Pizza and Politics: Final Event in Election Series Looks at Taxes
Web Editor - Published: November 2, 2008

On Wednesday, October 29th, the final Pizza and Politics event looked at the tax proposals of Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. Students, faculty, and staff congregated in the student lounge off Main Street to learn more about the proposals from Professor Nicholas Mirkay.

Professor Mirkay presented a detailed breakdown of each candidate’s tax proposals in a side-by-side comparison, showing clearly where and how the tax policies of the two candidates differed. There were a lot of similarities between the two plans, including a desire by both candidates to make permanent the 2001 deduction for married couples, the child tax credit, and the research tax credit for corporations. The primary area of difference between the two proposals is in the restructuring of the tax brackets and the rates for those brackets. McCain’s plan would make permanent President George W. Bush’s elimination of the pre-2001 36% and 39.6% brackets on top earners as well as cuts in the capital gains and dividend rates. Obama’s plan would allow the higher rates cut in the Bush tax legislation to lapse to the pre-2001 percentages while maintaining the current rates on individuals making less than $200,000 and joint-filers earning less than $250,000.  Obama’s plan would also institute overall tax cuts for middle- and low- income taxpayers through several means, including tax credits.

Other topics discussed included the Alternative Minimum Tax, corporate taxes, and the estate tax. Professor Mirkay took questions from the audience as well. Professor Erin Daly asked if “Presidential candidates always have such detailed tax plans,” and he answered that they typically have, but suggested that he thought that there was considerably more scrutiny on the issue this year due to the economy.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4th.

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