Bush Tax Cuts

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There were few areas where John McCain opposed President Bush and Washington Republicans as visibly as his opposition to the Bush-Cheney tax policies. He spoke against them in his 2000 campaign, saying they were unfair to the middle class. He said they would balloon the deficit, and he condemned budget-busting tax cuts during wartime. On the campaign trail, he waffles on whether to repeal the estate tax, adopts trickle-down talking points, and takes both side of the controversial "Fair Tax." John McCain is no maverick on taxes, he's a middle class nightmare.


McCain Switched on Tax Fairness

2001: McCain Said Bush Tax Cuts Benefit the Wealthy At The Expense Of The Middle Class. In 2001, McCain was one of only two Senate Republicans to vote against President Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut, according to the AP. He said the measure cut tax rates for the wealthy "at the expense of middle-class Americans." [1]

2007: McCain Trades Fairness for Politics. McCain Has Vowed To Make Bush's Tax Cuts Permanent. In his quest for the 2008 Republican nomination, McCain has promised, "I will not let the Democrats roll back the Bush tax cuts." McCain's economic plan would "make the Bush income and investment tax cuts permanent." [2]

McCain Went Soft On Fiscal Discipline

Description: McCain: No Change

Posted: March 7, 2008

URL: YouTube

2003: McCain Said Tax Cuts Would "Lower the National Income" and Worsen the Deficit. When Senator McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts in 2003, he wrote a letter to the President saying "We should be concerned about deficits, Mr. President. They limit economic expansion by reducing the amount of national savings available for investment. This raises both interest rates and interest payments on the national debt. Deficits constrain our ability to respond effectively to unanticipated fiscal events. If we do not reduce them, projected long term deficits will reach dangerous levels, lowering the national income and standards of living for future American generations. That said, Mr. President, I would still be open, at some point, to proposals to stimulate the economy with tax cuts. But not now. We should, Mr. President, take a pause in our efforts to increase spending on non-defense needs and to reduce taxes." [3]

2007: Fiscal Discipline Gives Way to Reckless Theories: McCain Now Says Tax Cuts Increase Revenue. Asked if he might consider a tax increase as part of a compromise for entitlements or tax simplification, Senator McCain responded "No. None. None. Tax cuts, starting with Kennedy, as we all know, increase revenues. So what's the argument for increasing taxes? If you get the opposite effect out of tax cuts?" [4]

McCain Gives Up On Wartime Sacrifice

2004: McCain Opposed Cutting Taxes During Wartime. "Senator McCain, who spent five years in a North Vietnamese prison, excoriated fellow Republican for pushing more tax cuts while U.S. troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. ‘Throughout our history, wartime has been a time of sacrifice…What have we sacrificed?' McCain said. ‘As mind-boggling as expanding Medicare has been, nothing tops my confusion for cutting taxes during wartime. I don't remember ever in the history of warfare when we cut taxes.'" [5]

2007: Proposes Unlimited Presence In Iraq Despite Huge Deficits. Cost of Current Obligation Outstrips All Other Proposals. McCain interrupted a voter during a townhall meeting in New Hampshire telling him we should "make it a hundred" years in Iraq and "that would be fine with me." After the townhall meeting, he told a reporter "that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for 'a thousand years' or 'a million years,' as far as he was concerned."[6] The cost of the current actions in Iraq has boomed from $50 billion to $1.2 trillion. Enough to pay for universal health care, universal preschool and implementing every recommendation of the 9/11 commission, and still have more than $50 billion left. [7]

The Old John McCain Was Right!

Bush Economic Policy Increased Deficit, Hurt The Economy. The Bush tax cuts have created larger budget deficits, increased government borrowing, and put upward pressure on current interest rates. Analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and independent tax analysts all conclude that the negative economic impacts of increased federal deficits far outweigh any positive economic impact of the tax cuts, leading to reduced real economic activity and employment over the long run. [8]

Related Articles


  1. ^ [AP, 5/26/01]
  2. ^ [AP, 10/10/07; John McCain For President Campaign Press Release, "John McCain Unveils Economic Plan: Bold Solutions For American Prosperity," 12/18/07]
  3. ^ [McCain Release, March 18, 2003]
  4. ^ [The National Review, 3/5/07]
  5. ^ [AP, 5/19/04]
  6. ^ [McCain Derry, NH townhall meeting , 1/3/08; motherjones.com , 1/3/08]
  7. ^ [New York Times, 1/17/2007]
  8. ^ [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Claim That Tax Cuts "Pay For Themselves" Is Too Good To Be True, July 27, 2006.]