Watch this clip of John McCain stepping all over his own message (HINT: It's because he knows better in a straightforward interview than the rhetoric he puts out there in the stump.)
But as far as taking taxes from one group to fund some other group, how about taxing the employer-provided benefits of millions of working American's to fund a $5000 tax credit that goes, ultimately, to health insurance companies (and don't forget, that isn't barely picking up the whole bill.) Even spokesguy Guiliani can't believe that:
I know a little bit about taxation, and a credit and a deduction are very different things. For any person who is unsure: a deduction means you eliminate a part of your income from the taxable amount. Your actual tax is lowered, but there's not necessarily a refund. A credit means that, well, the government is giving you money. It can be used against your tax bill, but the lower your taxes are, the more you'll get in your pocket as a refund. Like the Earned Income Credit, which benefits millions of working Americans of lower income and mostly benefits families, and was championed by Ronald Reagan.
Seriously, "wealth distribution" occurs all the time; it's what governing is really about. We distribute this amount to roads, and that amount to salaries for more police officers, and we fund this education incentive, and--we're taking tax money and spreading it all over the place! The idea that's being fought over is a small part of tax money being collected--an additional 4% on the income some people make over $250,000, and some reduction of tax credits and incentives to corporations (sometimes called "corporate welfare) in order to start getting the government's fiscal house in order and to let most working Americans who are being squeezed by higher prices and stagnant wages keep more of their money and use it to do what they need to do. And this might even stimulate the economy, because if these middle class people have more money--they will think of something to spend it on!
They have bills to pay and repairs they've postphoned because they couldn't afford it. They might have enough money to call somebody in on that leaky faucet that's been bugging them--if they can find a plumber. They've got clothes and appliances they want to replace--and that spending will be a good thing. That money will go back to keeping the economy moving, and that will keep businesses going, and save jobs from needing to be cut. It'll help local small business grow to have people more willing to purchase their goods and services.
Under McCain's plan, where's the incentive for small businesses to keep employees, or even continue offering health insurance as a benefit option to employees in the face of rising costs, that his plan has nothing to offset? Obama is offering a kind of "signing bonus" credit to growing businesses planning on hiring people on, and won't tax health benefits, so most people, who have employer-provided insurance, can keep their same plans. The differences are slight, but meaningful.
Obama's no socialist, and I think his plan regarding taxation has merit. What it isn't is "socialism." Thanks, Senator McCain, for a little straight-talk.