Tax law expert says Obama tax plan is sound listen09/12/08 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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Barack Obamaâ€™s presidential campaign is responding to claims by John McCain's camp that Obamaâ€™s tax policy will be bad for Americans.
Darryll Jones is a professor of tax law at the Stetson University College of Law. Jones said his analysis of the tax plans of McCain and Obama makes it clear that more people will benefit under an Obama administration.
â€œItâ€™s just not true that Senator Obama intends to raise taxes for most Americans. Youâ€™ve got to make over a quarter of a million dollars a year before you would be hit by a tax increase under Obamaâ€™s tax proposal.â€
Small business owners who make less than $250,000 per year would also benefit from Obamaâ€™s tax cuts, according to Jones, who emphasized he was not speaking on behalf of his university. On the other hand, he said that only the â€œvery wealthyâ€ would benefit most from McCainâ€™s plan.
â€œFor example, a single parent making $40,000 with two young children and childcare expenses would get a $125 tax credit, basically two tanks of gas, I mean tax benefit from McCainâ€™s plan. Under Obamaâ€™s plan, that family, that struggling family, would get about $2,100 dollars.â€
Five volunteers made phone calls to potential voters at the â€œCampaign for Changeâ€ Office in downtown Tampa, during what the Obama campaign called a Tax Myth Busters Press Conference. Jones said Obama has proposed a further tax exemption for senior citizens earning less than $50,000 so that they will no longer have their Social Security checks taxed if they decide to work.
But, Jones admits that there will be some people and corporations who benefit from McCainâ€™s tax plan, which he called â€œobjectively regressive.â€ People making more than $250,000 per year and some large corporations would fare better under a McCain administration, said Jones.
According to Time magazineâ€™s Joe Klein, an upcoming book by Fortune columnist Matt Miller quotes John McCainâ€™s chief economic policy advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin as saying whoever is elected will have to raise taxes, perhaps as much as $700 billion. Jones said Obamaâ€™s plan to reduce what he calls the â€œtax gapâ€ would go a long way to meeting that shortfall.
Jones said hedge fund managers and others who exploit loopholes are not only increasing the deficit, they are getting away with â€œtax code murder.â€
Cindy Guerra, who chairs the Broward chapter of Women for McCain, disagrees with Holtz-Eakin that McCain will need to raise taxes as president. Guerra, who is also vice chair of the Republican Party in Broward County, maintains that McCainâ€™s tax plan is better than Obamaâ€™s.
Guerra works in the office of Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, but is using annual leave time to speak on behalf of the McCain campaign.
Photo by SeÃ¡n Kinane/WMNF