During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” The exchange continued:
YOUNG WOMAN: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . .
MCCAIN: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.
[ ]…For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. ….A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist. ?
When Senator Obama said “I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” he was clearly talking about America’s traditional progressive taxation. That shrill noise that has been pouring forth from McCain-Palin and their surrogates is the deeply dishonest and dishonorable assertion that somehow Obama’s view of who should share the largest share of the tax burden is a Marxist dream come true. Our tax system in a small way is supposed to compensate the people that work the hardest from the inequalities that are part and parcel of our market based economy. If Obama is a socialist, he is less so then McCain or Palin, judging by their past statements. Let’s suppose that McCain has not flip-flopped from his tax position in 2000 then is it now his honest intent to have a regressive tax structure where the middle and lower middle income earners bear the largest share of the tax burden. We have already had a shift like that with Bush’s tax policies; Bush with the complicity of a Republican Congress is leaving the economy in a shambles. It was trickle down economics. Difficult for the blinder wearing McCain supporters to believe looking around, but the trickle didn’t make it down for many Americans who’s productivity has gone up, but their wages have stagnated. Does that really sound like the way America’s economy should work- reward those that work the least and neglect those that provide the labor that makes McCain’s wealth possible. In their TV ads and their campaign stops McCain-Palin aren’t hinting at the specter of the “red menace” they are out right accusing Senators Obama and Biden of being socialists. As recently as three days ago McCain explicitly expressed an approval of progressive taxation or Obama’s view of taxation,
Few serious policy makers — including McCain — consider progressive taxation socialist. In fact, on the Oct. 26, 2008 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, McCain stood by a comment he made in 2000 that “there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more” in taxes when you “reach a certain level of comfort.”
“You put into different, different categories of wealthier people paying, paying higher taxes into different brackets,” McCain told host Tom Brokaw, as if to say progressive taxes are a no-brainer.
Indeed, progressive taxation has been a cornerstone of American tax policy since the federal government first collected an income tax in 1863. It was based on the Tax Act of 1862, which President Abraham Lincoln signed, and which imposed a “duty of three per centum” on all income over $600, and five percent on income over $10,000.
A month ago McCain and the Right took up the voter fraud-ACORN-Obama meme, which seems to have quieted down, at least from the McCain camp since someone dug up McCain’s speech praising ACORN – McCain To ACORN: You Are ‘What Makes America Special’. A little embarrassing for McBush and the usual posse of right-wing pundits, but they’re off on the next guilt by association
As Politico’s Ben Smith reported on Tuesday, the McCain campaign is demanding that the Los Angeles Times release video in its possession of a party attended by Barack Obama and Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi.
“A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi,” said McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb, citing Obama’s friendship with Khalidi, who is now a professor at Columbia University.
[ ]…A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, “West Bank: CPRS” on page 14 of this PDF.)
The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi’s group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of “sociopolitical attitudes.”
As Seth Walls says there is nothing inherently wrong in McCain financing these studies by Khalidi’s group, but if Obama is guilty by association, then McCain needs to explain his financing of someone the Right claims is a radical.
If McCain supporters like Redstate are going to use the wealth redistributed creation called the internet the least they could do is not embarrass themselves. Their current headline The Seven Reasons McCain-Palin Are a Lock to Win. “Lock”? That’s the kool-aid talking, Today’s Polls, 10/28
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Although the national trackers look slightly stronger for John McCain than they did a couple days ago, Barack Obama once again had an exceptionally good day in the state-level numbers.
RealClearPolitics average of 10 national polls has Obama at 50.1 and Johnny at 44.1