Change, change, change. But it turns out that John McCain's tax plan is a familiar Republican one that would make the system more regressive, and Obama's is a familiar Democratic one that would make it more progressive:
In the first detailed analysis of the Barack Obama and John McCain tax plans, the Tax Policy Center has run their proposals through the Big Computer and discovered that their schemes are, well, painfully predictable. Each would raise the national debt by trillions of dollars. Obama would use the money to provide modest tax cuts to low- and moderate-income people while imposing stiff tax hikes on the very wealthy. McCain would cut taxes a bit for the working-class and a lot for the rich.
Obama, who casts himself as an out-of-the box, post-partisan politician, has put together a fairly conventional Democratic tax plan. Despite McCain's recent claim that Obama would raise taxes for all, it turns out that middle-class families would do better under Obama (who would cut their taxes by $1000 in 2009) than McCain (who would cut them by only $300). Obama's generosity comes at a price, however, He'd raise the national debt by a staggering $3.3 trillion over the next decade, and that includes more than $900 billion in promised revenue raisers that TPC could not verify.
McCain, who once opposed President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cut as a give-away to the rich, but now embraces them, has designed a plan more consistent with the New McCain than the old. It is as Republican a plan as Obama's is Democratic. The top 20% of taxpayers get a 3% reduction in after-tax income.
Best line: "The only comfort is that they are both politicians, so there's a good chance they are lying."