This kind of reporting from Deborah Solomon at The Wall Street Journal is the kind of thing we’re going to miss when Rupert Murdoch gets around to destroying the paper:
Both John McCain and Barack Obama promise to cut taxes for the majority of Americans. But an Obama administration would redistribute income toward lower- and middle-class households, while a McCain White House would steer the bulk of the benefits to the wealthiest families, according to a nonpartisan analysis of the still-evolving tax plans of the presidential candidates.
What’s more, the story’s not in the tank for Obama, either, correctly noting that his tax proposals, though better in distributive terms, are also kind of bad:
Both plans risk causing more economic damage than improvement, according to the detailed study by the Washington-based Tax Policy Center. While some of Sen. McCain’s tax cuts could lift economic activity, the “adverse effects of the resulting increased deficits may make the net effect of the plan economically harmful,” the report says. Sen. Obama’s plan similarly “would substantially increase the deficit” and could create “additional complexity” to the tax code by offering a range of targeted breaks.
Here’s a link to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis. Long story short, both candidates have deficit-increasing proposals that will likely reduce economic growth. But McCain’s take a bigger hole out of the budget and the benefits are much more concentrated among the wealthiest Americans.