Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Why the Tax Issue Isn't Working for McCain

In his appearance on “Meet the Press” today, John McCain showed why his “Joe the Plumber” arguments -- trying to turn Barack Obama into a socialist who would raise taxes -- aren't working.

Here's the case McCain made: "[Obama]'s voted for tax increases, against tax cuts, has advocated raising capital gains tax. Another, another anchor, Charlie Gibson, said, 'Why would you want to raise capital gains taxes and -- when you know that that could decrease revenue?" He said, 'It's a matter of fairness.' He said to 'Joe the Plumber,' it's 'spreading the wealth around.' I, I -- his political philosophy is very, very different about what he believes is future of America's concerned."

But host Tom Brokaw, in the tradition of the late Tim Russert, didn't just let McCain spout talking points. He played back two of McCain’s past statements explaining why he had once opposed President Bush’s tax cuts.

In the first, from “Meet the Press” on April 11, 2004, McCain said: “I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans.” (Does that make McCain a “socialist,” too?)

In the second, from "Hardball" with Chris Matthews on Oct. 12, 2000, McCain said: “Here's what I, I, I really believe, that when you are--reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.”

How did McCain square his current position with his past position?

His defense was, well, rather hard to follow: “That's what -- listen, even the flat tax people somewhat pay more. Even -- you put into different, different categories of wealthier people paying, paying higher taxes into different brackets. I mean, and the, and these are different times, my friend. These are times of the biggest financial crisis we've faced in America.”

I think his struggle for the right words helps explain why McCain is losing the tax debate.

The fact is that going back to the fall of 2007, Obama understood that to have credibility on taxes, Democrats had to change the debate by acknowledging that for voters of modest-to-middle-class income, taxes (not just income taxes but also payroll taxes along with state and local levies) were a problem. So he proposed his own version of a middle class tax cut. When I interviewed Obama in September 2007 about his ideas on taxes, he said this: "Democrats were so scared of the tax issue that they got steamrolled on some very bad policy. My hope is that Democrats have regained their voice and lay out a case not for confiscatory taxes that get in the way of economic growth but for policies that are sensible and fair."

Obama changed the discussion on tax cuts from a yes/no choice to the question of how to apportion the burden of taxation more fairly. Bill Clinton did something similar in 1992 (and in the 2007 interview, Obama gave the former president credit for breaking with old “dogmas.”)

The striking thing is that as the fall campaign has gone on – and despite McCain’s running attacks -- Obama’s advantage on the tax issue has actually increased. According to the Pew Research Center, 50 percent of registered voters questioned in mid-October thought Obama would do the best job in “dealing with taxes,” compared with only 35 percent who said that of McCain. Back in September, Obama also led, but more modestly, 44 percent to 39 percent.

It’s still more than a week to the election, and you have to believe that McCain and his strategists will think of something to shake up this race. I’m curious to see what it will be. But if McCain can’t win the tax argument, given the Republicans’ historical advantage on the issue, it’s hard to see what other argument he can win.

By E.J. Dionne  | October 26, 2008; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Thanks, But No Thanks to Absentee Voting
Next: How Stevens Invited His Verdict

Comments

It was nice to see Brokaw discover a backbone and do a passable impersonation of a journalist. I actually thought the Jellyfish did his job today. Russert would be proud.

Posted by: davidscott1 | October 26, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

As Brokaw pointed out, McCain has a fundamental problem in regard to Bush's tax cuts. When they were proposed, the responsible Senator blasted them as too skewed towards the rich. What changed?

Posted by: davidscott1 | October 26, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

When you have 14 cars, seven houses, wear $700 shoes, your wife is a clothes horse and your running mate is a well-dressed jackass, getting average Americans to listen to your solutions to their economic problems is very difficult.

Posted by: danatlanta | October 26, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The Republican mantra that John McCain has been spouting recently - the one that claims that the Democratic opponent will "raise your taxes" - has begun to sound like a broken record. They always say that, you'd think they'd have come up with something new.

The fact of the matter is that the average middle class American did better under the Democratic Clinton Administration than they did under either of the Republican Bushes. There is no reason to believe that we won't do better under a President Obama, than we would under a President McCain.

As for the reason McCain couldn't really explain how he was agains the Bush tax cuts before he was for extended them - he told us earlier in the year that economics wasn't his strong suit and nothing he's said or done since has caused us to disbelieve him.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | October 26, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

If you are making money, then you pay taxes, no matter how the progressive type tax system we have had for about a century is weighted, be it weighted to the the upper income people, or the lower income people.

A huge number of people in the USA pay no tax at all because they make nearly nothing. This is a huge problem!!!!

Supply side economics (trickle down) theory said that low taxes at the higher income brackets should result in the investment required to create more and better jobs for the lower income people, boosting their incomes -but as can be seen this never happened!!!!

Disposable income has broadly declined the last 8 years, despite the supposedly rising productivity of American workers!
The reality is as productivity was going up -good jobs were being cut at an even faster rate or were being turned into poor paying jobs!!!!!

What happened instead was the tax windfall at the top just sat there merely earning interest, or was used for non-job creating speculation!!!! And, coupled with no regulation of the finance sector, created more complex and dangerous ways to speculate!

Taxes are not the problem, job and wealth creation is the problem.

In a political invironment in which trading financial instruments and basically other ways of "gambleing" favored high net return on investment, and where actual production tangible goods resulted in compatatively lower return on investment... not only were good jobs lost, but skills across the work force were lost as well.

When you consider that China's most gifted 1 percent of students outnumber ALL of the students in the USA including drop-outs, especially in the sciences -it can be seen we do not have a lot of time in which to turn things around if we are to maintain superpower status in the world.

Since "trickle down" has been proven twice in the last 30 years to be a sham, the whole tax argument as it is discussed now misses the point and is now a red herring.

Production and wealth creation are at the root of the current mess, get that in gear and taxes will take care of themselves, if the problem of broadly raising the income generating ability in the population cannot be solved, no one will make enough to pay any taxes.

Posted by: plaza04433 | October 26, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I think the main problem the US Tax Payer and voter has with McSame's Tax plans is that it is more of the same Tax plan as Bush had.

And we all know how that panned out.

Plus this GOP thing of Welfare for the Wealthy.

You know the $6 billion Welfare Check for Halliburton after Cheney had run them into Chapter 11.

Then this $700 billion dollars of welfare checks for Wall Streets pan handling bankers.

You can perhaps see why the US Voters and Tax Payers want to tell McCain and the GOP to: "GET A JOB!"

Posted by: walker1 | October 26, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that McCain is trying to claim that No One, not the wealthiest Americans, should be subjected to the slightest tax increase.
To claim that raising the highest tax rate by 3% is in some way socialism is patently absurd but that is all he has.
Thankfully, he will be put out of his oh so obvious misery in 9 days.

Posted by: robertsou | October 26, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"I think the main problem the US Tax Payer and voter has with McSame's Tax plans is that it is more of the same Tax plan as Bush had.

And we all know how that panned out.

Plus this GOP thing of Welfare for the Wealthy.

You know the $6 billion Welfare Check for Halliburton after Cheney had run them into Chapter 11."

Exactly!

Do I know for sure that Obama can straighten this mess out? No.

But I do know for sure that McCain/Palin cannot. This mess goes far beyond just the tax issue, McCain show no clue they understand that.

Obama, shows he does.

Posted by: plaza04433 | October 26, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

There are two dead philosophies: socialist, and selfist.

Democrats who want to win on the economy, for decades, will learn to tell the tale of Sam Walton. How he became the richest man in the world.

Sam Walton sold goods (with great efficiency) to middle class Americans with rising incomes.

Rising incomes.

Trickle up economics. Trickle up.

Why? Stockholders wealth increases at 14x corporate earnings. Fourteen times!

If middle class incomes increase, sales increase, profits increase, and stock values plow ahead.

The rich shoot themselves in the foot when they seek to hold after tax wages down (any more than inflation management requires).

Posted by: tdn0024 | October 26, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The basis for the charge of socialism goes much deeper than Obama's own statement of wanting to "spread the wealth around."

Obama's mother was a socialist. His "father like figure" in Hawaii, Frank, was a socialist, his friend Bill Ayers is a socialist, his pastor Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology is basically Marxist socialism, and on and on.

The dots are there to be connected for anyone really seeking the truth.

Posted by: SeekTruth | October 26, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

If Senator Mc Cain and Sarah Palin find spreading the wealth objectionable, how about a new Federal Plan that distributes Federal Aid based upon payment by state of federal tax's.

How about when there is a natural disaster in some state, we stop giving aid and instead issues loans that then have to be paid for by each state based upon what the Federal Government let them have.

I am sick of spreading the wealth to those states that brag about low tax's but expect me to provide them with State Welfare.

You want money for a bridge to no where, no problem, the federal government will loan you the money and those residents in Alaska will have their income tax;s adjusted accordingly.

You think Obama's plan is socialism, my plan above is a solid dose of real capitalism.


Posted by: oldgeek143 | October 26, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I, too, am wondering what Mcain or rather his strategists have in mind for a last minute surprise. Maybe this guessing is not important. Maybe whatever they do will not be important, either.

The conversation with Tom Brokaw today clearly demonstrated McCain's lack of knowledge on economic and tax issues. It also demonstrated his inability to think clearly.

Lack of knowledge, unclear thinking, and erratic behavior have defined McCain over the last eight weeks, at least. He no longer has any authenticity except amongst loyalists. (Even some loyalists are deserting the ship like rats.) Therefore, I think that whatever the last minute attack is, it won't matter. It won't make a difference. The voters simply won't believe it.

Posted by: pbarnett52 | October 26, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

McCain claims Teddy Roosevelt as one of his heroes.

He might want to actually read Roosvelt's philosophy on taxes.

In addition to the Great White Fleet and the Big Stick, Teddy was a great believer in the progressive income tax (ie--"sharing the wealth"), and in inheritance and estate taxes (the Republican "death tax" -- see how much worse that sounds?).

Teddy was keenly aware that he came from oney and privilege, and that few other Americans did.

We've got Big Government for a lot of reasons right now -- the wars, terrorism, energy and financial demands -- and we're going to be stuck with it for the foreseeable future.

For those of you stuck on the Ronald Reagan Era or some other dated or out-moded model for the next presidency, you might want to get over your small, pathetic political philosophies.

Like you've said, it's a dangerous world out there, just in more ways than you think.

We need a federal government capable of protecting us from financial collapse and energy shorfalls, in addition to dealing with military threats from Russia, China, Iran, etc.

Government is going to be small only in the minds of the small minded, for some time to come...

Posted by: jackson251 | October 26, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

McCain's argument, that taxes are bad because Washington will not spend the money wisely, but investors will, doesn't wash this year for a lot of obvious reasons. Most importantly, he still hasn't convinced enough people he was not a Congressional lackey for Bush.
Brokaw should have had a list ready of the 9 out of 10 specific times McCain voted with the President, rather than let McCain go on about the few times he was the great Maverick and independent voter.

Posted by: kbtoledo | October 26, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Tom Brokaw was marveleous this morning: for a change he came prepared and did not want to pat McCain on the back by asking easy questions. As far as McCain is concerned:
a. by his how admission he has phobia when it comes to economics, computers and the like so he does not know what he is talking about.
b. He is a maverick so much his middle name is now chameleon aka the lizard that changes its skin color as often as its surroundings (McCain he was against Bush, voted with Bush, he disagrees with Bush, he agrees with Bush, he is against Bush tax cuts, he is for Bush cuts). Will the real John McCain rise from the ashes of near defeat and mend his humanity?

Posted by: ere591 | October 26, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I noticed during the interview that when he was shown the videos of him kissing George, the Village Idiot, Bush's a$$, McSame said that anything could be taken out of context. I wish he had been asked to explain how those direct quotes were taken out of context. He also continues to lie about Obama's taxing people making $42,000, despite that "fact" having been reputed by non-partisan group. The old fool is going to go down wallowing in the mudd like Bush before him. A fitting end to one of the dirtiest campaigns in my 50 years.

It's a shame because McSame used to be better than this. Now he is out of integrity, out of ideas and almost out of time.

Posted by: xconservative | October 26, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I personally don't get the "redistribution of wealth" argument.

Would it be called a "redistribution of wealth" to make sure the common ordinary worker gets a fair wage? A wage he is able to feed, cloth, and keep a roof over his family's head?

Would it be called a "redistribution of wealth" to assist the common ordinary worker in making sure he is cared for if he becomes ill?

All to often, and I think we see it more and more with the Wal-Mart’s of the world are workers being used like chattel, with the intent of eliminating the common ordinary worker only to hire another, when the Wal-Mart’s of the world feel they've squeezed the last vestiges of respect from them.

Besides, has anyone cornered John McCain on his own tax increase on the common ordinary worker who will have a portion of his medical benefits taxed?

On top of that, if your anyone who knows anything about business tax procedures, has anyone asked John McCain about this tax increase on the business owner, who now will see an increase to the workers taxable wages, because of his tax increase on medical benefits, who will now need to pay more for the employers portion of Social Security?

John McCain seems to think that plumbers in today’s society are pulling in over $250,000 in taxable revenue every year.

That just demonstrates how out of touch he is with the common ordinary worker.


Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | October 26, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Our country is in the midst of an economic crisis that requires urgent remedies and sacrifices of our citizens. Nobody wants to pay higher taxes, but I personally know many people who are among the top earners who, under Obama's plan, will see their income taxes raised; they are voting for Obama and are taking time off from their high-paying jobs this week to volunteer in states like Ohio, Virginia and Nevada to monitor the elections. They know they're working against their economic self-interest by supporting Obama but they're putting their country first. These democrats are "pro America", to use Sarah Palin's words. I hope more people will do the same.

Posted by: rcleedds | October 26, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

What is the flip side of "spread the wealth?" Could John McCain actually argue in front of those same crowds, "My friends, Obama wants to spread the wealth. I don't want to spread the wealth. If you're poor you should stay poor or keep struggling to get rich. If you're rich, well you worked hard for your money. Why should you share, especially when your poor clients got you to where you are today? The system works so well now. More tax cuts, especially for the rich and for corporations because they are creating the jobs that keeps this system running." I know, it doesn't have the same ring as calling someone a socialist but isn't that really what McCain is saying?

Posted by: gtaylor301 | October 26, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans have always argued lower taxes help the economy... They got the tax cuts, McCain wants to extend them... based on what data? How have they been working so far to drive the economy forward? They would of course say, "Well if you take them away, the economy is going to get worse!" That by definition is speculation, what is not speculation is that the economy has been destroyed with them in place.

Posted by: hchattaway1 | October 26, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

McCain learned the wrong things from the 2000 campaign. He lost because of the lies and distortions of the Bush acolytes headed by Karl Rove. Instead of McCain capitalizing on his own records and persona, he opted for the dirty tricks of Karl Rove. The simple truth is that in the primaries, a cnadidate energizes the base and move to the center during the elections. McCain reversed the process. He is old, senile and has become a chameleon unfortunately. He should call it quit

Posted by: bikome123 | October 26, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

'How did McCain square his current tax position with his past position?

McCain: “That's what -- listen, even the flat tax people somewhat pay more. Even -- you put into different, different categories of wealthier people paying, paying higher taxes into different brackets. I mean, and the, and these are different times, my friend. These are times of the biggest financial crisis we've faced in America.”'

Future president talking?

That's as incoherent an answer as Palin's answer to Couric on the bailout.

And this seems common among Republicans. In fact both Palin and McCain screw up their sentences far more often than GW Bush does.

This is bad news, because we don't just talk in English, we think in English. If you can't command the language, you can't command your brain. If you can't state your position clearly, it's because you haven't thought it out properly. The muddled words of McCain and Palin are symptomatic of deeply muddled thinking.

Posted by: kenonwenu | October 26, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

It is sad what has become of John McCain. When the race first started, I thought I might be able to be swayed to vote for him. After all he did kind of ride the center as far as his reputation said and was willing to cross the aisle to get things done. I like that.

Since the primary season, McCain has apparently sold his soul to the devil and removed his spine and left his pride in a gutter. The "Maverick" has become nothing more than a puppet for the GOP. John McCain has been a senator for a long time. Say what you want about politicians, but in order to stick around that long you have to have some sort of brain. Choosing Sarah Palin showed his brain is not driving this campaign. Repeating talking points that are blatant lies for which he and Palin have been called out on is not what a respectable man does. Desperately clinging to the hope that the average American cares about Bill Ayres and fuzzy math about how cutting taxes for the rich (with more deficits..does anyone care about our debt anymore) helps someone who makes 40k a year to save his campaign is a man who is desperate, not one who is confident about victory.

Posted by: BurtReynolds | October 26, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

McCain's arguments and positions are truly baffling and are counter to what he needs to do / say to win.

He keeps chanting his anti "spread the wealth" mantra to cheering crowds, but who in the crowds would cheer unless they are all people making more than $250k? But since these folks probably make less than $250K, they WILL benefit from spreading the wealth - they must be blind idealogs.

Are these not people who would be voting for McCain anyway no matter what he says? Meanwhile, the people, the independents who actually can make a difference in the elections are scratching their heads, at his twisted logic, and turning away from him.

He did the same with Sarah Pailin - sure she energized the Republican base, but McCain had their votes anyway. He forgot the undecideds whose votes he really needs, and who are really turned off by her ignorant statements and her right wing attitudes.

So if this man cannot even run a proper campaign or pick the right people around him, how can he be trusted to run the country?

Posted by: wp11237 | October 26, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans have believed for many years now that the secret to political power is not reasoned argument, but simply saying stuff--loudly and repeatedly. Once the message finds currency in the media, it only needs more repetition, with a few flourishes added by the candidate and his surrogates.

There are conservatives out here--I know some of them personally--willing to equate Obama with Hitler, Stalin, Karl Marx, and Osama bin Laden. They're not kidding.

If it weren't for the seriousness of the economic crisis superceding any fear of Obama as a bogeymen, McCain's destructive personal attacks would have worked. In that case, even his nonsensical and disjointed statements about tax policy would have sounded serious and statesmanlike.

Over and over again we make the same mistake you make in this post, EJ--we continue to believe that it is ultimately about rational discourse and intelligent positions on important issues. This is not something that those who currently comprise the Republican party believe. Those who do believe it have endorsed Obama, and have been summarily drummed out of their party.

My prediction is that what comes next will not be an argument at all. If polls indicate a widening gap, what comes next will be Reverend Wright. It will come in ads released to the media, and promoted by Sarah Palin in the most blatant way.

Posted by: FAC1 | October 26, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why you (dionne) roll over on "republicans have a historical advantage on tax issues". The so-called debate on tax issues has ignored the spending side of the equation. Why not take republicans to task for irresponsible spending and a historical federal deficit?

Posted by: rmorris391 | October 26, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

McCain totally understands how skewed the current tax structure favors big corporations and millionaires and billionaires. This is McCain's primary constituency. More importantly, he and Gov Palin do not understand the middle class and how they have been hammered by the Republicans the past eight years. Obama rightly wants to roll back to at least the Clinton years and reduce spending on the War in Iraq. Obama also has exhibited leadership on issues rather than attack ads.

Posted by: evandoMissouri | October 27, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

****AMERICA SHOULD BE FEARFULLY CONCERNED****

ALASKA GOVERNOR RECALL!
I am an Alaskan life voting Republican. This 2008 Election, I will [with pleasure] vote Democrat!

This Alaska Governor Palin has Destroyed and continues to attempt to Destroy "MANY GOOD ALASKAN PEOPLE(s)” Professionally and Politically during her "VERY SHORT" term position as Mayor in a small community Wasilla, Ak (Approx 5,000 + residents during her reign) and currently (approximately 21 months) as the Alaska State Governor.

McCain’s V.P. selection Sarah Palin unequivocally has NO Business being the Alaska Governor, let alone a USA Candidate for Vice President…..

Maverick??.....”AMERICA SHOULD BE FEARFULLY CONCERNED”

I voted for Sarah Palin in Alaskans 2006 Governor Election. MISTAKE!.... Never Again… I repeat-NEVER AGAIN!!....Alaska Governor Palin is an absolute Embarrassment to the Alaska People(s) and "IS PROVEN” Over and Over to be an insatiable LIAR!!
.
How can she possibly ASSUME to possess the ability to clean up America, when she cannot clean the progressive ''MESS" She has created, then left Alaska to run for the United States V.P. Yes, she .departed leaving “HERSELF and HER husband todd palins” Mess FOR Alaskans to Clean-Up!!

MCCAIN, you should be ASHAMED of yourself!!!! This victim (palin) has No Business in this Presidential Arena.

Posted by: Alaskan Voter
Thank You,

History of Palin News & Investigation Report:
Anchorage Daily News, adn.com/politics/Newsweek/Palen Newsletter


McClatchy.com; Washington Post for doing Alaskan’s Homework

Posted by: Alaskanvoter | October 27, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

The Way That We Should See McCain And Palin From Now On:
Maverick Personality Disorder: A New Diagnosis
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/10/maverick-personality-disorder.html

Posted by: janawalter87 | October 27, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

In this entire campaign season, I cannot remember Mr. McCain getting anything right.

Mr. Obama talks about eliminating capital gains taxes on investments in small business. That is huge, in terms of stimulating the creation of new jobs.

Eliminating the Bush tax cuts will begin taxing financial industry profits "normally", instead of taxing them at artificially low capital gains rates.

As such, investment that was incentivized to flow into hedge funds, creating few jobs, will now be directed into small businesses and create many jobs.

The past eight years have only benefited 1% of our population, and that is not sustainable.

Posted by: jwallace1 | October 27, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

FAC1 has it nailed.

Obama is a black Hitler, he's a secret Muslim with terrorist ties!

Tweaking the upper end of the tax code? Socialist! Marxist! Communist!

Celebrities! Pit Bulls! Joe the Plumber!

Gay marriage will destroy our society! Criticizing our policies is treasonous America-hating! Talking to Iran is a waving a white flag of surrender!
Offshore drilling, tax cuts, and the free market will solve everything!

ACORN and Mickey Mouse caused the economic crisis and will steal the election! Bill Ayers is so washed up and irrelevant that we have to spend every other minute mentioning him!

This is not an ideology or a philosophy of governance--it's demagoguery; it's smoke and mirrors; it's an appeal to fear and intolerance and human ugliness.

It stinks, and this year, people aren't buying it.

Posted by: youarestillidiots | October 27, 2008 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Ej?

"I’m curious to see what it will be. But if McCain can’t win the tax argument, given the Republicans’ historical advantage on the issue, it’s hard to see what other argument he can win."

is the republican's "historical advantage" based on their winning of an "argument" or their control of power, i.e. money, and embodiment of criminal ethics?


you know the answer, EJ!!!

Posted by: forestbloggod | October 27, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

I find myself constantly amazed at the things hardcore Republicans will say. It's so weird. They're practically living in an alternate universe.

Look, when the founding fathers established America so many years ago, I don't think what they had in mind was a society wherein a Paris Hilton could exist side by side with that beggar you pass on the city streets. We all know that perfect equality isn't possible. But this yawning wealth gap isn't good for anyone. And some part of even those angry rightists must sense this, too.

The best antidote to radicalism is to ensure that the radicals DON'T have the truth on their side -- when the far left shouts that the establishment is oppressing them, that the rich are getting richer while the poor grow in number, they'd better be lying. Because if they're telling the truth, chaos wil ensue.

Obama08. The antidote to rightist extremism.

Posted by: zeny_dlc | October 27, 2008 5:17 AM | Report abuse

SIMPLE ---

WE ARE NO LONGER IN EITHER 2000 OR 2004 AND

TAX POLICIES ARE IDEALLY GEARED TO THE

REALITIES OF THE TAX PERIOD.
--------------------------------

NOW OBAMA OPPOSED EXTENDING BUSH'S TAX

CUTS, WHILE CLAIMING THE MAJORITY OF

AMERICANS WILL GET A TAX BREAK.
---------------------------------

I GUESS THAT'S LIKE BIDEN WARNING AMERICA

OF AN IMPENDING NATIONAL CRISIS WITHIN 6 OF

AN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ------ UGGGG !!!

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | October 27, 2008 5:22 AM | Report abuse

It's because the economic effects of reversing a tax cut when a recession has begun is different than doing so when the economy appeared healthy. Strange how journalists are economic experts when swarming all over a McCain economic gaffe but turn into economic retards when failing to see the merits of his valid points.

Posted by: AsperGirl | October 27, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

John McCain and Sarah Palin have mostly been preaching to their base for weeks now. And, their base has shown that they will believe almost anything, not the least of which, the bizarre rumors about Sen. Obama that are easily disprovable on Factcheck.org and other such sites. So, why do they keep repeating the "socialist" theme? Because they are continually trying to find a way to paint Sen. Obama as "un-American." One of them even went so far to say "that's what they do in other countries, not America." It has been insulting to people in the middle and on the left or anyone who is capable of googling "Socialism" and comparing what McCain/Palin are selling with what it actually means. I've stopped watching Tom Brokaw on MTP, but I'm glad to hear he finally stepped up and confronted the blatant reversals that John McCain has made and, mostly, been allowed to.

Those of us democrats and independents who used to respect John McCain are the ones who remember his former words and are disturbed by this incarnation. Those on the right - well, they weren't paying attention "back then" because John McCain wasn't "one of them" on social issues, so they didn't like him. Who would have thought he'd run a campaign that treated his opponent the way he's been treated and he'd make his bed with the people who have never been able to cope with his so-called "Maverick" nature?

Posted by: bethechange1 | October 27, 2008 6:49 AM | Report abuse

To the so-called "Seektruth" poster:


The basis for the charge of socialism goes much deeper than Obama's own statement of wanting to "spread the wealth around."

Obama's mother was a socialist. His "father like figure" in Hawaii, Frank, was a socialist, his friend Bill Ayers is a socialist, his pastor Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology is basically Marxist socialism, and on and on.

The dots are there to be connected for anyone really seeking the truth.
________________________________________
I challenge you to:
(1) define "socialism"
(2) give credible citations for fact-checking your claims about "socialism" within Sen. Obama's family

I realize you've been raised in a dysfunctional "family," the GOP, where free thought is not allowed, but do try to engage in justifying your "facts" if you are going to post them publicly for others to see.

Posted by: bethechange1 | October 27, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

"... Criticizing our policies is treasonous America-hating! ... "

Talk about your anti-American thinking. This kind of mindless wrong-headedness is stunning in its scope, breathtaking in its stupidity, and that the republicans count these people as "good Americans" tells us most of what we need to know to vote against them.

Posted by: khote14 | October 27, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem McCain has faced in this election is that he has been reacting as opposed to acting. He has not set the pace but instead has been incoherent in his message, a message that changes every few days depending on what Obama says, the press says or what the economy does. Obama on the other hand has defined his message stayed on it and has appeared as if he has his act together and knows what he is talking about. He has also handled the McCain/Palin smears deftly which has further perpetuated the erratic behavior of McCain. Bottom line is McCain blew-it.

Also when one reads the comments on the blogs it seems that the McCain/Palin supporters never have constructive positions they only berate Obama and spew falsehoods that have been disproved for months and seem to have a love for typing IN ALL CAPS.

The Republican "base" has been at about 30% constantly for the past 5 years. McCain for some odd reason tried to consolidate that base and get them drooling with rage so that they would go out and vote but he forgot that what he really needed was to get the Independents who tend to shun from rhetoric and negativity and who for the most part have a head on their shoulders and actually think. He has alienated them in droves!

Posted by: rcc_2000 | October 27, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

How can McCain square his current position with his past position?

He can't, my friends...

Posted by: jetchs | October 27, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Now for the Monday night quarter back analysis: What McCain should have done is realize that the Economy is not fundamental sound a year ago (like Obama) and selected Romney who has the executive experience and is a successful businessman and spend most of the post convention time trying to appeal to Independents by developing a message and then sticking to it and then, in the final weeks of the election, gone after the GOP "base" using the scare tactics against Obama which would have had them go out and vote. This would have probably have resulted in a Bush 2004 victory (electoral college-wise)

Posted by: rcc_2000 | October 27, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Based on what I've seen of Joe the Non-plumber, a little wealth spreadin' wouldn't hurt old Joe. Sarah's 6 week clothing budget is about 4 years worth of Joes non-plumbing.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | October 27, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

If you can't runhow can you run the country a successful campaign,

Posted by: alvin12 | October 27, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

“That's what -- listen, even the flat tax people somewhat pay more. Even -- you put into different, different categories of wealthier people paying, paying higher taxes into different brackets. I mean, and the, and these are different times, my friend. These are times of the biggest financial crisis we've faced in America.”

Not only has Palin gone rogue, it appears she is writing McCain's material.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | October 27, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"He voted against the Bush tax cuts — twice," Romney said. "That's failing Reagan 101. (Ronald) Reagan taught ... almost all of us in the Republican Party that lowering taxes would grow the economy and was good for our economy and good for individuals. And I believe that the Republicans are going to nominate a tax-cutter to become president of the United States."


Here's Romney from earlier this year, claiming McCain failed Regana 101 (whatever that is).

Posted by: mathas | October 27, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's mother was a socialist. His "father like figure" in Hawaii, Frank, was a socialist, his friend Bill Ayers is a socialist, his pastor Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology is basically Marxist socialism, and on and on."

My Dad and Mom are on Social Security and Medicare as are all my Aunts and Uncles. My son goes to school with Federally backed student loans and heck, John McCain has government healthcare. Our business even got and SBA loan.

Ain't Socialism grand!

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | October 27, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

McCain's biggest problem is that he and Palin try to make voters think they are middle class and they know what it's like to live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Obama admits that he makes more than a lot of people, but is willing to pay more taxes to help those in need.

One candidate is living a lie while the other is showing a charitable personality.

Posted by: mattdevir | October 27, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The entire foundation for the GOP argument on taxes is flawed. For example, they argue that the wealthy pay a disproportionate share of the taxes already, so it is unfair to force them to pay higher taxes under any circumstances. What is the problem with this argument? Well, the reason taxes are disproportionately higher on the wealthy is that they take home a far more disproportinate sharte of the wealth produced in this country. Anyone who has the most basic familiarity with tax and income tables can see instantly that given the level of wealth the top 10% of Americans take out of our economy is gargantuan given the tiny amount of it they pay in taxes.

Ask some of the top wealthy people in this country and they will tell you quite honestly that it would not bother them at all to pay more in taxes if those taxes produce a positive outcome.

That is the dirty little secret that McCain and the conservatives do not want you to know.

Posted by: jaxas | October 27, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

“That's what -- listen, even the flat tax people somewhat pay more. Even -- you put into different, different categories of wealthier people paying, paying higher taxes into different brackets. I mean, and the, and these are different times, my friend. These are times of the biggest financial crisis we've faced in America.”

--------------------------------------------

Wow.

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: irae | October 27, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Plaza, we may have a problem. The US is sending most of its production jobs overseas. Also, we are sending alot of service jobs. Reagan did not foresee this possibility or his trickle down theory may still be working. Sending jobs overseas to get cheaper products that are not as well made has really hurt our economy. This has indirectly freed up greedy people who are not working at their old job to think up scams like the bubble mortgages. These mortgages were not a Reagan thing nor were they a Republican thing, but I admit they were left alone too long by the Republicans who did not want to seem racist by saying there was something wrong with them. Even though alot of the unemployed are people who never look for work, the rest of the unemployed have been hurt by sending production off shore and allowing foreign goods to enter the US with no duties charged.

Someone has to take the bull by the horns and a radical socialist is NOT that someone.

Posted by: annnort | October 27, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Trickle Down" works just fine as long as the wealth of the better-offs really is spent on goods (which it probably isn't when they just own too much to be able to spend it that way) or invested in creating new jobs as opposed to investing it in higher productivity, which basically means less workers, or investing abroad because of higher yield, which means more workers in China, but not in the USA.

When capital cannot be reasonably used to create more "common good", facing the fact of people working hard but still staying poor, some readjustment of tax policy should be common sense.

The best working tax cuts (and welfare or health care spending as well) are those aimed at those who will actually spend the money, preferably in locally/US produced goods.

To AsperGirl: Why not raise taxes on the big owners of capital, even in times of crisis? The tax rate just has to be competitive with alternative investment opportunities. Also it is taxes on Capital GAINs, and AFAIK tax deductions when there are no gains. But as I often read her misguided comments ("more of the (Mc)same", always) I feel she is more interested in spitting out talkin' points instead of doing some thorough thinking.

As Henry Ford knew, to be successful you actually need people buying your stuff, so pay them enough to afford their own products.

And if incomes cannot be raised because of international competition (only on worker's wages of course), one should look at possibilities to "level the playing field", e.g. cutting taxes for the people with less income or giving them extra benefits like health care, thereby freeing up disposable income. Or introduce tariffs on imported goods if the exporting country does not adhere to some social, environmental etc. standards. Or both. It would increase consumption and "level the (international) playing field" by letting them choose between tariffs or improving their own standards, thus narrowing the gap.

The Bush administration refused to even look into anything like that, because their constituency was not interested in "common good", but only quick and big bucks...

If the old recipes don't work, someone should try something else. "Doing the same thing all over ..." will not do this time.

Posted by: om4n | October 27, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The fact is McCain has been loosing many issues. Why? McCain stumbles here and bumbles where every he stumbles. McCain has lost ALL - nearly - all his credibility! One day the economy is sound the next day it’s not. One day McCain is not going to give tax breaks to the wealthiest 5% of America the next he is. Then McCain chooses a power abusive governor, shopping Sarah who must have her make-up attended to every hour as his running mate. So while it’s true, McCain has problems with taxes. McCai9n has many problems. He is out of touch!

For more information on John Stumbling Bumbling McCain and his Shopping Sidekick Sarah 666 Palin, visit http://www.ibelieve this .us

Posted by: voicewithin | October 27, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The real problem with Senator McCain seems to be his rambling on all issues. The only time he's crystal clear, though the facts he uses are fuzzy or convenient is when he attacks Senator Obama.

In the quote in Dionne's article he rambles and jumps from thought to thought. He did the same in the debates on every issue. I don't know if it's McCain's shallow understanding of the issues, fatigue after a long election cycle or his age. Sarah Palin is not the only one on the republican ticket with a problem getting a coherent sentence out.

Posted by: PointPleasantPointofView | October 27, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

E.J. Dionne has highlighted what most annoys me about McCain since the debates: he dismissively brushes off any request to lay out specific and clear details of his policies -- usually by saying something vague like, "Look, I know how to solve the tax problem (or war problem, or Pakistan, or Osama bin Laden, or you-name-it) but Obama is wrong." McCain presents himself as cranky when asked to pin himself down, as if he's above having to do that! He wants people to vote for him just because he was once a war hero, or just because "it's his turn." The crisis we face as Americans calls for more than his vanity and entitled attitude. We deserve answers.

Posted by: cturtle1 | October 27, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

To those of you who blow a gasket when it comes to more taxes:

Where do you think the money comes from to buy body armor for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? Where do you get the money to pay for their care when they come home all shot up? They're putting their life on the line. The least we can do is shell out a little more and ask Bill Gates and his tax bracket to do the same. Don't you support the troops?

Posted by: terry4 | October 27, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad some reporter FINALLY held McCain's feet to the fire on a subject. He seems to get away with rattling off "facts", one right after the other, but no one ever asks him to explain how or why. At least now we know, he can't explain his shape-shifting tax positions. That was a laugh-out-loud incoherent babble he gave Brokaw. I expected him to end it with a Ralph Kramden "Homina, homina, homina".

Posted by: jaynashvil | October 27, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Best part about this election is FACTCheck.org forcing newspeople to return to investigative journalism instead of reciting White House and campaign talking points like they were Gospel. What a refreshing change after being force-fed eight years of deliberate lies!

Posted by: braultrl | October 27, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

During the Brokaw interview, I was also struck by McCain's angry declaration that the polls showing him behind are not "factual." Of course, he believes in any polls showing him "closing the gap." He treated Tom Brokaw to the same sort of contempt he usually saves for Obama.

I used to respect McCain, but I'm not sure I knew "the real McCain" who probably always was cranky and defensive, taking everything personally. I can't imagine 4 years of that attitude! Also, I can't imagine being called "my friends" (with clenched teeth).

Posted by: cturtle1 | October 27, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

There is sometign like a $100 trillion earned by large companies. That somehow are able to show profit to pay Shareholders.

AT the same time show a loss where they pay ZERO in Taxes.

YET ok for us to send our kids to die in UNDECLARED Wars(and Do Not know the reason to be fighting)to protect their profits.

ISA

Posted by: Issa1 | October 27, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Amen, plaza04433, very, very well said.

Posted by: kguy1 | October 27, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The basis of McCains loosing argument is that he deals with everything by giving a tax break, or cutting taxes.
The economic crisis has a foundation of people not paying their bills. If all the home owners were able to pay their mortgage, the banks would be doing fine. The reason people can't pay their bills is because they have lost the good paying jobs and now the only employers are low payers. The good jobs have gone overseas since we gave companies tax breaks to set up plants on foreign soil and even move headquarters off shore.
There is no more .com boom. McDonalds don't pay the bills. We don't buy insurance when we have to spend all our money to feed our kids.
Tax cuts don't mean anything to a family that has lost their employment.
If you want to do something about the economic crisis in America, GIVE US SOME JOBS.
If you want to do something about the economic crisis in America, GIVE US SOME JOBS.
If you want to do something about the economic crisis in America, GIVE US SOME JOBS.
If you want to do something about the economic crisis in America, GIVE US SOME JOBS.
If you want to do something about the economic crisis in America, GIVE US SOME JOBS.
Get it?

Posted by: busstopbud | October 27, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I think that the Western countries are going to have to pay their debts eventually and that taxes, including taxes on the mass of people, are going to have to rise. Politicians are all being disingenuous about this, aren't they?

Posted by: MHughes976 | October 27, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"The basis for the charge of socialism goes much deeper" Posted by: SeekTruth

I might be convinced if there were evidence you know anything about socialism except that it is a dirty word. You might just as well call Obama a n*****. You might also see that as a "truth."

Posted by: kengelhart | October 27, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Investing in creating new jobs? The only reason a Republican would do this is to increase their wealth. McCain does not understand the mechanics of wealth creation versus job creation. You don't just make jobs for people. That would be socialistic. Any money spent on work must be repaid several times over in profits. Since US citizens object to this kind of exploitation it has been necessary to export work to poverty stricken nations or hire illegal aliens. Republicans invest in new jobs? I don't think so.

Posted by: kengelhart | October 27, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

McCain is like a used car salesman, he will say anything to get you to put him in the position of president. Then when he doesn't need your vote or opinion he will do what ever the hell john wants to do. Look at his younger brother screw rules and why not do what you want. Why do we keep voting in these old has beens, lets try somthing new for a change.

Posted by: ccrowley | October 27, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain slams Obama on 'redistributive change'...

2001 OBAMA: TRAGEDY THAT 'REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH' NOT PURSUED BY SUPREME COURT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck

Yes, Chris Matthews, OBAMA IS ANTI-AMERICAN

The media should feel ashamed of themselves for their lack of journalistic integrity in reporting on OBAMA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck

Posted by: TexasTeaParty | October 27, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it about time that someone pointed out that the Reagan/Bush/Bush scheme of skewing regulatory and taxation law so that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, as has happened during the last 8 years, is ALSO "redistribution of wealth?"

This type of redistribution of wealth may appear to benefit the rich and powerful, but as we are seeing now, it's a short-term benefit only because it's not sustainable. Eventually, the underclasses become so poor that they can't buy the goods produced by the rich and powerful, and then it all falls apart.

Posted by: martimr1 | October 27, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The basis for the charge of socialism goes much deeper than Obama's own statement of wanting to "spread the wealth around."

Obama's mother was a socialist. His "father like figure" in Hawaii, Frank, was a socialist, his friend Bill Ayers is a socialist, his pastor Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology is basically Marxist socialism, and on and on.

The dots are there to be connected for anyone really seeking the truth.

Posted by: SeekTruth | October 26, 2008 7:48 PM

########################################

The truth is that GW Bush is a socialist who is nationalizing our financial sector and introduing government into our private lives. That is the truth that you and other conservatives choose to ignore.

Posted by: maggots | October 27, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of Tim Russert, my hats off to Tom Brokaw for a soul seeking interview with the aging myth John McCain. Brokaw's relentless pursuit of conclusions (answers to his questions), instead of open ended statements by McCain either because he is senile and forgets where he is with his answer or it's an intentional and pathetic non-answer in which the American People deserve much more !

It is clear in this Meet-The-Press interview that John McCain is NOT "the one"... and an end to his ridiculous pursuit of the political pot of gold - he is just too incompetent!

Thank goodness that it is finally revealed for all to see - McCain's leadership style, mental agility, worldly knowledge, articulation, political perspective and personality (temperament), all in one compartmentalized interview put out there and challenged in an appropriate way.

One has to imagine that if this John McCain interview were held two months ago, and widely distributed and discussed by the American electorate - the Presidential race would have already been decided in a Barack Obama landslide victory.

Posted by: danglingwrangler | October 27, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

This whole financial crisis came about because rich people had too much of America's money, and instead of investing it in the "jobs" the ReThuglicans always say trickle-down will create, they looked for new ways to invest to get a little more interest.

Thus mortgage back securities and other derivatives.

Either wealthy people must invest in useful things, or their money must be taxed so the government can invest it in useful things for them.

Capitalism has no moral value -- it only has value if it works for society in general. Ohterwise, as we've seen, it is just greed, and one of the seven deadly sins.

Posted by: RealCalGal | October 27, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The most troubling aspect of John McCain's interview on Meet the Press was his inability to stop, reflect and then pose either a cogent response or to frame a new question with an appropriate response. This inability to demonstrate some degree of intellectual discipline reflects the same discomfort I feel when watching President Bush.

I don't doubt Senator McCain's good intentions or his past history of seeking sound public policy, but the role of the President is about the capacity to reflect, consider, decide and then persuade with the logic of one's position. He seems incapable of framing his position and then adjusting his opinion based upon presented changes in assumptions.

Haven't we had enough of the prepared text? Don't we want a President with the ability and skills to think clearly and communicate fully?

Posted by: SolutionOriented | October 27, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

When McCain says he wants to "lower taxes", the next logical question is "how"? What government services would be removed? How will the historical federal deficit be paid? The federal deficit really amounts to a "hidden tax", created by the economic policies of a reckless BIG GOVERNMENT, primarily the result of Bush/McCain/GOP voodoo economics.

Let's face reality: Bush has been Spender in Chief.

Posted by: rmorris391 | October 27, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"The basis for the charge of socialism goes much deeper than Obama's own statement of wanting to "spread the wealth around."

Obama's mother was a socialist. His "father like figure" in Hawaii, Frank, was a socialist, his friend Bill Ayers is a socialist, his pastor Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology is basically Marxist socialism, and on and on.

The dots are there to be connected for anyone really seeking the truth"

Uh,"TruthSeeker", you need to take your own advice, do some seeking. 1) Obama was 8 years old(!) when Ayers was doing his thing, 2) his pastor, is just that, his pastor, and that is personal, 3) his Mother? really? surely you gest?...

the whole socialist charge against Obama is being used by McCain et al to scare middle-class people into thinking they'll be taxed more. Obama's intent, and he's said it many many many times, is to LOWER taxes for 95% of the middle class. That is not socialism, that is an attempt to make fair the Bush tax cuts to the super-rich. Do some research, and please use your brain.

Posted by: Michael_A1 | October 27, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

In response to Posted by: SeekTruth | October 26, 2008 7:48 PM

"The basis for the charge of socialism goes much deeper than Obama's own statement of wanting to "spread the wealth around."

Obama's mother was a socialist. His "father like figure" in Hawaii, Frank, was a socialist, his friend Bill Ayers is a socialist, his pastor Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology is basically Marxist socialism, and on and on.

The dots are there to be connected for anyone really seeking the truth."

You know what, after the past 8 years of hell under Bush I will take socialism.

You forget what "Socialism" is when Obama talks about spreading the wealth around. The government doesn't take from Joe to give to Steve. We have roads, we have bridges, we can drink water and not worry about cholera, we can flush our toilets and have a sewage treatment center to deal with it, we can take perscriptions from our doctor with USDA approved drugs so we're not just taking sugar pills, etc.

You take for granted what this damn "socialism" has gotten you. Funded hospitals, public schools, FDIC insured banking. You want all of the perks of living in a civilized society but you don't want to pay for it. So what's the difference between you and your hated "welfar queen"

Posted by: BlueTexasDem | October 27, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I too am wondering what last minute surpise they have. I would not put anything past the GOP at this point. Unfortunately his message only seems to be working with his followers who I guess did okay by Bush the last 8 yrs.

McCain on taxes-Flip, flop flip flop. One minute he is against taxes for the wealthy the next minute his tax plan includes more cuts for the wealthy.
Yet the message he says is another scare tactic- Obama wants to take your money and spread it around. Not!

Posted by: bjlopez1130 | October 27, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Socialism? What do you call Bush's bailout? You McCain folks deserve going down to the ditch with the economic meltdown. Obama is the genuine one to really lead this country out of ditch. Can you name one McCain's economic policy that departs Bush's over the last 8 years??????

Posted by: leiguo1959 | October 27, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I watched this interview, and there's nothing like hearing a BS'er being called out as one and then watching them fold like dry laundry. Back to the wilderness and you will like it.

Posted by: ScottChallenger | October 27, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

When republicans disproportionately favor the wealthy, that's tax reform not socialism. However, under this model, the middle class not only didn't receive a fair share of the tax cuts, but they found that their earning eroded wnile the wealthy made out like bandits.

It amazes me though that the republicans are still able to fool people into falling for their rhetoric.

Posted by: FauxReal | October 27, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

We don't just have a distribution problem, we have an energy problem, and a consumption problem as well.
So America faces three distinct problems -

a. Yes its the role of government to adjust income to productivity - if the worker does 90% of the value added don't you think they should get at least 20% of the income?

b. The world is running out of easy to get to oil - that why Boone T. Pickens and the solar energy people really are not a bunch of nuts wandering around the horizon - they are the answer to our current delimma!

c. We need to be forced to save more - how can we compete with China if they save 45% of their income and we save less than 1%.

Bush was told to fix C and he refused to do anything about it.

He ignored B becaue it went against his own self-interest.

And he messed up "A" when it was working ok when he took office.

Posted by: agapn9 | October 27, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I applaud some of the comments on this blog asking, in essence, "what's so bad about some redistribution of wealth" that MCain is charging Obama with, as if it were the most outrageous thing. In the ideology of the GOP, I guess it is.

First thing to remember is that the Bush admin has skewered all profits, tax breaks, and policies toward the rich, telling the rest of us that it will "trickle down" to us. We're still waiting. And some of the voters obviously don't mind waiting till doomsday for a handout - they will for some illogical reasons continue to vote against their own interest by voting for the party that so obviously doesn't care how long these voters have to wait for some good news. This election is a no brainer. We have been hit over the head for 8 long years by the Bush policies. Anyone who will continue for another 4 years by voting for McCain deserves the misery - just don't bring the rest of us along with you.

Posted by: jbleenyc | October 27, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

All those who keep insisting that Obama is a Socialist because he wants to spread the tax burden around more fairly must not understand the term.

Obama is no Socialist. He's not talking about dumping everybody's money into a pot and then doling it back out to the citizens in equal measures.

In saying that he wanted to "Spread the wealth around", he was saying that he wanted to see a lot more working Americans enjoy the rightfull fruits of their labors, not just the top 1 percent.

He's saying that the very wealthy got a whole lot of tax breaks worth thousands and thousands of dollars apiece from Bush. Talk about spreading OUR wealth around!!!!

He's saying that when one group "gets out of" paying their fair share, somebody else ends up picking up that slack. For the past 8 years more than ever, we in the middle have been picking up the share of the burden belonging the top 1 percent. Its turned us into a country where the top 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent. Talk about redistribution!!!!

Obama is telling you that YOU, the middle class have gotten stuck with paying both YOUR share of the taxes as well as part of the taxes that the wealthy stopped paying under Bush.

Hardly the spreading of wealth that the republicans are warning about. Instead, a spreading of wealth based on a fair sharing of the tax burden with the middle class paying ONLY their fair share and no more.

The republican party has done a pretty good job of spreading the wealth around themselves.

They used the ordinary, everyday gas pump as the tool that redistributed a whole lot of the wealth FROM my possesion with the oil companies on the receiving end.

Haliburton is another of the corporations that have been used to move vast anounts of taxpayers money into the clutches of modern day Robber Barons.

Posted by: fredfawcett | October 27, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

John McCain and Sarah Palin out on the stump have been calling Obama the "Tax and Spender". The Republicans are spending 10 billion dollars of taxpayer's money every month, why don't we call them all out on it? I've also heard McCain is claiming that Obama's tax cuts will put the middle class "through the wringer". I don't know where John McCain and the rest of the Republicans have been for the last few months, but I've already been put through the ringer.

Posted by: shesfinallyawake | October 27, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"How did McCain square his current position with his past position?"
He squared it with an about face.
Is this change we can believe in?

Posted by: dyalls | October 27, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, McCain sounds so unsteady. He must be exhausted, but I really have to wonder if his age caught up to him. He interrupts himself, barely completes his own thoughts, and just comes off as entirely unconvincing. It's very sad - wish McCain would have won in 2000, but it's too late now, and there's too much swift-boating under the bridge.

Posted by: chiefnugt | October 28, 2008 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Wow, McCain sounds so unsteady. He must be exhausted, but I really have to wonder if his age caught up to him. He interrupts himself, barely completes his own thoughts, and just comes off as entirely unconvincing. It's very sad - wish McCain would have won in 2000, but it's too late now, and there's too much swift-boating under the bridge.

Posted by: chiefnugt | October 28, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm really surprised how unsteady McCain was in his responses. I feel badly saying this, but it appears as if his age has caught up to him. He can barely finish his own sentences, and he had no response at all when Brokaw confronted him with his own words directly in conflict with his current campaign 'policy.'

Posted by: chiefnugt | October 28, 2008 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Thank you all for your comments, enlightened (in my pro-Obama opinion) or not. I don't tend to watch TV news or interview shows regularly so it was interesting to learn about McCain's difficulties in reconciling his previous statements on taxes.

It seems obvious to me, however, that with the deepening financial crisis it is unlikely that any candidate can be held to promises made during his campaign. The situation will likely overcome ideology.

My concern, however, is with the vitriolic comments made (again in my biased opinion) against Senator Obama. Its almost like McCain supporters feel so cornered they need to lash out with ever more desperate rhetoric, wanting to win at any cost.

I fear what will happen on election night if the vote is at all close. The mess we witnessed in 2000 would be devastating if it were to be repeated given this elevated atmosphere of hatred and distrust. And with racial tensions simmering just below the surface, the situation could erupt into a complete debacle.

I only hope that some of Obama's war chest has already gone towards putting the best legal teams on retainer in each state, as well as to the establishment of racially integrated teams who will work to manage the situation peacefully if the results are disputable.

Neither candidate will succeed in office if his win is sullied by such a messy result.

Posted by: Fredericton | October 28, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Here's the reason I think this isn't working for McCain: the rhetoric has become so exaggerated as to be unbelievable. I mean, anyone who knows even the first thing about the tax system, and who knows what socialism is, has to know that increasing the top marginal rates and expanding earned income tax credits is not the same thing as socialism.

Actually, it's more than even that. Terms change over time, naturally, and that includes words like "conservative" and "liberal". This rhetoric has brought to my attention the fact that these words have apparently changed meaning even more than I'd thought. It seems that now, if you're okay with the concept of the graduated income tax, you must be liberal; any accommodation for income redistribution through the tax system is not only liberal but somehow "radically" liberal.

So I've had to come to the reluctant conclusion that I'm actually a liberal and didn't even know it. It's come as something of a surprise, because I've always figured I was more of a centrist-conservative type. But you know, if that's the way they want it, okay. I'm a liberal. Of course, that means that scary talk about liberals is a lot less scary ...

Seriously, if any support whatsoever for any level of income redistribution is inconsistent with conservatism, then how many conservatives can there really be?

Posted by: LMinOH | October 28, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It's because the economic effects of reversing a tax cut when a recession has begun is different than doing so when the economy appeared healthy. Strange how journalists are economic experts when swarming all over a McCain economic gaffe but turn into economic retards when failing to see the merits of his valid points.

Posted by: AsperGirl | October 27, 2008 5:53 AM


//

The GOP for years has advocated tax cuts as a cure-all regardless of the illness. They advocated tax cuts against projected surpluses. Then they advocated them against projected deficits. They advocated them as strategic wartime necessities. They advocated them as solutions to upturns, downturns, and stagnation. Face it, the GOP just doesn't want to pay taxes and they want to stigmatize the very idea of paying for government, while they grow government and create obligations of record size. There never was any fixed philosophical rationale against paying taxes because it would by definition permit some rationale FOR paying them, and that was impermissible. They were just against them using whatever rhetoric and whatever sound bite worked that day.

Posted by: Attucks | October 28, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

cturtle1 wrote: [McCain] dismissively brushes off any request to lay out specific and clear details of his policies -- usually by saying something vague like, "Look, I know how to solve [...] Osama bin Laden [...]"

The Osama bin Laden one really annoyed me. I think Jon Stewart nailed it; basically, he said, "Were you planning to share this little secret with the rest of us any time soon?" Although Stewart was much less polite in his choice of words.

I can't help but imagine President Obama announcing the creation of a special task force led by McCain, "to apprehend bin Laden using the Senator's special plan." But that won't happen, because Obama isn't the type to twist the knife.

Posted by: kcc3 | October 29, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

RealCalGal wrote: "[the rich] looked for new ways to invest to get a little more interest."

Plus, it turned out that they weren't all that good at investing. If a security is paying seven percentage points more than a Treasury bill, there's a reason - it's more risky. If it weren't, the originator could have gotten something closer to the T-bill rate.

Of course, many of these investors were misled by the ratings attached to these securities. A helpful hint for future generations (if any): A security that pays seven percentage points more than a T-bill cannot possibly be AAA. See above reason.

Posted by: kcc3 | October 29, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Joe the plumber has now started talking on foreign policy issues! May be, if Mr. MacCain is elected, he should consider appointing Joe the plumber as the Secretary of State or Treasury Secretary. McCain as President, Palin as VP and Joe in either of these positions will indeed make us a laughing stock.

Posted by: mvjunnarkar | October 30, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Joe the plumber has now started talking on foreign policy issues! May be, if Mr. MacCain is elected he should consider appointing Joe the plumber as the Secretary of State or Treasury Secretary. McCain as President, Palin as VP and Joe in either of these positions will indeed make us a laughing stock.

Posted by: mvjunnarkar | October 30, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company