Excerpt from An Interview with Senator McCain by Larry Kudlow
McCain: Well, I try to talk about them more often. A lot of the people that come, frankly, are people that are having trouble staying in their homes, keeping their jobs, etcetera. But I think it goes back to all this business of Sen. Obama’s view of “fairness.” When Charlie Gibson said, why would you want to raise capital-gains taxes when you know it will decrease revenue? And he said in “fairness.” And he told Joe the Plumber — Joe the Plumber got the message through better, what we’ve been trying to do this whole campaign. [Obama] wants to “spread the wealth around.” That takes from the investor class. That takes money from one group of Americans and gives it to another.
Now that signal has been very clear. And I think people ought to pay attention to it, because it’s been tried before in other countries, and policies of other left-liberal administrations. It doesn’t work, and it’s bad for America. We want to encourage the investor class, and that means capital-gains and dividend taxes are low.
Kudlow: You’ve just unveiled a new tax cut on capital gains. Can you tell us about that? Because in some sense, that’s probably the most important investor class tax.
McCain: It’s the most important in many respects, Larry, and we want it low and we want it lowered. Every time — there’s one tax that there’s no argument about, that every time it’s been lowered since Jack Kennedy, we have seen an increase in revenues. Now, why anybody would argue, as Sen. Obama does, that we need to raise it, even if it’s — of course, the amount needed to raise it is varied with whatever poll he’s taken — but the point is that we want to lower it and keep it low and encourage investment, especially now in America in these difficult times.
Kudlow: But senator, what is — the current law rate is 15 percent.
McCain: Yeah, yeah.
Kudlow: You’re taking the cap-gains rate down to what?
McCain: First down to 10 percent, I would like to see it, and gradually even make it lower. Look, why should we tax people’s gains twice? Why should we tax them twice, okay? They make an investment, they should be able to get their returns on their investment. And capital gains is obviously — low capital-gains tax is probably the greatest incentive for investment that we have in America today. And so, look, I’ll be glad to listen to smart people like you, Larry, but the worst thing we can do is tell people we’re going to raise it, and that, obviously, would chill investment in America, right?