THE BASIS POINT

McCain: I Have An Economic Plan, It’s Good (part 2)

As we’ve previously discussed, John McCain’s economic plans are inconsistent. Or to be more direct, McCain’s economic plans consist of pure flip-floppery and stump speech populism. In an election where the economy is at the top of every voter’s list of concerns, every voter should make sure they hear him speak about economic policy at least twice. Then they’ll know that his message is different almost every time.

For the latest example of McCain’s flip-flopping, here is the Huffington Post’s analysis of McCain’s economic proposals which includes how he’s seen from from both sides of the political spectrum:

This week’s [economic proposal from McCain] came in the form of a plan for increased job training for workers hit hard by the economic downturn — precisely the same idea the RNC blasted Democrats for talking about three weeks ago:

“Obama and Clinton’s economic plans are what you expect from two senators who think that big government is the solution for just about every problem. Obama and Clinton’s plans for more taxes, spending and regulations will lead to fewer homeowners and jobs.”

Compare that to an excerpt from McCain’s economic speech in Chicago on Monday:

“We have to help displaced workers at every turn on a tough road, so that they are not just spectators on the opportunities of others. And I have made that commitment with reforms to expand and improve federal aid to American workers in need.”

Not that this is saying anything at all nor committing to any specific policy, it just rings alarm bells about McCain’s propensity to say whatever he needs to say to appease his crowd at a given time. But when we talk about actual policy proposals, his tax proposals are especially concerning:

While proposing tax cuts twice as deep as those signed by President Bush, not only has McCain failed to explain how he’ll pay for them, he’s now also proposing new spending: a Republican heresy he surely would have blasted only a year ago, and which experts say would lead to an even bigger deficit.

The last time McCain was asked to explain how he would pay for one of his economic proposals, George Stephanopoulos asked him how he’d pay for his proposed summertime gas tax holiday. McCain said: “Look, I’ll find you $100 billion tomorrow.” During that same interview, McCain also laid out his economic plan: “I have an economic plan. It’s good.” See for yourself, this is not a joke. Nor is this election.

The Basis Point editor supports Obama. Some of The Basis Point’s regular contributors support McCain.