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Issues '08: Taxes and Spending
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCainare dressed as Joe the Plumber as they stand outside the Roanoke Civic Center where a rally for Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., takes place in Roanoke, Va., Oct. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Supporters of Sen. John McCain, dressed as Joe the Plumber, near a rally for Sen. Barack Obama in Roanoke, Va.., Oct. 17, 2008. (AP)

First it was the economy, meltdown, and bail-out, and now the hot talk on the campaign trail is all about how to survive the meltdown and pay for a comeback. About taxes and spending.

Suddenly, Joe the Plumber is a star and McCain is calling Obama’s plans “socialist.” That after a Republican White House nationalized American banks.

One thing is true: Barack Obama and John McCain have very different plans on tax policy. And neither, say the experts, would really balance the budget.

Today, we’ll make their plans as clear as we can, so you understand what they could mean for your bottom line. And also for America’s soaring federal deficit.

This hour, On Point: Big issue — taxes, spending and your money under McCain or Obama.

You can join the conversation. Who’s singing your song on taxes and spending? McCain or Obama? Who’s got the edge, the answer, for our challenges now? Tell us what you think.

Guests:

Joining us from Washington is William Gale. He is vice president and director of economic studies at the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, which has analyzed both candidates’ tax plans.

Also from Washington, we’re joined by Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan research group that has looked at the budget implications of the candidates’ plans.

More links:

The Washington Post has published a chart comparing the candidates’ tax plans.

And you can read the candidates’ tax policies at the official Obama and McCain campaign websites.

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