The New Yorker examines McCain and Palin's criticism of Barack Obama as a socialist and finds in it a bit of hypocritical name-calling between pot and kettle. McCain himself came out in support of the same tax structure as Obama in 2000.
Of course, all taxes are redistributive, in that they redistribute private resources for public purposes. But the federal income tax is (downwardly) redistributive as a matter of principle: however slightly, it softens the inequalities that are inevitable in a market economy, and it reflects the belief that the wealthy have a proportionately greater stake in the material aspects of the social order and, therefore, should give that order proportionately more material support. McCain himself probably shares this belief, and there was a time when he was willing to say so. During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,