Why, oh why, can’t John McCain explain the economic facts of life in a way Joe the Voter can understand?
A woman with whom I’ve been on an e-mail list for years, a woman who describes herself as somewhere between Democrat and Republican, who has been non-political all the 8 years I’ve known her, but who has been following this election closely and leaning toward McCain, wrote this morning:
I don’t like Obama but I want him to win now. McCain has been acting like a real jerk lately and his whole Joe the Plumber crap. Well, if you are making $250k, you are doing fine and don’t need more tax cuts. Let’s finally do something for the middle class!!!! Unless you are poor or really rich, you struggle. I am sick of it.
McCain simply isn’t good at articulating his differences with Obama, and Obama is, so people don’t understand what McCain ought to say but isn’t saying. Here’s the deal:
(1) Obama can’t give a tax cut to 95% of working families because a lot of them don’t PAY any Federal income tax now because they make too little. What he’s talking about is tax credits that they would get, in effect the Fed govt sending them a check. That isn’t a tax cut; that’s spending, and could not unreasonably be defined as welfare.
(2) Saying tax cuts on people above $250K won’t affect the rest of us is disingenuous. Take my husband: he makes less than $250K from his tutoring service, so he ought to be fine, right? Well, a lot of his clients make over $250K, and tutoring is discretionary spending. Tax them enough, and they cut out the tutoring, and my husband loses clients and therefore income. Also, some of his clients are small business owners who don’t themselves make a quarter of a million, but who also have a client base of $250K+ earners, and when those people start cutting back, my husband’s small business owning clients lose business, lose money, and stop hiring my husband. Some of them will also stop hiring the gardener and the cleaning woman, stop eating at as many restaurants and tipping as well when they do, stop hiring Joe the Plumber to remodel their bathroom and Stan the Electrician to put in recessed lighting and Susan the Designer to re-do their living room, and stop buying overpriced sheets and cookware at Bed, Bath & Beyond, where the husband of my above-quoted friend is a manager. Her husband doesn’t make $250K, but you can bet a lot of the people dropping $300 for a single Wusthof knife at his store do.
THAT is what John McCain should have been saying in his debates, and I was just about screaming and tearing my hair out because he wasn’t. The left-wing talking heads can mock “trickle-down” economics on MSNBC all they want, but the fact is that tax cuts and tax hikes do trickle down through the economic strata of society.
Barack Obama will not cut the taxes of 95% of working families, because 95% of working families aren’t even paying Federal income taxes. Barack Obama’s tax plan will NOT “have no effect on those of you making less than a quarter million dollars,” as Senator Obama loves to say, and Senator McCain neglects to correct in manner ordinary people can understand. The attractive young orator’s words beguile, but they are in reality nothing more than lies, damned lies, and statistics.