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. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Willy June 17th, 2008 4:46 pm ET

    OBAMA is a TAX & SPEND LIBERAL people, Progressive = liberal"
    And your point is... ? 🙂

    June 17, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Willy June 17th, 2008 4:46 pm ET

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

    So was Bill Clinton. And we did fine! 🙂

    June 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Ridgeway

    Obama is a socialist period. Pandering to the gimme' gimme' entitlement groups. Vote for me and I'll make sure the working folks pick up the tab for the drug addicted, baby popping Pez Machines. Oh, boy if ever there was a person who deserved to be President less than Obama their in prison somewhere for sure.

    June 17, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Jayson June 17th, 2008 4:15 pm ET

    Yes they are since Obama believes that the rich are piggie banks for the government and that being rich entitles you to be part of a higher tax bracket and pay a larger percentage of your income to the government."
    Yep. That's about right. So what's your point...?

    June 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Dems be dopes

    Let's see..............

    Raise the tax on corps..................I raise the price of my product to the public.

    If sales drop, who do I fire?

    Who won there?

    Raise the tax on me, what do I no longer spend my money on?

    Who won there?

    June 17, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Hillary Clinton June 17th, 2008 4:18 pm ET

    For goodness sake, vote for my friend, John McCain. Anyone is better than Obama. Believe me, I've seen the skeletons. It's not pretty."
    Never mind the skeletons. Have you seen that huge lump on the side of John McCain's face? It looks like he's hiding a sausage biscuit in his left cheek! 🙂

    June 17, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Alan

    I never did understand the Liberal's resentment towards people who make more money than them. People who make more money are usually the ones who went to college, sacrificed more time and money getting a college degree, and worked hard at their job to get ahead. Other people decided they would rather forget college and just go work in a factory. But somehow, the guy making more money doesn't deserve to keep what he makes according to Liberals. Why? People who make a lot of money already pay for the majority of taxes in this country. Low income people pay next to nothing in taxes, but somehow they resent people who make more than them, so they want them to be taxed even more. It's Socialist, plain and simple. I also don't understand Barack's plan to RAISE corporate taxes when the US already has the second highest corporate tax rate in the WORLD. But, that's not good enough for Barack. He want's to be number 1. If corporate taxes are raised, large and small business WILL lay off people. It's not even a debate. Also with taxes going up, businesses will raise their prices to try to make up for the tax increase, which will hurt EVERYONE. So, Barack's vision to fix the economy is to raise taxes, resulting in people geting laid off and retail prices going up. ???? Yea, I know, it sounds insane. Also, he's going to raise capital gains taxes, which will hit EVERYONE, and not just rich people. My mother isn't rich, but when she retires, she will pay more taxes to cash out her IRA under Barack's plan. Bad for people and the economy. Trust me, we don't want to go to a Europena style of Socialism. The reason America built such a strong economy is because we were far from Europe's Socialistic policies. Sure, the poor people will be happy because they will get more for doing nothing, but everyone else loses. Barack being elected will be America's economy killer. I will fear for my retirement if he gets elected. Scary, scary, scary. Liberals, just get over your resentment over people who make more money than you. They worked harder to get where they're at, get over it.

    June 17, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    "Brian Knoxville, TN June 17th, 2008 4:37 pm ET

    Not again… yet another Obamabot has weaseled off with my name—Brian Knoxville, TN—and has been using it to undermine my right to express myself fairly in our political system…"
    I heard about you Pumas. I thought Puma was a sneaker. I'm more of a Nike man myself.... 🙂

    June 17, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. tim, alaska

    "Brian Knoxville, TN June 17th, 2008 4:13 pm ET

    I love obama! do whatever you need to, to put more money in my pocket!


    wait...what!? i thought brian was against obama...oh well, i suppose it doesnt matter.

    either way, i'd say that we need to consider a different economic plan from both. instead of blindly "taxing the rich" or "tax cuts for the poor" we should be more specific. i agree with tax cuts for the poor, because lets face it, they're poor. they need all the help they can get, no offense to them. its not their fault, its merely the natural result of a competitive capitalist society. there's nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with leaving them to rot at the bottom of our economy.

    as for taxing the rich, i would say do this with discretion. i am in favor of a progressive tax because, lets face pure mathematical facts here, 25% of my taxes is huge where 25% of Mr. Gates' taxes is hardly worth mention. take 25% from me, i'm hurting. take 25% from Mr. Gates, he can still afford his mansion, cars, etc...but i digress. progressive tax is good, it balances the burden of tax throughout all income levels. keep in mind, though, that in some cases, they did work from the bottom to get to where they are now. taxing too heavily could be seen as punishing success which would truely be a disaster. instead, target specifically the corporations themselves with a similar progressive tax based on their profits so that the more profitable companies are taxed more heavily than smaller, less affluent companies.

    June 17, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Mike, Iowa

    Obama only wants to raise the taxes of rich people who can afford it. If people want to complain about it then they are probably the sick rich people who want to cry that they have to spend some more of there precious money. Iiberal conservative... who cares! No more republican lies and BS! cry over over one issue when there are far more important issues to worry about then the poor rich people who have to pay more. Big babies screw over the american working man that made you rich in the first place!

    June 17, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. peakarach,des moines,IA

    MCCAIN 08!
    HILLARY 12!

    June 17, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Mike

    Actually Wolfie, McCain was very much against the Corporate tax cuts in 2003 and 2005. But now with over one hundred corporate lobby crooks working for his campaign. McBush has fliped and floped over to the side of his Billionaire Corporate money doners.

    June 17, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. twb

    McCain Victory = War in Iran
    War in Iran = Even Worse Economy, spending all our Tax money outside of America
    Bush/McCain Said Iraq Would lower Price of Gas.
    McCain Victory = More Right Wing Supreme Court, Goodbye Right to Choose.

    June 17, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Always a Dem in TX

    This is ridiculous. Currently I would not benefit from McCain's tax plans but as a future doctor, I probably would in 15 years or so once the ridiculous debt I'm in starts to dwindle. I don't care how much I'm making, sometimes it's about more than me, myself and I. If I make a little bit less and some kid gets health care, that's okay by me. I know I won;t be starving or suffering in the future, but plenty will be. I just don't understand the pure selfishness of some of the wealthy.

    June 17, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Chuck B Coastal NC

    PEOPLE, DON'T BUY INTO THE GOP SLOGAN SHOW...... THE GOP are the party for tax and send. Obama is going to get us back on the right track, McCain is going to keep us on the same dangeruos path that BUSH has us on. The GOP of "trickledown economy " is the death of this country. This has been in there playbook since the 1960's. Obama will make the weight of taxes being paid, more equal and fair.

    June 17, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Truth Be Told

    Is it over yet?

    Come on November...

    Obama 08!!!

    June 17, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. MD

    Wolf has done it again!!!

    One more obvious point. One more useless commentary.

    CNN needs FRESH NEW BLOOD in its self-proclaimed "The Best Political Team on Television."

    June 17, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. Tom Eyemdaman

    Obama mantra: redistribution of wealth, stifle the competitive spirit, overtax companies so they move out of USA

    McCain mantra: proportional tax breaks (for everyone!), entice new business to USA (which creates jobs), encourage competitiveness and entrepreneurship.

    I personally like McCain's ideas better.

    Obama's policies will stifle investment and cripple our economy for good.

    June 17, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Janet, American via Canada

    Just look at those companies, with tax breaks for years, where are they now? Jobs in India, China, South America, Far East etc etc etc!

    And these Big Corporations want more tax breaks, while the economy goes out the door.

    The Clintons also help take trade off shore, so please people do your homework, the information is there for all to read and see.

    Maybe when you look at how long the off shore deals have been happening (20+ years and how many presidents involved) then the War just happen to redirect the recession (depression) that followed!

    June 17, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Rick FL

    Willy & peakarach, please research Obama's tax proposals. He plans to CUT taxes for Americans making under $75K, eliminate taxes for seniors living on SS under $50K, and no capital-gains taxes on small businesses.

    Obama's tax plan is a fresh approach compared to McCain's reversal to adopt Bush's plan, that attributed to record-breaking deficits under a Republican majority. Your rhetoric will not work this time.

    Dem '08
    Si se puede!

    June 17, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. Kim

    Obama = Democrat = balanced Budget. McBush = Trillion dollar debt owed to communist china! Never ending war. Ruined economy!

    June 17, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |

    Willy said.....
    June 17th, 2008 4:46 pm ET
    OBAMA is a TAX & SPEND LIBERAL people, Progressive = liberal
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Willy, i was just wondering.... how's the current economy workin out for you?

    THIS president has borrowed and spent more then all predecessors COMBINED...


    DUDE.... BOMBS DON'T PAY FOR THEMSELVES!!!!! you should appreciate THAT, right?

    i know... i know... facts SUCK....
    p.s. ...... that ronald reagan mantra....... HOW MUCH dust did u blow off of it when you dusted THAT gem off????

    June 17, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Brain Knoxville, TN

    Oh no! Yet another Obamabot has weaseled off with my name—Brian Knoxville, TN—and has been using it to undermine my right to pour derision and hate on the Obama campaign… oh no!

    Wait a minute…

    Now where could a little n*****lovin' Obamabot have learned a trick like that?

    Oh, that’s right. The Presumptuous Talkshow Host formerly known as Lord Limbaugh taught him how to do it when he used Operation Chaos to overinflate Hillary's numbers and make her seem like a winner, which she does not deserve.

    Is this really the best way you can think of to silence me, black man? Is this it, to instruct your Obamabot minions to use my name and say the exact opposite of what I think is true (I could never be wrong when I hate this much!!) about your sleazy (HATE HATE, PUMA!), elect-er-I mean-selected (HATE HATE, PUMA!) and unqualified (unlike me! HATE HATE, PUMA!) wanna-be presidential candidate? What, tarb*by, no threats to silence my voice the way you will silence me in 2012 when we try to vote for Clinton and fail? Now I really am disappointed in myself… I thought my hate was stronger...

    And I thought I was disappointed in myself before, when I abused our democratic system with testosterone and hate in order to mock Obama and delegates from caucus states (which aren't really legitimate anyway... Our Lady of Clinton said they aren't!) and then block the possibility for fair primaries in Michigan (which Hillary did but then changed her mind, haha what a knee slapper Hillary, we all got your joke!).

    So this is the best I've got? Now I know it'll be impossible to stop you with my hate.

    The McChosen One won’t win in November and solidify his hostile takeover of Iraq and the party of millions of true Democrats.

    Believe that, bush monkey.

    Count on it.

    Puma Democrat forever! Bitter Democrats and trouble-making Republicans in disguise... the future inane naysayers of the Democratic Party!

    June 17, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. yes, we had a surplus under Clinton... but

    remember we still had a $5 trillion dollar debt to pay back which was slowly getting better with the surplus.

    Yes, Bush crippled us with war and lowering taxes (income for the government) for about a 2 year stretch, but his rate of falling deficit is about 1/4 of what it was in 2002, so it's slowly coming back around.

    The difference between Obama and Clinton is this (speaking about Bills 8 years). Bill understood you can raise taxes a little, but not overtaxing businesses and investors which will RUIN the job market.

    Bill found a nice little setup that worked very well in terms of creating a surplus.

    However, Obama is basically for taxing everyone and everything at this point. Yes he talks about a $1,000 tax break, because he'll get you back in capital gains, gasoline taxes, etc....

    When we are in the recession we are in, the last thing we need to do is put wealthier people at a point where they can't hire employees or keep them on staff...

    If Obama is serious about his windfall taxes and raises in capital gains, he will CRIPPLE our economy faster than you can say dubya.

    June 17, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |

    Does everyone KNOW that 40 years ago... about 50% of all tax revenue came from corporations??


    (by the way... who makes more... you or a corporation??)

    WHO DO YOU THINK MADE UP THE DIFFERENCE...... (it's ok... you can say it)...... joe everyman, taxpayer is who!

    you all COOL with that? I'm not, as we give tax BREAKS to oil companies making record profits.

    WHY CAN'T THEY TAKE THESE RECORD PROFITS AND INVEST IN ALTERNATIVE FUEL RESEARCH......?? WHY?? because they would be STUPID to do it.... (i mean.. they got a good thing going, right?)

    but hey... let's campaign to the little guy that the liberals are tax and spend... he's stupid enough to buy it, and we can keep not paying JACK!
    (freaking population of morons!) UGH!


    (apologies... just REALLY sick of being manipulated)

    June 17, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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