Taxing Obama

Headed out to listen to Barack Obama unveil his middle class tax cut/simplifcation proposals.

In brief, Obama would offer a homeowner's tax credit for non-itemizers, eliminate the federal income tax for seniors making less than $50K per year, simplify tax filings, and cut taxes by providing $500-to-$1000 payroll tax offsets. He'd pay for the plan by using money recovered from a repeal of the fabled Bush tax cuts for those making $250K. (He has also said he'd pay for his health care plan by repealing the tax cuts).

Obama's speech is embargoed until he utters it, so I can't say much more.

Obama's aides have said that his tax cut proposal will be a centerpiece of his fall campaign, much in the way that Bill Clinton, in late 1991 and early 1992, campaigned on a middle class tax cut. (See a vintage Clinton advertisement here.)

Clinton dropped the tax cut proposal when he became president, but he later retroactively realized that his expansion of the earned income tax credit amounted to a significant tax cut for working class families.

How will Obama frame his tax cut? Clinton, in 1992, always twinned his proposal with a vow that the rich ought to pay their fare share.