Senator John McCain continues to make misleading and plainly incorrect statements about tax policy while on the campaign trail. On June 10 he told a group of small business owners that Senator Obama's tax plan would constitute the biggest tax increase since World War II. Annenberg Political Fact Check correctly points out that Obama's plan mainly involves allowing some of the Bush tax cuts to expire, and that expiration was written into law by President Bush and his allies in Congress, so it's difficult to see Obama's proposal as a "new" tax or a tax "increase." (Even if this did constitute a tax increase, measured as a percentage of gross domestic product this would constitute only the fifth largest since World War II.)

Even worse, McCain continues to claim that "Americans of every background would see their taxes rise" if any attempt is made to reduce the tax subsidy for capital gains and dividends. CTJ's recent report on this subject shows that 70 percent of the benefits of the Bush tax cuts for capital gains and dividends go to the richest one percent of Americans. The poorest 60 percent of Americans get next to nothing from this tax break. Most stock owned by middle-income people is in 401(k) plans, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or other similar retirement savings vehicles. Taxes on these investments are deferred until retirement, at which point they are taxed as "ordinary income," meaning they don't benefit from the tax cuts for capital gains and dividends.

Thank you for visiting Tax Justice Blog. CTJ and ITEP staff will soon retire this domain. But ITEP staff are still blogging! You can find the same level of insight and analysis and select Tax Justice Blog archives at our new blog,

Sign Up for Email Digest

CTJ Social Media

ITEP Social Media