Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Luppino: The McCain and Obama Tax Plans

Anthony J. Luppino (Missouri-Kansas City) has published A Little of This, a Little of That:  Potential Effects on Entrepreneurship of the McCain and Obama Tax Proposals, 31 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 717 (2009).  Here is part of the Conclusion:

There are certainly many aspects of both the McCain and Obama tax plans that have potential to contribute positively to the common goal of stimulating an increase in entrepreneurial activity in the United States. These include many proposals that might, in conjunction with elements of the two candidates' economic proposals (apart from tax provisions) significantly encourage both small business and much larger organizations to pursue experimentation and innovation and to develop socially beneficial new technologies. It is virtually impossible to conclude which of the two tax plans would offer the largest “net” stimulus to U.S. entrepreneurship. As with most efforts to update and improve the Internal Revenue Code in recent decades, the tax plans really do have “a little of this, a little of that.” I do think it is fair to observe that the McCain tax plan puts more emphasis on the assumption that lowering the tax burden on wealthy individuals and corporations will “trickle down” to entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs in lower tax brackets.  The Obama tax plan focuses on reducing the tax burden for taxpayers in the middle and lower classes of the financial spectrum, which might provide many individuals in those brackets with greater opportunities to start or sustain their own entrepreneurial ventures or to invest in those of others. On balance, the Obama plan seems, at least at first blush, somewhat more friendly to small business than the McCain plan.

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