By Matthew Rothschild | I don’t know why a pastor was allowed to hold the first forum with the Presidential candidates–in a church, no less–but there was a revealing exchange between Rick Warren and John McCain Saturday night.
Warren said, “Everybody talks about, you know, taxing the rich, but not the poor, the middle class. At what point, give me a number, give me a specific number. Where do you move from middle class to rich?”
As far as income goes, McCain said, “How about $5 million?”
And then he tired to fob it off, saying, “no, seriously.”
But it’s really not a laughing matter.
This is either how out of it John McCain is, or how much he wants to obscure the class cleavages in this country.
The top 1% of Americans, which by any definition, should be viewed as the rich or the upper class, make $450,000 or above.
Only 0.3 percent of Americans make more than $1 million a year.
Only a tiny fraction of that tiny fraction makes $5 million.
Maybe McCain wants to camouflage this because his own tax proposals, like Bush’s, favor the richest of the rich.
Under McCain’s plan, those making more than $1 million would get an extra $195,000 next year, according to the Tax Policy Center. And the top 0.1 percent of Americans would get an extra $290,000.
Obama, to his credit, said, “If you are making more than $250,000, then you are in the top 3, 4 percent in the county.”
And Obama’s tax policies would raise the rates on McCain’s cherished 0.1 percent by $700,000 in 2009. Also by contrast, Obama would give more of a tax break to everyone in the lower 80 percent of income brackets than would McCain.
But McCain, as most Republicans do, likes to pretend we don’t live in a class society.
Or maybe he’s just been hanging around his wife too long.