TNR examines John McCain’s speech on the economy today and finds that with his new proposals (a massive corporate tax cut and a doubling of the dependent exemption), he is hitting new heights in tax cut fetishizing.
McCain is now up to about $280 billion per year in tax cuts, far more than the Bush tax cuts in their first 10 years. (His campaign gets a lower number only by claiming that his corporate expensing proposal costs nothing over the long term. This is not a serious argument. A CBO report signed by McCain advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin shows otherwise.) Against these $280 billion in costs, McCain has still proposed to cut not a single specific discretionary program and not a single specific tax expenditure. His ballyhooed plan to hike prescription drug premiums will save $1 billion per year, again according to CBO. Just $279 billion to go.
Remember, John McCain is pushing all these tax cuts while also proposing an open-ended commitment to the Iraq War. How he plans on doing that without exploding the deficit is anybody’s guess.