Saturday, July 26


Progress Report - The Tax Policy Center released a report finding large disparities between Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) public economic proposals and his advisers' private assurances. After comparing McCain's public economic policies with the "measured options outlined by his campaign," the center concluded that McCain's public proposals "would cost an additional $2.8 trillion over ten years" above what the campaign's stated policies would cost. Responding to the report, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's senior economic adviser, argued that the proposals McCain makes in town halls do not constitute official policy. But the differences between McCain's rhetoric and his policies are stark. While McCain's advisers suggest that the senator would "patch" the alternative minimum tax, McCain promises to completely repeal it. While McCain publicly advertises a broad expansion "of expensing investments," his economic consultants privately assure budget analysts that the senator would allow expensing for "only to three-and five-year equipment and only on a temporary basis." Overall, McCain's public economic pronouncements suggest that a McCain administration would provide even larger tax cuts for the richest Americans, increase the national debt, and reduce access to health insurance. McCain "is making diametrically opposed policy promises to different audiences at the same time," Robert Gordon and James Kvaal of the Center for American Progress observed recently.

The Tax Policy Center analysis concludes that McCain's health care proposal would cost $1.3 trillion over 10 years and eventually force every household to pay higher taxes on their health insurance. McCain's plan would undermine employer-based coverage and leave 55 million Americans without any kind of health insurance. According to the report, by 2013, 16 million Americans would lose the health benefits they get from employers.


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