Monday, August 18, 2008

McCain: Definition of Rich Doesn't Matter.

Last night, during his Saddleback Church presidential forum, Pastor Rick Warren asked both Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to “define rich.” With regard to tax brackets, “where do you move from middle class to rich?” Warren asked. Obama said, “if you are making $150,000 a year or less, as a family, then you’re middle class.”

McCain, however, dismissed Warren’s question, asking in jest, “How about $5 million?”

WARREN: Everybody talks about, you know, taxing the rich, but not the poor, the middle class. At what point, give me a number, give me a specific number. Where do you move from middle class to rich? […]

MCCAIN: How about $5 million? No, but seriously, I don’t think you can, I don’t think seriously that the point is I’m trying to make, seriously, and I’m sure that comment will be distorted but the point is…that we want to keep people’s taxes low, and increase revenues. … So, it doesn’t matter really what my definition of rich is because I don’t want to raise anybody’s taxes. I really don’t.

TPJ: Which means borrowing more money from China and go further into debt (McCain's economic policy would increase the national debt by $3 trillion). How is that policy any different than Bush? It's not. No one wants to pay taxes but I'd rather pay up front than have to borrow money (and accrue interest) to pay for things. It's called "pay as you go," something that everday Americans do to stay within our budgets. How is it that Republicans have gained the image of being the fiscally responsible ones with their solution of borrowing money and passing the bill onto our kids and grandkids?

It may not be important to McCain and his rich buddies as to what defines rich since they don't need to worry about money but it sure matters to those of us barely making it financially.

But while McCain now says “it doesn’t matter really what my definition of rich is,” in 2000, he criticized tax cuts proposed by then-presidential candidate George W. Bush because they would benefit the rich “at the expense of middle-class Americans.” McCain said that he believed Bush was targeting the wrong individuals:

I don’t think the governor’s tax cut is too big–it’s just misplaced. Sixty percent of the benefits from his tax cuts go to the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans–and that’s not the kind of tax relief that Americans need. … I don’t believe the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans should get 60 percent of the tax breaks. I think the lowest 10 percent should get the breaks.

McCain summarized his position at the time saying, “I’m not giving tax cuts for the rich.” Now McCain is proposing to do exactly that. McCain — who, by his own definition, is rich — would get a $300,000 tax break if his proposals were enacted. McCain would decrease middle-class Americans’ tax bills by just $319.

TPJ: This is yet another example how McCain has happily and unabashedly embraced George W. Bush on his tax policy giving the vast majority of cuts to the rich, not the middle-class. For a supposed "Christian" John McCain clearly doesn't understand the Bible verse that Obama quoted last night at the Faith Forum saying, "To whom much is given, much is expected."

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Riverwolf said...

McCain is such a dolt. Of course it matters how he defines "rich!" It matters how everyone defines that word. I suppose he was trying to make some cerebral point about "rich" being relative, but he totally stuck his foot in his mouth.

I hope he gets hounded for the "$5 million" comment.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...


Yeah the definition of rich is critical to governing. The rich tend to see themselves as the top of the top and that since they have a lot of money that somehow they know better than those of us who are poor.