Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's Called Progressive Taxation

Not socialism, stupid. Even McCain said so in 2000, before he sold his soul [don't miss the last part, when McCain emphasizes it's the working class, not the rich who deserves tax cuts the most]:

McClatchy explains the basics:

Favoring higher tax rates for the wealthy than for the less fortunate isn't socialism, and if it is, then the U.S. has been a socialist country for nearly a century, under both Democrats and Republicans.

"The answer is clearly no, Senator Obama is not a socialist," said Paul Beck, a professor of political science at The Ohio State University. "We've had a progressive tax system for some time, and both Republicans and Democrats have bought into it."

Socialism involves state ownership of the means of economic production and state-directed sharing of the wealth. America's democratic capitalist system is neither socialist nor pure free market; rather, it mixes the two, and it has at least since the progressive income tax was introduced 95 years ago. Under it, the wealthy pay higher income tax rates than those who are less fortunate do. It's a form of sharing the wealth.

Government intervenes in U.S. "free markets" all the time. The deduction that homeowners get for mortgage interest is one form, for it subsidizes housing. The Pentagon procurement that sustains U.S. defense contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics is another.

What McCain/Palin never mentions, because it doesn't fit their narrative, is that Obama isn't really raising taxes; he's only reversing the Bush tax cuts -- which McCain opposed before he started running for president -- to bring tax rates back to Reagan era levels.

Incidentally, Ronald Reagan -- whom the right considers a saint -- raised taxes four times in 1982-1984 alone; I don't recall anyone mistaking him for a "socialist".

Yet "socialist" has become the Republican faithful's battlecry against Obama, because low information voters equate it with "communist" even though that's laughable in its face.

McCain/Palin continues to exploit this, because preying on people's fears is the only card they have left to play. So much so that a woman in a North Carolina restaurant started shouting "socialist" at Obama and refused to shake his hand.

Divide and conquer, that's the McCain/Palin way. It's shameful and pathetic.

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posted at 3:30:00 PM by Wonky Muse

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