Commentary Magazine


Re: The Fallacy of the $250K Barrier

In New Hampshire today John McCain finally distilled the Obama tax-and-spend plans:

So let’s try to get all this straight. My opponent says he’s going to cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans — including that miraculous reduction for those who aren’t paying any right now. Then he commits to more than a trillion dollars in new federal spending. And even after voting for the 750 billion dollar rescue package earlier this month, he won’t even specify a single cut in spending that he would consider. That leaves us with almost two trillion dollars in new spending to which Barack Obama stands committed, and no explanation at all of how he is going to pay for it.

Does anyone seriously believe that these trillions of dollars are going to come from only the very highest income earners? Even his supporters are skeptical. Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said of these plans, quote, “There is not enough money to do all this stuff.” An influential newspaper called his claims, quote, “neither politically nor economically plausible.” That critique came from the editorial board of The New York Times, and when Barack Obama loses them you know he’s gone too far.

This, of course, should have been the McCain message throughout the campaign, certainly at the Republican Convention when he had everyone’s attention. Voters are largely settled on their choice right now. But if they have a nagging sense that Obama’s not playing it straight on taxes or are worried that Obama can’t ever bring him to identify any real spending reductions they might think twice about their choice. And especially  in the Granite State, McCain and his tax warning may get a fair hearing.

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