July 31, 2008

McCain Mushy On Taxes
— DrewM

This 'straight talk' I've heard so much about sure seems to have a lot of zigs and zags in it.

After saying he opposes a tax raise and that "I will not raise your taxes nor support a tax increase. I will not do it", McCain followed that up with less than Shermanesque statements.

But just hours later, he appeared to open another crack in his no-new-taxes pledge.

“In any negotiation that I might have, when I go in, my position will be that I am opposed to raising taxes. But we have to work together to save Social Security,” McCain said at a fundraiser Wednesday evening in Kansas City.

Pressed repeatedly in an interview with local reporters Wednesday, McCain said several times that he couldn’t rule anything out when it comes to Social Security.

“I’ve been involved in Washington in many negotiations on issues, whether it be immigration or campaign-finance reform or issues before the Commerce Committee. You go in with a position and you negotiate,” McCain said. “My position is that I’m against increased taxes, and my record shows that I have opposed tax increases and been in favor of tax cuts.”

McCain added: “My position going in in negotiations is I’m against tax increases, and I have not been supportive of tax increases, and we will negotiate and you have to negotiate in good faith.”

It's depressing we are still wondering exactly where McCain is on taxes. He can say all he wants about his new found support for the "Bush Tax Cuts" but he reality is they are going to disappear in 2010 unless an extension is passed and signed. Obviously a President can't pass his cuts, it will require bullying what may well be (is likely to be?) a still Democratic Congress to do it.

Instead of hearing from him how he is going to accomplish the goal of keeping the tax cuts, we are wondering if he will fight for them or bargain them away as part of his need to "negotiate in good faith".

His less than solid answers on Social Security taxes aren't exactly inspiring confidence in me on the whole issue.

Ah, the joys of nominating a long time legislator to be President.

In the comments runninrebel thinks it's unfair that I am conflating Social Security taxes and income taxes. I thought it was clear in the original post that I realized they were different things. In case it wasn't, my problem with McCain is given his mushiness on Social Security taxes, why exactly should I take his word on income taxes? Don't forget McCain opposed the tax cuts in 2001, so it's not like he has a history of consistency on taxes to begin with.

To me taxes aren't as much a matter of what you say, it's a matter of philosophy. I don't remember George W. Bush ever saying he'd never raise taxes but it was clear it wasn't part of his make up (if only he felt the same way about lowering spending).

Given McCain's opposition to the most recent tax cuts and his vacillation on Social Security taxes, I don't have that comfort with him.

Posted by: DrewM at 07:41 AM | Comments (33)
Post contains 536 words, total size 3 kb.

1

Someone needs to hold up a sign at his next rally that reads:

 

CUT TAXES = VOTES FOR YOU!

Posted by: EC at July 31, 2008 07:56 AM (mAhn3)

2 Many of our Congresspersons have argued that Social Security is not a ponzi scheme and not an income redistribution scheme. Having found no evidence to support their arguments, I want to opt-out.

I'll provide for my own retirement. I'll even let them keep the money I've dumped in to date (I'm half-way through my career). Just keep your paws off of the 12% of my paycheck you steal for this worthless racket.

There's your reform, McCain. Let us vote with our wallets on how much we believe you and the rest of our government. 12% and whatever the government can provide, or 0% and we're on our own. Of course, since McCain, Obama, Clinton and all the other pork-loving parasites use Social Security to loot for their own interests, having less money to steal wouldn't be popular with them.

Posted by: redherkey at July 31, 2008 08:06 AM (kjqFg)

3 That's a little disingenuous, Drew. McCain is talking about reforming SS, not taxes in general or extending the Bush tax cuts. I would gladly trade a tax increase if it were used to transition SS to private accounts. McCain has said many times he would make the Bush tax cuts permanent and he has never voted for a tax increase.

Of all the things to harp on McCain about, his history on taxation just isn't high up there.

Posted by: runninrebel at July 31, 2008 08:09 AM (0n9wc)

4

He'd just ignore the sign and give us more 'straight talk' about 'good faith', 'bipartisanship', blah blah blah.

Every time I get ready to open up my wallet and give this guy money, he says something mega-retarded.

I get that McMaverick can't just focus on tax cuts.  I even sorta understand why he feels he has to burnish his independent credentials at every opportunity.  But it's as if he thinks if he talks too much about tax cuts, he's not credible on Social Security reform.  McCain can't walk and chew gum at the same time.  How did we get this asshat again?

Posted by: KingShamus at July 31, 2008 08:09 AM (rSqDf)

5 Everybody wants to increase taxes.  Local, state, and now fed. It is too much. This is what I dislike about McCain, you never can be sure about him.  I'm sick of the roller coaster ride he puts me through.  Maybe the pols should stop spending so much money on crap, including all the perks they allot to themselves.

Posted by: Mothra at July 31, 2008 08:14 AM (vk1s8)

6 That's a little disingenuous, Drew. McCain is talking about reforming SS, not taxes in general or extending the Bush tax cuts.

I know they are different issues but as I said, his mushness on SS taxes isn't exactly inspiring confidence in his newly found support for the "Bush Tax Cuts" is it?

If you really want to make the argument that SS taxes aren't 'taxes in general' good luck with that. They aren't income taxes but they are taxes none the less, right?

Of all the things to harp on McCain about, his history on taxation just isn't high up there.


So what is 'high up there'? I've been told by others his position on Gitmo wasn't important  nor was his new willingness to try Obama in an international court or campaign finance reform.

What exactly is an approved 'high up there' issue I am allowed to worry about?

Posted by: DrewM. at July 31, 2008 08:25 AM (hlYel)

7 I'm pretty sure if they tried Obama in an international court he would be found "wonderfully innocent and all kinds of dreamy".

Posted by: Eleven at July 31, 2008 08:31 AM (7DB+a)

8 I know they are different issues but as I said, his mushness on SS taxes isn't exactly inspiring confidence in his newly found support for the "Bush Tax Cuts" is it?

The guy has never voted for a tax increase. Ever. Does that mean anything to you? You know how the debate will be framed in 2010. It's pretty simple: A vote against the extension = a vote to increase taxes on a gigantic scale. Since he has never done that I'm not too worried.

They aren't income taxes but they are taxes none the less, right?

Of course they are. But they would also be tied to a purpose, and if that purpose is privatizing SS then that's a good trade off. These aren't general fund taxes we're talking about. Besides, he isn't even agreeing to raise taxes, he's trying to set an open table for negotiations. BFD

What exactly is an approved 'high up there' issue I am allowed to worry about?

Don't get snarky with me, young man.  I'm just looking out for your reputation as an on the rocker AoSHQ guest commentator.

Posted by: runninrebel at July 31, 2008 08:50 AM (0n9wc)

9 The guy has never voted for a tax increase.

He has, however, voted against a tax cut. 

Posted by: Slublog at July 31, 2008 08:52 AM (R8+nJ)

10 Twice, actually.

Posted by: Slublog at July 31, 2008 09:01 AM (R8+nJ)

11 BREAKING: McCain Received Affirmative Action http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/7/31/131523/342/289/560072

Posted by: SMS at July 31, 2008 09:03 AM (lt9fu)

12 runninrebel,

The guy has never voted for a tax increase. Ever. Does that mean anything to you?

Sure it does but so does the fact he voted against a tax cut that wound up helping to save the economy. Despite your admonition to the contrary, it troubles me greatly.

I also love this watering down of conservative orthodoxy. When did not voting for an increase in taxes become the standard vs. voting to cut taxes whenever possible? I guess that's McCain 'conservatism'.

There's also the difference in voting for a tax cut as a member of the minority party and being President. One of the reasons the cuts were passed at all is that Bush believed in them and fought very hard for them. I don't see that level of commitment from McCain. Can you honestly say you do? And if so, what do you base that on? Certainly not his behavior when he had to vote on them in the passed.

And I'll stop being snarky about your support for McCain when you stop trying to tell people what's important enough to fight over and what's not. Deal?

Posted by: DrewM. at July 31, 2008 09:03 AM (hlYel)

13 Posted by: SMS at July 31, 2008 02:03 PM (lt9fu)

From your "article:"

Contrast the McCain & Bush entitlement syndrome with the testimonials we heard from John Kerry's colleagues (as opposed to phony Vietnam vets who did not know him)

Don't take this the wrong way, but the author of that post is an addlebrained halfwit who drinks from his own drool cup.

Posted by: Slublog at July 31, 2008 09:05 AM (R8+nJ)

14 SMS,

Were you looking for some other website and just got lost? I mean coming here and linking to Kos as a valid source is just you know, a monumental waste of time.

Posted by: DrewM. at July 31, 2008 09:12 AM (hlYel)

15 Hey runninrebel,

I forgot to address your SS point. Let me just say I agree with this guy...

"The worst thing you could do is raise people's payroll taxes, my God!"

I don't agree with McCain who says everything should be on the table.

My problem is the first guy was John McCain on Tuesday and those comments were bracketed by the 'everything on the table' language on Sunday and Wednesday.

Now do you see why I don't feel all warm and fuzzy about McCain on taxes?

Posted by: DrewM. at July 31, 2008 09:26 AM (hlYel)

16
McCain SUCKS!

O'Bama sucks WORSER!

Posted by: thebronze at July 31, 2008 09:36 AM (J72JN)

17 And I'll stop being snarky about your support for McCain when you stop trying to tell people what's important enough to fight over and what's not. Deal?

Oh, quit being so dramatic.

When did not voting for an increase in taxes become the standard vs. voting to cut taxes whenever possible?

It's not. You're arguing against some imaginary rebuttal. Never voting for a tax increase is something to consider when assessing whether or not a politician will do so in the future. McCain has never voted for a tax increase and that makes me not so worried that he will rally for a gigantic one in 2010.

One of the reasons the cuts were passed at all is that Bush believed in them and fought very hard for them. I don't see that level of commitment from McCain. Can you honestly say you do?

Of course not. But again, who are you arguing with? Who the hell is proclaiming McCain the best conservative evah(!)? The question is whether he will raise taxes in 2010. And despite his early opposition the the Bus tax cuts I don't see that happening.

"The worst thing you could do is raise people's payroll taxes, my God!"
 ...
Now do you see why I don't feel all warm and fuzzy about McCain on taxes?


Great. So on Tuesday he said that and today he said:

“My position is that I’m against increased taxes, and my record shows that I have opposed tax increases and been in favor of tax cuts." McCain added: “My position going in in negotiations is I’m against tax increases, and I have not been supportive of tax increases, and we will negotiate and you have to negotiate in good faith.”

What's the big deal? All he is doing is opening a door to negotiate SS reform. Have you ever negotiated anything? The main sticking point with SS is privatization not taxes. One doesn't make a peripheral issue a preset condition when negotiating something much more fundamental. You're reading to much into everything the guy says.

Posted by: runninrebel at July 31, 2008 10:38 AM (0n9wc)

18 McCain has always seemed like another Bush the Elder to me. That's why I'm always trying to read his lips.

Posted by: trentk269 at July 31, 2008 10:43 AM (WUM14)

19

 

Per Slublog from SMSs' article:

Contrast the McCain & Bush entitlement syndrome with the testimonials we heard from John Kerry's colleagues (as opposed to phony Vietnam vets who did not know him)

Actually this makes sense.

The testimonials we heard from the people who actually served with John Kerry were published by the Swift Boat Vets for Truth. The phony Vietnam vets were those who participated in the VAW and Winter Soldier atrocities.

Posted by: Have Blue at July 31, 2008 11:32 AM (WuPk/)

20 Another useful sign would be:  Quit pissing off your own voters.  STFU and win.

Posted by: toby hussein 928 at July 31, 2008 12:14 PM (PD1tk)

21 Daniel Heinninger asks, "Is McCain Stupid?"

Worth noting because Henninger isn't part of the principled conservative opposition crowd. He's part of the WSJ-Open Borders- crowd who love McCain and usually lob spitballs at conservatives who support lower taxes, limited government, secure borders, constructionist judges, free speech and all those other issues McCain has consistently sided with Democrats to thwart.

Posted by: Socky at July 31, 2008 01:08 PM (PLvLS)

22
Now do you see why I don't feel all warm and fuzzy about McCain on taxes?

Yes, but don't you understand Drew, Obama is going to destroy America. He's not only going to raise your taxes, he's going to take your house away and give it to Black Panthers, just like Mugabe did. And he's going to line up all the soldiers currently serving in the military and fart in their faces, one at a time. Because Obama is a monster. He's going to destroy the economy, encourage terrorism, and be rewarded with two full terms for doing so, which he will use to turn America into a combination of Cuba, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela.

Or, so I understand from the McCainiac crowd.

Posted by: Socky at July 31, 2008 01:38 PM (PLvLS)

23 He's going to destroy the economy, encourage terrorism, and be rewarded with two full terms for doing so..


Um, last time I checked, 10 years was 2 and one half terms.  So, you know, worse than you thought.

Posted by: krakatoa at July 31, 2008 01:47 PM (mhdbo)

24

Or, so I understand from the McCainiac crowd.

You should have been able to figure that out on your own, but hey, happy to help.

Posted by: toby hussein 928 at July 31, 2008 03:14 PM (PD1tk)

25 McPain is plainly lying. 

He will allow the congress to raise income taxes and the federal gasoline tax.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 31, 2008 06:01 PM (SLqkZ)

26 I can't help the *snorts* every time I read disappointment about some new  McCain FAIL...He has an (R) after his name. The RINO sheeple will follow him FOR THAT ALONE!  It does not matter WHAT HE SAYS, or WHAT DOES, or WHO IS BEST FRIENDS ARE, or WHO GIVES HIM MONEY (read: "owns him").

This endless agonizing and bleating over a proven, hard-core LIBERAL and then assisting he must then be supported is WHY WE HAVE CLOWNS RUNNING THE COUNTRY.

Posted by: J David at August 01, 2008 07:32 AM (8A4zR)

27 Captain Capslock:
"The RINO sheeple will follow him FOR THAT ALONE! "

yeah, that, OR that y'know maybe because almost everything that sucks about McVain sucks ever so much moreso with Obimbo.  But thanks for the extra decibels; they're refreshing.

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