There’s was a great syndicated cartoon floating around recently that depicted a caricature of grinning Barack Obama who says, “The good news is that I’m going to tax the rich. The bad news is now, you’re all rich.”
Obama — who has been consumed lately defending his ill-advised stereotype of working class Pennsylvanians — has, during his campaign, proposed a number of economic policies that have more leaks and murky areas than 100-year-old plumbing.
Ditto for Hillary Clinton, save for when she’s not running in serpentine formation from a Bosnian firefight or being taught how to shoot.
Until last week, Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP candidate had, like a modest burlesque performer, offered only brief glimpses of his fiscal policies should he become the 44th occupant of the White House.
Fittingly on tax day, McCain offered up the most expansive view to date of his economic proposals, which call for tax cuts, freezing discretionary spending for up to one year and, in a bid to jump-start the economy, eliminating the 18.4 cent federal gasoline tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Although McCain has, in the past, promised to have a balanced budget by the end of his first term should he get elected, he, whether by oversight or design, sidestepped any mention of that particular strategy during the unveiling.
Although he initially voted against the Bush tax cuts when they were first proposed, the new incarnation of the Arizona senator wants to make them permanent. Predictably, he also called for slashing corporate taxes and eliminating the alternative minimum tax. Wedged in between was a motion to double the value of exemptions for each dependent to $7,000 from its previous $3,500.
McCain also pledged a veto for every bill that contains pork-barrel projects in it — which is probably akin to finding a carting/waste management company that doesn’t resemble a casting call for “The Sopranos.”
According to the candidate, the potential savings from slashing the pork barrel projects would approach roughly $100 billion per year.
To me, and to a lot of others, it’s still a bit unclear on how McCain intends to pay for the additional tax cuts he proposed. One think tank estimates that his tax-cut proposals would actually cost triple the amount of his $100 billon savings.
And, there is of course, those mammoth tabs incurred courtesy of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Critics claim that his economic policy offers little in the way of change from the current administration, while McCain says that Americans will be shelling out far more in taxes under an administration of either Sens. Clinton and Obama.
I’m far from convinced that any of the candidates is within two area codes of understanding the economy or what to do to even begin to repair it.
Unfortunately for us, as of now, they’re the only choices we have.
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