From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
(KAUKAUNA, Wisc.) Barack Obama told a crowd of predominately white, middle class voters today that his tax plan will provide three times more relief than John McCain's proposed cuts. He charged McCain with only helping the wealthiest families, saying that his tax cuts will only go to households earning more than $2.8 million a year.
"Now, I don't want to embarrass anybody but how many people here make more than $2.8 million a year," Obama asked the audience here, "If you're there, I wanna know you because we're still fundraising!"
Obama described McCain's plan as neither conservative nor "fiscally prudent," calling it a "regressive plan" plan that is twice as expensive as George Bush's original policies. "I often say that John McCain is running to serve out George Bush's third term, but that's not being fair to George Bush," Obama said to laughter and applause from the crowd.
He denied claims that he is a "tax and spend liberal," saying that he will not raise taxes on households making under $250,000 per year. However, Obama added, "What is true is I'm gonna ask wealthy Americans to pay a little bit more because they have benefited more from the growth of this economy over the last decade. Of all the economic growth that's taken place – about three-fourths of it have gone to the wealthiest Americans. It hasn't gone to workers, it hasn't gone to you and I don't think that's the way to build a strong economy. "
On Tuesday, McCain accused Obama of proposing the biggest tax increase since World War II. "Under Senator Obama's tax plan, Americans of every background would see their taxes rise - seniors, parents, small business owners, and just about everyone who has even a modest investment in the market," McCain said at National Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C.
The Obama campaign sent an e-mail today, refuting McCain's comment. "Obama's proposal does not constitute a tax increase in the traditional sense, since taxes would be lower under his plan than they would under current law," the e-mail statement read, "We find McCain's statement to be false."
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds replied to Obama's claims today in a statement to CBS News: "Barack Obama needs to learn the facts. The very same report that Barack Obama cited to make that claim actually demonstrated that John McCain's tax plan included relief for taxpayers across the board. John McCain has proposed expanding the child tax credit for families, keeping taxes low for the smallest investors and providing a gas tax holiday to every American – all those clearly include Americans from across the income spectrum."