Sen. McCain Laments "Plight Of The People" While Peddling Tax Cuts To Help Corporations Buy Yachts

November 09, 2011 3:19 pm ET — Jamison Foser

Sen. John McCain

Last week, amid growing public outrage over a political-economic system increasingly rigged in favor millionaires and billionaires, millionaire Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lied about his tax plan, falsely claiming he isn't proposing tax cuts for the rich. Yesterday, as voters in Ohio were striking down a "central goal of the conservative economic and ideological agenda," another GOP leader showed signs that the Occupy Wall Street movement has the party running scared:

Senator John McCain predicted on Tuesday a third political party will emerge in response to Americans' economic frustrations. [...]

"Unless both parties change, then I think that it's an inevitability. We aren't doing anything for the people," McCain said in blunt remarks at the Reuters Washington Summit.

Americans, he said, are frustrated by sluggish economic growth that has depleted their incomes while corporate executives take in massive salary bonuses. [...]

As for his own party, McCain expressed frustration that Republicans have not concentrated enough on the concerns of Americans struggling to make ends meet.

"The party, I think, has got to be a lot more responsive to the plight of the people," said McCain, who lost the presidential race to Barack Obama three years ago this month.

"I think we have to weigh in far more heavily on the side of things like reforming the tax code. If we reform the tax code, then many of these large corporations that paid no taxes last year ... maybe they would."

McCain hasn't always been so concerned about the "plight of the people": In 2006, the Arizona senator questioned the work ethic of a union audience. Unfortunately, McCain's newfound love for the common people hasn't yet influenced his policy preferences:

Even if it only spurred buying of yachts and private jets, an overseas profit repatriation tax holiday would give a worthwhile boost to the U.S. economy, Republican Senator John McCain said on Tuesday. [...]

"If you brought $1.5 trillion back to the United States of America, it's bound to have some positive effect somewhere," he said at the Reuters Washington Summit. "I don't see how it would not. Even if they buy more yachts and ... corporate jets and all that, it's bound to have some effect."

While McCain wants to give billions of dollars in tax breaks to big companies so they can buy yachts and corporate jets, he has repeatedly voted against unemployment benefits and jobs bills that would help people whose shopping agendas are quite a bit more modest — things like food and clothes and medicine. That kind of trickle-down economics might make sense to a senator who is so rich he can't even remember how many houses he owns, but most people know it's precisely the approach that has led to a handful of the richest Americans cruising along in yachts while the rest of the country desperately clings to driftwood in a frantic attempt to stay afloat.