Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Nonsense From McCain

I'm sorry to have such a slanted headline, but really, the latest sally from McCain is just too much.

McCain is picking up on something Joe Biden said in a recent interview. In explaining Barack Obama's tax plan, Biden said that he and Obama disagree with the Bush policy of giving further tax breaks to people with huge annual incomes, and instead think the tax cuts should go to "people making under $150,000 a year."

McCain is leaping on this statement and saying that the Obama/Biden definition of "rich" is "creeping down." Pretty soon, McCain claims, Obama will be raising taxes on anyone who makes more than $42,000 a year.

Now, look. Biden misspoke. The Obama tax plan has been the same for months. He wants to cut taxes on families making less than $200,000 a year, not raise them on families making under $250,000, and have families making more than $250,000 a year pay the same tax rates they paid in the 1990s, or less. Biden said $150,000 when he meant $250,000. Even former National Review writer Jonathan Martin recognizes the possibility that Biden's statement is just a slip.

Biden is known for his gaffes, but there's a difference between making a gaffe and having a minor slip of the tongue. When you probably do 50 interviews a week (or about 50 more than Sarah Palin does), you're going to have some slips. If there were any reason to think that Biden's statement represented a change in policy, it would be fair game. But making a serious attack on a minor slip of the tongue is just absurd.

After all, it's not as though McCain is immune to slips. We all have a few laughs when McCain refers to problems on the Iraq-Pakistan border (which doesn't exist), or confuses Sunni and Shia in Iraq. But we don't imagine that every slip of the tongue he makes represents a change in his policy.

There's a week left to go. Let's run the campaign on real issues, not on imaginary nonsense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Although Obama's richness level may not be creeping down, the inevitable income tax bracket creep will have the same effect - sooner than later - given the recent gigantic inflation of the money supply from the bailout and stimulus packages.

The government's silent partners of fiat currency supply inflation and income tax bracket creep are almost never discussed by either party.

Obama's progressive policies include increasing the progressiveness of the income tax code, and that is tantamount to the creeping down McCain incorrectly refers to.