Obama ad: McCain would help corporations

By The Associated Press
Wed Aug 20, 3:59 PM ET

TITLE: “Three Times”

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Virginia.

SCRIPT: Announcer: “Can we really afford more of the same? John McCain’s tax plan: For big corporations — $200 billion in new tax breaks. Oil companies — $4 billion. Companies shipping jobs overseas — keep their tax giveaways while 100 million Americans get no tax relief at all. For the change we need, Barack Obama. A plan that cuts taxes for middle-class families three times as much as John McCain would. Barack Obama. President.”

Obama: “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.”

KEY IMAGES: A man in his 60s looks gravely at the camera. Clips of McCain at a podium followed by a generic corporate board meeting, image of gas prices rising and an abandoned factory. A man in his 30s looks into the camera. A clip of McCain followed by film of Obama with a factory worker.

ANALYSIS: By airing in eight battleground states, this ad broadens Obama’s anti-McCain message and puts both presidential candidates in an all-out slugfest of critical ads. While Obama is running a positive message about himself during national broadcasts of the Olympics, he’s hammering McCain with economy-centered ads in states that could determine the election in November. The ads suggest that the campaign is seeking to re-establish Obama as a voice for working people after setting domestic issues aside during his widely covered trip to the Middle East and Europe.

McCain does call for a reduction in corporate taxes, from 35 percent now to 25 percent after 2014. But at least one Obama economic adviser has indicated that Obama himself might be open to a lower corporate tax rate — though not as low as McCain has recommended.

In an interview with Forbes.com last month, Jason Furman, Obama’s director of economic policy, said: “He would like to cut the corporate tax rate, and it’s a question that we’re studying.” In June, Obama also told The Wall Street Journal he might support a cut in corporate taxes. Still, Obama’s economic plan aims the largest cuts toward lower-income taxpayers while McCain would give the largest tax cuts to high-income taxpayers.

The $4 billion in tax breaks for the oil companies is simply part of McCain’s overall corporate tax reduction plan and does not represent an additional tax benefit. In other words, the corporate tax reduction applies to all corporations, oil companies included. Both Obama and McCain have proposed eliminating oil and gas tax loopholes.

The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that under Obama’s plan middle-income taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. “Those in the top 1 percent would face a $19,000, or 1.5 percent, reduction in after-tax income,” the center concluded in an analysis issued this week.

“McCain would lift after-tax incomes an average of about 3 percent, or $1,400 annually, for middle-income taxpayers by 2012,” the center said. “But, in sharp contrast to Obama, he would cut taxes for those in the top 1 percent by more than $125,000, raising their after-tax income an average 9.5 percent.”

Analysis by Associated Press Writer Jim Kuhnhenn

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