Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), has repeatedly asserted that there are “no tax cuts anywhere for the wealthy” in McCain’s tax plan. During a debate on Bloomberg last night, Holtz-Eakin again said that “there aren’t any tax cuts for the wealthy in this.”
However, when it was pointed out that McCain’s proposal to temporarily cut the capital gains tax would overwhelmingly benefit millionaires, Holtz-Eakin conceded that was a “fair point,” but said he’s “not here to quibble on things like that.” Watch it:
Indeed, this is a very fair point, as the Tax Policy Center found that two-thirds of the benefits from McCain’s capital gains cut would go to those making $1 million or more. Were this proposal enacted, millionaires would get an average tax cut of more than $72,000, while those making less than $50,000 would receive, on average, no cut at all.
However, Holtz-Eakin now needs to acknowledge that the rest of McCain’s plan also significantly cuts taxes for the wealthy. McCain’s tax plan delivers almost half of its benefits to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, and gives the top 0.1 percent a $1 million tax cut. Meanwhile, 100 million middle class households receive no benefit at all.
So it is “fair” to say that McCain’s capital gains cut would only benefit the wealthy, but it’s also “fair” to say that about the rest of McCain’s plan.