McCain’s Tax Plan: You Call That “Conservative”?

August 20th, 2008

I pointed out recently the horrific rise in the federal debt caused by the much-ballyhooed Reagan Revolution (with only a brief respite under Clinton)—a debt built on the apparent belief among so-called conservatives that we can borrow and spend our way to prosperity.

It went from 34% of GDP in 1980 to nearly 70% today.

McCain doesn’t just want to continue that decades-long decline. The man who Republicans want as president wants to hit the accelerator on the way off the cliff.

Projected Annual Federal Tax Revenues as  % of GDP 2009–2013
Tax Policy Center Figures (PDF)

Per Stump Speeches

Per Campaign Staff

Obama

18.5

18.3

McCain

16.0

17.6

For reference, federal taxes have been hovering around 18% of GDP for decades. That has not been sufficient to fund the government that we’ve chosen. (Remember: every prosperous, advanced democracy besides Japan and Korea taxes far more than we do, with economic growth equal to ours.)

Point number one: McCain is talking out of both sides of his face. (Or his staff is talking out of one side for him.) Which is he actually proposing or promising—16%, or 17.6%?

That 1.6% may not sound like much. Just a little semantic difference. But $228 billion in additional debt—every year—definitely does. $350 billion—the difference between McCain’s (stump speech) plan and Obama’sreally does.

That’s what he’s standing up there and promising—to further indebt and impoverish our children and great grandchildren.

How do these people dare to call themselves conservatives?

Hat tip to DonPedro at Economists for Obama for highlighting these stats the latest TPC report.

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