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McCain is a “Redistributor” too

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McCain has been tossing out the term “redistributor” to describe Sen. Obama, as if Obama is a socialist. At least, that’s the implicit connection he’s trying to make. But it’s far from true.

Newsweek’s Andrew Romano, in his column, writes:

Conservatives are eagerly pushing the charge–online, at rallies and in my inbox–that “Barack the Redistributor” is a secret communist, Marxist or socialist. (Today, the right is misreading as evidence of his pinko ways a 2001 interview in which Obama complains that progressive activists once wrongly wanted the Supreme Court to “ente[r] into the issues of redistribution of wealth.”) Now, I understand the appeal of this line of attack, which provides voters with a familiar, 20th-century bogeyman to fear. But characterizing Obama’s plan to tax the nation’s top earners at 39 percent instead of 36 percent as socialist is absurd. Dwight Eisenhower taxed top earners at 91 percent. Richard Nixon taxed them at more than 50 percent. Even Ronald Reagan didn’t lower the top marginal rate to less than 50 percent until the last two years of his second term. Were these Republicans secret socialists, too?

Romano’s column concludes:

Deep down, I suspect McCain knows that Obama isn’t really a socialist. Why? Because he once sounded a lot like his rival on taxes. During the 2000 campaign, for example, a young woman asked McCain why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” “Look, here’s what I really believe,” he added. “That when you are–when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.” He soon backed up his words with action. After Bush was elected, McCain told Congress that he was disappointed by the president’s plan to “cut the top tax rate of 39.6 percent to 36 percent.” When it came time for a vote, the Arizonan stood on the Senate floor and announced that “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief.” Unless McCain was a socialist in 2000 and 2001, Obama isn’t a socialist now.

John McCain understands and even promotes a progressive tax policy that taxes higher wager earners more than lower wage earners. The same thing Obama believes. The bogeyman title is nothing more than an attempt to scare the voting populace.

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Written by Valerie Curl

November 3, 2008 at 4:34 PM

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