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. Ready for Change

    Hey ALAN???

    Some people can't go to college because they can afford it. You should think before you speak. Poor people don't resent the rich. You make more, you pay more. It's as simple at that. I didn't go to college and stupid me I knew that. AND you totally lumped poor people as being lazy, too. You've got some nerve. I'd rather have common sense anyways.

    June 17, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. bruce becker

    Now he wakes up from his long slumber to see that prices are going through the roof. FYI John, it takes five to ten years for an oil company to bring oil in to shore after drilling is approved.
    Want a REAL solution that fast and is REALLY a break with Bush?
    Only allow cars on the road that are below 30 MPG on even and odd days by their license plate first number. All vanity plates with words are odd number.
    Put all trucks that are below 20 MPG on even and odd days.
    Stop allowing the sale of SUVs that get less than 20 MPG!!
    End of oil shortage. Ta Da!!!!

    June 17, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. bruce becker

    Taxes: I like Huckabee's plan. End all income tax and go to a combination of federal sales tax and increased inheritance tax.
    This will sweep up people who are not paying taxes, including illegal aliens working for cash, tradesmen working for cash and barter, and the offshore fakers who pretend to be from the British islands.
    Everyone who buys a product pays a tax.

    June 17, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. Ben

    We did not do fine with Bill Clinton!! If you look at the record foreclosures of homes in America you can directly shake Bill Clinton's hand and thank him for them....

    June 17, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Chris in Ca

    Neither one of these plans is a win-win. Obama promised change, but his plan is change I can live without. McCain is just following the basic Repub principle that has already been a failure. Neither of these candidates has the insightfulness to be innovative and create something different that will work. Corporations need people and people need corporations...so give it some balance. They act like there is only a left way or a right way to remedy our problems. It is just more BS with these two guys.

    June 17, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  6. David

    A vote for McCain is a vote for the same rebublican machine that has created the present economic and foreign policy mess, it is becoming obvious McCain is just a puppet.

    Off shore drilling, it will take 10 plus years to see benefits, a commitment to alternate and clean sources of energy could easily allow for a far greater impact then off shore will allow.

    McCain, you have backtracked on anything that seperated you from the present gong show of a government.

    June 17, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. bruce becker

    When does McCain have to get tested for short term memory loss and for incipient Alzheimer's? Why is it supposed to be ok that his 1,300 pages medical memoir is absent one word on Alzheimer's and short term memory loss?
    What a sham. Republicans need to bring this up so we are not stuck with Ron Reagan again, with Nancy hiding him for years.

    June 17, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. bruce becker

    TAX questions for the Bush/McCain regime:

    1. From each according to their means, to each, according to their need.

    2. Or, every man/woman for him/her self.

    Which is more like what Jesus would have done?

    June 17, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Donna in ID

    I would like someone to explain to this old lady how the hell we are going to pay off this atrocious obscene dept that Bush 2 got us into.
    It looks like everyone should be prepared to bite the bullet and pay. And be prepared to have it last a long time since it is going to take forever if they keep wanting tax cuts for everyone. No money - no pay,
    Then all the people we owe will foreclose on our country.
    Now would be a good time to start looking at a flat tax.

    June 17, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. never hillary again...

    for all of you obama haters, like it or not, obama wil win with big margin.

    June 17, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. Sherri

    For you PUMA's out there ready to vote to cut off your noses to spite your faces, what do you think about the fact that ten years ago, John McCain had to apologize for telling a Republican audience an extremely crude joke about Hillary, Chelsea and Janet Reno? Do you know about this? Do you care? He certainly didn't care about them then, and I'm doubting that he cares much about them now.

    June 17, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. William, from Cali!

    "From those, which much is given; much should be expected!" Pay your "Fair" share.......................................................The rich gets richer; the poor gets poorer, that's the good olde, American way.......................................

    June 17, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. Democrat in LA

    This pretty incredible– after all this time to get things sorted out in their minds, the clintonites still don't have a clue. Truly remarkable how checked out this demo is. Talk about Kool-Aiders, these guys got played by Hillary and her strategists like a violin. And this idea of "getting back" by voting for McCain? Emotional, knee-jerk responses are supposed to last a few hours or days, not weeks and weeks. Experience? Clinton? Number 34 in seniority among Senate Democrats? Clinton doesn't even have enough clout to do anything significant in the Senate. She's finished. For good. Over. Done. Anything she accomplishes moving forward will be due to the kindness and graciousness of Mr. Obama and his administration. Maybe Chelsea will have better luck in 2016.

    June 17, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Donovan

    Worlds apart on Taxes?

    That is only the beginning, Gay Marraige, Guns, SSI...etc..etc.
    This Election again will be decided on conservative issues.
    Obama did not get a bounce from Clinton, and Remember
    McCain is well centered, just Like HC.

    McCain For President!

    June 17, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Donovan

    On A final Note,

    CNN needs to be fair, Obama gets a lot more press coverage than McCain...Quit staking the deck!

    June 17, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Maria, CA

    Yes, they are worlds apart. McCain is wrong and Barack is right. How do I know this? Because McCain is the 3rd term of George Bush and GWB has been wrong on ever thing since he got in office. He will go down in history as the WORST PRESIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY. Need I say more? Okay, I will–we have NOT been attacked since 9/11 because of GWB, but inspite of GWB. I don't trust George and he needs to crawl back to Crawford so that we can revive our country from the multiple heart attacks it has been experiencing since GWB took office.

    So who do I want to listen to GWB/McCain or Barack. I think Barack.

    I love America and I hate George W.

    June 17, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. sarah

    McCain has admitted that he doesn't know a thing about economic policy: can we afford that right now? And what's his first big idea? Do what Bush did. Only Obama has the political skill and intelligence to get us out of this mess. McCain would be a disaster.

    June 17, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    I agree with Obamas $250,000 threshold. I am sort of in the middle on corporate taxes. I am for cutting taxes for those companies who keep jobs here, who don't polute the enviroment etc. and not cutting taxes or penalizing those that do.........obviously, it would be more complicated than that, but thats the gist of it.

    June 17, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. M. Felder

    The mistake is not giving rich people a tax break, the problem was not adjusting the rate. You can't keep something at a high level and expect things to balance out. When things get out of balance, you have to make adjustments. This Administrative did nothng when they saw things getting out of control. Incidentally, giving rich people tax breaks does not necessarily generate jobs in the economy. Individual tax breaks and business tax breaks are a different breed.

    June 17, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. I'm Not Insane

    Let's see, do I want change or do I want the status quo? Let's see, do I want to continue paying $4. or maybe more for gas, or do I want to take my country back and kick the bums to the curb and do something about our situation? Do I want a president who says he knows NOTHING about the economy, or do I want a president who says he has new ideas to turn the economy around?

    This is a no brainer, folks. I don't want McCain because I'm not insane.

    Barack Obama 08

    June 17, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. J.T. Jackson in Michigan

    The wealthy have enjoyed the tax code for almost 8 yrs. and we have lost over 400,000 manufacturing jobs in Michigan alone. How can you say that increasing the tax burden on the wealthy will cause job loss? The generous tax code has not saved on job and they re still rich getting richer!!! Can you answer that Ed in NC

    June 17, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  22. al


    June 17, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. 2012

    "Tax the rich
    Feed the poor
    Till there are no
    Rich no more"............

    Ten Years After, "I'd love to change the world"

    Oh, sorry, Obamabots, I forgot this music was waaaaayyy before your time. Hmmmm.....guess it proves the point that those who forget, or in this case never bother to learn history are doomed to repeat it.

    June 17, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. texan

    Obama is promises , promises , promises. Just like any Politician with out experience promise ,promise. As a business owner if I make money I'll open another business and create jobs but as long as some nut head raises our capital gains tax and give to welfare, medicare, FOOD stamps,
    free free free and give to the free loaders I will never vote for that pin head.

    June 17, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. Jimmy, LA

    Jeb may think he is going to be president someday, but I say no, he will not. He is as they say, a polecat, who thinks he can pull the wool over this country's eyes, but he can't. He probably wants to be president to redeam his brother's sorry legacy, but there's nothing he can do about that fact.

    George is an idiot, and most thinking people are sorry they voted for his sorry ticket. GW stole the first election and he lied to get elected again. I say good. it's good that his legacy is in the trash and no spin will make the American people think otherwise. So Al Gore received an Oscar, and the Nobel Peace Prize, while GW has received the record for being the WORST PRESIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY.

    Karma is a .....

    June 17, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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