The McCain campaign apparently has a new theme this week: attacking Obama for wanting to “spread the wealth.” But it is not clear what that really means. Many Republicans have bitterly opposed the federal income tax since the 16th amendment was passed in 1913. Is McCain going to repeal the federal income tax? If so, how does he plan to finance the government? Or does he mean that the difference between the top rate of 39.6% under Bill Clinton and the top rate of 36% under George Bush is the difference between communism and capitalism? The purpose of the progressive federal income tax is to spread the wealth. That Democrats have supported a progressive income tax for decades is hardly news. Does McCain want to keep the tax but make it a flat tax (a la Steve Forbes)? No word on this. It seems this is just another desperate attempt to attack Obama rather than being a serious policy proposal for tax reform and it comes awfully late in the game. If McCain wanted to run on a platform of a flat tax, he certainly has had the opportunity, but until now he didn’t bring up the subject.