McCain on His Economic Plan – So Many Lies, So Little Time

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review interviews a Republican who makes Dick Cheney look honest by comparison:

And I am convinced, and by the way we have five Nobel Laureates and 200, 300 economists who think that we have a viable proposal that has to do with job creation, that has to do with keeping taxes low, with health — affordable and available health care, and to making sure that our economy can recover in a robust fashion. Spending in my view is the major contributor to a lot of the economic difficulties we have today. We have allowed spending to get completely out of control. The size of spending has increased by some 40 percent, the greatest increase in “discretionary spending.” The greatest increase in size of government since the Great Society.

Increases in nominal spending maybe but the ratio of Federal spending to GDP has not increased nearly as much. Incidentally, McCain suckered those 300 economists to sign something stupid before his released his plan. Some of them are now rejecting key elements of the plan and yet McCain says they agree with it? Incredibly dishonest!

But here’s a whopper I’ve heard from others:

We are watching probably the greatest transfer of wealth perhaps in history from the United States of America to the Middle East and other oil producing countries, $(400) or $500 billion.

No, no, no – trades are not transfers of wealth. No one is forcing us to purchase this oil. Of course, McCain doesn’t exactly have a magic wand to induce us to buy less. But the biggest whoppers came when he was asked about Social Security:

One, do a better job than has been done in the past of convincing people that it’s broken. I think you can do that with one chart that shows how much money is going out and how much is coming in, and when there’s more going out than coming in and when there’s no money left.

For the past 25 years, Social Security has been running surpluses and we’ll see surpluses for another decade or so. OK – someday we’ll see negative cash flows which will mean that the circa $8 trillion in reserves will start declining over time. But McCain is arguing there’ll be no money left. That’s a lie. But notice that after he said all proposals are on the table, we got this:

Trib: Do you favor raising the cap?
McCain: Pardon me?
Trib: Do you favor raising the cap?
McCain: No, and I think by doing so, as Sen. Obama wants to do, you are obviously putting a very, very big increased tax on … middle income Americans who filing jointly and in other ways will be paying a very big increase.

I guess that one’s not on the table. Odd – people making over $200,000 a year are middle Americans. But I guess the backdoor employment tax increase inherent in the GOP strategy – cutting Social Security benefits but not cutting payroll taxes, which means that our payroll contributions get diverted to employment taxes – only affects people who aren’t middle Americans. You know – the peons who make less than a $100,000 a year. I do declare – John McCain is an elitist (as well as a liar)!