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Change + Maverick = Old-school politics

The New York Times has an interesting article today looking at how the presumptive presidential candidates are, at least in this early, not quite official stage of their head-to-head battle, employing classic, partisan tax policy arguments.

"It is a battle between Republican supply-side economics and a Democratic tradition that uses government levers to try to reduce inequality and spur the economy," write Michael Cooper and Larry Rohter in 2 New-Style Candidates Hit Old Notes on Economy.

Cooper and Rohter go on to note, in part, that:

Mccain_mug_closeup John McCain, who once opposed the Bush tax cuts in part because they favored the wealthy, has now made extending those cuts a central plank in his economic plan, which is based largely on the Republican credo that tax reductions stimulate the economy.

… and …

Obama_mug_closeup Barack Obama often speaks of the traditional liberal goal of trying to redistribute the tax burden to reduce economic inequality, and at least in his public pronouncements has not emphasized the market-friendly, deficit-reduction aspects of the economic approach credited to former President Bill Clinton and former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin in the 1990s.

Over all, says the article, both McCain and Obama are sticking "pretty closely" to their party’s traditional economic playbooks as they take initial campaign jabs at each other in connection with economic and tax issues.

A similar analysis (McCain, Obama Clash on Economy) also runs today in the Washinton Post, where Perry Bacon, Jr., writes that the senators' "rhetoric suggests that, despite assertions by both candidates that they would take non-ideological approaches, their views on the economy will mirror the divides of most recent presidential races."

mccain-v-obama_tax-policies

Take a look: The New York Times article includes a side-by-side chart of the Obama and McCain positions on short-term economic relief (e.g., federal gas tax holiday vs. expanded unemployment benefits); long-term tax proposals (e.g., payroll, capitals gains, estate, corporate and alternative minimum taxes); and where each proposes to make additional savings (e.g., end earmarks vs. oil industry windfall profits tax).

Finally! Some political meat instead of airy appetizers, even if it is from an old campaign menu.

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