The Corner

McCain Plan Better for the Middle Class

Could that have been the headline of this New York Times piece analyzing the McCain and Obama tax plans? It seems that way. Instead, the headline is: “For Incomes Below $100,000, a Better Tax Break in Obama’s Plan.” The story says this: “Mr. Obama would generally cut taxes more than Senator John McCain would for households with incomes less than $100,000 a year.” But then you look at this accompanying chart that shows, in its scenarios for families making $150,000 or less, that McCain gives more tax relief for families than Obama when McCain’s health care credit is included (except for those families who happen to be getting Obama’s tuition credit). Why doesn’t the story reflect this? I talked to the good folks at Deloitte, who did some of the analysis for the Times, and they said their work excluded the tuition and health-care credits (the chart was the work of the Tax Policy Center). Fair enough, but in the text of the story, the Times story makes it sound like the credits are included in its calculations throughout, not just in the chart. At the very least–very confusing stuff.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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