ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) – Barack Obama hit back against the McCain campaign’s accusation that his tax cut proposal amounted to “socialism” and “welfare” and said the Republican nominee was ignoring the needs of America’s middle class.
‘John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people ‘welfare,’” Obama told a massive crowd under the infamous St. Louis arch. “The only ‘welfare’ in this campaign is John McCain’s plan to give another $200 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest corporations in America.”
“George Bush and John McCain are out of ideas, they are out of touch, and if you stand with me in 17 days they’ll be out of time,” Obama added to wild applause.
John McCain asserts Obama’s tax plan is tantamount to welfare because he says it would give tax cuts to those who do not pay federal income tax.
“It only goes to people who work and who are already getting taxed on their paycheck. Let me repeat this I’m not giving tax cuts to folks who don’t work, I’m giving tax cuts to people who do work.” Obama said.
Both McCain and his running mate Governor Sarah Palin have called Obama’s tax plan “socialist” because it includes an increase for those earning over $250,000. The Democratic nominee has not been shy about saying those who make more money can afford to help out those who do not. The McCain campaign seized on Obama’s comment to Ohio voter Joe Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” that he wanted to “spread the wealth” around and even out the economic playing field.
“We need new priorities in Washington. I think it’s time to give a tax cut to the teachers and the janitors who work in our schools; to the cops and firefighters who keep us safe; to the waitresses working double shifts, the nurses in the ER, and yes the plumbers fighting for their American Dream,” Obama said. “While Senator McCain ignores the payroll taxes you pay to score a few political points, I’ll put a tax cut into the pockets of working people so they can pay the bills, put away some savings, and pass on a brighter future to your children.”