succumbing to peer pressure

Monday, June 23, 2008

Math is hard!

I hate to be glib, but I think one of the reasons why, as Ezra laments, the media won't get the story right regarding Obama's vs. McCain's tax plans is that numbers, particularly numbers related to taxes, are hard to explain and contextualize and as a general rule, make the average viewer's eyes glaze over. Nonetheless, this should absolutely be a scandal and is, as far as I'm concerned, inherently offensive.
It's rather remarkable that the candidate who's always talking about sacrifice is trying to give himself a $400,000 tax break during wartime and despite massive deficits.
(emphasis in the original) According to Ezra, the Obama family is in the top .5 percent of earners and the McCains are in the top .1 percent. Under McCain's proposed tax plan the Obamas would have saved $49,000 on there 2006 taxes and the McCains $373,000. To be fair, Obama's tax plan would save his family a bit of money too ($6,000) and McCain's ($5,000). But that's two orders of magnitude less than McCain's.


Blogger Sudiptya said...

Anecdotes don't usually provide a real revelation on the pros/cons of a plan that affect 540 million people. Has anyone seen the nuts and bolts of McCain and Obama's respective plans? I'm curious to see what, exactly, is right/wrong with them.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Agreed, and I didn't mean this as a comprehensive (or even fair) assessment of either candidate's tax plan (both of which certainly deserve scrutiny). Rather I was struck by Klein's argument that this appears to be a fairly straight-forward and impressive sound bite, and yet the media likely won't run with it.

Though frankly I am still offended by any tax plan that will take billions of dollars out of the federal pot and return it to the pockets of the top .1% of earners. Then again, I've always been a bit of a socialist.

6:20 PM  

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