ThinkProgress.org: On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, host Joe Scarborough pressed Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) top economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, on McCain’s infamous flip-flop on the Bush tax cuts. Scarborough noted that McCain’s current position is “that we couldn’t afford tax cuts in 2001 because of deficits, but we can afford them now.” “Can we afford to extend George W. Bush’s tax cuts?” he asked.Holtz-Eakin filibustered, claiming that “McCain has a plan to bring the budget into balance by 2013.” After Scarborough repeated his question five times, Holtz-Eakin finally relented, saying, “Yes.” Scarborough then pointed out the absurdity of McCain’s changing position from 2001 to 2008:
SCARBOROUGH: You’re saying we can afford, just a yes or no, we can afford to extend George W. Bush’s tax cuts?HOLTZ-EAKIN: Yes.SCARBOROUGH: Ok. But in 2001, when Sen. McCain voted against George Bush’s tax cuts, he said we couldn’t afford it because it would create a deficit. In 2001, we had a 155 billion dollar surplus. This year, in 2008, when he now supports the tax cuts, as you know, we are moving towards a 300 billion dollar deficit. How can we afford tax cuts in 2008 with 300 billion dollar deficit that John McCain said we couldn’t afford in 2001 when we had 155 billion dollar surplus?
Beyond a blanket promise to “control spending,” Holtz-Eakin could not explain how McCain’s budget could afford the tax cuts. Watch it:
The reason Holtz-Eakin refused to explain how McCain would “balance the budget” while extending and enhancing the Bush tax cuts is simple: He can’t do it.
McCain has claimed that he can pay for his massive tax cuts by either cutting $100 billion a year in earmarks or $100 billion in overall spending. But the Washington Post’s Fact Checker calls this “voodoo economics” ...
An analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund has determined that McCain’s fiscal proposals “would create deficits as deep as 5.7% of GDP by the end of a two term presidency — the highest federal budget deficit in 25 years.”Transcript: Read the rest of this entry.