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. John Smith

    If Hillary supporters are MORE interested in the Candidates than the Major Issues facing this nation, let the "bitter voters" go ahead and vote for Mcain! Some of us will NOT be willing to listen to those "bitter voters" when:
    1. the price of gas hits $5,oo plus
    2. our people remain stuck in Iraqi
    3. when Hillary is off with Bill enjoying their $109 million
    4. when the supreme court is finally loaded with conservative judges
    5. when we are burden with the invasion of Iran, and the list goes on.

    No one, not even Obama, should beg these "bitter Hillary" voters; let them go ahead and vote for McCain and the Republicans!

    June 17, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Brian Knoxville, TN

    I LOVE OBAMA! He represents the PEOPLE, unlike Mcsame, who switches positions from anti-big oil to pro-big oil as soon as he is confronted by BIG OIL!

    What a sell out!


    June 17, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Val

    Obama is a man for the people! Down with Mcinsane!


    June 17, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Ron

    That's a tough issue and one without a clear answer. The economic turn around in Ireland did work and has truly made its mark in the job sector. But what works for one economy may not work for another and changing the tax rate is only a small part of a bigger equation. Labor rates, land cost, worker availability, strength of the dollar, and total utility expense, including transportation costs are all factors that go well beyond the tax regulations.

    I think it is fair to say that Senator McCain's tax policies have been tried since the Reagan administration and while the market did well, corporate abuse and worker lay-offs have been at an all time high. Corporations are in business to make money and pay out as little as possible. They do not operate for the good of the community, state or country unless there is a tangible economic benefit to them in the long-term. Senator Obama's plan makes more since for the here and now until the US dollar is strong enough to have equal purchasing power in major international markets.

    June 17, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. nick

    excuse my previous post. i actually love obama, he makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside!

    June 17, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. peakarach,des moines,IA


    June 17, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Teri

    Pat Riot called Obama "Santa Claus". I think of him more like Robin Hood. People making under a certain income want Obama to be their champion. Mug the "rich guy" – steal his money – and give it to them. I have seen comments where people actually say that they are waiting for a check! One comment was basically: "Why should the rich guy get to keep his winnings?" Loot. and Looting. Big part of Obama campaign.

    June 17, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Brian Knoxville TN

    I am no democrat.The fact is, my party. the GOP has put such an old and weak candidate that we have to try even harder this time to sell our lies.No option, but to spread hate among democrats and
    win this election.Fact is, I am affected by high gas prices,high food prices, high cost of medical insurance and all that.I know my party or McCain doesnt or will not have any solutions for our problems.
    My party is run by the lobbyists.McCain is no different.{He didn't hesitate to take the $300,000 from the "rape" millionaire}
    But you have understand, we cannot afford to let the democrats
    get to the WH.

    June 17, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Enlightened Voter

    Hey people, economics 101. GWB has been giving corporations tax cuts for years and how did they reward him, by shipping jobs overseas. DUH! So how bout we get a tax break for a change, you know us middle and below people who GWB ignored and now john mcwar wants to ignore. Come on, wake up america! Did you just sleep through the last 8 yrs?????

    June 17, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Brian Knoxville, TN

    Please be advised that there are other bloggers out there posting under my good name and its making me angry. Its causing me to go crazy and make false accusations against Mr. Axelrod that are completely unfounded. Its causing me to still operate under the delusion that somehow Hillary was cheated out of the nomination when we all know that she got beat fair and square. I know that I need to come to grips with my candidate losing the nomination and that I need to support Obama in November.

    Obama '08

    June 17, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. The Federalist

    I've often wondered how exactly it is that I will be "better off" if the government steals even MORE money out of my paycheck.

    And, for the record, I've never once been offered a job by a poor man.

    The government does not create jobs, the market does. Tax away the capital to create those jobs and we're all in a pickle. Of course, anyone whose spent five minutes in ECON 101 could tell you that.

    June 17, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Brian Hateville TN

    All i want to say is "Go Democrats !!!" Go Obama – the leader with real discipline, solutions and honesty !

    Obama -08-16.

    June 17, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. Ready for Change

    If your well off and don't think we are in a recession and gas isn't that expensive, then McCain is your man.

    If your living paycheck to paycheck, have to decide between a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk for the kids, have no retirement to lose because well you can't save money you don't have, then Obama is your man.

    If I hit the lottery before November, I'll vote for McCain...

    June 17, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Marilyn

    I agree with Obama !!!!!!

    June 17, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. DeeJam - Los Angeles

    I keep reading these blogs about how Obama treated Hillary. What did he do to her? He campaigned against her and won. He was respectful, courteous, and he ran a smarter campaign than she did. In the end she lost, not because of Obama, but because of her mismanaged campaign.

    PUMAs need to drop it. Obama didn't do anything to HRC.

    June 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. DeeJam - Los Angeles

    BTW – I like your plan Brian Knoxville TN

    June 17, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Jim in S.C.

    What is wrong with giving rich people tax breaks? Don't you want them to spend money? That creates jobs for everyone else. I want the rich people to build new houses, that creates construction jobs, maintenance jobs, jobs for brick manufacturers, etc.

    I want rich people to buy cars, because this creates jobs for those in Michigan, tire manufacturers, steel manufacturers, etc.

    Please think about this people.

    June 17, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. to tim, alaska

    This is why so many people are against Obama.... he makes it seem this way...

    1) I (Obama) lived the American dream

    2) It's almost impossible now

    3) I blame rich people (even though he is a millionaire in his own right

    4) Let's tax the rich and give free handouts to anyone that is not rich

    5) Let's tax companies (not just oil) who seem to be making too much money. Those taxes will pay back those that spent too much at their business.

    Apparently, it's cool in America to get a handout, which is a big slap in the face to the heartland of America IMO.

    There should be a mix of progressive and regressive taxes. Taxes on gasoline is a great example of a regressive tax (virtually, any flat tax can be deemed as regressive).

    June 17, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. martin,arkansaw

    yes,wolf.rich people will soon be sharing all the money they've made,by squandering our nation with republican wars,lack of preparedness for disasters,economic nightmares,etc...noone else has any money left,to pull the nation from its woes.

    June 17, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |


    June 17, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. eam

    look here, obama trying to profit off another clinton idea. not surprising at all . how in the hell is he a good leader when he can't think of anything him self . how pathetic is that. is that how he is gonna turn around the economy . should have just let clinton do it you copy cat loser. get your own ideas. i guess since he just takes other peoples ideas maybe he should have been a rapper, they do it all the time.

    June 17, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. Lyn

    Oh, Wolf Blitzer, you are such a lightweight and so easily buy partisan baloney. You will never, ever replace Tim Russert in the hearts and minds of educated Americans. It is your beloved Congress that is resposible for high oil prices, not oil companies, not Bush. Congress has made us dependent on foreign oil by refusing to allow drilling in our homeland and offshore. Congress is promoting worldwide inflation by preventing drilling, and you ain't seen nothing yet. It's just starting. They are even promoting third-world starvation by paying farmers to grow corn for ethanol rather than food. Mr. Blitzer, stop espousing your ridiculous analyses. Nobody is listening. Your ratings prove it. I can't believe I'm even responding, as you are not worth my time or attention.

    June 17, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Lyn

    Ready for Change - the reason you are living from paycheck to paycheck is because you can't spell, and your post shows that you have no understanding of English grammar. Sorry. But it is true.

    June 17, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. I AM NOW AN INDEPENDENT!*********




    June 17, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Ben - Portland

    A CNNmoney headline from Feb. said Exxon made $1300 a SECOND in 2007, when oil was a paltry $65/ barrel- they made over $40 Billion in '07. The price per barrel has since doubled. By very simple math, they'd stand to go over $100 Billion this year while raking in more money per second than most people make in a week.

    They also gave their former CEO a $400 million dollar retirement package. That's right almost a half a billion bucks to never work again.

    And McCain wants to give THEM a break? Look up the donations by pacs this cycle. Oil companies own the republicans.

    June 17, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
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