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Monday, September 1, 2008

McCain, Romney and the Politics of Wealth

When I read this story this weekend, I thought I was having economic deja vous. It leads you to wonder if Cindy McCain was paying attention during the Republican primary debates earlier this year.
"Cindy McCain told an interviewer that she was "offended by Barack Obama" and other Democrats who have been hammering her husband John McCain for being unable to immediately answer a question about how many homes he owns. "I'm offended by Barack Obama saying that about my husband...My father had nothing. He and my mother sold everything they had to raise $10,000. I'm proud of what my dad and my mother did and what they built and left me. And I intend to carry their legacy as long as I can."
It wasn't so long ago when John McCain's economic credentials were called into question by Gov. Mitt Romney that he too responded to Romney's assaults by leaning heavily on a bizarre form of economic populism:
"I know how to lead," McCain said at one point, sharpening a distinction between himself and Romney, a longtime businessman who never served in the military. "I led the largest squadron in the United States Navy, and I did it out of patriotism, not for profit."
We can hardly criticize the Democrat party from exploiting McCain's wealth for political advantage. After all, class warfare has been their bread and butter since at least Woodrow Wilson. It's a bitter pill to swallow; however, when the Republican nominee is so poorly schooled in the fundamentals of economic liberty that he spouts the anti-growth, anti-capitalist talking points. Usually, in the primaries nominees run hard to the extremes and then move to the center during the general election. McCain (the Maverick) has done the exact opposite. In fact, for the past six weeks of the general election McCain has been running as a Rush Limbaugh conservative and has actually been receiving praise from his conservative base. Recently, at the Saddleback Church when McCain was asked by Pastor Rick Warren to define rich, McCain was heard to say:
“I don’t want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich. I don’t believe in class warfare or redistribution of wealth. But I can tell you for example there are small businessmen and women who are working sixteen hours a day, seven days a week that some people would classify as, quote, rich, my friends, who want to raise their taxes and raise their payroll taxes. Let’s have—keep taxes low…So—so I think if you’re just talking about income, how about five million. So—but seriously, I don’t think you can…The point is that we want to keep people’s taxes low…It was not taxes that mattered in America in the last several years. It was spending.”
Maybe somebody on McCain's staff finally shook him by the collar and knocked some sense into him. (Thanks!!)

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