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The Tax Attack Cometh (Revisited)

New polling in four presidential battleground states -- Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin -- reveals that Republicans continue to hold an advantage over Democrats on taxes and suggests that John McCain's attacks on Barack Obama on the issue will only increase in the final 42 days of the race.

But, a look inside the numbers also suggests that the combination of the current financial crisis and the last eight years under George W. Bush has raised the possibility that the political saliency of the tax fight has been diminished in favor of broader economic concerns, potentially robbing Republicans of one of their most potent campaign issues.

Regular Fix readers remember that we penned a piece last week detailing McCain's efforts to paint Obama as a big government liberal who believes the only way to solve the problems facing the country is through massive tax increases.

McCain continues to beat that drum with a new ad -- released this morning -- in which he links Obama's alleged inaction in proposing a response to the financial crisis to his tax-raising ways. "More taxes, no leadership," says the ad's narrator. "A risk your family can't afford."

Data from the four new polls conducted by Quinnipiac University for and the Wall Street Journal suggest that McCain's attacks play into voters preconceived notions about Obama's tax policies.

Asked whether their taxes would go up in an Obama presidency, significant pluralities in each state said they would.

Fifty-two percent of Minnesota voters said taxes would rise if Obama is elected to the White House while just 11 percent said they would drop. The numbers were similarly stark in Colorado (48 percent taxes up/16 percent taxes down) Michigan (47/13) and Wisconsin (48/13).

(It's worth noting that in each of the four states tested, more voters also believed McCain would raise taxes rather than lower them. In Michigan, for example, 37 percent said a McCain Administration would raise taxes while six percent said he would lower them and 51 percent suggested their tax rate would stay the same.)

McCain and Taxes

If John McCain is elected President, do you think your taxes will go up, go down, or stay about the same?









Obama and Taxes

If Barack Obama is elected President, do you think your taxes will go up, go down, or stay about the same?









Taxes for Working Families

Barack Obama says he will cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. John McCain says Obama will actually raise taxes overall on most American families. Whom do you believe?









These numbers echo a national survey conducted by the Post and ABC News earlier this month that showed 51 percent of those tested saying that their federal taxes would increase if Obama was elected and 34 percent saying the same of McCain.

But, there are signs within the four new battleground polls that suggest despite the belief that Obama would raise taxes, voters are not entirely convinced that Republicans (or McCain) have the answer either.

In each state, Quinnipiac asked: "Barack Obama says he will cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. John McCain says Obama will actually raise taxes overall on most American families. Whom do you believe?"

The question produced a statistical dead heat in all four states with roughly equal numbers siding with Obama and McCain. Those responses suggest the "tax and spend" label that Republicans have so effectively slapped on Democrats in elections immemorial may not be such a clear winner this time around.

Can Democrats actually win -- or at least fight to a draw -- on an issue that has so vexed them politically in recent years? Potentially. Why? Because voters are increasingly uncertain about their own economic futures and now more than ever believe there is a place for the government in their lives -- a safety net or security blanket to keep them from hitting rock bottom.

The key for Obama, according to leading Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, is to paint taxes as part of an overall economic policy in which his focus in the middle class and McCain's focus is the wealthy.

"Obama just needs to keep banging away on the fact that he gives a bigger tax cut to the middle class -- because McCain gives so much away to those at the top there's not much left over for anyone else," said Garin. "The amount of independent validation for Obama on this is overwhelming -- he needs to use it every chance he gets."

Can Democrats wrap taxes into their overall message of economic security for the middle class? Or will Republicans once again use the issue to cast their rivals as big government liberals after the average Americans hard earned cash?

It's a jump ball today.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 23, 2008; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Beware the (Political) Browser
Next: Ad Wars: Feeney's Mea Culpa


Bonus Quote of the Day
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'look, here's what happened.'"

-- Sen. Joe Biden, in an interview with CBS News.

Of course, as Reason points out, Roosevelt wasn't president in 1929 and televisions were still experimental.

Posted by: Helen | September 24, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

When the dollar is worth half what it was, that means your taxes are effectively doubled (and all your other expenses as well). And your income and investments are cut in half. It's just a more insidious type of inflation.

The question is, do voters understand that?

Posted by: Tom J | September 24, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse


Voted One Of This Year's Top 3 Political Blogs for the Election of 2008




Voted One Of This Year's Top 3 Political Blogs for the Election of 2008



Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Anyone buying the hype that 95% of the people are getting a tax cut is just not that smart. A significant portion of the 95% he's refering to don't pay any income taxes at all, so they'll actually be getting a bonus for not making above X amount of dollars....

Now on to the larger issue at hand, I really don't care if my taxes go up slightly, but leave the corp tax alone. I'd rather have a slightly smaller paycheck than no paycheck at all.

If you are going to raise my taxes to help fix this screwed up situation, I surely don't want to see it go towards some new welfarish program to help the "needy". I have a "needy" sister who currently gets the so called earned income credit every year (which is substantial) simply because she has kids and makes under a certain amount of money. She very intentionally keeps track of how much money she makes during the year to ensure she does not go over the amount that would make her not eligible for the credit. There are tons of friggen lazy POS's like my sister who are capable, but lazy. She either drinks or smokes away the check while her kids eat marshmellows for dinner. This is what Democrats consider the people who just need some help and training to make them better people..... Wake up, they have to actually want it first. It's easier to sit back and make do with less and figure out how to cheat the system than try hard and make something out of yourself.

One thing I find funny (interesting) is that for the large majority, the financial disparity between rich and poor amongst Democrats is enormous. From the Welfare crowd all the way to the Hollywood crowd. Looking at the other side, the disparity is much smaller, not a whole lot of poor welfarish people out there supporting the people who tell them they want to stop enabling their laziness.

For a group of people claiming to want to close the gap between rich and poor, you've really not ever done anything but enable it to stay right where it is.

Posted by: Mike | September 24, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The embarrassment for fiscal conservatives is that the GOP no longer represents us. Mr. Bush has run up our country’s credit cards (the national debt) on a badly structured war, making this bailout much much more difficult than it would have been and setting a terrible example for the American consumer. The argument is no longer about liberals raising taxes it's about anyone taking some kind of fiscal responsibility. Someone has to pay it back, or we go under. Suck it up and drop the irrelevant Regan era name-calling.

Posted by: Mr E | September 24, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse


The Major Cause Of The Wall Street Crisis Is Affirmative Action



Clearly a MAJOR CAUSE of the Wall Street crisis is that they have NOT been selecting the best people to run the Wall Street firms.

The liberals have been pressing through these affirmative action programs at the Wall Street Firms and MBA Schools.

Wall Street has a third-rate team on the field - they have a bunch of sheep who owe their loyalty not to their own merit and brains but to the affirmative action programs which gave them their outsized salaries ABOVE MORE QUALIFIED CANDIDATES WHO COULD ACTUALLY DO THE JOB.

Instead Wall Street has HIRED A THIRD-RATE STAFF which goes along with the program.

The Smart A-List people have been pushed aside by the liberals who DO NOT CARE IF THE WORK IS GETTING DONE PROPERLY, rather they believe they have won when then have diversity and who cares if the balance sheet is a mess. LET'S BE CLEAR HERE THE NEW YORK LIBERALS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE OF THE WALL STREET CRISIS AND MESSING UP OUR REAL ESTATE MARKET AND THE FINANCIAL MARKETS.

Angry Liberals.

The Liberals took control of the MBA Admissions Boards of the top MBA Business Schools in the early 90s - they started admitting THIRD-RATE PEOPLE TO GO TO MBA SCHOOL.

Then the Wall Street firms followed suit - throwing MERIT-BASED CRITERIA aside - the deciding factor became the color of one's skin - IF YOU WERE A WHITE MALE FROM THE SUBURBS YOU WERE IN A CATEGORY WHICH HAD DRAMATICALLY MORE DIFFICULT STANDARDS FOR PROMOTIONS AND HIRING.








Posted by: 37th&OStreet | September 24, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

[Can someone please tell me where these people live who do not pay taxes?

Posted by: perry | September 23, 2008 1:57 PM ]

Yes Perry, look in any government housing project in this country. The benefits received far outweigh any sales , excise, gasoline, etc taxes they pay. I'm well aware of what you are alluding to. When someone says they are not paying taxes they mean INCOME TAX.

Posted by: ronsright | September 24, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

I've been watching the taxpayer bailouts of Wall Streeters who made bad decisions affecting all of us, and yet the Bush administration proposed a plan that would not solve the underlying problems that got us into this mess. The big question to those like Sen Dole who was "infuriated" over the problem was -- why couldn't a Republican controlled Congress and administration for 7 years put in place reforms that could have avoided this mess? The answer is the Republicans want nothing to do with regulations or reform in the private sector. They had their chance for 7 years and the problems mounted. Just like in Alaska, Palin raled against corruption -- in her own party and yet stood by Stevens until he gets indicted and takes more than their share of tax dollars to support projects in a state that is taking money from the rest of the 49 states for the oil they "own." I do not begrudge them their oil, but when they seek and get more Federal dollars than they pay back to the treasury, that does concern me. It IS unpatriotic. It is business as usual. It is everyone for themselves and to hell with the rest of the country. I want NO part of their kind of "reforms." I do not want an administration that would deregulate the health care industry the way their party deregulated banking -- and then have the audacity to ask the rest of us to pay for it! The same thing will occur in a free-market health care system run by McCain-Palin. Wake up America. And follow the money.

Posted by: We need real reform! | September 23, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I make about $70K per year and don't have any kids. If Obama is planning to cut my taxes he is keeping the details a secret. He seems to be offering a lot of government give aways to select people, like seniors, parents, and people who don't have health insurance through work. I wish he would either reduce the percentage of my payroll tax, or raise my standard deduction, or just stop saying I will be getting a tax cut.

Obama is dishonest when he says that he is offering all middle class people a tax cut. He is leaving out regular guys like me.

Posted by: Regular Guy | September 23, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

There is no clear conclusion about McCain's having successfully portrayed Obama as someone who will raise taxes. Not only are the believability numbers a dead heat, fewer people believe their taxes will go down if McCain is President. McCain's numbers on taxes going down range from 5 to 8% while Obama's range from 11 to 16, or twice as likely. By the same token 88 or 89% of the people in all four states believe that taxes will be at least as high as now under McCain, while 79 to 83% believe that for Obama. A key missing piece of information is the party alignment of those who participated in the poll. I don't see much of a significant trend otherwise.

Posted by: Publius | September 23, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RICHARD NIXON (R) | September 23, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I am not a crook!

Posted by: Richard Nixon (R) | September 23, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Palin, concerning foreign policies? What! if any? experience do you have on foreign policies as it relates to Russia?

Mrs. Palin, would you cross border attack Pakistan from Kuwait without the permission of the Pakistani Government?

Mrs. Palin, can the Russian people see your house from Russia?

Mrs. Palin, would you allow Russia to cross border attack Canada from Alaska?

Mrs. Palin, If a Canadian Citizen impregnated a Russian Citizen?

Would you allow the Russian Citizen cross your lawn to go visit the Canadian citizen?

Mrs. Palin, if a Pakistani Citizen impregnated a Kuwait Citizen? And you were cross border attacking into Pakistan.

Would you allow the couple to visit each other? And if so, where would the meeting place be held at Pakistan or Kuwait?

Posted by: Joe Biden | September 23, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

McCain knows all about bailing out rich bankers and screwing over middle class and poor people, he's been doing it for years.

*McCain - Founding Member of the Keating Five:

McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.
Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)

Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."

*McCain - Mafia Ties:

In 1995, McCain sent birthday regards, and regrets for not attending, to Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family, who had retired to Arizona. Another politician to send regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of 7 felonies relating to fraud and extortion.

Here's some more straight-talk, my friends.

Posted by: ace mcfunkenstein | September 23, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse


Voted One Of This Year's Best Political Blogs For the Election Of 2008




Voted One Of This Year's Best Political Blogs For the Election Of 2008



Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse


Voted One Of This Year's Best Political Blogs For the Election Of 2008




Voted One Of This Year's Best Political Blogs For the Election Of 2008



Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse


Voted One Of This Year's Best Political Blogs For the Election Of 2008


Voted One Of This Year's Best Political Blogs For the Election Of 2008



Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself."
The 2008 Republican Party Platform, adopted earlier this month

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

McCain, In His Own Words

With the $700+ billion taxpayer-funded bailout looming, John McCain, the longtime champion of deregulation...

...has been trying to reinvent himself as the populist champion of the people. But McCain's own record and his own words continue to damn him:

Posted by: DrainYou | September 23, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

With the current economic and political landscape including a housing collapse, a financial crisis, rising unemployment, the public concerns about jobs and economic and financial security trump the tax issue due to the breadth and depth of the problems. The Republicans have held control and are going to be held responsible for the current mess, plus the deregulatory, anti-government Republican mindset has run its course, much as it had by the end of the 1920s.

Posted by: OHIO CITIZEN | September 23, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Obama leads in all four of the state polls referenced, with the tightest margin in the most-traditionally Democratic state of the group, Minnesota. While I now think all four of the states have at least a slight Democratic lean, they are all competitive. I would still view Minnesota as the least likely of the four to go Republican. I am beginning to think that New Hampshire is the tipping point state. The electoral map is beginning to look like the Gore map of 2000 with Obama winning Iowa and New Mexico as Gore did. If Obama can hold all the other Gore states, several of which (Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan) are competitive, and add Colorado, which currently looks like the most likely addition, he gets to 269 electoral votes. I'd argue New Hampshire is the remaining state most likely to go Democratic (slightly less likely than Colorado but more likely than Ohio, Virginia or any others).

New Hampshire's 4 electoral votes could be the difference. A very tight election where the National popular vote margin is less than 2 points could result in a 269-269 tie or 273-265 Obama victory. However, if Obama wins the national popular vote by 3-5 points as the national polls are currently indicating, the electoral vote margin will be magnified. States like Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Florida are likely to lag behind the nation in Democratic percentage of the two-party vote by a couple points or more. The wider the national popular vote margin, the more likely Obama is to expand the electoral vote margin. If Obama wins by 3 or more points, then he will carry at least a couple of this group of states.

Posted by: OHIO CITIZEN | September 23, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Palin on the economy | September 23, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Chris: I think you are missing the point about the tax issue. It's not a question of who will cut your taxes (or in Obama's case do more backdoor welfare payments with tax "rebates" to those who pay no income tax at all). The problem with tax policy is who will use it for income redistribution as opposed to solely for its legitimate purpose of funding government operations. As a byproduct of naked income redistribution you deincentivize the investment that is the engine expanding the economic pie. And coincidentally, you turn a modest recession into a depression. That is the danger of Obama's tax policy...only welfare types and vulture capitalists like Soros and Buffett can afford Obama.

Can McCain render this understandable to the average American worker? That's more than you can normally convey in a 30 second sound byte so he has his work cut out for him. The election hangs in the balance on that question.

Posted by: Cincinnati Rick | September 23, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

ANY tax increase for the next 25 years will be traced to (R) greed and corruption, since we are going to pay, we have to allocate who has benefited, do we not? actually, every tax from now on can be called The Corporate Socialist Party (from GOP to CSP) tax. someone benefits, WHO?!

Posted by: PreAmerikkkan | September 23, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I suggest the libs read up on the CRA, ACORN, and Obama's advisors who made out like bandits with FMA and FMAC.

Posted by: Brian | September 23, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

My friends, this Wall St bailout, mortgage meltdown and foreclosure nightmare, is like a bogie on my 6.

I'm going to guns, too close for a missile shot.


Neddermeyer dead !

Posted by: MA | September 23, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: sarah palin | September 23, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Money for Wall Street Means No Money for Main Street...period, end of story.

Just in case you think that what happens on Wall Street stays on Wall Street, Barack Obama is already breaking the news. Bailing out irresponsible CEOs who have pocketed billions in bonuses over the last eight years, is going to mean making do without the things that the nation needs:

"Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday the deepening American financial crisis and prospect of a massive government bailout meant he likely would have to delay expansive spending programs outlined during his campaign for the White House. In an interview with NBC television, Obama said he would have to study what happens to the United States' tax revenues before making decisions on budgeting for his promised initiatives on national health care, education, energy and other concerns."

Expanded health care? Sorry, that's going to help Goldman Sachs. Education improvements? Call Bank of America. Getting out of our problems with oil? We'll get back to you on that when Morgan Stanley says they have what they need.

Someone might want to point out that when John McCain and the cult of deregulation handed Wall Street everything they wanted, the last thing they were doing was putting their country first.

Posted by: former Republican | September 23, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Before you agree to support personally paying to bail out Wall Street speculators (who've been obscenely profiting from the Republican obsession with deregulation for the last decade), please read:

So, who's really getting "bailed out"? And should they ALSO be prosecuted for their entirely unethical-if-still-borderline-legal actions?

And while you're at it, understand that even professional journalists are BEGGING the MSM to do their constitutionally obligated duty to QUESTION the government's claims of "dire" consequences. Again, please read:

The top profiteers are using the Bush administration to sneak a financial dictatorship right under your collective noses.


Posted by: Carmen Cameron | September 23, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

10 days ago likely voters Mccain lead by 10 points. Today Obama leads by 5 points. A 15 point swing in 10 days. Obama leads in every poll now and Mccain is stumbling all over himself. He has one chance and one only. How Mccain does in the up coming debate on foreign policy, his area. The next debate is on the economy who the polls show 72 percent on the people trust Obama more. This election may be over this coming Friday. Insiders are saying Mccain is not practicing for the debate and seems disengaged. Almost like he is just to lazy to do it and is willing to just see what happens and throw the whole election to the wind. They are also saying he is sleeping too much that has a few in his inner circle concerned. He has not been sharp recently and his avoidance of the press may be something else. He is going down hill it would seem in almost every way. He reads almost everything he says now publicly, even the most simple statements. He seemed unable to cope with the ladies on the View recently and was making strange facial gestures. I believe and so do many who don't want to say it publicly he is a sick man and they are trying to hide as well as they can. Just do what they can to make it through the election.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

My Friend (s),

You owe $2,293.53 dollars to Wall Street Fat Cats Inc.... check, cash or charge?

How do you owe this money?

It's simple, George Bush wants a 700 Billion dollar bailout for Fat Cat bankers.
--700 Billion dollars divided by the current U.S. population = $2,293.53

How the heck did this happen?

You can thank John McCain and his top economic advisor Phil Gramm.
In 1999, after 60 years of successful regulation under the 1933 Glass-Stegall Act Republicans like Phil Gramm, John McCain and a bunch of Bank Lobbyists deregulated the banking industry and allowed banks to get involved in overly risky lending.

As predicted, those banks failed, taking others with them and we're now facing another stock market meltdown.

This wasn't the first (or even the second) time something like this happened:
-In 1982, under Republican Ronald Reagan the Savings and Loan/Banking industry was deregulated.
-Again, Republicans Phil Gram, John McCain, Lobbyists and fat cats like Charles Keating decided deregulation was a good idea. Let the Savings and Loan Companies do what they want!

-John McCain took hundreds of thousands of dollars of gifts and campaign contributions from Keating in exchange for doing his bidding.

-John McCain's gift to Charles Keating was the deregulation of S & L banks.

The results were frighteningly similar:

-Tax payers bailed out Fat Cat Bankers like Charles Keating with $124.6 billion.

-Google "Keating 5" and you'll see it all.

The pattern is simple:

-Republicans like John McCain, Phil Gramm and Lobbyists deregulate.
-Wall Street gets rich.
-You pay the bill.

Now John McCain who self-identifies as a "deregulator" wants to:

1.) Deregulate Health Care
2.) Privatize Social Security

We can't afford more of the same with John McCain.

How do you think Health Care and Social Security will turn out if John McCain and Phil Gramm get their way?

Wall Street doesn't care if you lost your job, or if you can't make your mortgage. But when they need a bailout, it's "Hello Big Government!"

Wall Street Fat Cats and Republican Presidential candidates Inc.

Your kids owe $2,293.53 no matter how old they are.
Your parents owe $2,293.53 no matter how little they make.

Posted by: Bush + McCain = "W"orthless | September 23, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Do you want to choose a president or a dictator? Why would you think a military man would know anything about the economy? As for affirmative action, do you want McCain or not?? McCain is the biggest affirmative action baby of the four people running for election. He got in to the Naval Academy because his daddy and granddaddy went. His grades from Episcopal High School weren't good enough without the pull of his dad. He recieved affirmative action on being selected for flight training. When he graduated no one, repeat NO ONE with his grades would have been selected for flight school. McCain is the picture of the elitist affirmative action baby.

Posted by: Repub | September 23, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain's tax proposals (basically keep the Bush tax cuts in place, I believe) do benefit the wealty; Obama's proposal would tend to benefit the middle class. Until there are guarantees that those responsible for the Wall St. meltdown won't be handed "golden parachuttes" on their way out, I think the Obama campaign might get some traction by contrasting the following: McCain's proposed tax cuts that favor Wall St. barons vs. the Obama plan, which MIGHT (if there's any money left) favor those of us whose taxes will bail out Wall St.

Posted by: -pamela | September 23, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I think they accidentally injected me with stoopid juice when they put in my hairplugs. sometimes my mouth goes on and I just don't know what I am saying.

At least I don't say things as stupid as Obama says though.

Wait, I didn't mean to say that.

Posted by: Joe Biden | September 23, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

In a twisted sort of way I almost want McCain to win this election because four more years worth of failed Bush/McCain policies would for all intents and purposes be the end of the Republican party as we know it today. They would become the 4th party gadflies that they deserve to be.

The only question is, would this country survive it?

You people out there who live in economic downtrodden states like Ohio, Pa and Michigan etc, if you're stupid enough to vote for McCain you will deserve all of the economic hardship that a "president McCain" would give you.

Posted by: Stacey Hill | September 23, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Representative Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), has been accused by the New York Times of paying below market rents on four New York apartments (while entitled to only one) and of failing to report income or pay federal taxes on a beachfront property. His attorney, Lanny Davis, says Rangel may owe $100,000 in back taxes. Roll Call said Rangel may have misstated the value of a condominium he sold in Florida. I can still see in my mind's eye the clip from the inaugural speech of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). She said the veil of corruption would be lifted from the House of Representatives. It was dramatic and it was played over and over again. There is one problem. Representative Rangel remains Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Rangel had a couple of meetings with Pelosi and other Democratic leaders. Thus far they are standing behind Rangel. The charges keep piling up. The New York Post reports that Rangel, in contravention of House rules, is keeping a 1972 silver Mercedes in the House garage. Rules require a valid parking permit. Rangel has none. Rules require that a license plate be displayed. It has no plates. House rules forbid the space to be used for storage. Rangel has had the car there for years. There is something a bit disconcerting about the chief tax-writer in the Congress who tells us he doesn't understand the Tax Code. It is just too complex, Rangel tells us. There is hardly a taxpayer in the United States who itemizes who would disagree with that statement. The whole episode is cause enough for Pelosi to ask him to resign.

Posted by: crooked libs always and still | September 23, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Seven weeks before the 2008 presidential election, liberals are warning America that if Barack Obama loses, it is because Americans are racist. Of course, that this means that Democrats (and independents) are racist, since Republicans will vote Republican regardless of the race of the Democrat, is an irony apparently lost on the Democrats making these charges.

Posted by: I'm liberal, ergo I'm confused | September 23, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Can I just say that I am way over my head. I thought I'd just go on Ellen, do a little jig, make a few false promises and stroll into office. now I am pretty sure I have no clue what to do. In the past I always just voted PRESENT. I am not sure I can get away with it this time.

Posted by: snObama | September 23, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"After some further reflection and consulting with my party, it seems we are not idiots after all." Posted by: Joe Biden

I can see my reflection in the idiot pool. Weee...where's the party?

-Sarah Palen

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans really think and believe that the American people are stupid and vote mostly against their interest. They may be right because anyone that reads this and believe that Obama is an elitist, is stupid in deed.

"After the brouhaha over Sen. John McCain's struggle to recall how many houses he owns, Newsweek wondered how many cars might be parked at the presidential candidate's multiple homes."

It gets better..:

"McCain has a 2004 Cadillac CTS, a 2007 half-ton Ford pickup truck, a 1960 Willys Jeep, a 2008 Jeep Wranger among other American cars. He's got a few foreign vehicles in his fleet as well, owning a 2005 Volkswagen convertible and a 2001 Honda sedan."

The only vehicle registered in Obama's name is a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid.

"McCain's wife, Cindy, an heiress to a beer distribution company, has her name on 11 vehicles but actually only drives one car -a Lexus with the personal plates MS BUD."

McCain can't even keep his story straight.....

"One vehicle in the McCain fleet has caused a small flap. United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger, an Obama backer, accused McCain this month of "flip-flopping" on who bought daughter Meghan's foreign-made Toyota Prius. McCain said last year that he bought it, but then told a Detroit TV station on Sept. 7 that Meghan "bought it, I believe, herself."


Posted by: Zappo Dave | September 23, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

But taxes are only once a year. Inflation, gas, job losses - that and more are a year round burden on the middle/working-class. They might just reason with that.

Posted by: mpp | September 23, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

These are some tough economic times we're living in...for everyone who isn't a corporate CEO or a rich Republican presidential candidate (McCain)..

McCain in April declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, was back with the campaign last week.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay.

In his defense, McCain's shocking tone-deafness may just be a matter of perspective. When you're as well off as he is, anything below a $5 million income (a figure exceeding that earned on average by the top 0.1% of Americans) seems middle class.

*The $100 Million Man*
Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.

*The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership*
While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.

*The Anheuser-Busch Windfall*
As it turns out, the beauty of globalization is in the eye of the beholder. While John McCain apparently played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock. Amazingly, while Missouri's politicians of both parties lined up to try to block the sale, John McCain held a fundraiser in the Show Me State even as the In Bev deal was being finalized.

*McCain's $370,000 Personal Tax Break*
Earlier this year, the Center for American Progress analyzed John McCain's tax proposals. The conclusion? McCain's plan is radically more regressive than even that of President Bush, delivering 58% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of American taxpayers. McCain's born-again support for the Bush tax cuts has one additional bonus for Mr. Straight Talk: the McCains would save an estimated $373,000 a year.

*Paying Off $225,000 Credit Card Debt - Priceless*
That massive windfall from his own tax plan will come in handy for John McCain. As was reported in June, the McCains were carrying over $225,000 in credit card debt. The American Express card - don't leave your homes without it.

*Charity Begins at Home*
As Harpers documented earlier this year, the McCains are true believers in the old saying that charity begins at home:
Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed roughly $950,000 to [their] foundation. That accounted for all of its listed income other than for $100 that came from an anonymous donor. During that same period, the McCain foundation made contributions of roughly $1.6 million. More than $500,000 went to his kids' private schools, most of which was donated when his children were attending those institutions. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.
Ironically, the McCain campaign last week blasted Barack Obama for having attended a private school in Hawaii on scholarship. That attack came just weeks after John McCain held an event at his old prep school, Episcopal High, an institution where fees now top $38,000 a year.

*Private Jet Setters*
As the New York Times detailed back in April, John McCain enjoyed the use of his wife's private jet for his campaign, courtesy of election law loopholes he helped craft. Despite the controversy, McCain continued to use Cindy's corporate jet. For her part, Cindy McCain says that even with skyrocketing fuel costs, "in Arizona the only way to get around the state is by small private plane."

*Help on the Homefront*
In these tough economic times, the McCains are able to stretch their household budget. As the AP reported in April, "McCain reported paying $136,572 in wages to household employees in 2007. Aides say the McCains pay for a caretaker for a cabin in Sedona, Ariz., child care for their teenage daughter, and a personal assistant for Cindy McCain."

*Well-Heeled in $520 Shoes*
If clothes make the man, then John McCain has it made. As Huffington Post noted in July, "He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop - from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem, PA." It is altogether fitting that McCain wore the golden loafers during a golf outing with President George H.W. Bush in which he rode around in cart displaying the sign, "Property of Bush #41. Hands Off."

Posted by: McCain = Bush's third term | September 23, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Why can't people agree that both Republicans and Democrats share some blame for the mortgage crisis that has fueled the current banking fallout.

It's clear that deregulation, which Republicans such as Phil Gramm and others have long championed, has gone too far and too much money was loaned to people that simply could not afford to repay the loans. On the other hand, Democrats such as Barney Frank insisted on giving mortgages to poor people who really didn't earn enough money to be able to take out a mortgage in the first place. So, it seems that instead of the constant fingerpointing by the candidates, they both need to step up and help resolve this crisis. First thing they need to do is show up in Washington on Friday for the vote on the bailout!

It's ridiculous that all 3 senators (McCain, Obama and Biden) have no plans of being on Capitol Hill to participate in the most significant piece of financial legislation since the Great Depression and which will commit $700B of taxpayer money to bailing out Wall Street.

Get off the stump and get up there and vote - after all, you do have day jobs as United States Senators (all 3 of you)!

Posted by: Frustrated | September 23, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

DRAFT NEWT! the other two bozos will lead to certain failure. Obama will send us into the toilet faster but we will kick his support out in 2 years. McCain will have longer term problems.

shoot myself or stab myself?

Posted by: newt, newt | September 23, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't someone point out that John McCain selected a self absorbed slightly stupid bimbo as his running mate? Anyone genuinely contemplating the state of the U.S. economy, the dangerous world we live in, and the likelihood of worse and more dangerous incidents ought to sudder at the very idea of the Todd and Sarah show running this country.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | September 23, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell me where these people live who do not pay taxes?

Posted by: perry | September 23, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Anti-Iran Rally Turns
Into Anti-Obama Rally
WCBS-TV [NY], by Marcia Kramer

NEW YORK - Politics and diplomacy were not a good mix at Monday's protest rally against Iran at the United Nations. Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin didn't participate in the "Stop Iran Now" rally and there were a lot of hard feelings about it. It was a simple sign that read "We Want Sarah. Shame On The Rally Organizer." Howard Webber from Brooklyn held it.

anti Iran, anti barrack, what's the difference?

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 23, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's a viewpoint:

Republicans pushed for banking deregulation that allowed banks to eradicate loan qualification standards which resulted in the bad loans that are behind the mortgage meltdown.

Democrats, in the interest of affordable housing, pushed banks to provide mortgages to low income earners who, when they could not repay the loans, helped fuel the mortgage meltdown. The only way banks could meet affordable housing mortagage requirements was to remove loan qualification standards.

So, among the 2 candidates, who's going to fix this mess and how will they do it?

Posted by: Undecided | September 23, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

When an R Admin can blithely ask for a $700B blank check after nitpicking about a few billion here and there we have the most shocking political peacetime sea change in my lifetime.

Neither nominee can promise either increased services or tax cuts in this environment and be credible to any of us. If McC rails on about tax cuts it will echo off empty walls. If BHO says we are going to have universal health care it is to laugh.

HOWEVER - to the extent either of these guys have announced a credible energy policy, a little more spending there will produce big savings down the line. They may retain some credibility sticking to their energy proposals.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | September 23, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

After some further reflection and consulting with my party, it seems we are not idiots after all.

Posted by: Joe Biden | September 23, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Let me just say that we are a bunch of idiots.

Posted by: Joe Biden | September 23, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

S.B. Anthony

all were chided in the words of their being

"the darlings of the liberal press"

Nixon, Cheney, Bush Jr., Hoover...were not.

Posted by: dl | September 23, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

my gawd

how many lies does it take to get to the center of a Bush Mccain candidacy?

how many years does it take before the idiots who voted for them in the first palce and gave us the last 8 years wake up to the fact that this is

same team
same tactics

same results

9th year.

throw these bums to the curb.

when is all said and done the buck stops not with Bush, Cheney Mccain Rove, Palin, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Rove, and the rest...

it stops with the idiots who voted for them?

the failure of our nation (and the last 8 years) will not be blamed on Bush and Cheney...or mccain and "Palin wanna cracker"

is will be blamed on the stupid and or evil people who actually were dumb or so screwed up in the head they could fall for them not only twice...

but a third time.

Posted by: dl (the real one) | September 23, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Why does it seem that Banking problems happen under Republican Administrations. The Savings and Loan Debacle (Republicans in charge and lets see a Bush and McCain were involved for different reasons which weren't good). Now, we have 12 banks which have already went under this year (FDIC has been busy securing American deposits this year) last year only 3 and the year isn't over. Now the collapse of Wall Street. What is the fundamental problem, Deregulation, which the Republicans always push for and later it costs the American Taxpayers. Everyone forgets that we (taxpayers) previously paid to resolve the Savings and Loan mess and now we are paying for the Wall Street Mess.
Then the Treasury Secretary (Former CEO of Goldman Sach and worth over 600 million dollars) states that we should not change the salaries or the golden parachuts for the heads of these companies which require a bailout from the taxpayers. Who is he working for Goldman Sachs.
Virginia Senator Jim Webb has proposed that the golden parachuts be eliminated and the board for these companies be paid at the Federal Government salary if they are to be saved by the taxpayers. Everyone should contact their senators and get them to back the Webb Plan. Since we (the taxpayers) will be paying for this debt for the next 100 years.
Let's see when GW Bush took office on Jan. 20, 2001, he had a 284 billion dollar budget surplus (left from the Clinton Administration), the debt ceiling was 5.8 trillion dollars. Country was at peace and was the leading economy. Now on January 20, 2009 whoever takes office will have a budget deficit between 500 to 700 billion dollars, a debt ceiling of 11 trillion dollars. Two wars to continue fighting, a massive recession, and a economy in ruins. Thanks GW, as you go back to Crawford, TX a very wealthy man.

Posted by: Mike W | September 23, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Look away! Look away!

Ignore the issues!

Vote for the pretty lady with the gun!

(no, I do not work for t-shirt heck, just a fan)

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | September 23, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

If you want to see how the politics and economics of the liberal left can destroy the fabric and wealth of a nation over time, take a long deep look at the UK over the last ten years. Same Credit Crunch, sure, but boy were we overborrowed and overtaxed BEFORE it hit home....and look at us now.

Paul, London

Posted by: Paul Freeman | September 23, 2008 12:55 PM

Well Paul, if you want to see what damage the Conservative Right can do, look no further than the US. Look at US now.

Posted by: Sad American | September 23, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again with Biden -

Biden garbles Depression history

Joe Biden's denunciation of his own campaign's ad to Katie Couric got so much attention last night that another odd note in the interview slipped by.

He was speaking about the role of the White House in a financial crisis.

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed," Biden told Couric. "He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"

As Reason's Jesse Walker footnotes it: "And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, 'Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?'"

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

("Right on, brother!", said the former forklift operator Joe Sixpack as he picked out a pair of Nike gym shoes at his local Wal-MArt)
Posted by: SAm | September 23, 2008 12:22 PM

Apparently you have never shopped at Wal-Mart. They do not carry Nike.

Posted by: Sad American | September 23, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

If you want the real story on Obama, go to

Posted by: Red Neckerson | September 23, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Paul Freeman writes
"If you want to see how the politics and economics of the liberal left can destroy the fabric and wealth of a nation over time, take a long deep look at the UK over the last ten years."

Paul, if you want to see how the politics and economics of the right wing can destory the fabric and wealth of a nation in an instant, take a long deep look at the US over the last week.

Perhaps the solution lies somewhere in the middle.

Posted by: bsimon | September 23, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

If you want to see how the politics and economics of the liberal left can destroy the fabric and wealth of a nation over time, take a long deep look at the UK over the last ten years. Same Credit Crunch, sure, but boy were we overborrowed and overtaxed BEFORE it hit home....and look at us now.

Paul, London

Posted by: Paul Freeman | September 23, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama's tax policy is a disaster for the U.S. economy. He plans the largest tax hike in U.S. history. He calls it a tax cut. He plans to raise the marginal tax rate for the top 5% of tax payers to close to 50% so that he can give a tax refund to the people who do not pay taxes. It is not a tax cut it's a giant welfare program. The people he plans to raise taxes on are the people who already pay most of the taxes in the U.S. These are the people who invest in business, provide 1/3 of the U.S. jobs and provide the majority of the financial support for charity. His tax program along with his support of trade unions will push financial and human capital out of the U.S.
His economic policies are very similar to Herbert Hoovers.
If you think things are bad now, wait till Obama is president; this will seem like the good ole days.

Posted by: Red Neckerson | September 23, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

In addition needing to continually hit McCain's distortions, i.e. instead of so many adds about lobbyists he should talk over and over about exactly how his tax plan will benefit the middle class and specificaaly how McCains won't; Obama need to quit giving McCain a free ride on the fact the McCain's entire health care plan rests on TAXING people's existing employer provided health insurance which is not going to make those of us with health coverage very happy.

Posted by: jcw | September 23, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

nevadaandy writes
"Could it be they have some kind of filter that prevents them from hearing what Obama has been saying about taxes. Could that filter be his race?"

I doubt it. The GOP line of attack would be the same independent of the Dem candidate. Obama's race is irrelevant, in the face of decades of repetition of the term 'tax and spend liberal'.

Posted by: bsimon | September 23, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Once in office, Bush made every effort to steer the commonwealth of the nation into his two pet industries - oil and finance. He succeeded with oil, tried funneling Social Security into Wall Street, but with limited time left in his administration tries to divert hundreds of billions "quickly" to Wall Street to postpone the falling house of cards so the next guy can spend his administration trying to put the pieces together again. Where is Ron Paul now that we need him?

Posted by: Mark M. | September 23, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Get real, people. These bailouts (at least twice the cost of the war) make it certain that taxes will increase. But which taxpayers suffer most depends on whom we elect. McCain=go easy on the rich, Obama=limit pain of the poor and middle class as much as possible. But look deeper at what's likely to follow. A package that bails out the rapacious moneymen who created this mess, with no oversight and no public means of questioning the allocation of bailout money, is a recipe for more plundering of the Treasury (read OUR pocketbooks). And why should we accept the warning that we must do this immediately, with no alterations, or the financial system will collapse? Remember, this is the same Administration that's been horribly wrong about almost everything for eight years, and their pronouncements on this situation are very similar to the arguments they made about going to war with Iraq. I want to hear some in-depth discussion, from experts of all stripes, before we enter a "War against global financial destruction".

Posted by: Phyllis | September 23, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

It's incredible that throughout his campaign Obama has touted tax cuts for the middle class, yet McCain continues to produce ads that say Obama will increase taxes. Why aren't these people hearing the same thing I'm hearing. Could it be they have some kind of filter that prevents them from hearing what Obama has been saying about taxes. Could that filter be his race? If these people were out in the desert without any water and John McCain came along and said there is an oasis a mile away, while Obama offered them a bottle of water, who would they trust then?

Republicans have always been for the rich, and have done little for the poor and the middle class.

When Bush came into office the budget was balanced and we had a financial cushion which he immediately gave back to tax payers. He is leaving office with the largest deficit, poorest job growth, and an economy in peril. That says alot about the Republicans and why they should not be given another 4 years in the White House.

Republicans are pressing for continued deregulation and out sourcing of jobs. So what is worse having no job or having to pay higher taxes and having your meager savings threatened by deregulation? I'd rather have a job and pay higher taxes than to have no job at all.

Posted by: nevadaandy | September 23, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I hate getting caught up in all the negativity that surrounds the hypocrisy that is this campaign, specifically from the Right, butr it is easy to do in this violent and fractured country that 8 years of Bush has left us (YEEEHHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!)
however, I see challenges by the Right to say something positive about Obama's core policies and for those on the Right who actually want to hear something than here it is:

Obama's philosophy is to reverse decades of the Republican TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMIC THEORY that somehow by giving everything but the kitchen sink away to the rich will cause it to trickle down to the lower and middle class. And that unfettered capitalism would prove it's wisdom in manifesting itself as the very height of economic policy. This was what we have been sold since Reagan. But guess what? For a few decades it worked, even as it see-sawed back and forth between scandal and disgrace, and other smaller bail-outs and then periods of relative calm and prosperity (can anyone even REMEMBER the Surplus left by Clinton or does the very IDEA of a BALANCED BUDGET seem preposterous now?). But now with virtually ZERO oversight because the Corporations had THEIR man in power (Read W and company) for the last 8 years the hogs went hog wild and the trickle down, that had been literally that a 'trickle', dried up completely and when that happened and there was no one left with any money to actually buy anything (houses,etc...) the bankers and big boys said "Hey, we'll let you buy now on CREDIT!!!!!!!!YEEEHHAAAAAA!!!!!!". and thus our little nearly 30 year adventure with trickle down economics as come to a final and UNDENIABLE End. (TO ANYONE WITH TWO EYES AND A BRAIN).
So in contrast and seeing clearly this mess we are in Obama is attempting to shock the system by insisting that maybe we should try a 'GROUND UP' approach where the lower and middle class get a chance to get a leg up and get themselves firmly established as players in our economy, in any little way possible, and hope that from this bottom up approach that everyone else will benefit from an economy built on a SOUND FOUNDATION. Which is in marked contrast to the foundation our current economy was apparently built upon as all it took was a hurricane or two to completely wash it out from under us. How easily was a trillion dollars wiped out of the Market last week? How many Billions of my and my fellow tax payers money will it take to bail out a bunch of millionares and billionares...?
And where is all that good money that was supposed to be trickling down all along? Is it in the foreclosed houses? Is it in the paychecks that have dried up? Is it in the dollar that has now fallen so far that Canadians come HERE to get a deal? That the Euro, barely a decade old now is much more powerful than the dollar...the list goes on and on and on.

So that is the main difference: Obama's philosophy of "Ground Up' vs. "Trickle Down".

and you know what, I am NOT voting for Obama the Man. I am voting for Obama the Ideas. Just as I am not voting AGAINST McCain the Hero, I just don't need any more Heros (Bring em On? Mission Accomplished? Dead or Alive? ETC...)...I need a wise man to figure out how to get us out of this mess we're in and who has some EXPERIENCE Organizing a community to not only help themselves but also each other!

and that is why I am voting for Obama.

now, bring on the usual drivel................................................

Posted by: mynamesyow | September 23, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

10 days ago likely voters Mccain lead by 10 points. Today Obama leads by 5 points. A 15 point swing in 10 days. Obama leads in every poll now and Mccain is stumbling all over himself. He has one chance and one only. How Mccain does in the up coming debate on foreign policy, his area. The next debate is on the economy who the polls show 72 percent on the people trust Obama more. This election may be over this coming Friday. Insiders are saying Mccain is not practicing for the debate and seems disengaged. Almost like he is just to lazy to do it and is willing to just see what happens and throw the whole election to the wind. They are also saying he is sleeping too much that has a few in his inner circle concerned. He has not been sharp recently and his avoidance of the press may be something else. He is going down hill it would seem in almost every way. He reads almost everything he says now publicly, even the most simple statements. He seemed unable to cope with the ladies on the View recently and was making strange facial gestures. I believe and so do many who don't want to say it publicly he is a sick man and they are trying to hide as well as they can. Just do what they can to make it through the election.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: radical_moderate | September 23, 2008 12:12 PM

Great post. But why isn't the Obama campaign showing those numbers in their ads? with this bailout mess, I assume those tax plans have to change.

There just isn't enough money to pay for everything without putting more of the burden on the American people. Add another trillion to the burden...3-4 generations will be trying to pay that off.

So, do we want a "tax & spend" liberal or "tax & borrow & spend" conservative?

Posted by: CynicalGuy | September 23, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'd go even further:

-Any corporation that sheds US jobs in order to employ foreign labor should be fined in the amount that it takes to support its discarded US workers for a year at 75% of their former net wages, plus the amount it takes to re-train them for a different occupation.

I bet you'll see a big difference then.

As a matter of principle, any company that cannot survive unless it resorts to gross exploitation of labor and natural resources does not deserve to survive.

("Right on, brother!", said the former forklift operator Joe Sixpack as he picked out a pair of Nike gym shoes at his local Wal-MArt)

Posted by: SAm | September 23, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I am not a big Micheal Bloomberg fan but he had a great phrase on Meet The Press last Sunday. "We privatize the profits and socialize the losses." Unfortunately, GWB has set the next administration's agenda, a mess of a war, a huge national debt, the credit/housing crisis, a huge bail-out for Wall Street and loss of stature in the world. This is Bush's legacy war, crisis and debt. His policies have left us less safer then we were 8 years ago.

The feds are going to end up screwing up this bail out. They will take our money, buy the bad debts and then turn the "toxic assets" over to the same crooks that got us into this mess to begin with. The Bushies want this bill turned around quickly in congress so that they and not the next administration gets to put the ball in play.

If Americans want to know what they can expect from a McCain/Palin administration just look at the past eight years. I agree stop the "Tax and Spend" moniker. I was a McCain supporter in his previous runs but he has kissed the ring of the ultra-right and his campaign is run on half-truths and out and out lies. Even Rove (the king of the liars) called him out on hhis ads.

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: Jim | September 23, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

George Will says no Presidency for McCain. George Will says he doesn't have the temperament to be President. George Will, the dean of conservative columnists!! The right wing apologist, Reagan defender, Bush lap dog, George Will!!! Even George Will is offended by the 180 degree turnaround by McCain, by the choice of Palin, by McCain's misogynistic comments about women, by the takeover of the Mccain campaign by the Bush team slimers. Even George Will says no to McCain.

Bush/McCain? No More Years.

Posted by: thebob.bob | September 23, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

It would seem that the majority of comments are written in an attempt to make the writer appear clever (actually, it just reveals their ignorance). It’s seldom that one reads something based on the facts. Character assassination has become a sport, and the truth is frequently covered up by hyperbole.

If any candidate doesn’t have enough experience, and/or meaningful and verifiable accomplishments, to win without resorting to gutter-style politics, then God forbid that they should ever become our president!

Anybody can make promises; the questions is, “Will they, or is it possible to keep them?” Think about it; you’ll get it!

Posted by: Russ | September 23, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

No one wants to pay higher taxes, but the services that the Government provides aren't free either....and fighting Bush's War in Iraq has drained the Treasury. But McCain claims that Obama will raise taxes on Americans making $42,000 and up, that is a distortion of his plan if not an out and out LIE. The fact is that you are more than likely to actually do better financially under a President Obama rather than a President McCain.

In the case of the top 2% of income earners the tax rate will revert to Clinton era, pre Bush tax cut levels, it is simply prudent to do so when the National debt is so untenable and we are still fighting a War on 2 fronts not to mention the obscene amount of money we have borrowed to prosecute the War in Iraq..

One thing is certain: those in the higher Income Brackets have done very well during the Bush years, in 2007 alone affluent tax payers saw their incomes grow by 9% while middle-class incomes stagnated. Additionally, in the last 2 years at least there has been little or no "trickle down" from the top income earners to those in the middle income brackets or lower; in fact millions of Manufacturing jobs (which used to pay good wages) have been outsourced...not to mention that overall job growth has been very modest especially in comparison to the robust job growth of the 1990's; while those who own Businesses that benefit from outsourcing did well, the outlook is not so good for the current middle-class who is the first generation since WW2 whose financial future is not nearly as bright as their parent's generation in terms of pensions and salaries.

Although Biden put it clumsily by implying that paying higher taxes is "patriotic," now is the time for the top tax brackets to pay more of the tax burden; here is a Comparison of the McCain and Obama Tax plans:

……………… MCCAIN …………. OBAMA
Income ……. Avg tax bill ……. Avg. tax bill
Over $2.9M …. -$269,364 (-4.4%)… +$701,885 (+11.5%)
$603K and up…. -$45,361 (-3.4%)… +$115,974 (+8.7%)
$227K-$603K…… -$7,871 (-3.1%)…….. +$12 (+0.0%)
$161K-$227K…… -$4,380 (-3.0%)….. -$2,789 (-1.9%)
$112K-$161K…… -$2,614 (-2.5%)….. -$2,204 (-2.1%)
$66K-$112K …… -$1,009 (-1.4%)….. -$1,290 (-1.8%)
$38K-$66K …….. -$319 (-0.7%)….. -$1,042 (-2.4%)
$19K-$38K …….. -$113 (-0.5%)……. -$892 (-3.6%)
Under $19K ……… -$19 (-0.2%)……. -$567 (-5.5%)

Consider too that giving over 70% of the population significant tax reductions will put more money in their pockets to spend in the marketplace which should benefit all tax brackets...Obama means to boost the economy from the "bottom up" rather than the "top down" as per the Bush years, and considering that "trickle down" has underperformed in the last couple of years, now is the time to try something else, IMO.

BTW, Obama also wants to exclude Seniors making $50,000 and under from paying income taxes (something to think about if you or your parents are retired.) As for Capital Gains and Dividends, I personally don't think that Obama will increase the tax rate since statistics show that investment drops (and tax revenues fall) when Cap Gains are raised too high (however, if he does decide to raise the rate, I just heard one of his advisors mention that he would hike it from 15% to 20%...well under the top tax rate of 28% during the go-go Clinton Years.)

And the final kicker is that McCain has proposed taxing the Health Insurance benefits under an employers plan to pay for his health insurance tax credits...oh the irony, how would this go down for Americans who get Health Insurance paid for by their employer?

Posted by: radical_moderate | September 23, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The best thing to do for the economy right now is to place a steady hand at the helm and go with experience - a military man.

You have got to be kidding me. The best thing for a crumbling economy is a military man? Wow, its people like this guy that keep Americans looking like idiots.

How about the fact the the "military man" has already come out saying he knows nothing about the economy and how to fix it? Where less than a couple of weeks ago he said the fundamentals of our economy are strong, right before all the banks crumbled. Idiots like you continue to keep America down by voting ignorance.

Posted by: Sad American | September 23, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse


both candidates have published their tax plans. under them, the vast majority of American taxpayers will pay less under Obama's plan than under McCain's.
But McCain keeps saying that Obama will raise "your" taxes. If you are in the upper five percent, that is corret. And McCain thinks of the upper five perscent as the real America.

Posted by: Frank Palmer | September 23, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHA!! Very funny... This proposed Republican bailout will result in the largest tax increase in history, coupled with the largest weakening of the dollar (and spending power..) I don't think the Democrats have to worry about the 'tax & spend' label....

Posted by: RickJ | September 23, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Americans continue to display their moronic essence.

Why is it that everyone thinks that their taxes are too high but not their rent?
If you make, say up to $75,000 and you want to lead a decent existence in a decent neighborhood you have to spend at least 50% of your net income on housing and utilities. At least in the northeastern US. Why isn't THAT wrong?

In terms of taxes: we pay federal, state, city, property, excise and sales taxes, which comes to a total of roughly 40% of our net income. If you count fines, traffic tickets, application fees, ATM fees, surchages, and other hidden taxes, it's closer to 44%.

In Europe, the number is closer to 50%. But in the US you get "dreck mit feffer" for your taxes, while in Europe you get the kind of socio-economic protections Americans can only dream of.

So, morons, continue voting Republican

Posted by: Sam | September 23, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain's new found sense of righteous morality is pathetic. The collapse of Wall Street and the War in Iraq will cost the taxpayers much more than Obama could have imagined. .................

Posted by: Ohg Rea Tone | September 23, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: B RUBIN | September 23, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Forget the economy!

Obama wants to take away your guns, kill your babies, and marry a gay illegal alien in a mosque!

Quit worrying at the economy! Please? Pretty Please?

Look Look! John McCain chose a cute woman who makes snarky comments for VP over much more qualified women! Seriously...why isn't anyone looking anymore? She is a pitbull with lipstick, for god's sake...

- Tucker Bounds

Posted by: CynicalGuy | September 23, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

A little coded racism in that ad... Franklin Raines, an African American man, being groomed as the cause of the Wall Street failure by the GOP and the same man falsely stated as being an Obama advisor. A Republican laze fare economics policy was the cause of the Wall Street failure.

Posted by: DC | September 23, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Paulson is Stealing ALL THE CASH IN AMERICA to Give Wall Street?
Wall Street Bad Boy "bailout" But "Nothing For Homeowners Scammed into ARMs?

$700,000,000,000 : divided by
United States Population: 301,139,947 (July 2007 est.)

EQUALS = $2324.50 collected for every man woman and child -To Pay Wall Street!

How much is it for the average family?

Average family (mother, father, 2.5 kids) = $10,460 stolen from the average
family, and then handed to banks. It's reverse bank robbery!

But what is the "bailout's" percentage of total cash in circulation?

According to Wikipedia, 700 billion is 100% of ALL THE CASH IN CIRCULATION used
throughout the United States. (in 2007)

We are not required to pay other peoples debts!
We are not obligated to pay any illegal fines fees or taxes!
We are obligated to bring the corrupt to justice!
ANY Company U.S. Taxpayer Bails Out.... BECOMES TAXPAYER PROPERTY!

It's time to get a pitchfork and a torch.

Posted by: Realista | September 23, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The worst thing to do for the economy right now is to place a shaky, aged hand at the helm - a military man.

This is the time to put Obama in charge of the economy.

This is no time for a discredited leader - one who believes that we have to fight along side lobbyists in Washington and do what is right for them - that man is John McCain.

Seeing the panic which set in last month as evidenced by the Sarah Palin choice by McCain, it is clear that even the GOP knows Obama is ready for the position.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | September 23, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps revising the tax code so big corporations start paying their fair share. These dead beats could help pay down some debt. The following quote is from a 2008 article that appeared on and provides the highlights from a GAO report.

"Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress.

The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.

Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO's estimate."

Posted by: Big Al | September 23, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

For John McCain, the panel discussion on This Week with George Stephanopoulos could not have been more brutal.

Minutes after conservative columnist George Will declared that the Senator was decidedly un-presidential is his unexpected call for the firing of SEC Chairman Chris Cox, Sam Donaldson, the long-time ABC hand, said that McCain's erratic message on the economy again raised questions about his age.

"I suppose the McCain campaign's hope is that when there's a big crisis, people will go for age and experience," said Will. "The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and un-flustered? It wasn't John McCain who, as usual, substituting vehemence for coherence, said 'let's fire somebody.' And picked one of the most experienced and conservative people in the administration, Chris Cox, and for no apparent reason... It was un-presidential behavior by a presidential candidate."

Donaldson then jumped in: "It was two days after the he said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. His talking points have gotten all mixed up. And I think the question of age is back on the table."

It should be noted that McCain's call for the firing of Cox was dismissed right off the bat, as the president does not have the authority to axe an SEC chairman. The criticisms that Donaldson raised concerned the fact that McCain started the week by touting the fundamentals of the economy, before pivoting into fits of populist mantra and calling for increased regulation of the markets - position at odds with McCain's traditional economic philosophies.

"When I say age," he explained, "I don't know the difference between finding your talking points and not delivering the right ones, we have seen him do this frequently but this last week was the worst. Between two stops in Florida, as you say, he had to revise his thinking about what he wanted to say about the economy, wanted to feel the pain suddenly than say everything is great."

The whole, painful, episode crested with Will leveling an even harsher blow.

"John McCain showed his personality this week," said the writer and pundit, "and made some of us fearful."

Posted by: AlexP1 | September 23, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the Fix? Did Schmidt bully him? Normally the Fix offers arguably the best insight and analysis on the web. Lately the content seems kind of lazy. just repeating campaign talking points and saying "what do you think?" I'm not suggesting the Fix is biased and trying to promote one side over the other, just that I hold the Fix to higher standards than most online sources.

Posted by: Noah | September 23, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Chris why is it everytime McCain's campaign has a GREAT POINT it is characterized as an attack -

everytime Obama has a point the media prints the idea like it is fact.

there is a disconnect here.


Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Chris why is it everytime McCain's campaign has a GREAT POINT it is characterized as an attack -

everytime Obama has a point the media prints the idea like it is fact.

there is a disconnect here.


Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse


The best thing to do for the economy right now is to place a steady hand at the helm and go with experience - a military man.

This is no time to put an inexperienced affirmative action guy in charge of the economy. The only business or economic experience Obama has is buying cocaine.

This is a time for a military leader - one who understands that we have to fight the lobbyists in Washington and do what is right to forge a strong economy - that man is John McCain.

This is no time to start taking chances with some affirmative action guy who may or may not have what it takes.

Seeing the panic which set in this month after the Sarah Palin choice by McCain, it is clear that Obama is not ready for the position - maybe he should try to run for Governor first and get some experience. The guy the democrats have in there now is under investigation so it is a good time for Obama to run for Governor. Or did he offend too many people from small town Illinois ???



Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Hooray for Obama! Go to my blog, and help me spam for Obama!

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | September 23, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Pollster Garin has it right. Obama-Biden need to hammer home the point that they cut taxes for the middle-class and want the rich (above $250k) to pay what they did under the reign of their hero, Ronald Reagan.

But there's an even more serious matter at hand -- the current financial crisis being used to leverage an ongoing ideological war on liberty:


Once again, Congress is being asked to rush through emergency legislation -- to cede effective control of the economy to the government.

Officials continue to blame lax lending policies on the part of the mortgage industry for spawning this crisis. But is that entirely true?

And is there a hidden agenda at work? Is government "targeting" of American citizens a root cause of the mortgage meltdown that spawned the broader financial crisis?

Consider this: OR

Posted by: scrivener | September 23, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse


Voted One Of This Year's Best Political Blogs For the Election Of 2008


Voted One Of This Year's Best Political Blogs For the Election Of 2008



Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Now that “WE” own huge investment banks and insurance companies, I want to know if my dividend checks will be mailed quarterly or bi-annually.

Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor.

Jersey John

Oh, by the way... we can all stop with the Liberal "tax and spend" and "earmark" nonsence.

Posted by: Jersey John | September 23, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Now the “WE” own huge investment banks and insurance companies, I want to know if my dividend checks will be mailed quarterly or bi-annually.

Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor.

Jersey John

Oh, by the way... we can all stop with the Liberal "tax and spend" and "earmark" nonsence.

Posted by: Jersey John | September 23, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

This is a very strange poll. It asks whether voters believe their taxes will go up, but not how they will vote based on that. Not everyone wants their taxes to go down. If one candidate wants to raise my taxes to pay for programs I support, and the other wants to cut my taxes and eliminate the programs, I'd vote for higher taxes.

This poll isn't about tax policy; it's about trust. Do you trust what each candidate says about their own tax policy, or do you believe their opponent? The 3rd question is the only valid one, because it directly asks about trust. But even that question is flawed, because it doesn't have middle ground. You need to agree that Obama will cut taxes for 95% of families, or that he will raise taxes for those families. If you believe Obama will cut taxes on 80% of families, you have to say "Don't Know", which isn't quite right.

Posted by: Blarg | September 23, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

So the only way McCain thinks he can win is by lying. I guess we already knew that.

Maybe it is time to point out that under a McCain Presidency we can look forward to
1: Protracted War
2. Higher fuel prices
3. Serious economic woes, job losses and decreased standard of living
4. Increasing isolationism from the global community
5. Increased national debt

Posted by: Sunshine | September 23, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Chris - you forgot to mention the most salient feature of the polling - Obama leads in all four states.

Maybe it's because for the last two weeks Americans have been constantly reminded of what the consequences are of the Bush/McCain hands off attitude to Wall Street speculators and windlers - the taxpayer left holding the bag for ... how much? No one knows. Of course, McBush thinks nothing of throwing a trillion dollars of taxpayer Wall Street's way, but attacks Obama for proposing to spend a small percentage of that on schools, veterans, highways, etc.

But so long as there are all the suckers in this country who genuinely believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, McSame and his lobbyist cronies will find fertile ground for the "tax and spend liberal" message.

Posted by: bondjedi | September 23, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans want to throw the "tax-and-spend liberal" moniker on Democrats as often as they can.

But with the proposal of Americans backing $1 trillion dollars in bad debt, the Republicans can shut their mounths. All this talk about liberals being socialists, yet they throw corporate welfare to these companies that they should have been regulating in the first place. What nonsense. The Republicans can't convince me that taxation is a horrible thing, especially since I now am a lender to investment banks and insurance companies via my tax dollars. Please spare me.

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: DinahS | September 23, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

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