From NBC's Mark Murray and NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
The McCain campaign is jumping all over Biden's interview yesterday with a Scranton TV affiliate, in which Biden said that people making under $150,000 per year would get a tax cut under Obama's tax plan.
McCain even mentioned it during his speech today in Pennsylvania, noting all the different numbers Obama and his campaign are citing on the tax issue. "Sen. Obama has made a lot of promises," the Arizona senator said in remarks his campaign passed around to reporters. "First, he said people making less than 250,000 dollars would benefit from his plan. Then this weekend, he announced in an ad that if you're a family making less than 200,000 dollars you'll benefit. But yesterday, right here in Pennsylvania, Sen, Biden said tax relief should only go to 'middle class people -- people making under 150,000 dollars a year.' It's interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down. At this rate, it won't be long before Senator Obama is right back to his vote that Americans making just 42,000 dollars a year should get a tax increase. We can't let that happen."
Biden aides say his comments were actually consistent with Obama's tax plan -- people under $150,000 get a cut, and people making up to $250,000 stay the same.
Indeed, here's what Obama said at the Saddleback forum in August: "What I can say is under the approach I'm taking, if you make $150,000 or less, you will see a tax cut. If you're making $250,000 a year or more, you're going to see a modest increase." ***CLARIFICATION *** The Obama campaign tells First Read that this is how Obama's plan breaks down: People making less than $250,000 will not see their taxes increase, and people making less than $200,000 will receive some type of tax cut. And all of this is essentially reflected in the Tax Policy Center stats below.
*** UPDATE *** An Obama aide points out to First Read that the $150,000 figure Biden was citing was simply an example of what someone making that amount would get under Obama's tax plan. Indeed, Biden's $150,000 remark came after he referred to someone making $1.4 million.
Per the Tax Policy Center, here is how Obama's tax plan breaks down for individuals:
$0-$18,891 = $567 tax cut
$18,982-$37,595 = $892 tax cut
$37,596-$66,354 = $1,118 tax cut
$66,355-$111,645 = $1,264 tax cut
$111,646-$160,972 = $2,135 tax cut
$160,973-$226,918 = $2,796 tax cut
$226,919-$603,402 = $121 tax increase
$603,403-$2.87 million = $93,709 tax increase
$2.87 million-plus = $542,882 tax increase