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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On socialism

The John McCain campaign charge about Barack Obama's alleged socialism is ridiculous:

1. Obama is basically promoting progressive tax policy -- placing higher tax rates on the wealthy and lower rates on the poor. McCain himself dismissed charges that this was socialism in 2000 when a student pressed him about it. Watch this video, which I originally saw on "The Daily Show."

2. McCain seems to be complaining about tax refunds to people who don't pay taxes. This hints of Reagan's welfare queens, though McCain refuses to acknowledge that Republicans like him (and Reagan) sought the Earned Income Tax Credit so as to provide government tax rebates rather than higher minimum wages to the working poor.

Incidentally, the working poor pay payroll taxes (and regressive sales taxes), so this idea that a huge portion of the population pays no taxes is just bunk.

3. McCain's health care proposal, which includes a $5000 tax rebate to individuals, is precisely the kind of alleged "socialism" that he attacks in Obama's plan.

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