McCain says he wants people to ‘get wealthy’

October 23, 2008

johnmc.jpgGREEN, Ohio – John McCain wants Americans to get rich.

That was the message from the Republican presidential hopeful Wednesday as he focused again on the differences in his tax proposals and those of Democratic rival Barack Obama.

The Arizona senator has hammered Obama in recent days for a philosophy of spreading Americans’ wealth around, articulated by the Illinois senator in a now famous exchange with an Ohio man dubbed Joe the Plumber.

McCain promised at an outdoor rally with an enthusiatic crowd he and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, would not make people or businesses send more money to the federal government.

“Sarah Palin and I will not raise your taxes, my friends,” he said. “We want you to get wealthy.”

Palin weighed in on the theme, too, calling Obama “Barack-the-wealth-spreader” and warning the crowd: “You have to really listen to our opponent’s words because he’s hiding his real agenda of redestributing your hard-earned money.”

The Obama camp was unmoved. At a press conference, the Illinois senator brushed off the charges as just another attack strategy by his rivals. “They have been trying to throw whatever they can up against the wall to see what sticks, and this is their latest version,” Obama said.

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Photo credit: Carlos Barria (McCain, with wife Cindy, reacts to supporters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


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Perhaps we could provide the more truthful, full context:

“Sarah Palin and I will not raise your taxes, my friends,” he said to thousands of millionaires supporting his campaign. “We want you to get wealthier, while making the remaining 95% of Americans figure it out themselves.”

Posted by Cander | Report as abusive

Newsflash: We’re not going to get rich with a deferral of a tax increase, McCain.

Posted by kls1116 | Report as abusive

A different perspective for readers.

My husband and I were born to poverty on a rural Oklahoma farm, literally on a farm. Born ignorant and penniless, we have worked our fingers to the bone for decades to arrive at a position in life of comfortable wealth. We worked our way out of poverty to wealth, worked really hard.

Last fiscal year we paid a fifty-three percent tax rate, a combined personal income tax, capital gains tax and other taxes. More than half of our income is taken away by taxes, not including typical retail taxes. We estimate under an Obama administration, our tax liability will move up ten percent, to about a sixty-three percent tax rate. Under a McCain administration, our total tax rate will be significantly reduced.

High taxes, this annoys us. However, what really angers us is our family, including our daughter, will be carrying the weight of a majority of Americans upon our backs. Bad enough as is, but Obama will make this worse by taking away our hard earned money then giving our money to those who pay no taxes, to those who do not contribute as much to America, to those who do not work as hard as our family.

Obama will render our family a welfare agency, in fact. This is his plan.

Our family response, should Obama be elected, will be to cash out much of our stock market investments, cash out our real estate investments, cash out almost all our investment holdings. We will do this to lower and hopefully eliminate our tax exposure. Millions of other families, I am sure, will do the same. We will withdraw our family money from America.

Obama will prompt many to take actions which will lead to economic disaster for America.

Our family is extremely angry about this prospect of carrying the weight of Americans upon our backs which includes, most likely, you readers.

Our family was born to poverty. We worked our way out of poverty, on our own with no help from any nor our government. None of us have ever collected unemployment benefits, never have received food stamps nor received welfare. We have pride. We work hard. We carry our own weight as all people should.

Where is your pride? Why should our family have to carry your weight upon our backs?

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation

Posted by Purl Gurl | Report as abusive

But … how … ?

Not raising taxes was what this President did, and we’re in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Posted by Jon | Report as abusive

Come on Senator McCain.

I also want everyone to be rich!

But how many wealthy women are available for us to leave our current wives for?

Posted by Republican VN Era Veteran | Report as abusive

This is America, where becoming wealthy is truly possible. I’m not voting for Nobama because becoming wealthy is challenging enough without government working against you.

Posted by SoCalGal | Report as abusive

“Obama will render our family a welfare agency, in fact. This is his plan.”

Everyone who pays any taxes serves as “A welfare agency” to the country using your extremely bad analogy. We pay for every aspect of it’s infrastructure; did you not realize this before now?

I am only further dismayed by your ignorance of how the country’s state of being effects you. Have you looked at our national debt? Have you looked at the state of our social systems? Our country needs problems to be fixed, and that requires money.

If you don’t have enough pride to be satisfied in doing such a service to your country than I suggest you get on your Yacht and leave it.

Posted by Unbelievable | Report as abusive

MR MCCAIN is praying on the dumbest of the dumb, however i appears there are not enough of them to get him elected,IN regards to the up comming race card OBAMA,S mother is as white as snow.and my white brothers have screwed up things so bad, maybe it needs someone with mixed blood to see the problems.

Posted by d vuletic | Report as abusive

Okpulot, your narrative is compelling but also lacks credibility! If you are indeed a member of the Choctaw Nation your income is most likely derived from a Casino. Indian Casinos do not pay Federal taxes! Therefore, since you failed to mention what you do for a living I took the liberty of assuming the statement: “you worked your way out of poverty“, is false!

If you are trying to tell me that you eked out a fortune on the reservation as a farmer, you are wasting your time. For many years, the state and local governments were aligned against you just as they were against Blacks. You would be hard pressed to get a loan for developing your farm and therefore be unable to buy tractors and other implements and tools necessary for productive farming! But even if you were able to attain such success you would not pay Federal Taxes on whatever you earned on an Indian Reservation.

If you left the reservation to earn a living among those heavy Americans you keep referring to you were then exposed to Federal taxation. Please elaborate on how you managed to earn more than 250,000 dollars a year outside of the reservation! Remember , you have to earn at least that much to be affected by Obama’s tax plan!

Posted by Bobby | Report as abusive

Higher taxes may be inevitable with all the government spending Americans are seeing. That being said – we already have one of the most aggressively progressive tax schedules in the world. Further raising the burden on the “rich” can only disincentivize people from becoming rich. Why work harder for little marginal gain, when you can do less and get proportionately more?

Hooray for socialism, God bless comerade Obama.

Posted by da6d | Report as abusive

“giving our money to those who pay no taxes”

Like over 50% of multi-million dollar firms located within the United States?

PurlGurl did you actually investigate Obama’s tax plan? He wants to eliminate your capital gains tax (one of the biggest problems you cited). A tax increase for individuals earning over $250,000 in conjunction with the elimination of capital gains taxes will result in an almost unnoticeable net increase in taxes on the individual level. The extra funding will be put towards social welfare programs (not the kind of welfare you’re thinking), which the US has long overlooked. We spend less than 3% of our total GDP on welfare programs compared to an average of 12%, and our poverty rate shows it ( res_snapshots_20060719).

Stop complaining about your dwindling portfolio and try being a human being. And, being a member of the Choctaw Nation are you really concerned about your daughter’s future? Her college will be paid for by government scholarship funds, you realize that right? While I am at $20k and climbing with student loans, I continue to pay taxes that fund scholarships for underprivileged and minority students. If you fall into the over $250k per year bracket, then the humanitarian thing to do is help fund these social programs, not become outraged that you may be called upon to support your nation as a whole instead of isolating yourself in your own little world in an enclave of Oklahoma.

Posted by donnerparty | Report as abusive

I’m still dying to meet a few people out of the “40%” of people who don’t pay taxes.
Unless that 40% equals cash paid illegals, I’m not buying that number.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive


Posted by I HATE LIBERALS!!! | Report as abusive

“Why work harder for little marginal gain, when you can do less and get proportionately more?”

Currently the majority of the lower class is faced with the question “why work harder when odds are you’ll never make it out of poverty?”.

Half of the American population earns less than $50,000 a year per household, and 90% report an income of less than $120,000. Why, then, should we provide incentive, unbalanced political privilege, and protection for those 5% that earn over $250,000? Why perpetuate unfavorable conditions for 9 out of 10 Americans in order to provide a lavish lifestyle for the remaining 1?

Posted by donnerparty | Report as abusive

Heh, I actually agree with the principle of “I Hate Liberals”, but I think he/she is too one-sided. I agree that we should lower taxes and cut spending. What would I do if I had the opportunity? Pull out of every country that’s not asking for our help. That would include Iraq. That would include Somalia. I would stop deportation of illegal immigrants and instead charge a decent fee for all entries to the US for work. If they work illegally in the country, retroactively charge this entry fee, and retroactively apply the income tax. I’d stop fighting the war on drugs abroad and instead focus the efforts within US borders.

And no, I wouldn’t specifically target names like pelosi or mccain. And I’d understand what marxism is before flinging it like profanity.

Posted by Mitch T | Report as abusive

I find it fun that someone going by the name of donnerparty is saying anything I should care about. You miss the point that she DIDN’T take charity, not from her “nation” and not from the US government. So while you are racist against native americans and claim like every other obamabot that you are right and everyone else is wrong, stop to read, and think then comment.

Sadly you are a bot, so you can’t think for yourself and realize people do have problems that will be made worse by obama and his “this is my idea today” style of policy making.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

My friends, I want you all to get wealthy! I plan to achieve this by taxing your health benefits, and continuing a $550 billion war for 100 years if need be!

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Ha, most of you are right,especially the one about the rich wife.I am elderly and they took my medicare (poor man’s insurance)away from me . I was supposed to get it at 63, and now can’t untill 65.I paid into it for 47 years.And I need it now, I have acid reflex, that takes perscription medician. And they are now entraping us with our electric bills!! This is how it works, if you get a discount with your electric bill deposit for automatic withdrawel,and you get help with your electric bill you then have to pay full deposit on your electric bill which voids everything out!!@# Thats a big thing to the elderly, who have high blood pressure, and have to have air conditioning ect Sometimes they have to have help once a year.But it is alot of no votes from the elderly .Some of them pay $500,000 for one month at a spay to get body sculped, to look good. And vote their selves more raises.

Posted by Patricia Moore | Report as abusive

As chinese in china, Ijust like your American know, most of chinese, special the chinese communist memeber, like to republic win, because will provide more job for chinese and will let china more power, china just need another 8 years republic as usa president,, best wish for Mccain. chinese job and china dependent on Mccain

Posted by david | Report as abusive

Ha, what you are saying is mostly right.And the one about Indian Casino’s not being taxed,well he is right, they should tax them, every race in the U.S. is being taxed.And keep in mind Reagin is an indian name!! I am a senior citizen and we lost our medicare (poor mans insurance)at 63, and now can’t get it untill 65. I need it now, and have acid reflex that requires medication. It can be very serious.And paid into medicare for 47 years!!@# And to add to that we are now being entraped on our electric bills, this is how it goes.You get a discount on your electricity deposit for automatic bill pay.But if you have to get help with your electric bill you have to pay full deposit, which voids out the help you get.The elderly in Florida need help sometimes, and high blood pressure requires air conditioning.They are also a large voting group of people at this time.Keep in mind what we have comming this winter, if it continues!!While they are voting theirselves raises, and now spending up to $500,000 to spend a month at a body sculpeding health resort.

Posted by Patricia Moore | Report as abusive

Ben, your comment says nothing about the article at all, and merely attacks myself. I’ve provided you with actual numbers and concrete facts supporting my argument, and you’re just blindly ignoring it. I would argue that you, sir, are the sheep here.

As for people having problems, I would consider providing food for your children or making rent to be real problems that are currently crushing the lower and middle class. I do understand that some citizens will come out of the changes Obama has proposed worse off than they were before. They are called millionaires. The rest of us “little people” who comprise the majority of the nation will enjoy significant benefits while you yourself may have to hold off on buying a new Maserati. Seems like a decent trade off to me.

Posted by donnerparty | Report as abusive

This is rich coming from the governor of the “Welfare State”, who hands every citizen in the state a check from money redistributed from oil companies. And can’t get enough pork out of the federal government. Or even the RNC.
Here is a new state motto for her.
“Alaska is for gold diggers.”
I hear her next door neighbors are commies.

Posted by Rodger Lemonde | Report as abusive

OK, here it goes and you can call me whatever you want but those that are really intellectual will understand what real wealth is.

I came from a family in North St. Louis County, Mother worked in a laundry Father worked with his hands on a Riverboat his entire life. Had a small house and not much extra money but we were wealthy because we had God and love for each other? I grew up with 1 sister and two brothers and we all know have nice homes and good jobs with some of the major company’s in the world.

Under Obama these companies will need to cut jobs to pay for the tax increases and one if not all of us could loose all the things we work hard to achieve while we become part of the welfare state created by the policies Obama wants to put us under.

A little of my own history…

I had good grades in High School under Carter but could not get a well paid job…minimum wage…I worked hard but could not go to college without Military Service.

Joined the Marine Corp and also went to College at the same time under Ragan I made good wages and had promise for future.

Decided to leave the Marine Corp and get a job…Back to St. Louis and under Clinton jobs are lost in St. Louis because I wanted a good paying job and they were all low pay.

I started a Family and worked my way up through SWB, and Anheuser-Busch to have a good living, Then Busch comes in and almost like that my Pay goes up because I can block the Unions from making my life hell…

Now I work for one of the largest companies in the world and make over 100 grand per year and as and executive I can tell you people will loose jobs and even though he will not admit it Obama will have to tax me heavier just to keep up with his spending programs…This man scares the heck out of this person who really did work his way up that ladder with knuckles and passion to make more out of myself than my parents did.

Please consider McCain or increase the welfare ranks and worship at the foot of Obama.

Posted by Please | Report as abusive

Yes, McCain wants all people to be wealthy – Yes, then no one will pay taxes. What a Joker he is.

Posted by mzbond | Report as abusive

Anyone can get wealthy, yes. Anyone can win the lottery as well. When most people AREN’T wealthy, you have to ask yourselves something; Does it make sense that we make a welfare state for the rich and well-connected or for the poor? You’ll get either, and never both, count on it. All depends now is if the majority of the people decide the rich should support more of the burden. And in fact, that is what will happen. That is a democracy for you. Sorry to break it to many of you, but the low to piddling income families out number the higher-middle and rich families in this country.

Posted by MechWRR | Report as abusive

Wealth is relative – right? If so, McCain could achieve this goal if he makes the wealthy minority poorer. However, that’s Obama’s strategy – right? So basically the candidates are logically identical on their wealth policy.

Posted by Nic Fulton | Report as abusive

Message to ‘da6d’ regarding your disingenuous comment, ‘raising the burden on the “rich” can only disincentivize people from becoming rich\': NOTHING will EVER ‘disincentivize’ ANYONE from becoming rich. (Not even pain of death can effectively dissuade all.) Take note of the Wall Street execs who, knowing that what they were doing to enrich themselves in the short run would explode and take themselves out along with everyone else in the long run, STILL could not resist the siren song of abandoning ethics for unearned riches. “Radix omnium malorem est cupiditas.”

Posted by Brainstorms | Report as abusive

The overriding and most crucial topic in the election at the moment is the economy and will stay that way until Election Day. John McCain was leading in all the polls until this latest financial crisis hit the headlines – please remember that it had been in the making for the last 18 – 24 months but only started to come into the public realm when Bear Sterns got into the news. John McCain needs to lay out what his plans are for the economy and he needs all the help he can get.

It was and still is very important to bring to the public’s attention the real and true effect of the Obama tax plan. Joe the plumber did more to expose this and bring it to the forefront than all the GOP and McCain campaign efforts put together. Therefore it is mu opinion that John McCain should name at least his choices for Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Energy to help bring out the message of what the long term economic plan is going to be. The Secretary of State does not have anything to do with the local economy but it will be nice to know who that person is going to be.

These people can help John McCain to deliver the economic message and build up the confidence that the general public need at this moment in time. This will also force the Obama camp’s hand to announce who will be appointed by an Obama White House which will show the American people how far left it is really leaning.

The most important factor however is still to instill confidence in the public that not only John McCain but also his administration will be qualified to steer the country through the economic storm.

Posted by Hendrik | Report as abusive

Wake up! Obama is a not a socialist any more than he’s a muslim. Neither one wants to raise taxes, but which president will HAVE to raise taxes?

Start with McCain’s plan to give everyone a $5000 refundable tax credit for health care. Where’s he going to get $5000 to pay [back] to every American? Pluck it off trees? No. Steal it from Iraq? No. His wife’s coffers? Hardly. Duh! He’ll have to raise everyone’s taxes by $5000 to fund this socialist idea.

How about McCain’s insane plan to buy everyone’s mortgage and then refinance them at their current lower market values. That’s gonna cost.. Another socialist plan. Where’s he gonna get that money? Duh! He’ll have to raise your taxes!!

But wait… McCain’s going to give his wealthy base a tax reduction, and give a tax break to wealthy corporations. Meaning he’ll have to raise middle America’s taxes even more!

Give him credit, though. He said he doesn’t know much about economics. And he proves it day by day…

McCain, the ‘backwards socialist\': Redistributing wealth by taking from middle America to give to the rich.

Posted by Brainstorms | Report as abusive

Firstly, Hendrik it is illegal for a candidate to name positions like you suggested. There’s a fine legal line they have to walk to get away with discussing choices like that.
Secondly, Joe the Plumber was an obvious plant by the GoP so saying he did more to “expose” anything than they did is redundant. Sadly they are one and the same.

Brainstorms got to the real truth though.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Joe the Plumber was in his own drivway…what a plant…and now he is everyone that wants to make their own life and not a Governement controlled life

Posted by Yea | Report as abusive

Read the fine print, and take a basic economics class-everyone, please, no matter your affiliation. Obama’s health care plan more or less taxes employers for how many people they employ. McCain’s health plan, in contrast, is over a trillion dollars in a tax cut, according to the Tax Policy Center. Yes, he Would tax health benefits for the first time ever, but that would be offset with five thousand dollar tax credit for every couple-far better than losing wages so your employer can buy one for you! McCain allows for Every person to have a more Equal opportunity to gain wealth. don’t take my word for it, Independant analysts say the vast majority of taxpayers would be better off.
Now, let’s not even mention that McCain Also offers More ways to save on taxes! double the independant exemptions! that’s more than a thousand for a typical family! wow!

It’s unfortunate that Obama’s campaign style equivilates to the Head On commercials. repeat it enough, and you might buy it…

Posted by Rue | Report as abusive

Screw you McCain, you and your Republican buddies that supported President Idiot are who got us into this mess. Get out of our way and let us fix it, we seriously do not need you or Caribou Bimbo to help us.

Obama / Biden All the Way!!!

Posted by Democrats 08 | Report as abusive

Rue, sadly I have taken a very hard look at both candidates health plans.

McCain’s 5,000 tax credit for health insurance is a joke. To date I have spent a total of 4,000 on family insurance. This is not including co-pays or prescriptions. That’s simply the weekly cost to maintain full coverage for my family.

The 5,000 will just barely cover the yearly cost to keep coverage going for my family.
God forbid anyone should become seriously ill, then that 5,000 tax credit would be gone almost instantly.

Not only that, but McCains tax plan basically ensures that my ailing mother will not be able to get insurance. With her pre-conditions she would be screened out.

I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t cut it for me. Under Obama’s plan my mother would maintain her insurance, and my family will not go broke because of our insurance.

Anyone who has a pre existing condition should be voting for Obama. Anyone who votes for McCain with a pre existing condition will get what they deserve if he becomes president.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

I seriously dismiss the braggadocio of the ‘self-made” wealthy commentators here. In the U.S., if you are a farmer, you’ve received government handouts as subsidies and tax credits for equipment purchases. If you’re a car/truck driver, or train/bus/air/ship passenger, you’re using subsidized modes of transportation. If you’re educated, you’ve received government supported schooling. If you’re religious, you’ve worshipped at tax-free institutions. If you’ve taken medicine, or had health-related issues, you can thank government-sponsored research and development for your treatment and for the training of doctors and other health professionals, not to mention grants and tax-holidays for the building of hospitals. If you’re reading this on the internet—yes, that too was a government subsidized program. If you’ve visited and enjoyed parks and sports facilities thank government largess. If you’ve served in the military or have been protected or rescued by police, fire, ambulance, coast guard, you should realize you have benefited from the U.S. government and it has helped directly to improve your life. And yes, let’s all pay our debt in taxes.

Posted by who what where | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber didn’t pay his taxes any way so whats he worrying about?
McCain wants all the mechanics and public workers (that keep this world actually running) to be rich but make less that $50k a year. Ok, then he has defined “rich”, hasn’t he?

Posted by KeithK | Report as abusive