Remember the good ol’ days? When John McCain used to occasionally say sensible things and break with his party when they embraced ridiculous policy
June 11, 2008

Remember the good ol’ days? When John McCain used to occasionally say sensible things and break with his party when they embraced ridiculous policy proposals? Good times, good times.

For example, Republicans have been railing against the existence of the estate tax for years. It’s a foolish gambit for the GOP — they want to cut inheritance taxes for the very wealthy, costing the government billions of dollars in revenue, and they characterize this as a key populist goal.

McCain used to see through this nonsense.

“In his 1906 State of the Union Address, President Theodore Roosevelt proposed the creation of a federal inheritance tax . Roosevelt explained: ‘The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government.’ Additionally, in a 1907 speech he said: ‘Most great civilized countries have an income tax and an inheritance tax. In my judgment both should be part of our system of federal taxation.’ He noted, however, that such taxation should ‘be aimed merely at the inheritance or transmission in their entirety of those fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits.’

“I agree with President Roosevelt, and I remain opposed to full repeal of the estate tax.”

That is, until he became the Republican presidential nominee. Now, McCain finds the estate tax offensive.

“Another of my disagreements with Senator Obama concerns the estate tax, which he proposes to increase to a top rate of 55 percent. The estate tax is one of the most unfair tax laws on the books, and the first step to reform is to keep it predictable and keep it low. After a lifetime building up a business, and paying taxes on every dollar that business earns, that asset should not be subjected to a confiscatory tax.”

Why, it’s almost as if McCain were some kind of flip-flopper or something. Heaven forbid.

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