As most people know, Obama rolled out his pie-in-the-sky economic relief plan yesterday, and McCain did the same this morning. Both plans are deeply flawed and stand very little chance of actually being implemented, but the hypothetical solutions are interesting windows into the candidates’ minds. Both want to allow people to dip into their retirement savings early without penalty (bad idea, guys–what happens when people run out of money and have to survive on Social Security?); Obama wants to bribe employers to “create” new jobs, which I think is far too simplistic and not well thought out. But McCain takes the cake. He wants to cut the capital gains tax from 15% to 7.5%. Theoretcially this sounds kind of nice; you don’t have to give up such a big chunk of profit when you sell your house or your stocks. Except now, people’s houses and stocks have generally decreased in value, so anyone unloading assets right now wouldn’t be worrying too much about CGT. But you know who would stand to benefit hugely from this tax cut? Hedge-fund managers! Yes, those gazillionaires whose income is taxed as “fees,” or capital gains, at what is already half of the rate (or less) at which the typical worker’s income is taxed. So now McCain wants this mind-bogglingly wealthy group to be taxed at a quarter the rate I am? This is his regard for the “American workers”? Please, Senator Obama, smack the old man down tomorrow for this!

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