Yet again this campaign, John McCain is finding out that what goes around comes around for a man with a 25-year voting record.
This time it’s on taxes — a touchy issue for Republicans’ presumed nominee, who was one of only two Republican senators to oppose President Bush’s 2001 tax cuts and one of only three to oppose the 2003 cuts package. McCain now calls for most of those cuts to be made permanent, but in 2001 he said on the Senate floor he was voting against the bill because it was too generous to the wealthy.
Now comes a new analysis from the Tax Policy Center that compares McCain’s current proposals versus Barack Obama’s tax cut proposals. The verdict is McCain’s tax cuts are skewed far more to high-income Americans than Obama, who would actually impose a tax increase on upper-income earners.
In 2001, these were McCain’s words:
“I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.”
That sort of rhetoric, coupled with his current embrace of nearly all the Bush tax cuts, will give Obama plenty to talk about if the two men ever do face off in the series of town halls McCain has called for.
— Stephen Dinan, political and national reporter, The Washington Times