Chicago Sun-Times
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On Obama, Socialism and tax policy.


WASHINGTON--John McCain is going after Barack Obama again on Wednesday --painting him as a Socialist because he told "Joe the Plumber" he wanted to spread the wealth. Brace yourself, but there are "socialistic" elements in our civic life already.

What Obama is doing is raising questions about tax equity. That happens all the time. To suggest that makes one a Socialist--an inflammatory word in U.S. politics--is nutty.

As retired Gen. Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State said Sunday, "Taxes are always a redistribution of money."

The U.S. already has a progressive federal income tax structure. Those with higher incomes already pay more. The nation has Medicare--nationalized, subsidized health insurance for seniors as well as some others. Congress just approved a bail-out that partly nationalized banks--a deal Republicans and Democrats supported.

After Powell endorsed Barack Obama on Sunday, he talked to reporters about sticking the "Socialist" label on Obama, and he made some points that I think should not be lost, so I am posting them here.

"A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of the crisis, the campaign said 'we're gonna go negative', and they annouced it, 'we're gonna go negative' and attack his character through Bill Ayers," said Powell.

"And now I guess the message this week is we're gonna call him a socialist. Mr. Obama is now a Socialist, because he dares to suggest that maybe we oughtta look at the tax structure that we have. ....

"Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to the ones who pay it. In roads, in airports, in hospitals, in schools, and taxes are necessary for the common good....

"...There is nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is, who should be paying more, who should be paying less. For us to say that makes you a socialist, I think is an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate, and I don't want my taxes raised, I don't want anyones taxes raised.

"...But I also want to see our infastructure fixed, and I don't want to have a 12 trillion dollar national debt.

"...I don't want to see an annual deficit that is over 500 billion dollars, heading toward a trillion."


mcshame is desperate.when desperate what do you do? attack and claim the elite press is biased and unfair.(funny how they were not biased when discussing obama's radical pastor!)palins pick was the nail in the coffin!her views:no abortion even in the case of rape and incest(sick)creationsim is to be taught in the public schools(scary)no sex eduucation is allowed in alaska public schools(see daughter for results)the right to invade and occupy a foreign country even when not attacked(see iraq for results)

How about Obama's domestic policies? Obama voted FOR Partial-Birth Abortion (the most barbaric "medical" procedure allowed under the law, and AGAINST the Federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which prevents babies that survive an abortion attempt from being killed or left to die. He has also stated that he thinks women should have a period of time after a baby is born to decide if they want it killed! How much MORE do you need to know about Obama?

How about Obama's domestic policies? Obama voted FOR Partial-Birth Abortion (the most barbaric "medical" procedure allowed under the law, and AGAINST the Federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which prevents babies that survive an abortion attempt from being killed or left to die. He has also stated that he thinks women should have a period of time after a baby is born to decide if they want it killed! How much MORE do you need to know about Obama?

I have no problem with my tax dollars going to fix roads and fund public education programs, etc. But what McCain was talking about was the fact that Obama's plan includes giving tax credits to people who don't pay any income tax. That is wrong, and I don't think it's a stretch to call it socialism.

McCain depended upon his father's income as an Admiral rom taxpayers as a child. His father depended upon McCain's Grandfather, another Admiral. McCain got into Annapolis due to his WASP affirmative action. His financial existence is based upon the funding from the American taxpayers. He married Cindy Hensle, a wealthy Paris Hilton ” want to be”. He then equates Paris to Obama as a“rock star”. Now he calls Obama , who pulled himself up by his “bootstraps” a socialist. Gee, if my tax dollars paid for McCain’s persona, and Obama pulled himself up by his bootstraps, I can conclude that McCaine is the socialist by de facto.

Obama's domestic policies are atrocious. Why would anyone vote for Partial-Birth Abortion? Has he heard of adoption? The baby is already born, to me that is cold-blooded murder. Calling Obama's economic policies socialism is the reality and historically socialism has always failed and is also considered the bridge between capitalism and communism.

Obama is just taking a tax break to a new level, but he is certainly not taking it to a socialist level. It's hard for Republicans to accept Obama's plan, but his tax policies aren't that different from Republican policies in the past.

I have Repulican values, but this site changed my mind about Obama's tax policies. Check out this link for "A Republican's guide to embracing Obama's tax policy."

In response to Larry Linn's statements, McCain's father and grandfather served our country for the pay that they received. This is also known as "work". I am not opposed to paying people with federal jobs for work performed. I am against subsidizing life, making our nation weaker and more dependent than it already is.
Anyone that doesn't consider Obama's views socialistic is blinded by the charm that he exudes. Play Robin Hood all you want Obama, but at the end of the day, America will be no better off as a nation, as a whole. Reintroduce rewards for hard work! Not don't worry about trying or getting off your butts, we will take care of you. We are fat,lazy, and apethetic enough as a nation if you ask me. Family values are gone! But you call that freedom.
Just because Obama is different doesn't make him better. Cut taxes to 95% of Americans???? By how much??? 1%? It is just a tactic to get votes. Hurt the other 5% that work and employ the other 95%?? These people making over 250K would simply pass these costs down through their employees, and good and services!!!!
On Powell, turning on his own claimed party, and endorsing this man who has the least experience of any candidate, saying that he feels he would make better choices for the economy?? Based on what?? Smooth talk, generalizations of change, empty words hiding a socialistic agenda ==== Which is Obama.

I see that only certain views are permitted to be posted - my two previous posts are not here.

Lets not forget that Obama wants a windfall profits tax on big oil - lets not forget that Exxon Mobil paid in taxes last year the equivalent of half the US taxpayers paid in income taxes. Smart move - increase taxes on one of the largest single sources of taxes in the US.

John McCain missed a huge opportunity in the final debate when both candidates where asked if their vice presidential candidate was qualified to be president. I would have said "With all due respect to my opponent, she has just as much experience as Senator Obama and she's actually run a government"

Question 1 - Senator Obama: What percentage of federal tax receipts would the rich (those making over $250,000) have to pay in order for you to say, "Stop! That percentage of total tax receipts is just the right amount for the rich to be paying; any more than that would be unfair"?

Question 2 - Senator Obama: If middle and low income workers deserve relief from the payroll taxes they pay into the social security system without any reduction in their SS retirement benefits, but high-income workers deserve to pay more without any increase in their benefits, isn't that, in effect, your historic veto of FDR's original intent that SS contributions and benefits go hand-in-hand?

In the "many wrongs make a right" category: Brace yourself, but there are "socialistic" elements in our civic life already. So lets just accept socialism. Good points for McCain. If 4 more years are like the first 230+ years of freedom, then yea I'll take 4 more like that.

My only worries are about individual rights, what Obama is not telling us and what his wife is telling us. I can't help but feel that this man is going to make changes to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution that will affect the rights of the individual. I'd really like to know what Obama thinks of "individualism" and why he's not promoting the rights of the individual instead of touting how oppressed everyone is and how he's going to increase the governments responsibility to take care of everyone. All government should do is protect the rights of the individual and the rights of the individual to conduct business. Put another way, for everyone who works for a big company, we all know the pros and cons. Do we also want to work for a big government where we are even farther from the decision making process?

Ms. Sweet said it best: "Those with higher incomes already pay more." How much is enough? How much "more" is "fair"? Will Obama supporters change their minds when they receive a promotion or start a business that classifies them as rich? Only time will tell.

I am also concerned about what Obama does not say. What I don't understand is why no one is talking about the Global Poverty Act that Obama supports. It would "demand that the president develop and implement a policy to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade, debt relief" and other programs. This could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States and would make levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations. The legislation, if approved, dedicates 0.7 percent of the U.S. gross national product to foreign aid, which over 13 years would amount to $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends." How will this funding be raised?

If a progressive tax rate and a national health care system is socialism then we can count Canada, Australia, and the UK among our “socialist” allies, along with most of the developed world. Obama’s plan to shift the tax rate is an adjustment of taxes that is no different in its mechanics than the tax shifts done by the Republican Congress several years ago. Our government uses tax dollars to pay for services, and the only difference between Republicans and Democrats is who shares the greater tax burden and where they choose to spend those dollars. The most recent Republican Congress has shown they are no more fiscally prudent than their Democrat colleagues. “Tax and Spend” Republicans are as prevalent (in fact, if not more so in the past 20 years) as “Tax and Spend” Democrats. Our government ideally (and I’d say primarily) tries to use taxes for the common good, with differences of opinion on what that means. Obviously, there is waste and pork and we’d all like to see much less of that. But, for those who constantly revile taxes and “government” as evil, I’d like to introduce you to several tax-free havens in Africa where the government pretty much stays out of people’s lives, except of course when the military is marauding villages because they’ve had no wages. In those paradises, free of the yoke of the evil government, you will find no public funded healthcare, education, fire services, police services, food safety, clean water, worker safety, building standards, interest regulations, transportation, public roads, or postal services. If you do need something from the limited government services, such as a visa, bribery is helpful. Your meat at the market will be covered in flies, your water will need to be boiled, and your building may fall down during the rainy season. If you really hate paying your taxes that much, you might consider moving to a country such as this. There are many to choose from.

McCain calling it like it is is by no means negative campaigning. The public has the right to know Obama's socialistic ideas.

And to "b rubin", If Palin was a democrat then her daughter's baby would have been aborted. That, my friend, is sick.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 22, 2008 9:51 AM.

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