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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 13, 2008

McCain - Barack Obama's Tax on Seniors

Today, on the fifth day of Barack Obama's "Change That Works For You" tour, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds issued the following statement:

"Barack Obama likes to think that his tax increases will only hit a few Americans, but in truth, his economic plan will be a disaster for everyone, especially seniors. Because of Barack Obama's tax increases, one out of every three senior households will end up paying higher taxes. That's not change we can believe in when so many seniors are struggling to cope with higher gas prices and food prices. The last thing we need to do is raise their taxes. Unfortunately, all too often, that is the first thing Barack Obama will do."

Barack Obama Will Raise Taxes On 10 Million Seniors (One Out Of Every Three Senior Households In America)

Tax Policy Center: Barack Obama Would Raise Taxes On One Out Of Every Three Senior Households. "Even though Senator Obama's plan eliminates individual income taxes for seniors with incomes less than $50,000, his plan would raise taxes for almost 10 million senior households, over a third of the total (not shown in table). On average, seniors would face a tax increase of about 2 percent of income." (Burman et al., "A Preliminary Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans," The Tax Policy Center, 6/11/08)

· Tax Foundation: Seniors "Rely Most On The Stable Flow Of Income That Dividends Provide." "Most debate over whether to extend the reduced rates on dividends and capital gains has focused on the tax benefits of these cuts to high-income taxpayers. What has been largely ignored is the impact these tax policies have on corporations' decisions on how best to distribute their income to shareholders -- including senior citizens, who rely most on the stable flow of income that dividends provide. A recent Tax Foundation analysis illustrated that a large number of those benefiting from dividends are seniors and those on the verge of retirement (See www.taxfoundation.org). A further analysis of these seniors earning dividends reveals that lower-income seniors who file tax returns depend more heavily on divide nd income than high-income seniors." (Gerald Prante, "The Importance Of Dividend Income For Low-Income Seniors," Tax Foundation, http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/1354.html, 2/8/06)

Barack Obama "Has Changed His Position" On Social Security "In A Matter Of Months"

The Washington Post's Dan Balz: "[O]bama Has Changed His Position On What To Do About The Government Retirement System's Financial Problems." (Dan Balz, "What's On The Table For Obama And Social Security?" The Washington Post's "The Trail" Blog, www.washingtonpost.com, 10/30/07)

· Balz: "In a matter of months, Obama has moved from being open to a solution that might include raising the retirement age or indexing benefits to prices rather than wages -- as Republican Fred Thompson has recommended -- to one of making the protection of benefits one of his three core principles for dealing with Social Security." (Dan Balz, "What's On The Table For Obama And Social Security?" The Washington Post's "The Trail" Blog, www.washingtonpost.com, 10/30/07)

· Balz: "He Needs To Say What Is Now On The Table And What Isn't." (Dan Balz, "What's On The Table For Obama And Social Security?" The Washington Post's "The Trail" Blog, www.washingtonpost.com, 10/30/07)

Barack Obama Wants It Both Ways Can't Decide If All Options Are "On The Table," Or If He Wants To Be "Very Specific" About His Plan To Fully Fund Social Security

In May 2007, Barack Obama Said "Everything Should Be On The Table" To Ensure Solvency Of Social Security, Including Raising Payroll Taxes And The Retirement Age. ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "You've also said that with Social Security everything should be on the table." Obama: "Yes." Stephanopoulos: "Raising the retirement age?" Obama: "Everything should be on the table." Stephanopoulos: "Raising payroll taxes?" Obama: "Everything should be on the table. ... [I] don't want to lay out my preferences beforehand, but what I know is that Social Security is solvable." (ABC's "This Week," 5/13/07)

In September. 2007, Barack Obama Wrote An Article That Said Cutting Benefits Or Raising The Retirement Age Were Off The Table As Options To Fund Social Security. Obama: "[I] do not want to cut benefits or raise the retirement age." (Sen. Barack Obama, Op-Ed, "Fixed-Income Seniors Can Expect A Tax Cut," Quad City [IA] Times, 9/21/07)

In November 2007, Barack Obama Denied That He Had Taken Anything Off The Table. NBC's Tim Russert: "But, Senator, you said last year--earlier this year that everything should be on the table for Social Security, including looking at raising retirement age, indexing benefits, and then suddenly you said, 'No, no. Those aren't ... on the table; I'm taking them off the table.'" Obama: "Tim, that's not--that's not what I said. What I said was that I will convene a meeting as president where we discuss all of the options that are available." ... Russert: "But they would be on the table?" Obama: "Well, I will listen to all arguments and the best options, finding out what is it going to take to close that gap." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 11/11/07)

But Only Days Later Said He'd Been "Very Specific" In Opposing Benefit Cuts And Raising The Retirement Age; He Favored Raising Payroll Taxes. Obama: "So I've been very specific about saying that we should not privatize, we should protect benefits. I don't think the best way to approach this is to raise the retirement age. But what we can do is adjust the cap on the payroll tax." (Sen. Barack Obama, CNN Democrat Presidential Candidates Debate, Las Vegas, NV, 11/15/07)

Barack Obama Opposes Privatization Of Social Security But Suggested Personal Accounts As A "Complement" To Social Security

Obama: "First, I will fight against efforts to privatize Social Security, as I and others did when President Bush proposed private accounts a few years ago. Privatization is wrong." (Sen. Barack Obama, Op-Ed, "Fixed-Income Seniors Can Expect A Tax Cut," Quad City [IA] Times, 9/21/07)

In The Audacity Of Hope, Obama Supported A "Universally Available Pension System" As "A Complement To Social Security." "And if Americans are going to depend on defined-contribution plans like 401(k)s to supplement Social Security, then the government should step in to make them more broadly available to all Americans and more effective in encouraging savings. ... As a complement to Social Security, we should...begin moving toward a beefed-up, universally available pension system that not only promotes savings but gives all Americans a bigger stake in the fruits of globalization." (Barack Obama, The Audacity Of Hope, 2006, pp. 182-183)

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