|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, spoke at length about those economic hardships and suggested he might well break with the economic policies of President Bush and former President Ronald Reagan. “It will not be enough to simply dust off the economic policies of four, eight or 28 years ago,” he said in the speech, at Carnegie Mellon University. “We have our own work to do.”
But a major component of his economic plan — like those of Presidents Bush and Reagan — centered on tax cuts. Besides making the Bush income tax cuts permanent and reducing corporate taxes to 25 percent from 35 percent, Mr. McCain called for eliminating the alternative minimum tax and doubling the value of exemptions for dependents to $7,000 from $3,500, among other recommendations. He also proposed giving taxpayers the option of filing a simpler, shorter tax form each year than is available now.
Mr. McCain even called for cutting one tax before the Republican National Convention, let alone the election: he urged Congress to suspend the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gas tax from this Memorial Day until Labor Day. He said doing so would provide “an immediate economic stimulus,” but such plans have gained little traction recently in Congress, and some environmentalists fear such a cut would encourage more people to use their cars at a time when Mr. McCain has made combating global warming a central theme of his campaign.
The McCain campaign put the cost of his tax cuts at roughly $200 billion a year, but its estimate did not include the cost of making the Bush tax cuts permanent, which would more than double that figure.
The campaign said it would offset the lost $200 billion by eliminating from the federal budget earmarked pork-barrel projects; putting a one-year freeze on discretionary spending in most federal agencies, later eliminating wasteful programs; broadening the tax base by eliminating loopholes; and spurring economic growth. But its estimate of how much could be saved with such measures was far higher than those of some other independent budget analysts.