It pays to read.
I found this nugget posted yesterday at The Carpetbagger Report. Because I'm sort of a geeky person and frequently like to (try to) wrap my head around economics (it was one of my favorite subjects in college!), I followed their link to this blog, which provides some helpful non-geek speak on tax policies. The bottom line difference between a John McCain tax policy and a Barack Obama tax policy is this:
... The Obama tax plan would make the tax system significantly more progressive by providing large tax breaks to those at the bottom of the income scale and raising taxes significantly on upper-income earners...
... The McCain tax plan would make the tax system more regressive, even compared with a system in which the 2001–06 tax cuts are made permanent. It would do so by providing relatively little tax relief to those at the bottom of the income scale while providing huge tax cuts to households at the very top of the income distribution.
A preliminary analysis of each candidate's plan was conducted by the Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution and is available here. And since I really, really like colorful charts and graphs - and since these so beautifully illustrate the McCain-Obama differences - I include them here for your full viewing pleasure: