In an “exclusive” story that appears to have been peddled by the McCain campaign, Politico’s Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin report that John McCain is considering “measures aimed directly at the middle class.” What measures? “Tax cuts – perhaps temporary – for capital gains and dividends.” Brad DeLong writes, “Capital gains and dividend tax cuts are simply not ‘economic measures aimed directly at the middle class’: the middle class doesn’t collect capital gains, or dividends, in any material amount.” Pat Garofalo breaks down the key stats:
As the Tax Policy Center has noted, under the current capital gains and dividends rate, 98.3% of the benefits go to the top 20% of taxpayers. The other 80% of taxpayers see only 1.7% of the benefits of today’s rate. 93.9% of the benefits go to the top 5%, and 84.8% to the 1%.