Tax law expert says Obama tax plan is sound

09/12/08 Seán Kinane
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Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is responding to claims by John McCain's camp that Obama’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.

“It’s just not true that Senator Obama intends to raise taxes for most Americans. You’ve got to make over a quarter of a million dollars a year before you would be hit by a tax increase under Obama’s tax proposal.”

Small business owners who make less than $250,000 per year would also benefit from Obama’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 “very wealthy” would benefit most from McCain’s plan.

“For 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 McCain’s plan. Under Obama’s plan, that family, that struggling family, would get about $2,100 dollars.”

Five volunteers made phone calls to potential voters at the “Campaign for Change” 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 McCain’s tax plan, which he called “objectively regressive.” People making more than $250,000 per year and some large corporations would fare better under a McCain administration, said Jones.

According to Time magazine’s Joe Klein, an upcoming book by Fortune columnist Matt Miller quotes John McCain’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 Obama’s plan to reduce what he calls the “tax gap” 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 “tax code murder.”

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 McCain’s tax plan is better than Obama’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 Seán Kinane/WMNF

The Obama campaign’s comparison of tax plans between two of the presidential candidates, Obama and John McCain

Douglas Holtz-Eakin quoted in Time magazine

Joe Klein’s post that Holtz-Eakin says next president will have to raise taxes

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I like the kind of Change Obama is promising--and the change in my pocket! McCain keeps lying about this. Maybe he is afraid to tell the truth--that his plans to keep us at war and his tax cuts for the rich will keep us and our children and our grand children and our great grandchildren poor forever.

i agree with mr jones i think hes wright and knows what he's talking about. every one needs to vote because we need change

Darryll's Mother

My son Darryll is right!! He is smart and he knows what he is talking about. Mary Jones