John McCain cannot be trusted to balance the budget.
John McCain has tried to portray himself as someone who can be trusted to balance the budget. The truth is, during his time in Washington, McCain has repeatedly voted to protect President Bush's budget-busting tax cuts, which have added trillions of dollars to our nation's debt for the next generation of Americans to pay off.
Now on the campaign trail, in his desperation to shore up his support with right wing Republicans, John McCain has promised to make those tax cuts permanent and proposed huge new tax cuts. McCain refuses to say how he would pay for those tax cuts at the same time he wages a war without end in Iraq. According to budget estimates, the cost of continuing the war and making the Bush tax cuts permanent is $6.3 trillion. Instead, McCain talks only of cutting earmarks, which account for less than 4 percent of the deficit and just six weeks of spending on the war in Iraq. [Senate Budget Committee Fact Sheet, 1/24/08; Editorial, USA Today, 2/5/2008]
That sure doesn't sound like fiscal responsibility. McCain himself has admitted he doesn't understand economics, and apparently he doesn't understand math either.
Cost of "Four More Years" Placed At $6.3 TRILLION. Yesterday's CBO "January Budget and Economic Outlook" showed continued deterioration in the budget outlook with the projected 2008 deficit growing to $219 billion. But as bad as the budget situation has become under the current Republican Administration, continuation of the Republican policies by any of the Republicans on stage tonight will only make things worse. The majority staff of the Senate Budget Committee estimates that funding Republican priorities like making the Bush tax cuts permanent and funding ongoing - and perhaps permanent - operations in Iraq will add $6.3 trillion to the CBO's already dismal ten-year predictions. [http://budget.senate.gov/democratic/documents/2008/cbojanupdatefactsheet2008.pdf ]
McCain Admits He "Doesn't Really Understand Economics." At a recent meeting with the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Republican presidential candidate John McCain admitted he "doesn't really understand economics" and then pointed to his adviser and former senate colleague, Phil Gramm - whom he had brought with him to the meeting - as the expert he turns to on the subject, the Huffington Post has learned. [Huffington Post, 1/21/2008]
Earmarks Less That 4% of Deficit. "If Congress eliminated every earmark approved last year -- $15.3 billion worth -- it would cut 0.5% of federal spending and less than 4% from the deficit. That grand gesture would pay for what the nation spends in Iraq in just six weeks. In the pie chart of federal spending, earmarks don't even merit a slice. Don't get us wrong. Earmarks can be pernicious, and they should be slashed. ... For a decade, most of it on Bush's watch, the Republican-controlled Congress pushed the number of earmarks to new heights. They were often secretly slipped into bills and, at their worst, contributed to some of Congress' sleaziest scandals. Only recently, under public pressure, has the Democratic-controlled House forced sponsors to disclose all key details of their earmarks publicly." [Editorial, USA Today, 2/5/2008]
The new test-marketed John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain?
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