Obama: McCain/Palin making “virtue out of selfishness”

Responding to criticism from Gov. Palin and Sen. McCain callaing his plan “socialist” in nature, Sen. Obama today defended his plan to raise taxes on those making above $200,000 a year by intimating that McCain and Palin are trying to make “selfishness” a virtue.

Report from ABC’s Political Punch:

On the stump this week, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has pushed back against Sen. John McCain’s description of his tax policies.

“The reason that we want to do this, change our tax code, is not because I have anything against the rich,” Obama said in Sarasota, Florida, yesterday. “I love rich people! I want all of you to be rich. Go for it. That’s the America dream, that’s the American way, that’s terrific.

“The point is, though, that — and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class — it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

“John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic,” Obama continued. “You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.”

It’s unclear if this was a nod to the Ayn Rand book “The Virtue of Selfishness,” with all that the invocation of Rand implies.

It would seem to be, given the themes of Rand’s work, what happens when independent achievers are demonized.

Which would fit with this description of those who want to keep their hard-earned tax dollars as “selfish.”

Atlas may not be shrugging, but Obama is.

The video I could find:

Though that is just 20 seconds or so, there is a bit of context, I’m looking for a longer video.

I’ve heard the “selfish” term bandied about, even in this forum so perhaps Obama will strike a chord with some voters, in this regard, who may be looking for ways to criticize those opposed to Obama’s plan. On the other hand, not many people do support tax increases, though do they consider themselves “selfish” for opposing them?

Sound off below..


Obama’s original tax plan started out with taxes being raised on those making $250,000 per year and above, though discrepancies have arisen from his campaign.

In Obama’s 30-minute TV ad, that number changed to $200,000:

According to MSNBC’s First Read, Sen. Biden said the number would be people making under $150,000 getting a tax cut:

The McCain campaign is jumping all over Biden’s interview yesterday with a Scranton TV affiliate, in which Biden said that people making under $150,000 per year would get a tax cut under Obama’s tax plan.

Biden aides say his comments were actually consistent with Obama’s tax plan — people under $150,000 get a cut, and people making up to $250,000 stay the same.

The campaign says $250,000 stays the same, but Obama said the number is $200,000 during his 30-minute network ad.

Now Gov. Bill Richardson said today that the target number is those making $120,000 per year:

I’m awaiting clarification from the Obama campaign though I wonder why Sen. Obama himself changed it from $250,000 per year to $200,000 per year. It should be noted that Gov. Bill Richardson does NOT speak for the Obama campaign, though his statement adds to the confusion.

Sound off on this, why the varying numbers? Am I making too much of this? I’ve just noticed it over the past several weeks concerning the changes in the number.


The discrepancy between $250,000 and $200,000 can be explained.

Obama has said those making below $200,000 will see a tax cut. Those making between $200,000 and $249,999 will see no change. Those making above $250,000 will see a tax increase.

Still, how do we square the $150,000 number from Biden and the $120,000 number from Richardson?

  • bdjnk

    If Obama wants to play a game of semantics and call being responsible for the wealth you earn “selfish”, and claim that allowing the government to take and redistribute that wealth is virtuous, the only person he will hurt is himself.

    His ideas about the economy are so far from reality that a sick feeling forms in the pit of my stomach every time I think about the possibility of an Obama presidency.

  • JD

    If I recall right, the notion is that making 250 and below, won’t see their taxes go any higher and from what I am gathering, from 200,000 and below will get a tax break.

    So it looks like 200,000 to 249,999 will just stay the same.

    250,000 and up would have their taxes rolled back to where it was in the 1990’s

    And 199,999 and below would get a tax cut.

    From Obama’s website – “Middle class families will see their taxes cut – and no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.”

    Again he said see their taxes increase. What he aired on Wednesday is not a contradiction.

  • Bill Hedges

    JD- Now $120,000

  • Babs

    Oh no, ya’ll just missed the democratic strategist that was confronted with all these figures on Neil Cavuto. SHE says in reality the middle class is actually around $45,000!!!

    Can you believe Barack Obama calling Americans selfish???? This from a man who gives so little out of his own pocket, and picks a running mate who has given PITIFULLY!!!

    I want this election over with so badly, and Obama to go back to Chicago and try again in 4 more years!!

  • Bill Hedges

    Babs–Have they really admitted $45,000. McCain forcast that. Really ?? So higher taxes above this amount,,,,now!

  • IndiMinded

    Babs and Bill, you guys are just getting silly. I do expect it’s a reference to Rand, but I’m not sure how many people will really get it. A good number of my hardcore republican friends are big believers in Randian philosophy, and I’m guessing a lot of the people who may take offense to the “Virtues of Selfishness” reference would probably like and agree with the ideas expressed in the book if they read it.

    Title sure doesn’t sound good though, does it?

  • The kind of selfishness that Obama apparently opposes (and as Glenn Reynolds noted was promoted by Ayn Rand in her famous book “The Virtue of Selfishness”) is a completely noble and moral American virtue. This country was founded on the principle that men and women had the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” free from government interference and tyranny.

    Many immigrants (such as my parents) came to this country precisely to be able to work hard, prosper, and give their children a chance for a better life. They came to this country with little more than the clothes on their back, but did well over the years, sent two children to college and medical school, and are now enjoying a well-earned and comfortable retirement. Their life has been a real-life embodiment of the American dream.

    If we want America to remain a beacon of hope to millions around the world, we should re-affirm our commitment to free markets and capitalism, and reject calls for more socialism and “redistribution of wealth”.

    This country is great precisely because it allows people like my parents to attain selfish goals such as their lives and happiness. Americans should be proud of that fact, not condemn it.

  • Babs

    Well, this girl was a strategist for Obama (that’s the way she was billed), and was saying that you really couldn’t listen to Biden or Richardson, you had to listen to Obama, who said $250K, and then she added three times that what they were actually going to see was that the middle class truly was around $45K a year. She was pretty nutty. *L*

  • Babs

    Here, here, Paul. I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Bill Hedges

    Heard some bad news. Many illegals are going home. Constuction work down, etc..Put fense up and bring in legal immmigrants.

  • Differing

    I think this is a semantic issue.

    One of the first thing I learned in Economics in college was the definitions of selfish and self-serving in an economist’s world.

    Self-serving is when a person provides for their own wants and needs. In other words, the person takes care of themselves. This is natural and healthy. Think self-interest.

    Selfish is when a person provides for their own wants and needs at the expense of other people. For example, a car gets rear ended. The non at-fault driver decides to take the at-fault driver’s insurance for all he can not just what the accident caused. The at-fault driver was driving a company vehicle and the non at-fault driver knows the most likely outcome for the at-fault driver is getting fired for costing the company so much money. Still, the not at-fault driver takes the insurance company for everything he can get and the at-fault driver gets fired. That’s somebody being selfish.

    As far as this relates to Obama’s plan, he isn’t going to take that extra 3% (taxes raised from 36% to 39%) and give that money to people who make less money. That would be stupid. That 3% would be added to the money used to pay for federal law enforcement, our military, national education plans (like “no child left behind” which failed partly because of a lack of funding), and what not. These are programs and institutions which benefit everyone not just a segment of society.

    In that light, people who can afford to make such programs and institutions better, without any detriment to themselves or the economy, but refuse to are being selfish.

    It’s a far milder and far less black and white situation as seeing someone being mugged and just walking away.

  • dale

    Neither Obama, Bill Richardson or Biden contradicted anything!

    1. JD was perfectly right. Below 200k get a cut, 200-250k stay the same. Above 250k same as Reagan, Clinton etc. Both of which had far better economic growth than Bush.

    2. Richardson saying 120k was middle class and they would get a tax break. That by no means implies 130k, 140k, whatever DON’T get one. If anything what he is saying is above 120k aren’t necessarily middle class, not that they don’t get a tax cut.

    It only adds to the confusion if you are already confused and are unable to parse the English language!

    3. Biden’s statement has no context, but I imagine it’s basically the same as Richardson’s, although we all know anything could have happened with him.

    The comment about selfishness was a bit of a low blow. However, I will say that the comments of many people on this site back it up. There seems to be a lot of justification being made that taxes shouldn’t go up, and they’ll decide, not the evil government, which charities to give their money to. To any objective, or even subjective viewer that’s clearly a cop out. Especially since I very much doubt most of the people on here who are saying it make over 250k anyway.

    More importantly, how many charities build roads or alternative power stations, or just about any of the stuff Obama talks about? One is not a substitute for the other anyway.

    The real issue is a difference on economic fundamentals. If you believe in the trickle-down economic theory, that the last 8 years have been great and what the hell is everybody complaining about with this whole recession talk that’s been going on for the past year. If you think rich people and corporations getting bigger and making more profit is good for you…

    Go vote Republican.

    However, if you believe that every objective measure shows a massive failure. If you believe you measure an economy based on the success of the middle class and their ability to contribute to a strong economy, to buy cars, go out to dinner, etc. Contribute through their own strong earning, and strong spending…

    Go vote Democrat.

    It’s a different economic theory, that’s all it is.

  • Paul, you’re spinning propaganda without critically examining it. The ideal is for immigrants and those that come to this country getting an equal chance of making it big in the country. The fallacy is that there is no level playing field when it comes to gender, race, or age. To try to wax nostalgia about a U.S past that was completely open and inviting to immigrants ignores a good 150 years of segregation, racism, and discrimination.

  • Bill Hedges

    Flim Flam Man I noticed brought his @250,000 down to $200,000. One of his guys said $150,00 and taxes goes up. His shuffle should stop around $45,500. ( he said in Congress to raise taxes on that AMOUNT ) Any lower and his difintion of rich and rich too will be drawing welfare. Flim Flam Man has cut some news media off his plane. They failed the Obama cheer test. Saying bad things about him. He’s a little testy ! Put on some monthly magazines that never has covered an election. Kind of nice of him, yeah. Seems fair. Some female reporter asked Biden a trick question, you know like Joe the Plumber did. Something about socialist ? Poor old Biden just got up and ran. No more interviews for that McCain loving station. Whats wrong with these nw media. Study came out that all media are saying more bad things about McCain than him except Fox. Fox was equal. Try to better guys. John and Sarah been going around lying about my Flim Flam Man, saying he is a socialist. Mis-quote, Flim Flam man said,,spread the wealth.. Can you believe that. Darn Joe the plumber, that plant Flim Flam Man says Sarah and John are selfish ! Now never mind that Obama’s tax returns show he gave very litte to charity. Never mind that McCains gives alot. Gives back some of his Congressional pay. Donates all profits from his books to charities. Forget all that. By the way, Obama keep his book profits… How can he call Mcain and Palin selfish ?…Wait a minute,,,,Was Flim Flam Man talking about them ? No, I re-read Nate’s article. says Ammerican Rich needs to give more taxes to help other or else rich are selfish ? And the government is nice enough to spread it for us. Nice people. I hear he wants to help United Nations so U.N. can help world poor. Is it $ 865 Billion. O.K…I have a warm spot in my heart knowing the government is helping the world poor with rich people tax money. Don’t you. I can’t wait til I make $120,000 a year so I can help the poor. Or is ir $45,500. Guess I will find out. Since our economy is in such great shape now, we should be having the rich help the poor. Thanks Fliim Flam Man

  • Bill Hedges

    Michael–And I thought we had a black man that might be President. This must be propaganda ?

  • DJS

    So much for spreading the wealth. Obama thinks we should but what about him? I believe in helping family first but obviously he doesn’t.

    According to FOX news she is an illegal. Not sure if this is true.


  • DJS

    What is this article all about? Is Obama back stepping?

    Barack Obama’s senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency if he wins next week’s election, amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harbouring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve.


  • Michael

    Bill – I was referring to the immigration laws and other regulations/policies for the U.S government during its nascency (post-civil war).

    That said, I do not think if Obama is elected president that our country is suddenly vindicated of any type of prejudice/discrimination toward a person of color (no more than if a woman won the office).

  • Bill Hedges

    DJS–You got it all wrong. You’re thinking like a Republican. Check Fllm Flam Man and Biden tax returns. They give little to Caharty. Government is going to take from from rich, not for government function. But to give to poor. When this money comes in Obaba’s family member will live like a Queen.

  • Bill Hedges

    DJS–I have a solution for Obama’s relative. If he is elected, she could get a green card and baby set his kids.

  • Bill Hedges

    Micael- My mistake…Sorry

  • DJS

    Bill..you have some good ideas. I am sorry that I’m thinking like a republican. I registered as an independent. I guess I have to go back and read the hand book.

    Michael…it is too bad that Obama doesn’t really believe in equality


  • JD

    I believe the following sums it up completely and what is wrong with our current economic outlook and how we measure our economy.

    ”We will never find a purpose for our nation nor for our personal satisfaction in the mere search for economic well-being, in endlessly amassing terrestrial goods.

    We cannot measure the national spirit on the basis of the Dow-Jones, nor can we measure the achievements of our country on the basis of the gross domestic product (GDP).

    Our gross national product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.

    It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets.

    It counts rifles and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

    Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play.

    It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

    It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country.

    It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.” – RFK

  • Babs, “Oh no, ya’ll just missed the democratic strategist that was confronted with all these figures on Neil Cavuto. SHE says in reality the middle class is actually around $45,000!!!”

    That woman drives me crazy. I have to say she about as misinformed and inexperienced as they come. Last week I was thrown off by her when she was down right rude to Joe the plumber. I was so mad I told Nate I was going to write Neil and tell him never to have her on again. Now I usually disagree with liberal commentators, but I never get this angry with them, I usually just chalk them up to them doing their job and just trying to earn a living. But this woman was ill mannered. I did laugh as she tried her damnedest to justify the $120,000. First she said that it wasn’t Obama who tossed out the number $120,000, it was Bill Richardson, I was willing to give Obama the benefit of doubt until I heard it out of him or squirrel Joe Biden. However, she then blew her own point by saying that the average middle class family makes $45,000 a year that should be the cap. Seriously, what an embarrassment for the dems.

    “Can you believe Barack Obama calling Americans selfish???? This from a man who gives so little out of his own pocket, and picks a running mate who has given PITIFULLY!!!”

    Absolutely, nothing shocks me with this man at this point. This has been the Dems guilt trip for a while now, make all Americans who are dumb enough to to be guilt tripped feel as though they should be ashamed by how much they earn. And they’re falling for it hook line and sinker. This doesn’t effect me in the least, does it anger the hell out me, most definitely. However I know Nate and I tithe 10% every week (unlike Brack and Mitchelle Obama who only gave 1% of their annual income to a church that they were members of in 2007, 10% of his 4 million income last year would be 40,000% by the way) and I also know that I give a good deal of money, time and effort to the charities that I feel called to. These men (Obama and Biden who gave hardly anything to charity in the last few years) should really take a good hard look at themselves before telling America to not be selfish and pay more on taxes. I think Americans have done a fine job, alright so the studies show that republicans have done a better job than democrats in the giving department, in giving their moneys to just causes, but for some reason Obama wants government to control who and what we give our money to.

    Differing, thank you for the thoughtful post, its much appreciated. If Obama wanted to increase funding for the causes you list above,”That 3% would be added to the money used to pay for federal law enforcement, our military, national education plans” would be acceptable, except for the fact that we don’t need to raise taxes to do it, just cut from the programs that are over funded already. But Obama went on record the other day and said that military spending will need to be cut. I’m sure glad he’d rather give more to poor nations in the amount of 850,000,000,000 Billion than give to the men and women who choose to keep us safe and provide security for this country. Now that’s selfish!

  • Sylvia Bokor

    I doubt Senator Obama’s remark was a reference to Ayn Rand’s Virtue of Selfishness. Given the manner with which he made his remark, he is clearly ignorant that rational selfishness was shown to be a virtue about half a century ago.

    His ignorance of the virtue of selfishness is not surprising. Given his altruist/collectivist premises, it’s pretty clear that he holds the ancient views of Nietzsche: the brute walking over corpses, the malevolent dog-eat-dog notion long ago utterly debunked.

    Rational selfishness names a moral code of the highest order, requiring the strictest adherence to the values of reason, purpose and self-esteem, requiring uncompromising practice of the virtues of rationality, honesty, integrity, justice and independence, among others. In short, rational selfishness is, to paraphrase Miss Rand, the recognition that “only one’s own happiness is within one’s power to achieve.” Obama condemns this as wicked. No wonder he scoffs of the idea that selfishness is a virtue.

    As astonishing is Obama’s claim that socialism is not the practice of government confiscating the money of those who’ve earned it and giving it to those who have not. Every tract on socialism/communism cites the distribution of wealth as central to its doctrine. Obama surely knows this. After all, he studied under the Communist teacher Alensky and was said to have been a star pupil. On top of his ignorance, is Obama also a liar?

    Sylvia Bokor
    Albuquerque, NM

  • Bill Hedges

    Syvial–Yes he is a liaar,, by ommission… Except for a slip of the tongue, he would have never mentioned,,,,spread the wealth.

  • pig
  • Bill Hedges

    Pig– Add some lip stick and you would be perfect..Maybe McCain will follow Obama’s socialist ways. Ask the wrong question and you get banned. Or worse. News reporters have restrictions on hard hitting questios , thanks to the Flim Flam Man..

  • pig

    right on, i was referring to palin anyway

  • Bill Hedges

    Same thing.. Obama’s V.P. got a station banned as well.

  • Joe Alagna

    What happened in the 90s had nothing to do with how we were taxed as a country. What happened in the 90s also had little to do with the government.

    What happened in the 90s was that the Internet became real and started a new age and it created an economic boom.

    I’m tired of the Clintons and democrats trying to take credit for economic benefits of something that started in the 60s and then that fortunately came to commercial fruition in the 90s.

  • Deb

    For all the Obama people can you explain to me exactly what his tax plan is going to do? I found this site that compares their different policies and according to this Obama is going to repeal the Bush tax cuts, restoring higher rates on couples making $250,000 or more. Then he is going to institute a tax credit of $500 for individuals, $1000 for working families.
    I don’t see anything about actual tax cuts and $500 a year is less than $10 a week.


    This article says alot about what the McCain people have been saying all along. The wealthy already pay most of the taxes and if capital gains are going to go up then the rich will invest in other countries.


  • Deb

    We didn’t see this on MSM. If she had been a speech writter for McCain it would have been front page news.


  • “virtue out of selfishness”?

    Ok, really? First, know what selfishness really is: “concerned chiefly with one’s own interest.” – Oxford Modern English Dictionary. No ethical evaluation is present in that definition.

    The conventional thought on its meaning however, is:
    The irrational, undeserved focus on oneself over what is right and rational. Notably, people feel that being selfish is to harm his fellow man. An ethically charged definition.

    So, to that end, being selfish has been demonized and no one wants to be labeled selfish. And as the less conventional but growing voice of objectivists notes, “In fact it is against one’s own long-term self-interest to behave irrationally or trample others. Such actions are the exact opposite of selfish–they’re self-destructive.”- Ayn Rand. We all know someone that fits this bill and verifies this observation.

    But under the actual meaning, selfish is simply living for one’s own sake rather than for someone else’s. So there’s a healthy selfish and an unhealthy selfish. It is a rational self-interest and a healthy character and selfishness for anyone who aspires to gain value and values and it is certainly virtuous to earn and keep those values. It is an unhealthy self-destroying selfishness for anyone who aspires to gain value by taking and breaking down others’ value.

    So, who is selfish? Those supporting these “taxes” or those whom do not? Both (under the actual meaning) is the answer, because both those “for” and those “against” are concerned with their own interest – as it must be. It is a question of self-esteem health. Under the actual meaning of selfish, in the context of an American life of aspiration and hope, selfishness and rational self-interest is a virtue. It is the foundation of our way of life – each citizen’s pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.

    On the other hand, something is revealed about a person who will take without having earned it. He/She feels something is “owed” to him/her. It is a psychological weakness. Using the conventional wisdom about “selfish”, this is the question: whom is harming his fellow man more – the man with his hands out, or the man who’s hands are busy.

    A simple differentiator is: which serves a healthy and rational self-interest and self-esteem?

    And, if someone’s says, “well, it’s for the good of society”, or it’s “patriotic”. Other than the clear fear of increasing the number of low self-esteem self-destroying citizens, they should be asked but one question: Who decides who has “need” for money and who has the “ability” to pay? The government? Barrack Obama? Is it rational that need alone is a basis for reward? There ARE many examples of what happens when a society supports unearned rewards and unrewarded earns.

    So, finally, here are three questions to answer with (thanks John Galt):

    1. “Why is it immoral to produce a value and keep it, but moral to give it a way?”
    2. “If it is not moral to keep a value, why is it moral for others to accept it?”
    3. “If you are virtuous and selfless when you give it, are they not selfish and vicious when they take it?”

    Answering that third question; in today’s liberalist (and too many conservatives’) view anyway, the answer is NO. BECAUSE, they think, or someone else thinks, they “need” it. So, you are not selfish if you take when you need? And you are selfish if you keep when you earn? Check the definition again? You’ll find what can’t be – a contradiction. Check your premises and you’ll find one of them is wrong. The not so good answer, it is wished that we believe is: you are not selfish if you take what you need and you are if you keep what you earn. You are selfish if you produce extreme wealth and not if you take from it.

    One wonders… do enough individuals really feel they can no longer control their own possession of wealth or the lack thereof? Are we so dependant on law and policy that we’ll legislate personal wealth through it? Have so many given up on self-reliance and perseverance?

    Are there enough individuals left who will confront themselves enough to vote from their minds, from their grit, and from their determination?

    I hope, for the sake of my 3 young kids, the answer is yes. And I hope that from this winded text, some coherent message can be gleaned and that it can be retold, and with more impact, and to the betterment of decisions made on November 4th 2008.

    With all my mind (such as it is), Thomas

  • Bill Hedges

    Definition of selfish–Not giving cash to someone, paid for by increased taxes of rich, so they can buy a pizza and fill their car up with gas..,,,,.Does make guilt ridden voters feel ashamed and gains votes for Obama…No real help for poor. They were just used again. Where is Obama heart. $ 865 Billion to UNITED NATIONS. That will help the Ameerican poor. Increasing Natinal Debt will help poor ?

  • Obama is a hypocrite

    If Obama has a problem with “selfishness” he needs to sit down and have a serious talk with MOST of his followers, er, I mean supporters.

    I can’t count the number of times an Obama devotee cites as a reason for that person’s support as “Because Obama will do x,y, and z FOR ME.”

    They aren’t exactly concerned with the rest of the nation; only with themselves. If Obama is concerned with selfishness, he needs to do some housecleaning.

    And Deb, there are NO tax cuts. What Obama has done is cleverly disguise tax credits as tax cuts. When those Bush tax cuts expire, everyone’s taxes will go back up. The credits, I believe, are meant to offset the increase. BUT, will Congress create the credits Obama wants? And will they apply to your situation? I know for a fact, most will not apply to me (no kids, not in college, no mortgage).

    Finally, if you listen carefully (or read carefully) to the ads or pronouncements from the campaign, the income levels referred to are couched in these terms (at least the ones I have read or heard): For “families” making x income. NOT individuals.

    This is where the tax savings will come in. Because families typically have kids and probably a mortgage, they will get those credits.

  • DJS

    Joe..not only was all the success not because of Clinton but he had a congress where the republicans were majority. This was when Newt Gingrich was speaker of the house.

  • The faltering that occurred by the McCain campaign was the lack of focus on the top-level philosophical differention between himself and Obama. It would have made so much sense to explain how his life experience led to his philosophy and then briefly how that affects his policy mind-set (and his oppenent’s philosophy/policy.

    The focus on policy-only is backwards, easily mired, and too easy to argue —the policy is the effect and the philosophy is the cause. The philosophical grounds is so much more simple and though people generally shy from the word “philosophy”, they would have related to the clearly stated version– one way or another—guaranteed!

    Given the information available, it appears the only strong philosophy McCain identifies with is duty to country (for obvious reasons) and, like too many (libs AND repubs), self-sacrifice…instead of trading value. As She stated(Mrs. Rand), sacrifice is the exchange of something you do value for something you don’t. So, it is not a sacrifice to fight and die for your country. You value freedom over slavery. Anyway, the fact that he voted for the bailout bill, while being a republican, and announced that he’d like to nationalize mortgage industry (and probably car manufacturers), says he is without a strong actionable philosophy anyway…like most unfortunately.

  • Bill Hedges

    Thomas–You are right McCain ran a bad campaign. He could not compete with someone who would promise the moon. Democrat Congress has already gave money to Car manufactoriers. Is reason John gave up on that State. Without bail-out, all American would have suffered. Was not just a bail out of Wall Street. John would not raise taxes. History of depression says when they did that it put county in worse shape. I did not hear John was going to nationize mortgage industry. Did not hear he was going to do it for car manufacturers…His philosphy is simple. And exactlely what it has been for decades. Balance budget. No PORK BELLY SPENDING or he will veto. And spread the names of the pork adders over the news media. Freezs spening except for some. And cut waste.

  • Mr. Hedges,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I didn’t say he ran a bad campaign. Man I hope desperately that he wins, the alternative is…ugly. My comment was based on watching many news broadcasts and observing the back and forth bantering and manipulation of details and stipulations and perspectives and statistics from this angle or that… My suggestion was that any candidates’ governing style is largely determined by his life experiences and decisions during. Everyone gets a ‘sense of life’ from these experiences and from the results of their decisions. If anybody thought about it for a while they could develop their “philosophy” from their sense of life. This is extremely useful (even pertinent) to have, sense it can provide clear and quick direction to every decision. Like a roadmap. Your actions following your convictions. You know how someone will lead when you know what their philosophy about life is. And to be more clear, with real respect to you sir, “Balancing the budget” is not a philosophy. It is the effect of the philosophy. Being fiscally conservative is. Being state-government oriented is. Being small-fed-government is. The confusion with McCain (and his inferred philosophy and ability to state it) is why he suggested for the federal government to buy folks’ mortgages (what I call nationalized), and why he supported the economy bailout. As you know, there were many other better ways to correct the poor policy regarding the economy (I heard Newt Gingrich and many others capitalist/free market based techniques)

    It was simply my observation that we could have cut through all the rhetoric and policy-speak muck by stating both candidates’ philosophy about life. I believe that would have produced a clear and resounding difference that would have people running to the polls to vote for McCain/Palin.