Ramesh Ponnuru writes thus in the Weekly Standard:
It may seem impossible for a tax reform to have all the qualities that [John] McCain should be looking for: one that simplifies the code, levies only two tax rates, and encourages growth, but also provides significant tax relief to the lower middle class and avoids widening the deficit. But there is a way out. A vastly expanded child tax credit, applicable against both income and payroll taxes, would reduce the tax burden quite a bit for lower-middle-class families. To promote growth, the reform could keep taxes on investment low while modestly reducing the top marginal tax rate. To take in as much money as the current tax code, meanwhile, this reformed, pro-family system would have to do two main things. First, it would eliminate or at least cap the deduction for state and local taxes. Second, its top rate, though lower than the current one, would apply to a lot more people.... In 1980, 1988, and 2000, Republicans won presidential elections in part by promising to tax a lot of middle-income voters significantly less than the Democrats would. If McCain wins this election without making such a promise, he will be the first Republican to do so in more than three decades. Or he can embrace a pro-family plan, and thereby go a long way to showing that he intends to reform our institutions to facilitate the pursuit of the American dream.