Monday, May 05, 2008

"Hey, Big Spender!"

McCain's Spending — In Perspective

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, May 02, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Election '08: The latest media myth says John McCain is as big a spender as his Democratic rivals — except, unlike them, he's hypocritical about it. In fact, a Democratic president would spend many times as much.

Because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are still pummeling one another for the Democratic nomination, the electorate has yet to focus on the cost of the big spending items that the eventual Democratic nominee intends to enact as president.

At the same time, the strangest thing has started to happen in the coverage of the race between John McCain and his liberal opponents: Mr. Anti-Earmarks is being accused of not practicing what he preaches.

The McCain campaign is accused of having its own goodie bag of promises that would bust the federal budget. So where does the presumptive GOP nominee get off blasting Obama and Hillary for their spendthrift habits?

Truth is, we're comparing a guppy to a whale. The nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union has compared spending proposals of the various candidates and found that while McCain's proposals for new federal outlays come in at under $7 billion a year, Clinton's total exceeds $226 billion and Obama's tops $307 billion.

McCain's ideas include spending $5.4 billion over three years for elementary and high school scholarships for disadvantaged children, $280 million over five years to let families buy health insurance across state lines, and $5 million over five years for development of electric auto batteries.

His replacement of the tax exemption for employer-provided health insurance with a $2,500 annual tax credit for individuals and $5,000 for families, which they can use to buy their own coverage, is estimated to cost $10 billion a year. Reduced Medicare and Medicaid costs and malpractice reform should offset that revenue loss.

In the context of today's monster federal budget, this amounts to so much chicken feed. So when liberals accuse McCain of being a big spender, what they really mean is they don't like his tax-cut proposals. These include extension of the Bush tax cuts, suspending gas taxes for the summer, doubling the dependent child credit, eliminating the alternative minimum tax and lowering the corporate tax.

In the zero-sum world of left-leaning economists, tax cuts never stimulate economic growth and the government can never tighten its belt, which McCain insists he will force it to do.

What a stark contrast to the new spending sure to be seen under either of the two Democrats running for the White House.

Hillary Clinton's proposals, as quantified by the taxpayers union, include:

• More than $113 billion annually on health care, including Medicaid expansion, a "paperless" health information center and new drug-marketing regulations.

• More than $20 billion in the areas of education and science, including programs promoting financial literacy for adults and high school students, as well as a federal-state partnership for pre-kindergarten programs.

• $5 billion for the first year of "a crash weatherization program to cut home energy costs."

• More than $2.3 billion that is classified by the taxpayers union as "miscellaneous" but which covers an array of welfare and foster-care proposals, as well as the establishment of a "Corporate Subsidy Commission to eliminate corporate giveaways."

Barack Obama's even more expensive plans include:

• A $1.5 billion federal fund for employees to take paid leave.

• $32 billion over 20 years to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region.

• $60 billion over 10 years for a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank.

More than $37 billion a year for education and science proposals that include early assessment, computers for community colleges, public school infrastructure for the Gulf Coast, Pell Grants and financial literacy.

More than $15 billion annually in energy, agriculture and environmental proposals, including $600 million over five years for disaster planning.

$20 million over five years to "appoint a chief financial officer to oversee the rebuilding following national disasters to minimize waste and abuse."

Of all the ways that the Democratic nominee might attack John McCain, portraying him as a big spender would come off like the madam of a bordello delivering a sermon on the decline in morals.

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Blogger Nightcrawler said...

Excellent post... I'm starting to worry because some of the things that McCain is saying are starting to make sense!

Monday, May 05, 2008 9:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

"...portraying him as a big spender would come off like the madam of a bordello delivering a sermon on the decline in morals."
BWAAAHAAAHAAAAA! That's a good one, Wordsmith!

One thing the Dems don't worry about is hypocrisy.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 9:06:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I hope you both understand that I wrote none of this; it's all an article from Investor's Business Daily.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 9:26:00 AM  

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