Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

2008 McCain Calls 2000 McCain A Socialist?

We all have wondered where the John McCain of 2000 has gone.  The once moderate Republican continues to sell his soul and ideals for desperate and cruel attacks against Obama to fool himself into believing he still can win this thing.

The irony is McCain would have been more competitive had he just stuck to his original meme and views on issues.  This is what a whiff of power do to some people…they want it, no matter the costs.

This brings me to the McCain’s campaign latest attack on Obama, that he is promoting socialism based on Obama’s tax policy.  Senator Obama has proposed increasing taxes on those who make more than $250,000 a year in order to give a tax cut to the middle class.  Mr. McCain claims this “redistribution of wealth” is the beginning of socialism.

Funny how becoming the Republican nominee for President of the United States can change things.

Below is a transcript of a Hardall College Tour Senator McCain held during his 2000 run for the Presidency.  Do you see any contradictions between the old John McCain and the new?

Hardball: Thursday, October 12, 2000:: Partial Transcript

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Since I’ve been studying politics, I’ve had this question that I’ve never fully understand. Why is it that someone like my father, who goes to school for 13 years, gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he’s a doctor? Why is that — why does he have to pay higher taxes than everybody else, just because he makes more money? Why — how is that fair?

MATTHEWS: You mean…

MCCAIN: I think your question — questioning the fundamentals of a progressive tax system where people who make more money pay more in taxes than a flat, across-the-board percentage. I think it’s to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more. We have over the years, beginning with John F. Kennedy, reduced some of those marginal tax rates to make them less onerous.

But I believe that when you really look at the tax code today, 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 when you just look at the percentages. And I think middle-income Americans, working Americans, when the account and payroll taxes, sales taxes, mortgage pay — all of the taxes that working Americans pay, I think they — you would think that they also deserve significant relief, in my view…

MATTHEWS: How many — how many people here believe that the people who made the highest level of incomes in this country should pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes?

Miss, do you want to follow up? Miss, do you want to follow up, do you want to follow up, do you want to follow up? Go ahead.

MCCAIN: Do you want to follow up? Please…

MATTHEWS: Go ahead, please, go ahead.

MCCAIN: … you were dissatisfied with Chris’s comment, I could tell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still don’t see how the — how that’s fair. Isn’t the definition of slavery basically where you work and all your money goes? I’m not saying this is slavery, I’m saying that isn’t the defin — are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff, when you have — you have some people paying 60 percent overall in a year of their money to taxes. That’s their money, not the government’s. How is that fair? I haven’t understood it.

MCCAIN: Could I point out, one of the fundamentals of a town hall meeting is, we respect the views of others, and let them speak. So, look, here’s what I really believe, that when you are — reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more. But at the same time, that shouldn’t be totally out of proportion. There’s some countries such as Sweden where it doesn’t pay anything to work more than six months a year. That’s probably the extreme.

But I think the debate in this country is more about tax cuts rather than anything else. And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they’re the ones that I would support tax cuts for first.…


  1. NavyBlueWife

    the whole redistribution of wealth argument bothers me on so many levels–i’m a tax attorney who loves tax policy–it’s more for a longer post, but it has been clarified by so many people much smarter than me…in essence, America has always had some form of a progressive tax system since we first instituted an income tax…true we have been moving toward a flat tax through back door means since W. has been in power, but look at where we are now…the wealth of our country is really concentrated in the hands of very few (have to find the latest percentages)…an aristocracy is antithetical to a democracy…and redistributing some of that wealth on the basis of who can more easily pay larger sums hardly approaches full on socialism.

  2. Called Barack Obama a Socialist last night on AC.  (Repeatedly.)  I thought David Gergen was going to choke on his tie.  And Roland Martin just sat their giggling in disbelief.

    I mean, come on.  Can we please just get to the point where it’s no longer cool to toss around words like we know what they mean?  There are so few pure economies of any ilk; trying to say that any politician is going to turn this country into a either pure capitalistic or a pure socialistic one is just ridiculous.

    For the last time: because Rush Limbaugh says something does not make it so.  Now, off to bed with you, kiddies.


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