McCain on Reagan’s Tax Cuts

Jonathan Weisman documents how McCain has flip-flopped a lot on fiscal policy. I thought this one was interesting:

In December 1994, after his party swept to control of Congress on tax-cut promises, he challenged Ronald Reagan’s legacy when he warned, “I think we would be making a terrible mistake to go back to the ’80s, where we cut all of those taxes and all of a sudden now we’ve got a debt that we’ve got to pay on an annual basis that is bigger than the amount that we spend on defense.”

Now that was a principled statement but isn’t he currently proposing to go back to Reagan’s spend&spend and borrow&borrow fiscal policy? Alas, the dumbest comment comes from Douglas Holtz-Eaton:

“He’s looking forward, not back,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s senior policy adviser.

Looking forward, my crystal ball sees an ever rising Federal debt to GDP ratio. In other words, McCain and Holtz-Eakin are shamefully proposing an unsustainable fiscal policy.

Update: Brad DeLong read this part more carefully than I did:

To supporters, McCain has simply seen the light and now understands the power that business tax relief has to spur economic growth and innovation. Said J.D. Foster, a former Bush White House and Treasury tax policy expert, now at the Heritage Foundation: “It’s logical that he wouldn’t be repeating the arguments he made then. We all learn from experience.”

Brad notes:

First time I have ever seen anybody describe J.D. Foster as a tax policy “expert.” Lobbyist, yes. Apparatchik, yes. Ideologue, yes. But expert?

In case you are wondering, here’s the Heritage Foundation bio for J D. Foster.