Redistributing the Wealth

This poorly drawn cartoon by Rick McKee appeared in the Augusta Chronicle eight days ago but it’s just making my way around the wife’s office and it’s still fairly amusing:


Of course, had McCain followed my advice and opted out of Federal funds,  he’d have more than $87 million to work with, too.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Humor, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    I’m sure if John McCain asked (publicly) for some of Obama’s money, he’d be happy to (publicly) give him some.

    On an unrelated note, did this cartoonist just change the hair and skin tone from his John Kerry art from 4 years ago? That first panel especially.

  2. Floyd says:

    “”did this cartoonist just change the hair and skin tone from his John Kerry art from 4 years ago?””
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Did the party not do the same?

  3. Mithras says:

    If this is the intellectual level of the Republicans in opposition, I look forward to two successful terms for President Obama.

  4. Bystander says:

    At best, you should ‘cautiously’ look forward to four years of President Obama. You really don’t know much of anything about how he plans to steer the good ship USA, and you may be ready to join a mutiny by ’12. (And don’t throw W. in my face – this isn’t a partisan post).

  5. And the Fairness Doctrine will kick in only after the election to keep anyone from challenging The One.

    OT – looking forward to Alex posting about the “petty” Obama campaign from not allowing reporters from newspapers that endorsed McCain onto his plane. Man, that Fairness Doctrine is going to be something to behold, ain’t it?

    Me, I’m celebrating my liberty as long as I can until the remaining pieces of it get sacrificed to the living altar of equality through social justice, whatever it is that that will mean tomorrow. Senator Obama wants Supreme Court justices with empathy. Great. Rousseau wins. The enlightenment is over.

    Bystander, are you saying we’re buying a pig in a poke? And that we should be cautiously optimitic about it?

  6. James, buddy, get a grip eh.

    We need to pay taxes to fund public goods. Obama isn’t proposing any new wealth redistribution programs. He is just suggesting that people making the most pay a bit more than they have been paying in the past so that people at the bottom can pay a little bit left. Progressive taxation hasn’t been a particularly controversial issue in over 50 years.

    Good grief, under Eisenhower the highest marginal tax rate was 91%, and no one seemed to think that Ike was a socialist. Obama is talking about returning the top tax rate to 39% which is where it was all through the 1990s. Does increasing the marginal rate from 35 to 39% for people making more than 250k really deserve to be called “redistribution of wealth”?

    Please. Get serious.

  7. sam says:

    @Charles

    And the Fairness Doctrine will kick in only after the election to keep anyone from challenging The One.

    He’s said he won’t reinstate the FD:

    In June of this year a spokesman for Barack Obama had this to say about reimposing the “Fairness Doctrine”:

    Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters. He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible. That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets.

    @more Charles

    OT – looking forward to Alex posting about the “petty” Obama campaign from not allowing reporters from newspapers that endorsed McCain onto his plane. Man, that Fairness Doctrine is going to be something to behold, ain’t it?

    Funny, Fox news and the Wall Street Journal reporters are still on the plane, and it’s not like McCain ever did something like this. Oh, hey, you must have missed this:

    McCain barred [Maureen] Dowd and Time’s Joe Klein, two columnists seen as leaning toward Obama, from his campaign plane

  8. Bystander says:

    I guess I’m saying that Obama is going to have to prove that he is actually moving away from his political record to become more of a centrist once he gets the office. The only indicators I have to work with regarding Obama is record and rhetoric. You have to work a little to get any significant info regarding his record as the mainstream media seems to give him a lot of leniency here. I have been listening closely to his well-crafted rhetoric, but it just doesn’t seem to practically add up.

    I’m not happy with the ‘Maverick’s’ record, but at least we know from the media how often he voted with Bush – whose own fiscal policy record places him as a centrist – perhaps even a shade to the left. (I believe if JFK were running today, he would be right of both Bush and McCain.)

    For these reasons, I believe “Yes”, Obama is well know as an agent of change, but still an unknown as to what kind of change. It makes me somewhat nervous. So does McCain, but at least he has a solid enough of a political record so I can reasonably know what to expect if he were to win the office. And I disagree with the pundits out there who try to convince me that it will be four more years of Bush.

  9. Sam, as you are a frequent poster I assumed you would know what I was referring to with the ironic quotation marks. Guess not. But I do note that you make a lovely and touching moral equivalence argument for defining uncivil behavior down.

  10. sam says:

    I saw the quotes, Charles, but the rest of the sentence said to me that, indeed, it was ironic, and that by “petty” you didn’t mean petty at all, rather the opposite. That’s what irony is, right?

  11. sam says:

    Ah, sorry, shoulda clicked the link. Duh. I guess I’m as predisposed to think ill of those who disagree with me politically as I think they are of me. Not true, of course, but I’m finding it a hard habit to break. My apologies.

  12. Alexander Klingman says:

    The irony of this conversation is, of course, that under McCain’s tax plan, McCain would pay less taxes than he does now and I, who am much less wealthy than McCain, would pay MORE taxes than I do now.

    Under Obama’s tax plan, Obama, who is wealthier than I, would pay more taxes than he does now, while I would pay less taxes than I do now.

    Can’t imagine why McCain’s losing…

  13. Sam, I do not think ill of you and couldn’t care less about your politics. What you are doing is called projection. I will occasionally respond to the things people write and say that I believe are wrong, absurd, counterfactual, or otherwise illuminating of some point I may wish to make. Further, I don’t believe that who says something lends any additional credence or incredulity to what they said, so I would respond similarly whether you, James, Alex, Dodd, or anyone else said it. But YMMV.

  14. Alex Knapp says:

    Actually, Charles, it was JAMES who did the post about McCain barring Klein and Dowd from his plane, not me. 🙂 But as far as I can tell from the cite, they’re still allowed access on the bus and on Biden’s plane, right? If they’re barred, that’s troubling. If they’re just shuffling people around (moving some reporters off, putting some others on) that’s a different thing.

    And you do know that even if he DID impose a Fairness doctrine, (which I highly doubt), it would only apply to broadcast. No internet, no cable, no satellite. The Supreme Court has been VERY clear about that. And who the hell watches broadcast news anyway? 😉

  15. brainy435 says:

    Holy crap Floyd, that was damn funny.

  16. Steve Verdon says:

    We need to pay taxes to fund public goods.

    We pay waaay more than that in taxes. Public goods are few and far between and for the most part can be handled by state and local taxes.

    Now if you mean transfers, regulatory agencies, and so forth then okay, but don’t call them public goods (e.g. national defense, parks, roads, etc.).

    Obama isn’t proposing any new wealth redistribution programs.

    Well that depends doesn’t it. For example, if you tax Peter to give Paul health care then it is redistribution, just not in terms of money.

    He is just suggesting that people making the most pay a bit more than they have been paying in the past so that people at the bottom can pay a little bit left.

    The bottom 50% of the income distribution in 2006 paid 2.99% of the federal income tax. A large percentage of the people in that part of the income distribution pay no federal income taxes. Simply exempting people from that part of the income distribution from paying taxes would not necessitate the kind of income tax hike on those in the top 2% of the distribution. Clearly Obama is going to be spending that money on other programs that will likely not be aimed at that bottom 50%. Makes sense too, after all that is where a lot of voters are.

    Good grief, under Eisenhower the highest marginal tax rate was 91%, and no one seemed to think that Ike was a socialist.

    Well considering that the top marginal tax rate was above 90% before Ike got into office what is your point?

    Obama is talking about returning the top tax rate to 39% which is where it was all through the 1990s. Does increasing the marginal rate from 35 to 39% for people making more than 250k really deserve to be called “redistribution of wealth”?

    Well lets consider the top 1% of the income distribution. They have 22.06% of AGI in 2006 yet paid 39.89% of the federal income tax collected. Now that income tax is used for spending that probably provides more benefits those other than the rich. So yeah, it does count as redistribution and even Obama admits it.

  17. Michael says:

    The bottom 50% of the income distribution in 2006 paid 2.99% of the federal income tax.

    And what percentage of the total income did that 50% make?

  18. Dantheman says:

    Steve,

    “The bottom 50% of the income distribution in 2006 paid 2.99% of the federal income tax. A large percentage of the people in that part of the income distribution pay no federal income taxes.”

    They pay lots of other taxes, though. Last time I checked social security taxes, excise taxes, etc. were paid with the same dollar bills as income taxes are.

  19. Dantheman says:

    “Well lets consider the top 1% of the income distribution. They have 22.06% of AGI in 2006 yet paid 39.89% of the federal income tax collected.”

    Same question applies. The pay a lesser percentage of their income for Social Security, as the cut-off is $102,000 (a number well under the top 1% of annual incomes).

  20. Steve Verdon says:

    And what percentage of the total income did that 50% make?

    The income cut-off to get in the bottom 50% is an AGI of $31,987, their total AGI is $1,016,441,000 (or so).

    They pay lots of other taxes, though. Last time I checked social security taxes, excise taxes, etc. were paid with the same dollar bills as income taxes are.

    Dantheman,

    Social Security and Medicare are pure redistribution programs. They redistribute money from those currently working to those who are not.

  21. Alex, no problem. My apologies for being too lazy to look up the archive, though I seem to remember you siding with the “petty” aspect. But rather than argue about it, I’ll just apologize again and move on.

    On the other hand, I am leery of believing that the Progressive Triumvirate won’t enact the Fairness Doctrine or that the Supreme Court will suddenly start paying attention to the clean and unambiguous language of the First Amendment now.

  22. Michael says:

    On the other hand, I am leery of believing that the Progressive Triumvirate won’t enact the Fairness Doctrine or that the Supreme Court will suddenly start paying attention to the clean and unambiguous language of the First Amendment now.

    Howard Dean was a Progressive. Obama is almost a Progressive. Reid and Pelosi are decidedly not.

  23. Neil says:

    Is there an estimate of how much more McCain could have raised if he had gone the private route? Good to know he is a man of his word but unfortunately it is apparently going to keep him from getting the job. Would McCain have done better had it not been for a little law called McCain-Feingold? How ironic.

    I assume public financing at the presidential level is dead now. With 0bama raising close to a billion it seems unlikely any other candidate will limit themselves. So much for all the complaining (especially from the left!) about all the influence of big money in politics.

  24. Michael says:

    So much for all the complaining (especially from the left!) about all the influence of big money in politics.

    Obama’s funding has come mostly from small money, not big money. The left’s complaint hasn’t been about the money itself, but the concentration of representation that the money created. Having hundreds of thousands of people giving $200 or less doesn’t cause the same issues as having 200 people giving hundreds of thousands.

  25. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    Alex, no problem. My apologies for being too lazy to look up the archive, though I seem to remember you siding with the “petty” aspect. But rather than argue about it, I’ll just apologize again and move on.

    No worries. As I recall, I said that it is petty if it’s true that there were empty seats on the plane, but I was corrected on that point.

    On the other hand, I am leery of believing that the Progressive Triumvirate won’t enact the Fairness Doctrine or that the Supreme Court will suddenly start paying attention to the clean and unambiguous language of the First Amendment now.

    I think that the odds of a Fairness Doctrine being passed is on the order of slim to none. Nobody who matters wants it. Rest assured, should they try to pass one I would fight it tooth and nail.

  26. G.A.Phillips says:

    Obama’s funding has come mostly from small money, not big money. The left’s complaint hasn’t been about the money itself, but the concentration of representation that the money created. Having hundreds of thousands of people giving $200 or less doesn’t cause the same issues as having 200 people giving hundreds of thousands.

    lol, now then thats good,masterful Donkey pooping.*****a five star poop!