McCain Vows to Hold the Line on Taxes
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely Republican nominee for president who is seeking to shore up support among conservatives, said today that he would not raise taxes under any circumstances.
"In fact, I could see an argument if our economy continues to deteriorate, for lower interest rates, lower tax rates and certainly decreasing corporate tax rates, which are the second-highest in the world," McCain said on ABC's "This Week."
Even though McCain has neared locking up the GOP nomination, he still faces wariness among many fiscal conservatives because he voted twice against President Bush's tax cut proposals. Democrats have been using the tax issue, too, to take aim at McCain's reputation as a straight-talker, noting that he originally opposed the tax cuts, but later supported them, and now wants to make them permanent.
"I admired Senator McCain when he stood up and said that it offended his conscience to support the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in a time of war," Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said last week. "But somewhere along the road to the Republican nomination, the Straight Talk Express lost its wheels, because now he's all for those same tax cuts."
McCain replied that he has wanted the tax cuts to be made permanent "for a long time" but that he has also long argued that Congress needs to restrain spending.
"Spending restraint is why our base is not energized. Spending restraint is why we are having to borrow money from China, and we've got to have spending restraints," McCain said. "But to impose on the American people what essentially would be a tax increase of thousands of dollars per family in America is not something I think -- well, I'm sure would be bad for the economy of this country."
Posted at 4:21 PM ET on Feb 17, 2008
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