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Does Calling Obama a Socialist Cross the Line?

In 2001 John McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts, part of which Barack Obama now wants to let expire (while keeping some in place). In 2000, McCain shared a take on the progressive tax system, which deviates from the one he has now. He confronted a question from the daughter of "Joe the Doctor" who asked McCain at a 2000 townhall: "Why is it that someone like my father, who goes to school for 13 years, gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he's a doctor?" McCain responded:

[You're] questioning the fundamentals of a progressive tax system where people who make more money pay more in taxes than a flat, across-the-board percentage. . . . But I believe that when you really look at the tax code today, the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don't pay nearly as much as you think they do when you just look at the percentages. And I think middle-income Americans, working Americans, when the account and payroll taxes, sales taxes, mortgage pay — all of the taxes that working Americans pay, I think they — you would think that they also deserve significant relief, in my view.

Well now McCain is taking Obama to task for "socialist" plans such as restoring taxes on those making $250,000 to Clinton-era levels. Some say the latest tactic isn't about tax policy as much as it is about exploiting a cultural divide. To see why,

.

One McCain critic notes that J. Edgar Hoover used the term socialist to describe African-Americans fighting for equality, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., that could not be trusted due to their un-American values. Add in comments from McCain that Obama wants to turn the IRS into a giant "welfare agency" by potentially giving a tax-credit check to those who pay zero in taxes, and suspicion that he's using code words increases among skeptics. Barack has fought back: "The only 'welfare' in this campaign is John McCain's plan to give another $200 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest corporations in America."

Socialism is a treasonous word in America, paradoxically a country with many socialistic policies like the progressive income tax, medicare, and a $700 billion bailout of banks. Do you share Republican Colin Powell's disappointed sentiment conveyed in his ironic remarks: "Mr. Obama is now a socialist because he dares to suggest that maybe we ought to look at the tax structure that we have." Has the McCain campaign's latest narrative crossed the line?

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StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
When Mr. Obama first ran for his state senate seat, he was a member of the New Party, which was a socialist party. Google them, you will see. They are now defunct because the socialism platform is against our constitution!!!
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
how could it cross the line, it's true!!!
fashionplate525 fashionplate525 7 years
My family works extremely hard to make a decent living and should not be forced to give it away to others who sit on their butts all day collecting welfare. Obama=Socialist
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I agree Socialism is not required as a staple however what is required is restraint of greed and no one wants to admit that because it fly's in the face of capitalism no matter how logical the remedy. IMO this situation is likened to a predator that begins to die off because its staple prey begins to die off from being over hunted and so goes capitalism. Sen. McCains very words "it's Capitalism run amuck" and Senator I agree 100%. Capitalism needs to learn to respect its resources and move with the eb and flo. This notion of hording all one can before the next one gets it does nothing more than create a domino effect of greedy hording and the end result is collapse for lack of resources and that is credit.
Roarman Roarman 7 years
I one would like to say that I don't believe Obama is a socialist, true socialism is the complete take over of indurstry and finance by the government. I haven't seen that Obama's policies threaten to do this. Two, true socialists do not support Obama. On that note, we are not a socialist country, which many here seem to think would be the end of the world, yet we are still failing. We are in an economic tailspin that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. And what does our current administration do, institute socialist solutions to try to right what is wrong. Maybe they will work, maybe they won't. Our old, capitalistic way of doing things is clearly not working. Businesses are closing, people are losing their jobs, families are losing their homes, it is obviously time for a new way of doing things. I am not suggesting socialism here, I am just suggesting that what we have been doing is clearly not working.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
That's another one Jillness, you're right. I tell you this Socialism band wagan shot out of a barn on fire and never looked back. People need to stop drop and think about these labels they're running away with.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
"The less the government imposes, the more my company thrives under capitalism"That is a fact I agree with 100% (Im an The Dude) you'll get no argument from me. Now let's just make sure these corporations don't F us up the hoohah while thriving at our expense. This is my point we don't have to get screwed for them to thrive. We've become so entrenched in a system that asks us to bend over and grab our ankles that it's become the norm and that is pathetic on all our parts. I am tired of yielding personal well being for the betterment of a system. It is the system that should yield for the betterment of our well being. We have it @$$ backwards. Like I said I'm not trying to say that Sen. Obama has the perfect plan but I happen to believe it is a better start and that is an important thing for all of us to remember, this is a start. The landscape of future fiscal policy needs to evolve. All of the fiscal pundents on all of the major networks have been saying so. Some have even gone so far as to say that Capitalism is going to have to adapt to the new global economy. This election is definitely about change for everything including the market.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
"The less the government imposes, the more my company thrives under capitalism" That is a fact I agree with 100% (Im an The Dude) you'll get no argument from me. Now let's just make sure these corporations don't F us up the hoohah while thriving at our expense. This is my point we don't have to get screwed for them to thrive. We've become so entrenched in a system that asks us to bend over and grab our ankles that it's become the norm and that is pathetic on all our parts. I am tired of yielding personal well being for the betterment of a system. It is the system that should yield for the betterment of our well being. We have it @$$ backwards. Like I said I'm not trying to say that Sen. Obama has the perfect plan but I happen to believe it is a better start and that is an important thing for all of us to remember, this is a start. The landscape of future fiscal policy needs to evolve. All of the fiscal pundents on all of the major networks have been saying so. Some have even gone so far as to say that Capitalism is going to have to adapt to the new global economy. This election is definitely about change for everything including the market.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
"As for small business owners they are getting capital gains tax cuts and tax incentives for hiring new people under Sen. Obama's plan which I never ever hear anyone say."Don't forget a 50% tax credit for buying health insurance for their employees! Obama's plan has TONS of incentives for small businesses.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
"As for small business owners they are getting capital gains tax cuts and tax incentives for hiring new people under Sen. Obama's plan which I never ever hear anyone say." Don't forget a 50% tax credit for buying health insurance for their employees! Obama's plan has TONS of incentives for small businesses.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I liked McCain a lot better in 2000. He was more into that whole "honesty" thing.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
I liked McCain a lot better in 2000. He was more into that whole "honesty" thing.
Jillness Jillness 7 years
"Obama is quite clearly a radical Socialist":rotfl:Ya'll crack me up!Sometimes it sounds as if you don't know what socialism is! I can't believe that people are trying to argue that reversing SOME of Bush's tax cuts equals socialism. You realize that McCain was AGAINST the Bush tax cuts in 2000, right? Was he a socialist then?MCCAIN 2000: I think your question --questioning the fundamentals of a progressive tax system where people who make more money pay more in taxes than a flat, across-the-board percentage. I think it's to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more. We have over the years, beginning with John F. Kennedy, reduced some of those marginal tax rates to make them less onerous. But <b>I believe that when you really look at the tax code today, the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don't pay nearly as much as you think they do when you just look at the percentages. And I think middle-income Americans, working Americans, when the account and payroll taxes, sales taxes, mortgage pay -- all of the taxes that working Americans pay, I think they -- you would think that they also deserve significant relief,</b> in my view...So, look, here's what I really believe, that when you are -- reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more. But at the same time, <b>that shouldn't be totally out of proportion. </b> There's some countries such as Sweden where it doesn't pay anything to work more than six months a year. That's probably the extreme. But I think the debate in this country is more about tax cuts rather than anything else. <b>And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they're the ones that I would support tax cuts for first.</b>
Jillness Jillness 7 years
"Obama is quite clearly a radical Socialist" :rotfl: Ya'll crack me up! Sometimes it sounds as if you don't know what socialism is! I can't believe that people are trying to argue that reversing SOME of Bush's tax cuts equals socialism. You realize that McCain was AGAINST the Bush tax cuts in 2000, right? Was he a socialist then? MCCAIN 2000: I think your question --questioning the fundamentals of a progressive tax system where people who make more money pay more in taxes than a flat, across-the-board percentage. I think it's to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more. We have over the years, beginning with John F. Kennedy, reduced some of those marginal tax rates to make them less onerous. But I believe that when you really look at the tax code today, the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don't pay nearly as much as you think they do when you just look at the percentages. And I think middle-income Americans, working Americans, when the account and payroll taxes, sales taxes, mortgage pay -- all of the taxes that working Americans pay, I think they -- you would think that they also deserve significant relief, in my view... So, look, here's what I really believe, that when you are -- reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more. But at the same time, that shouldn't be totally out of proportion. There's some countries such as Sweden where it doesn't pay anything to work more than six months a year. That's probably the extreme. But I think the debate in this country is more about tax cuts rather than anything else. And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they're the ones that I would support tax cuts for first.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
"tax incentives for hiring new people"That's interesting. It could help. Will it counter the cost of the tax increase and the new employee?
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
"tax incentives for hiring new people" That's interesting. It could help. Will it counter the cost of the tax increase and the new employee?
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
Layoffs and unemployment and higher prices have everything to do with the rise in costs. The crisis on Wall Street is about people handing out loans to people that they never should have. Burdening people and companies with more taxes? How is that going to help the problem?
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
The less the government imposes, the more my company thrives under capitalism. It is funny that now in our eighteenth year of business the only "dead zone" was during the mid to late nineties. We have had increases in sales and profit margin every year since '02 selling the same products. Somehow, under a worse corporate environment, people have had more money to build with. How is that possible, especially given that almost everything I sell is made out of steel?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
LOL! Organic he does look like a drag queen at times.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I hear you it's frustrating and I am the last person to be on any vendetta. I just know when times where happier and more content economically over all. There will always be industry dead zones in various sectors but hey that's just capitalism it's a machine that prescribes to survival of the fittest. I am sorry for your hardships but as you are keenly aware of your own experience I am so aware of mine. I think my point here is not that Sen. Obama has the perfect plan but that his plan is not half as bad as the hysteria is making out to be.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
"What is happening now is a rusult of our trust in corporate guidance"I don't think so, Tim. As has been so widely publicized, we have had huge increases in the cost of oil. We have also had huge increases in the price of steel. The cost of steel has more than doubled since the beginning of the year, and that is after big increase during the last several years. Nearly every business is affected by the cost of these two items either directly or indirectly, and when companies absorb new costs (including taxes) they make up for them by firing or raising prices or both. Look some of the biggest layoffs that have been going on. What do you think are the two biggest costs of building cars? Couple that with the fact that people are less inclined to buy when they have less money. Poof! Huge car manufacturers in trouble.
I-am-The-Dude I-am-The-Dude 7 years
"What is happening now is a rusult of our trust in corporate guidance" I don't think so, Tim. As has been so widely publicized, we have had huge increases in the cost of oil. We have also had huge increases in the price of steel. The cost of steel has more than doubled since the beginning of the year, and that is after big increase during the last several years. Nearly every business is affected by the cost of these two items either directly or indirectly, and when companies absorb new costs (including taxes) they make up for them by firing or raising prices or both. Look some of the biggest layoffs that have been going on. What do you think are the two biggest costs of building cars? Couple that with the fact that people are less inclined to buy when they have less money. Poof! Huge car manufacturers in trouble.
organicsugr organicsugr 7 years
The entirety of investors need a capital gains tax cut. This will keep the money from flooding out of the stock market at a rate even faster than it is now. On a more important note, Shepherd Smith wears way too much make up.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Even Shepard Smith from FOX news kept correcting a conservative pundent who kept saying Sen. Obama just wants to raise taxes on everyone and he had to stop and correct her. As for small business owners they are getting capital gains tax cuts and tax incentives for hiring new people under Sen. Obama's plan which I never ever hear anyone say. All they can remember is oh he's raising taxes.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
Even Shepard Smith from FOX news kept correcting a conservative pundent who kept saying Sen. Obama just wants to raise taxes on everyone and he had to stop and correct her. As for small business owners they are getting capital gains tax cuts and tax incentives for hiring new people under Sen. Obama's plan which I never ever hear anyone say. All they can remember is oh he's raising taxes.
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