Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is John McCain a Redistributor?

Republican presidential nominee Senator John M...Image via Wikipedia
Remind me again how Barack Obama is so much more of a "redistributor" than John McCain is? John McCain wants refundable tax credits, to limit Social Security to wealthier recipients so we can pay more to lower income recipients (how is that not spreading the wealth around) and plan to keep the progressive income tax system we have now without a major overhaul. Whether he's for tax cuts for the rich or against them, we can only guess since he voted against them before he decided he was for them.

Check out this clip from Morning Joe. They do a pretty good job of pointing out that Obama's proposed tax rates on the rich are not confiscatory (love that word) and really not so different than what have today and no different than what we had under Clinton. But, why bother with facts when you can spread fear and lies?



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13 comments:

Someday said...

Clearly I don't think Senator McCain is a Libertarian, or even a conservative. But even he recognizes the mistake that Woodrow Wilson made when he raised taxes during a recession. It was a historical disaster called the great depression that only ended with World War II. All of that government meddling did nothing for the economy except bring the depression on deeper.

This has nothing to do with Bill Clinton. If that was Senator Obama's aim, all he would have to do is push for Congress to let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, as they are scheduled to do in 2010, the same year The Senator would have taken office had he won. Instead, he wants to give my labor to folks that don't even pay any income taxes at all. I pay income taxes, therefore, it isn't just the rich who pay for this. ALL income taxpayers do. Does this mean Big Brother is becoming a charity with police power to force it's citizens to give?
What happened to Liberty? What happened to Freedom?

Luckily America is catching on, and in the past few days, Senator McCain has been rocketing up in the polls among likely voters. The undecided are starting to decide, and it's about time. I was getting a little worried we were going down the path to Marxism at breakneck speed. My optimism is returning.

Blessings

brian said...

Wow, Someday. I'm always amazed when Christians make statements like you just did. "Instead, he wants to give my labor to folks that don't even pay any income taxes at all." Yes. That's been happening in America since the beginning and I hope it continues to happen.

Again you gross mischaracterize what Obama's plans are. But, I see you have chosen your words more carefully. I assume by specifying that low income people don't pay INCOME taxes, you were acknowledging they do pay other taxes. The refundable tax credits proposed by McCain and Obama are a way of giving relief on their overall federal tax burden. Income taxes are not the only taxes paid by people.

You also imply Obama is going to raise taxes. Again, a mischaracterization. Overall, Obama's income tax plan LOWERS income taxes. It just happens to lower them more on the middle class than McCain's does and raises them a little on people who will not even feel the effect of that slight of an increase.

The reason the masses are falling for McCain's redistribution scare is they are basically uninformed or ill-informed. McCain and the moron Joe the Plumber has convinced them Obama is going to raise income taxes on people making less than $250,000/year which every single independent research organization has disputed.

Anyway, the point of this post is Obama's plan and McCain's plan both continue to "redistribute wealth", which you have acknowledged. Clearly you have bought in to the ownership society, trickle down theory of taxation and you have made your choice. My intent is to clear up the lies for people who care to know.

Someday said...

Speaking as a Christian, I do believe we should, as individuals take care of those who are less fortunate. That is our moral obligation.

But I also believe in giving that which is Caesar's to Caesar. And that Which is God's to God.

I don't see anywhere in early Christian literature that we must use police power to make sure those who are not Christian follow through on our own moral obligations.

Blessings

brian said...

Someday,

Actually, it's kind of a cheap shot to appeal to Christianity for taking care of our brothers. Forgive me for that IMO, it's just being humane to take care of the poor. But, for a lot of Christians, they only do it because Jesus commanded it. Since Jesus did make such a big deal out of taking care of the poor, it just astounds me when Christians complain about their tax money being used for that purpose. I'm glad when my tax money is used to help those less fortunate.

You're absolutely right. Jesus said nothing about how government should take care of the poor. I actually heard a pastor make a comment the other day I thought was interesting (even though I disagree with it). He said that he thinks G-d uses taxes to collect his tithe because we won't give the tithe freely. Even though I disagree with the statement it does point to a larger truth I completely agree with. If people gave freely and faith based organizations and private charities took care of the least among us, it's a business the government could get out of. And I would be all for that. In the meantime though, the government has the responsibility to provide for the safety and welfare of all of its citizens, including those who cannot take care of themselves. Our taxes are our contribution to that as well as to the infrastructure that we all use.

karen said...

Brian, with all due respect, why don't you stop chipping away at McCain and keep up positive posts about why Obama's plans are the best?

brian said...

Karen,

I'm sorry that my posts seem like I'm chipping away at McCain. I'm really not. My point with the socialist posts and the redistibutor post is NOT that McCain is a socialist. Of course he is not. But, if Obama's tax plan is socialistic, so is McCain's. McCain supports progressive taxation and defended it against charges of socialism. McCain has proposed refundable tax credits. The crux of his latest attacks against Obama has been Obama is a "secret socialist".

Please understand this. I support progressive income tax. I support refundable tax credits for the working poor. So do Senators McCain and Obama. I was merely pointing out that McCain supports what he has been blasting. If people are scared to vote for Obama because his tax plans are socialistic, they are missing the fact that we've had similar credits and progressive tax rates for decades and that McCain's plan is only different in that he wants to give bigger breaks to the rich and smaller breaks to the middle class than Obama does.

Again, I'm sorry for coming off negative.

karen said...

C'mon..."And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs."
That's a lot different than if my small business and my income is being taxed to "spread" to someone who just doesn't work or doesn't pay taxes, don't you think?
We all "own" the resources of our earth or country (and should be responsible for, as well.)
But I stop at someone else dipping into my husband's and my incomes any more than they already have. Obama's plan, especially his words to Joe, specifically meant that Joe should succeed income-wise, and pay to help others succeed (?). Succeed at what? Not trying to succeed? Why should I succeed then?
The more taxes taken out to help folks I don't know means it becomes more difficult for me to give money to those I know are truly in need. I don't tithe to a church, so we give funds to those who are we KNOW are hurting.
It's a lot different. You've already gone back and forth with Someday on this. Someday and I see this the same way and I continue to be confused that you see it so differently. And, that doesn't make you wrong.
I'm concerned about this election very much. Also, why is it that a man who has the relationships with the people that Obama has been around for 20 years or so---is so admired? When I ask this question to Obama-ites, all I get is a switcheroo about McCain--I get no answer as to how you could hang around Ayers, Wright, Davis, and Rezko, and be admired. I just don't get it. You don't have to answer that. I'll never get it.

brian said...

Karen,

First of all, Obama wants to give you a bigger tax break than McCain wants to give you. All income tax is "redistribution of wealth", Karen. Unless you and your husband make more than $250,000/year, you'll pay less tax under Obama's plan than under McCain's. McCain/Bush's plans gives larger tax breaks to the wealthy. What astounds me is McCain has convinced people that giving larger tax breaks to the wealthy and smaller tax breaks to the middle class is not "redistribution of wealth". But, giving bigger tax breaks to the middle class and rolling back the rates of the wealthy is "redistribution of wealth". And most of the people complaining about Obama's plan don't mind paying more tax so a CEO or a company can get a tax break. Because that's what you'll be doing under McCain. You'll pay more so corporations and people making more than $250,000 a year can get a bigger cut. But, those same people don't want that CEO or corporation to pay higher taxes so the working poor can get a tax credit. I'm still stunned by that one. I'm glad people are looking out for someone other than themselves and not just voting for who gives them the most money. But, if I have the choice between spreading my wealth to the poor and spreading it to the rich, I'll choose to spread it to the poor.

Secondly, taking money from "oil companies" and giving it to the people of Alaska is every bit as much income redistribution as taking money from a CEO and giving it to the middle class. Politicians (including Obama) pander to us by making oil companies, insurance companies, etc. big faceless evil organizations. In reality, those profits from the oil companies belong to the shareholders and putting a higher tax on them to give the money to the people of Alaska is taking money that would have increased shareholder wealth and giving to people who are not shareholders. Same principle as taking money from large corporations and CEOs and giving it to the middle class. If you're going to characterizer Obama's plan as moving wealth from the rich to the average Joe, you have to characterize McCain and Palin's plans the same way.

As for Obama's associations, it sounds like your mind's made up. All politicians have associations that are "shady". Not just Obama, not just McCain. Every single one of them. For one thing, they rub elbows with a lot more people. Secondly, people seeking power tend to gravitate to them. No, Obama's "associations" don't bother me in the least. I've done the research on Rezko. Obama sat down with the Chicago Tribune and did a 90 minute interview where he answered every question put to him. This was back in the spring. They were impressed with his answers and so was I. The ONLY thing about his association with Rezko that could even be perceived as shady was the deal for his house; which he explained and I don't have the space to go into detail here. As for Ayers, half the politicians, presidents of Universities and other Chicago big wigs "pal" around with William Ayers. As a Christian, I wouldn't expect Obama to hold something against Ayers that he did 40 years ago. And, as a politician, I certainly wouldn't expect him to snub a man who is a university professor, respected education reform advocate, citizen of the year, etc. As for the good Reverend Wright. He is a member of the United Church of Christ. I've listened to his sermons IN THEIR ENTIRETY and his remarks are completely taken out of context. He was and still is respected in a predominantly white denomination and is known for his work in building up the community in a poverty stricken area of Chicago.

I know you said I didn't have to answer. But, I couldn't help myself. Sorry.

karen said...

You and Someday have already covered my points about Obamanomics. He'll roll back the Bush tax cuts first off at one swipe of the pen.
His whole package is socialistic...you said as much yourself. Add the "spread the wealth" and his comments about the Constitution originally being "flawed" and his universal health plan, and yes, his total package is much worse than McCain could even come up with. But, then, I'm a Libertarian who believes that current taxing is unconstitutional anyway. Where is Obama going to get that extra trillion that it will take to pay for his social agenda? Your comment that wealthy people won't even notice a little extra off..well, that's just odd. They worked hard for their coin...or do you think all rich folks are dishonest?
And, historically, Christians, charities, etc., ARE the ones who willingly and intentionally help out those in need. They are historically the main providers of what the poor need. I work in a school district and I have family members on disability. I've had beloved friends die overseas because they just didn't get their national health plan surgery in time to save their lives due to waiting lists. I've seen the gross mishandling of "helpful" tax money close up.

Yeah, my mind is made up about Obama and his connections. Reverend Wright and his BLT; Ayers and his crimes (even Jesus kinda liked folks to say they're sorry, right?) I'd snub Ayers in a heartbeat. He said, "Sometimes innocent people have to die in a revolution." A revolution of his own making--not one where loss of life or limb are imminent..except by his own hand.
Rezko...ick.
And, no doubt Obama got his socialist agendas from Davis' mentoring.
If McCain's associations were anywhere NEAR close to Obama's, they'd be all over the media.
Give me a link to a Rev. Wright sermon and I'll listen to it in its entirety. I'd like the one that included, "God damn America."
Maybe I just heard that wrong.

karen said...

Brian, I spent a good bit of time listening to longer versions of Wright's sermons. Don't know where to start.

I wish there was someone who could really, truly unify America.

As it is, it seems more like we're getting more and more divided.

brian said...

Karen,

Yes, there are those of us who think the gap in wealth in the United States between the rich and the poor is shameful. For so few to have so much and so many to have so little is wrong- especially when a major part of that imbalance is historical as well as current discrimination. I think the fear of Obama literally robbing from the rich to give to the poor is not only greatly exaggerated, it's simply not true. He does plan to give the poor and the middle class more opportunities for education, etc. to give them, as he puts it, a ladder up. As for the extra trillion, I guess you haven't heard, but he's said it several dozen times. Every dime that Obama spends in his budget, he has offset with savings somewhere else.

Yes, historically and currently, Christians are more generous than the generous population. But, I just finished reading a book about Christian giving and we are not nearly as generous as "tithing" guidelines call for. If you believe in giving 10% of your after tax income, Christians in America are no where near that level. In any event, we do not give enough so that the government can pull out of the social services business without leaving people to die in the streets. I understand you are a libertarian and that's cool. But, at the risk of offending you, this is not a libertarian country. The U.S. has wrestled with how much of a role the government should play in social and economic engineering since the beginning of our great country. That's not an argument we're going to solve here. But, there has always been a blend of the capitalistic with the socialistic. There has always been an eye out to make sure the underprivileged get a leg up. We have busted up trusts, we have given special privileges to those who have historically been taken advantage of.

I still think it's grossly unfair to paint Obama with the beliefs of Ayers and Rezko, in particular. But, that's your choice. I have a whack job hawk Jewish friend who basically hates Palestinians. We have talked just about every day for over 20 years now. If I were running for office and you found the things he said and attributed them to me, you'd be dead wrong about what I believe. Add to that that Obama's relationships with Rezko and Ayers are not close or intimate at all and I think it's absurd to assume that because Ayers said something Obama agrees with it. Obama has always called Ayers' acts deplorable. He has always condemned Ayers' acts. But, I guess Obama should have been the only politician in Chicago (Republican or Democrat) to snub an "washed up old terrorist" and refuse to sit down with the man to help the poor and to improve education in Chicago.

Back to Reverend Wright. Again, there's just so much to say, I don't know where to start. 1.) You are listening (even when you listen to the entirety) to the most controversial sermons someone could select out of a 20 year career 2.) Many people don't understand the role of the black church in communities like the one Trinity serves. Reverend Wright's sermons often harken back to the days of the prophets of Israel. The God damn America remark for example is CONDITIONAL. He is saying God will not bless America but damn America if America persists in oppressing people and in not doing God's will. Not unlike what the prophets of Israel said to Israel. Basically, get your house in order or God will not only stop blessing you, He will allow your enemies to overtake you. Lastly, Reverend Wright is not running for office. I wouldn't vote for him for President either. Again, Obama made his views on the remarks you've heard well known. He condemned them and when the Reverend made a fool of himself in front of the National Press Club, Obama disowned the Reverend. I'm not sure what more you want. And, I don't see how it's relevant unless you think Obama secretly hates America and is not running to improve America but to destroy it from within.

Glad you shared your thoughts, Karen. I've spent many hours listening to Obama's speeches, reading his books, listening to his books, reading articles written about him, etc. etc. I would not vote for anyone that I didn't think would do the better job for America. BTW, on the tax thing, I don't begrudge rich people anything I wanna be rich, Karen. I own my own small company (unlike Joe the Plumber). While Obama's tax plan might cost me a little more money (I can only hope), I'm willing to pay a little more so that families making $40,000 a year can pay less. I think that's better than asking families making $40,000 a year to pay more so that someone making $1,000,000 a year can pay less. That's not punishing the rich for their success, Karen. Raising the tax rate on their MARGINAL income by 3% will literally not change their lifestyle at all. While, giving an extra $600 to a family making $40,000 might actually make a real difference.

Peace,
Brian

karen said...

If he's elected, Brian, I hope he is everything you believe him to be.
I understood the context of the God damn America statement. I feel that he was angry, blasphemous, disrespectful, and in error of a lot of things. If there were children in the congregation, what does that tell them? To disrespect our elected leaders? Inflammatory is the word that comes to mind. You say Obama (and you and everyone else) can and should forgive Ayers for what he did--yet Wright was SO inflammatory and unforgiving about slavery...something that happened long ago and no one alive now was personally subjected to that crime. I saw very little of the Word of God in all the stuff I watched. I think politics should stay out of churches..especially non-profits--especially ACORN, which receives government funds, yet endorses one candidate. I find Pat Robertson repugnant for the same reason. The Word should be encouragement and positive empowerment...because that's what the Word is. All I heard Obama say was that he could no more disassociate with Wright than he could his own family. He also said Ayers was "just a guy in the neighborhood." Seems like lying to me.
Again...I respect your opinion, and hope that O is all you say he is.
We disagree on a lot of things, but I'm glad we can still associate and listen.

brian said...

Karen,

I hope Obama is half what I think he is. But, I don't believe he is the Messiah. Don't get me wrong. He has his faults. But, I think he can be a transformational leader. He's not nearly the lefty people have been led to believe he is. He's more a centrist and a pragmatist. It'll be interesting to see what he can accomplish, assuming he's given the opportunity.

I understand that you think politics should stay out of church. But, I couldn't disagree more. I wish we talked about social justice more in church. To me, we have been given the charge of building G-d's Kingdom here and you can't do that with corrupt social, economic and political systems. I'm glad that in the UCC we are very much justice oriented.

Peace,
Brian