So the main issue on voters' minds is the economy, a subject John McCain has repeatedly said in the past that he's not exactly an expert in. So what's McCain to do? Well, beyond denying he ever made those remarks, he is now trying to confuse people about Obama's plan to cut taxes. Last night McCain brought up the situation of "Joe the plumber", a guy that wants to buy a business because Joe's situation is exactly that: confusing.
I wouldn't expect Obama, McCain, or anyone else to be able to calculate the full tax implications of Joe buying his business in just a few quick minutes during the debate, and Joe would be an idiot not to consult a financial expert about such a deal. This morning all the different media outlets are trying to figure out the amount Joe would pay under each of Obama's and McCain's tax plans (I've heard $900 and a variety of other figures), but I still haven't seen a definitive answer. McCain knew and counted on that being the case. Buying a business can be a complex deal. Regardless of whether or not Joe gets taxed more or not, McCain was just trying to create FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) in the minds of those watching the debate about Obama's tax cuts.
Fortunately the Obama campaign has set-up a website where people can go and by entering some basic information about their situation, find out roughly how much they would save under Obama's plan. Here's a basic version of the calculator:
Now some will say that you can't trust the calculator because it was created by the Obama campaign, but somehow I doubt those people would vote for Obama no matter who created it. The point is this: the calculator applies the general principles of Obama's proposed tax plan and how it would affect you. It is precisely this sort of information the McCain campaign would prefer that you don't see.
Share this calculator with your friends and families. Simply being told Obama's plan cuts taxes for 95% of us, or that it provides $1,000 of tax relief for workers as well as new tax benefits for college, childcare and retirement doesn't have the same impact as letting them see for themselves what they might save.
Remember, knowledge is power.
(P.S. I nearly wrote a post about how Joe the plumber seems like he might be a McCain plant since he's on Fox News this morning calling Obama a socialist and reciting other of McCain's talking points, but I don't want to sound like a conspiracist. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.)