Tuesday, June 10, 2008

John McCain: Tax Warrior

Conservatives don’t always agree. Many neocons don’t really care about the concerns of social conservatives, and some social conservatives would be just as happy to see America leave Iraq. The libertarian wing of the party, in many cases, is indifferent to either side; instead, they promote dismantling massive federal programs that are probably here to stay.

One thing all these groups agree upon, however, is the need for lower taxes. It is pretty much universally recognized on the Right that taxes are a necessary evil—that they kill initiative, stunt economic growth, and give the government far too much power over our lives. And fortunately, the Republican Party has nominated a man who is committed to slashing taxes across the board.

John McCain got the reputation as something of a supporter of high tax rates due to his opposition to the Bush tax cuts. His opposition to these cuts was inexcusable and weird—he now claims that he opposed them because the GOP wasn’t cutting spending enough, but at the time, his justification was the same “all the tax cuts are going to the rich” screed that the Democrats employed both then and now. Now, however, McCain has flip-flopped on the issue and now supports Bush’s tax cuts—and a lot more.

I don’t know what changed McCain’s mind, but he now supports a radically altered tax plan, and his proposals are very, very good. McCain supports cutting taxes on gasoline (which won’t cut fuel prices at all, but is better than letting our money get consumed by the government), the middle class (by repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax), and supports doubling the personal exemption for dependants. He would raise the exemption for the estate tax to $10 million, and would cut the tax to 15%. He wants to slash the corporate tax rate by ten percent, and supports a ban on internet and cell phone taxes.

And McCain does not just espouse cutting tax rates—he wants to fundamentally change the tax code. He wants to mandate a 3/5 Congressional majority to enact a tax hike, which slow the ratification of new taxes. More importantly, his plan would release Americans from the current bloated tax code. The new system would involve two flat rates—you fill in your income, and subtract the percentage owed in taxes. This would end most of the needless IRS red tape. According to some polls, Americans fear an IRS audit more than a mugging—McCain’s revamped tax codes would change all that. (And if anyone wanted to employ the old tax code, that option would be available to them).

In 1984, the first thing Walter Mondale did upon receiving the nomination was to promise to raise taxes. Barack Obama doesn’t want to make the same mistake. So on his official website, the entire issue of taxes seems strangely invisible, like you wandered into some parallel universe where taxes are no longer an important issue. There are two mentions of taxes on Obama’s Issues page—one involves the vaguely Orwellian sounding “Making Work Pay” tax credit (which would provide tax cuts to working class families, although these cuts are a pale shadow of the cuts involved in McCain’s plan), and a simplified tax form, which basically lets the government do your taxes for you. That seems to be the substance of Obama’s tax plan.

Obama spends more time criticizing John McCain’s tax plan. He claims that McCain’s tax cuts are bad because they would deprive the government of too much revenue. (Like that is a bad thing). Obama ignores the fact that lower taxes often mean increased government revenue, as the money saved is usually spent or invested, which causes economic growth, and hence more tax revenues.

John McCain has his flaws as a candidate. He does seem to support the idea of an activist federal government, and his immigration plan is truly dreadful. But his ideas on taxes are absolutely wonderful (they seem borrowed from the Fred Thompson campaign), and he deserves a lot of credit for them. On the issue of taxes, as on so many other issues, McCain is not just acceptable—he is really, really good.


At June 11, 2008 at 5:32 AM , Blogger Obob said...

this is a sticking issue for McCain with me. He gets the fiscal aspect of his getting elected. Let's hope he stays with it a November win.
And I still like Fred as a VP

At June 11, 2008 at 6:35 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

While espousing these types of tax reforms is noble and well received, in my mind, it doesn't trump two critical points that many of the GOP's faithful don't seem to get:

1. John McCain supported and authored an Amnesty bill which (had it passed and mind you if he were president could come up again) would have amounted to a $2.6 TRILLION increase on the American Taxpayer;

2. John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked together on crafting the original Cap and Trade Climate Security legislation which is currently known as the Warner-Lieberman bill and which has currently come before us. I don't think I need to address the costs associated with such legislation as I'm sure you've heard it already.

So I ask, is it really enough to espouse tax cuts on income, savings, corporate rates, death tax, etc. only to then backdoor in legislation which amounts to a massive tax increase either directly or by way of regulations?

No it is not.

At June 11, 2008 at 6:38 AM , Anonymous welv2dine@aol.com said...

Why limit this to McCain? Why not comment on Barack Obama's plan?
Why constantly take pop shots at McCain and let that little Marxist with the Dumbo ears Obama get a free pass? Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on the “rich” because “they” don’t need any more money!. Barak Obama, otherwise known here as the Messiah of the Democrats, or should I say the the Messiah of America.. said, as President, he would support rolling back. the Bush tax cuts on the top 1 percent of people who don’t need it. How the hell does he know who needs it and why is that any of his business at all?
Who the hell gives Obama or the government the right to decide when I or anyone else does not need something?
Shouldn't we have the opportunity to decide how much we need through how hard we want to work to achieve it?
Just who the hell does this anti-capitalist, liberal blow horn think he is to suggest that our government has the right to decide what people "need" of their own earnings, and then merrily go about seizing the remainder?
As with most Marxist’s, he wants to raise the taxes on the rich and upper middle class to help take care of the “so called” less fortunate in society. In other words. redistribute the wealth! The hallmark of the Democratic party. Sound familia?

At June 11, 2008 at 7:15 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

The reason why most of us on the right don't spend countless hours obsessing over Obama or the other Democrats and their "plans" is for the simple fact that we've come to expect it from them.

To place your emphasis upon him is pointless. And why? Because, for one, those that already are privy to his Marxist tendencies aren't learning anything from you that they don't already know.

Secondly, there are those that know of his redistribution of wealth pursuit and have adopted it because they think it just.

So, by turning our attention towards Obama and his agenda, who exactly are we convincing? Perhaps that small portion of people that might not realize what his grand plan is? Hardly. Most of those people not privy don't get caught up in politics anyways.

This is why our pursuit (for those of on the right) should be make absolutely certain that our candidate passes the smell test. We should assure that our candidate supports tax cuts and tax relief, Federalism, minimizing government's centralized power, Freedom, Liberty, the pursuit of Happiness, et al.

That is why I beat up on McCain and Republicans. I will not ever vote for a Democrat (I don't believe in the redistribution of wealth). However, that is not to say that I'll vote for any old Republican. They need to champion the things I mentioned. Unfortunately, what I'm seeing alot of is a bunch of typical politicians talking out of both sides of their mouths.

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