Times Change

John McCain, June 11, 2002:

I am concerned that repeal of the estate tax would provide massive benefits solely to the wealthiest and highest-income taxpayers in the country. A Treasury Department study found that almost no estate tax has been paid by lower- and middle-income taxpayers. But taxes have been paid on the estates of people who were in the highest 20% of the income distribution at the time of their death. It found that 91% of all estate taxes are paid by the estates of people whose annual income exceeded $190,000 around the time of their death.

John McCain today:

Another of my disagreements with Senator Obama concerns the estate tax, which he proposes to increase to a top rate of 55 percent. The estate tax is one of the most unfair tax laws on the books, and the first step to reform is to keep it predictable and keep it low.

Obama’s actual proposal:

Make permanent estate tax with $3.5 million exemption and 45 percent rate.

McCain likes to change his position on issues, and he also likes to be ignorant about basic facts, but you don’t see the twofer every day.