Going by the Numbers

We’re back to the numbers this week on the campaign trail…

A new study is out about how the McCain and Obama proposed tax plans would affect two specific focus families. The families chosen were the Obama and McCain families (neat trick). Check out the results here. Essentially, if you’re in the top 1% of the population, you’re going to do okay either way. The Obama plan will give you a little cash back, and the McCain plan a little more. If you’re in the top tenth of a percentile (.1%), however, you’ll probably be voting Republican, because you’ll be getting maybe thirty times more back under McCain. Um…yeah.

I’d like to take a moment to point out while members of the McCain campaign have suggested that the economy can take cuts of this size in spite of the opinions of the experts and McCain’s voting record, other experts happily point out that neither plan will generate enough income to even begin to address of deficit. Keep that in mind.

So I don’t think that I need to make the point, if you’re already on this site, that women aren’t quite caught up economically in this country, nor suggest that the recent Ledbetter case in the Supreme Court points to the fact that may be even easier to get screwed economically as a woman in America and therefore maybe women should particularly want a tax plan that evens out the load a little. (But if you’re looking more on that follow those links for some good reading.)

No, I’d like to talk some numbers to some Jews who like numbers. I know, I know, your primary concern is Israel, but let’s talk very concretely for just a moment or two, okay? I’ve always been a big fan of voting where you live, and let’s face it: no U.S. president will be in a position to snub Israel. So let’s chill and talk about the fact that while Jews have done very well for ourselves in America, we don’t all fit neatly into the category of “top-tenth percentile.” If 20% if NYC Jews below the poverty line in 2004 doesn’t make you think twice, let me remind you that in the test run on the two plans, the poorer of the two, the Obamas, made nearly one million dollars per year—a salary comfortably inside “upper middle class” range. They may get a little more money back from the government under the McCain plan, but they’re doing all the economic work for the top tenth of their numbers. They’re getting screwed in the ratio. So we don’t even need to address how the ordinary worker is getting screwed by oil prices. Let us talk of Medicaid and Medicare and healthcare, and how the tinkering-with of these things is going to affect the upper middle class. Probably, not for the better. I’m just giving you the numbers.

–Mel Weiss.