Monday, February 18, 2008

The Truth About McCain's Economic Record

“There are certainly aspects of McCain’s economic record that are praiseworthy,” Mr. Toomey continued, “but the question facing American taxpayers is whether they can sufficiently trust a McCain administration to produce consistently strong economic policies. Unfortunately, both his rhetoric and record suggest that the answer is no.”

I have no desire to distort or embellish the flaws in McCain's conservative record. On the other hand I'm also not going to sit back and let history (that I lived) be rewritten.

Much has been made about the REASON why McCain voted against Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Here are my thoughts on and the facts about it:
#1--The reason doesn't necessarily even matter to me. If you believe in supply side economics you will always be for tax cuts because they stimulate the economy and bring in more revenue not less.

#2--The reasons have been falsely attributed to the fact that McCain was protesting the fact that there was too much spending. Thats what John McCain would like to spin it as now but HIS OWN WORDS from 2001 & 2003 tell a different story.

#3--McCain's own words on why he was against the tax cut in 2001:
"I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief."

In 2003:
"The tax cut is not appropriate until we find out the cost of the war and the cost of reconstruction."

#4--Not only is the liberal tactic of class warfare disturbing but the fact that he comes up with 2 DIFFERENT REASONS for being opposed to the tax cuts is also alarming.

The Club for Growth, which specializes in Conservative views on Economic issues has done extensive research on John McCain's Economic record. While they give him praise on spending, school choice and free trade the rest of his record leaves much cause for concern. Below is their summation of his economic record:
"While John McCain can easily point to a handful of pro-growth votes over his twenty-four years in Congress, a deeper look at Senator McCain's record and rhetoric, especially in recent years, ought to give American taxpayers a long and hard pause.

To give credit where it's due, John McCain's record on spending, school choice, and free trade is extremely positive. His go-it-alone moralism sometimes results in pro-growth policies, as is the case in his anti-pork crusades. However, this moralism often manifests itself in the form of more government, less freedom, and a distrust of the individual and the free market system. This is dramatically the case in his opposition to the Bush tax cuts, his class-warfare rhetoric, his occasional support for large-scale increased government regulation, his willingness to raise Social Security taxes, and of course, his abysmal record on political free speech.

Senator McCain's outspoken pursuit of anti-growth and anti-free-market policies in the realms of taxes, regulation, and campaign finance reveals a philosophical ambivalence, if not hostility, about limited government and personal freedom. This ambivalence, combined with a rebellious nature, often leaves taxpayers the victims of his latest cause célèbre. Despite his positive votes-and there are several-his negative positions have tainted, perhaps beyond repair, the positive ones over his twenty-four years in Congress. The evidence of his record and the virulence of his rhetoric suggest that American taxpayers cannot expect consistently strong economic policies from a McCain administration."

To be honest I had no desire to rehash all of this but I can't sit back while others try to tell me what a great conservative McCain is. While I agree that he is probably the lesser of 2 evils I'm not going to be told that he is this stellar conservative and that because I'm "irrational" I just am unable to see it. My eyes have been wide open these past 8 years and I watched in vivid color while McCain made the decisions that he did, all while knowing he was going to run for President.

I am not happy about the split McCain's nomination is causing in the Republican party. Yet, as Rivka and I have discussed the more we are criticized for not enthusiastically jumping on the McCain bandwagon the further alienated we become from McCain. As David Limbaugh has pointed out, criticizing conservatives is no way to rally them to your side. I'll leave you with some of his words:
"Given the aggressiveness of McCain's soldiers, I'm thinking they are not as interested in a rapprochement with Reagan conservatives as they are in taking over the party from them.

If they were seeking reunification, would they be making their attacks personal? Would they be suggesting that those not-yet-warm to John are afflicted with "McCain derangement syndrome?" Would they be salivating over their delusional fantasy that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham are losing their influence?

You'd think they'd think twice before hurling invectives toward the very base of the Republican Party, whose support in the general election is indispensable to McCain.

Not to worry, say the McCainiac lieutenants. "We're not directing our fire at the base. We're just criticizing its self-appointed spokesmen: Rush, Sean, Mark, Laura, and assorted winger pundits. Those fire-breathing loudmouths don't represent the base, but only a 'very conservative' group, which is statistically insignificant."

McCainiac elitists should be careful not to discount the depth and breadth of the angst out there against this ongoing abandonment of conservative principles under the Republican umbrella. It's not just Rush, Sean, Mark, and Laura.

If they could see my e-mails alone, they'd be shocked. Just think of what the others are receiving. To be sure, I'm receiving plenty from people chiding me — after misreading my columns — for refusing to support McCain and thereby facilitating the election of Hillary or Obama and all that entails.

Let me say it again, more directly: I will support McCain if he's the nominee. So please quit putting words in my mouth. I won't, however, stop trying to make him accountable to the base and to pull him to the right.

But it doesn't appear McCain's henchmen will be satisfied with the mere support of the base. And they darn sure won't cotton to our efforts to keep McCain from straying further to the left.

No, what we are witnessing is a resurrection of the historical GOP turf war between the Reagan conservatives and the disgruntled Rockefeller moderates. This neo-Rockefeller branch of the GOP sees this moment, McCain's inevitable nomination, albeit by default, and the politically confused state of evangelicals under the tutelage of Mike Huckabee, as an opportunity finally to retake the GOP from the Reagan conservatives.

Think of it as "GOP rearrangement syndrome." And their strong support of the war has given them a narrative around which to forge their new coalition — as if they have a monopoly on hawkishness."

"This is just a humble suggestion, but perhaps John McCain should be less exercised about the recalcitrance of traditional conservatives to his liberal meanderings. Instead, he should worry about the silent coup being orchestrated in his name, as if his default ascension gives him some kind of McMandate to restructure the party. He should stop and consider whether he is being used to usher in a paradigm shift in the conservative movement and the Republican Party."

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