Joe Biden has always been a gaffe machine, said David Harsanyi in The Denver Post, but he has just “unleashed the most absurd remark of his career.” To justify squeezing wealthier Americans with higher taxes, the Democratic vice presidential nominee said paying taxes is “patriotic.” Talk about “crass election-time populism.”

“Actually,” said Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic online, “the idea that paying more taxes during war is an act of patriotism has quite a long and distinguished history in this country.” Franklin Roosevelt proposed effectively capping income at about $300,000 in today’s dollars to finance World War II.

Honestly, said Robert Frank in The Wall Street Journal online. Nobody pays taxes out of patriotism. They do it because they have to. One could argue that Barack Obama will make the tax code more fair by demanding more from those who reap more benefits from America’s prosperity, but Biden is mixing “dire issues of economics with fuzzy flag-waving, feel-good politics.”