At a town hall meeting at Michigan State University in 2000, John McCain defended progressive taxation against a student who criticized it. Excerpts:
I think your question — questioning the fundamentals of a progressive tax system where people who make more money pay more in taxes than a flat, across-the-board percentage. I think it’s to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more.
...But I believe that when you really look at the tax code today, the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do when you just look at the percentages. And I think middle-income Americans, working Americans, when the account and payroll taxes, sales taxes, mortgage pay — all of the taxes that working Americans pay, I think they — you would think that they also deserve significant relief, in my view…
...So, look, here’s what I really believe, that when you are — reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.
...But I think the debate in this country is more about tax cuts rather than anything else. And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they’re the ones that I would support tax cuts for first.
So not too long ago, John McCain supported the very concept that he vehemently condemns as "socialist" now that his opponent Barack Obama advocates it. McCain has made a remarkable journey over the past eight years, from doctrinaire Marxist to Republican presidential candidate.