McCain: Obama’s Tax Plan Redistributionist

It appears that John McCain’s latest attack against Barack Obama is that Obama’s tax plan is redistributionist. That is Obama’s plan takes money from one group of people and gives it to another group. McCain is right, but my bigger issue is why now Senator? You’ve been in the Senate for a very long time and this kind of thing never bothered you before?

Our tax system constantly takes money from one group of people and gives it to different groups of people. Our current benighted policies regarding biofuels is a good example. Either through direct subsidies or via mandantory requirements people who grow corn get lots of money from people who buy fuel for their cars. Every bit of corporate welfare is an example of where at least some money is taken from individuals and households and transferred to corporations thus enriching the shareholders of that corporation. I’m sure if we went back and looked over John McCain’s voting record we’d find that he voted for very many bills that were redistributionist. Thus, while I agree with McCain that this isn’t a good thing I can’t really be persuaded to the fact that he wouldn’t sign into law such policies if he were to become President. In short, it is very much hypocritical of McCain to be complaining about this.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Economics and Business, Government, US Politics, , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. tom p says:

    Hat tip, Steve. You are if nothing else, consistent. And that is something I can respect.

  2. Ugh says:

    Our tax system constantly takes money from one group of people and gives it to different groups of people.

    I think that’s a feature of, uh, probably every tax system that’s ever been devised, don’t you think?

  3. sam says:

    Our tax system constantly takes money from one group of people and gives it to different groups of people.

    As I argued in a previous thread, the system is already distributionist in this sense: the wealthy enjoy high tax savings (relative to income) because the rest of us disenjoy low tax savings (relative to income). That’s an income distribution in one direction. If their tax rate goes up, and our’s goes down, that’s distributionist in the other direction. I prefer the latter, as I’m sure the wealthy enjoy the former. On either construal, there is some income distribution. Only the ideological would characterize higher taxes on the wealthy and lower on the not-wealthy as “redistribution.”

  4. anjin-san says:

    This is a bit off topic, but I was struck by Palin’s comments about the need to take care of special needs kids (a subject I can relate to, I have 2 close relatives who are disabled, I know all to well what families face). I agree with Palin.

    Palin said something along the line of “You can always judge a society by how it treats its weakest members.”

    I agree with her here too.

    But is she not proposing socialism? All families will be forced to subsidized those with special needs kids?

    And what about the children of the poorest of our citizens? With no health care? Are they not, too, the weakest of our members?

    What about my relatives? I don’t know what we would do without government assistance. My wife and I are already putting out enough money to help take care of them that our retirement is jeopardized. Is help for them some of the evil socialism that McCain/Palin want to abolish?

    I wish that Palin’s compassion for special needs kids extended to all of the weakest members of our society. The strong do indeed have a responsibility to protect the weak.

  5. Steve Verdon says:

    This is a bit off topic, but I was struck by Palin’s comments about the need to take care of special needs kids (a subject I can relate to, I have 2 close relatives who are disabled, I know all to well what families face). I agree with Palin.

    I don’t have a major problem with this.

    Palin said something along the line of “You can always judge a society by how it treats its weakest members.”

    I guess alot hinges on what you call a “weak member” and what one means by how they are treated. Treating them fairly, ensuring they have the same rights everyone else does, and have opportunities to get ahead, no problems. A free ride? I have a problem.

    But is she not proposing socialism?

    Socialism is where the state has ownership of the means of production. So no, and neither are you, at least in what you’ve written here.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Socialism is where the state has ownership of the means of production.

    Well, the McCain camp is making a lot of noise about Obama being a socialist, but as far as I know he has no plans to seize the means of production.

    Red Herring, anyone?

  7. G.A.Phillips says:

    And what about the children of the poorest of our citizens? With no health care? Are they not, too, the weakest of our members?

    Yes that’s why you lib’s have already given them heath care it’s called planned parenthood, but some how I don’t think murdering them by the millions is gonna make us be better at being judged by this,

    Palin said something along the line of “You can always judge a society by how it treats its weakest members.”

    so while you can insinuate about the log in your opponents eye it looks kind of silly with a global Eco-structure stuck in the jackass you use sometime use for a mouth.

  8. jabberwock says:

    so while you can insinuate about the log in your opponents eye it looks kind of silly with a global Eco-structure stuck in the jackass you use sometime use for a mouth.

    So “Bushy”

  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I guess you obamanics will find a way to spin nationalizing 401k’s, which is a commun-democratic plan. What amazes me most is the blind following of a man who has a history of making promises but little history of keeping them. There is proof out there Obama is the most radical leftist to ever run for President. Even left of the American Communist Party candidate. He was a member of the New Party, his associations should tell you who he is but through extra legal means Obama has kept his past from being well know. If you love America, you cannot vote for Obama/Ayers 08.

  10. Anderson says:

    SHOCKER NEWS REPORT MUST CREDIT ANDERSON:

    ANDERSON has it on good authority that both McCain and Obama are plotting to tax rich Americans and redistribute that money to poorer Americans, such as soldiers, civil-service workers, and Social Security beneficiaries.

  11. JT says:

    The economy is important, but when are these candidates going to discuss rules of law, criminal penalties and other matters which will be there long after the economy gets going again?