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By John Frank April 2, 2008

That's not the whole plan

Speaking to union workers in Philadelphia, Sen. Hillary Clinton began "a blistering attack on the presumptive Republican nominee" concerning economic issues, according to the New York Times.

"His plan for the economy is to extend George Bush's tax cuts for billionaires and give a $100-billion additional corporate tax cut," Clinton said.

Blistering or not, Clinton's attack fairly recites some of McCain's economic proposals. It's worth noting, however that extending existing tax cuts and lowering the corporate income tax rate is not the entirety of McCain's plan for the economy. Among other things, McCain also proposes eliminating the alternative minimum tax, which was designed to make sure wealthy people paid a share of taxes but has become a problem in recent years for upper middle class families, too.

Still, McCain's support for extending President Bush's tax cuts is well known. We checked it out not one , two , three , four , but five times because former candidate Mitt Romney and various political groups have harped on the fact that McCain originally opposed the Bush tax cuts before supporting them.

McCain's camp could argue with the word "billionaires" because the Congressional Budget Office found the Bush tax cuts most benefited the top 1 percent of earners who had an average salary of $1.25-million. It goes without saying that billionaires are in the top 1 percent, too, but clearly most people in that tax bracket wouldn't fit that definition.

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But it's also clear they aren't hurting, financially, either.

Clinton doesn't embellish at all when it comes to describing McCain's additional $100-billion corporate tax cut. She clearly is referring to his proposal to slice the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, as McCain has outlined on his campaign Web site. McCain's chief economic aide, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former head of the Congressional Budget Office, told the Wall Street Journal it would cost $100-billion a year.

McCain's campaign estimates the entirety of its tax cuts would total $400-billion a year.

Clinton didn't mention that part, which causes us concern. Her statement suggests that McCain has only two ideas for helping the economy, and that's not true. Yes, she accurately describes those two elements of McCain's economic proposal, but she's wrong to suggest that's all McCain has in mind. For that, we give her a Half True.

Our Sources

New York Times, In Fight for Pennsylvania, a Few Heated Rounds, April 2, 2008

Speech, Hillary's Remarks at the Pennsylvania A.F.L.- C.I.O., April 1, 2008

New York Times, Tax Cuts Offer Most for Very Rich, Study Says , Jan. 8, 2007

Wall Street Journal, McCain's Economy Platform: Big Tax Cuts, With Caveats , Mar. 3, 2008

Congressional Budget Office, Historical Effective Federal Tax Rates: 1979 to 2005, December 2007

U.S. Senate, McCain 2001 vote opposing tax cuts

U.S. Senate, McCain 2003 vote opposing tax cuts

U.S. Senate, McCain 2006 vote favoring tax cuts

John McCain campaign, McCain Tax Cut Plan

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