Some of it is ideological, from partisans wearing their Limbaugh-Hannity blinders, who simply refuse to recognize that, under Obama's plan, the mythical Joe the Plumber, married with two kids, and earning $200,000 a year WOULD GET A $6,474 TAX CUT!
Which just happens to be the identical tax cut that McCain is offering to that same upper-middle-class family.
Now, where I come from, families earning $200,000 a year are still making a lot of money. They may be annoyed at the country club assessment, or stretched by the cost of prep school tuition, or upset with the price of gasoline and auto insurance for the cars they have given their teenage children, but they are far from hurting. Yet Obama still wants to cut their taxes—significantly.
That, my friends, is not socialism.
Other critics, more reasonably, have asked why I used broad tax categories—the middle 20 percent, the richest 1 percent—in yesterday's post, since most folks don't know where they fit, percentagewise, in the universe of taxpayers.
Here, from the same Tax Policy Center analysis that both sides in the argument are relying on, is how your average working family—two earners, with two children—would make out under the McCain and Obama plans.
(Note: The Tax Policy Center also has charts for seniors, single-earner families, and single taxpayers at its website.)
The big differences are at the top and the bottom of the charts. As noted above, both candidates treat the upper middle class the same.
But if you are Fred the unemployed construction worker, and Denise the house cleaner, with a combined income of $25,000 a year, McCain will give you nothing, while Obama cuts your (refundable) taxes by $1,287 per year.
If you are Hal the high school football coach, and Sally the bank teller, earning $100,000 a year, McCain gives you a $2,759 tax break, but Obama still gives you more—$3,043.
We've noted what Joe will get at $200,000 a year.
The biggest difference—and the real reason McCain is gibbering about "socialism" on the campaign trail—is in the upper brackets.
If you are Mike and Beth the Doctors, blessed, smart, and gifted enough to bring home $500,000 a year, McCain will leave your taxes as they are, and Obama will raise them by $6,727. That's almost real money, even for millionaires.
But is it enough, as you look around and see what has happened to your country, to make you vote Republican again? You, more than most, understand the challenges faced by your working-class patients. Consider: Obama merely repeals the Bush tax cuts, leaving you at what you were paying during the Clinton years.
Then, finally, we arrive at Boardwalk and Park Place, the real Spread the Wealth territory in Obama's plan.
Hello, Jeff the Titan of Wall Street, and Monica the corporate lawyer. (And Sean and Rush the blowhards.) You're making $2 million a year, with a house on the Vineyard and the kids on a glide path to Yale and Sweetbriar. And McCain will actually cut your taxes.
It's chump change for you—just $1,122. Why, you've spent more than that in a restaurant. But beware the evil socialist Obama. He wants you to kick in another $108,704 a year, from your cool $2 million, to finance the tax cuts he is planning to give to Fred and Denise, Hal and Sally...and even ol' Joe the Plumber.
Them, folks, is the facts.