Indeed, Mr. McCain frequently has promised not to raise taxes. At a July 7 town-hall meeting in Denver, he said voters faced a stark choice between him and Democrat Barack Obama. "Sen. Obama will raise your taxes," Mr. McCain said. "I won't."
In a March 16 interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity, Mr. McCain said he would cut taxes where possible, and not raise them.
"Do you mean none?" Mr. Hannity asked.
"None," Mr. McCain replied.
So there you have it. John McCain will never raise taxes. Except for when he does. For instance, he's now open to raising payroll taxes to keep Social Security going.
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds has clarified on Fox, "He hasn't reversed themselves because he's always been in support of lower taxes. He's never voted in favor of a higher tax. He's said again and again that he's not going to raise taxes."
"But when you're talking about the Social Security debate, you're really talking about a different type of debate... if you want to make an honest effort to try and fix Social Security, you're going to have to put everything on the table... John McCain is absolutely for maintaining Social Security benefits," Bounds said.
Everything is on the table. Like raising taxes. Which is fine. I don't mind paying taxes because I like fire departments and paved roads and such and such. But I'm not the one running for President with grand promises of no taxes.
Anyway, Tucker Bounds - has there been a whiter, more Republican name ever? - seems to do a lot of clarifying after McCain speaks these days. This time, he's making it clear that although McCain has said again and again he's not going to raise taxes, he's going to raise taxes to save Social Security. I don't think that's what Tucker set out to do, but it's what he did.And...fine. Really no surprise there, since McCain is such a staunch supporter of Social Security. Always has been. Can't wait to start collecting his own checks come November, in fact. Except for that time he called Social Security a disgrace. Although he loves Social Security, he hates how current workers pay for the benefits of past workers. Even though that's the way the system was set up, how it's supposed to work and always has worked. In McCain's defense, maybe he just never looked into it before. In McCain's prosecution, maybe he's just a bargain basement idiot.
So McCain is going to fix Social Security for the young woman in the above clip. He developed an instant crush on her because she was the only person under 60 at his campaign rally and he would love to help solve her problems. Also because Cindy is getting kind of wrinkly and it might be time to trade her in on a newer model.
And how's he going to fix it? By raising payroll taxes on younger workers to help pay for future retirees, keeping the system alive. Good plan! Unless you're courting the conservative vote, of course.
Summer polls seems to show that most voters prefer Obama, although they consider McCain to be a safer choice. Which is odd, because there's absolutely no way to tell what McCain believes or what he would do in office. Not by his own words, at least.