January 26, 2008


McCain’s Fiscal Mantra Becomes Less Is More (DAVID LEONHARDT, 1/26/08, NY Times)

Senator John McCain said that, if elected, he would do what other presidents had tried but failed to do: cut government spending sharply enough to reduce the budget deficit while lowering taxes at the same time. [...]

He also said that he would consider resuscitating the work of a bipartisan tax-reform commission, appointed by Mr. Bush, whose 2005 report on simplifying the tax code was largely ignored by the administration. Using the process that has been used to close military bases, Mr. McCain said he would ask Congress to vote yes or no on an entire tax-simplification program. [...]

[He has] emphasized his role in helping to cut taxes and spending as “a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution.” Noting that he also later ran the Senate Commerce Committee, Mr. McCain said in the interview that he would feel no need to select a vice president with expertise in economic policy to balance his own foreign-policy experience.

He also pointed to a recent Wall Street Journal survey of economists, many of them from Wall Street firms, which found that he was easily their top choice for president. “I don’t need any extra help,” he said.

Mr. McCain described himself as being in the mold of Theodore Roosevelt, as a “free-enterprise, capitalist, full-bore guy” who nonetheless believes that the economy depends on government institutions “that need to do their job as well.”

Mr. McCain begins the story of his economic education in 1982, when the country was in recession and he was first elected to the House.

Once in Congress, he worked with Jack F. Kemp and Phil Gramm, two conservatives who were also in the House then, and Martin Feldstein, a Harvard economist who was an aide to President Ronald Reagan, to pass tax cuts and spending restraints. Mr. McCain said that Mr. Gramm — “a guy who taught economics for 12 years at Texas A&M” and who has endorsed Mr. McCain — had been an especially important mentor.

“Those were my formative years,” Mr. McCain said. “We went from those abysmal situations when he came to office in 1981,” he said, referring to Reagan, “to a long period of economic growth and prosperity.”

Chuck Norris thinks it's a negative that Maverick is old enough to have helped lead the Reagan Revolution.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 26, 2008 8:31 AM

Alas. Chuck Norris isn't Ranger Walker.

Posted by: erp at January 26, 2008 9:57 AM