCBUSH WANTS TO

    CONTINUE IT. I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT MAKE

    MORE THAN $250,000 & DO NOT WANT A TAX BREAK, BUT

    ARE DISGUSTED TO NO END

    ABOUT THE LOOTING OF AMERICA.

    June 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "peakarach,des moines,IA June 17th, 2008 4:45 pm ET

    HILLARY,PLEASE DO NOT CAMPAIGN FOR BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA PERIOD.
    ================
    MCCAIN 08!
    HILLARY 12!"
    -----------------
    I don't think she heard you! 🙂

    June 17, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. AK in LA

    I don't know....what does Caroline think?

    June 17, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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