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McCain Offers Populist Message, Corporate Tax Cuts


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) speaks to an audience outlining his economic policies at Carnegie Mellon University April 15, 2008 in Pittsburgh. (Getty Images)

By Michael D. Shear
Sen. John McCain today offered sweeping rhetoric about the economic plight of working-class America, even as he spelled out a tax and spending agenda whose benefits are aimed squarely at spurring business and corporate growth.

In a speech this morning in Pittsburgh, McCain sought to tap into the growing angst about rising prices, failing mortgages and the loss of jobs, declaring that "millions of working men and women in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and beyond can tell you how urgent is the work before us."

To that end, he said government should declare a "gasoline tax holiday" this summer by declining to collect federal gas taxes as a way to lower fuel prices -- a proposal similar to the one backed by GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996. McCain called for higher tax deductions for children. And he repeated his plan for federally backed loans to help some homeowners who face foreclosure.

McCain's speech was heavily laced with the populist themes that have become popular this campaign season. He praised "workers and entrepreneurs" and criticized "lobbyists and special pleaders" who toil in Washington.

He took special aim at chief executives of failing mortgage companies and other big businesses.

"Americans are also right to be offended when the extravagant salaries and severance deals of CEOs -- in some cases, the very same CEOs who helped to bring on these market troubles -- bear no relation to the success of the company or the wishes of shareholders," he said. "Something is seriously wrong when the American people are left to bear the consequences of reckless corporate conduct, while Mr. Cayne of Bear Stearns, Mr. Mozilo of Countrywide, and others are packed off with another 40 or 50 million for the road."

But the centerpiece of McCain's economic agenda remains a major cut in the corporate income tax rate, from 35 percent to 25 percent, a reduction that McCain says will end America's claim to having the second-highest business tax and "get rid of that drag on growth and job creation."

He also repeated his desire to make permanent the tax cuts that President Bush championed during his two terms and that critics say largely benefit the very wealthy. He also went further than Bush in proposing a total repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which hits families who make more than $100,000.

Those proposals together would cost trillions of dollars to implement and add to the growing budget deficits, a fact that McCain did not address in his speech.

Instead, McCain repeated his vow to oppose congressional earmarks and promised a "top to bottom" review of all discretionary spending by the federal government.

"Every program comes with a built-in assumption that it should go on forever, and its budget increase forever," he said. "My administration will change that way of thinking."

McCain vowed to "work with every member of Congress -- Republican, Democrat, and Independent" to reform Social Security and Medicare, but he offered few details about how he would do that or what sacrifices might be required.

He did suggest that affluent retirees be required to pay higher premiums for the government-sponsored prescription drugs they receive. "People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet don't need their prescriptions underwritten by taxpayers. Those who can afford to buy their own prescription drugs should be expected to do so," he said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 15, 2008; 11:40 AM ET
 
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Posted by: kcewtlfzq svgmeijd | April 26, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

KAT9: Re the Ruth post: I think you missed tha sarcasm.

I hope it was sarcasm.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

If McCain were actually serious about any of those programs he could propose them, now as a Senator, so he would have that proposed legislation to run on.

Of course if he proposed the closing of any actual corporate tax loop hole it might pass, severely embarrassing him to his few remaining money men, while proposing his vast collection of deficit raising tax breaks, mostly for the rich, would make him even less acceptable to the middle class who get to pay for these republican Welfare for the Rich programs.

Four more years of the Mumbler in Chief, and he even carries on the tradition of Mumbling.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | April 17, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

John McCain has said in the past that he didnt know much about the economy...well he was right!

The Republican playbook for helping the super-rich steal all the wealth of the country while the poor get nothing...is the centerpiece of McCain's strategy.

The gas holiday is a hadn-out to the oil industry. What we really need is investment in renewable energy resources. Higher oil prices are painful, but will ultimately provide an economic incentive for America to transition to other forms of energy. So McCain's call for a cut in taxes on gas is a huge backward step.

As far as lowering corporate tax rates. That will not bring a single job back to the US. The outsourcing of jobs is happening because all those companies are making their products in other countries. Every major company in the world MUST do business in the US because our markets are the most open and free to trade. So lowering tax rates for corporations is 100% the wrong strategy.

If we truly want to bring good jobs back to the US, we should link corporate taxation to investment in American jobs. It might be a good idea to provide targeted tax breaks for companies that bring good manufacturing jobs back to the US - basically some form of investment credit for building factories here. We should also look at doing the opposite - raising taxes on companies who import a larger percentage of their products from overseas. Walmart should be one of the highest taxed companies in the nation. Let's see what a 75% tax rate does to that Everyday Low Price strategy?

And finally, I wonder if McCain's review of the budgets will include defense spending? Apart from Social Security and Medicare, defense spending is 67% of the total federal budget (including Veterans admin & Homeland Security). I will repeat that - 67%! So how does he propose to reduce spending when he actually plans to increase the defense spending.

McCain is far too old to understand the complexities of the current world. Thank God he really doesnt have a chance to win.

By the time November rolls around, the economy will be even further in the tank, and the American people will throw out all politicians in the Grand Ole Party.

Republicans once were the party of fiscal responsibility, but the neo-con arm of the party has eliminated any rational economic agenda. All that is left is the corporate-special-interest-protection-group that is now called the Republican party.

Posted by: Lawrence | April 16, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow, What a Brilliant Plan!

I can save $$$$$, IF, I could on afford to drive!

That is as GREAT as Bushie's $600 Refund on Taxes-IF, you made any profit, and actually owed any!

While the Cash-Strapped Dying-on-the-Vine People like me, are allowed to just DIE!

WAIT! I could JOIN THE ARMY!

Sorry, too OLD! :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | April 16, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

All Americans must be willing to pay for and sacrifice if we are to succeed in Iraq. We should not place the burden of this war on military families and future generations. Therefore, I am proposing an Iraq tax, a surcharge to be paid by all Americans, to cover the costs waging this war. We are spending $341.4 million dollars a day on the war effort, which means a surcharge of $1,721 per person. We will add this cost to your annual tax bill. This surcharge will continue for as long as we stay in Iraq.

If we are to have a strong American and succeed in Iraq, we must make the sacrifices to win the war in Iraq. Paying for the war today is the right thing to do. Support the Iraq tax because it is the right way to support a strong America.

Thank you and God Bless America.


Posted by: Ruth | April 15, 2008 4:03 PM........... I'm sorry to dissagree with you , but , I NOR OTHER AMERICANS are willing to pay for an 'IRAQ TAX TO PAY FOR THE WAR. THE COST IN AMERICAN BLOOD HAS BEEN MORE THAN WE SHOULD HAVE PAID. LET THE OIL RICH COUNTRY PAY FOR THEIR OWN DEFENSE ,HIRE PAID ARMIES , WHATEVER.. OR , LET THE PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENTS' BUDDIES , THE SAUDIS OR DUABI, PAY FOR OUR PROTECTION , AFTER ALL , ALL OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED ARE MAKING SO-O-O MUCH 'BLOOD' MONEY AND PROFITS. LET THEM PAY . IF MCCAIN SUPPORTS THIS HE WONT GET THE 'BITTER' DEMOCRAT VOTE AND BELIEVE ME, PLENTY ARE READY TO JUMP FROM HILLARY(if obama gets the win) TO MCCAIN , BECAUSE OBAMA IS A RACIST,FINANCIALLY ,AND BY COLOR , ANd A SEXIST...NEVER MET A TYPICAL WOMAN , WHITE OR BLACK...HE CALLED HIS G-MA" A TYPICAL WHITE WOMAN" NICE WORDS FROM SOMEONE WHO WANTS THE NATION NOT TO BE COLOR-BLIND...GOD BLESS AMERICA


Posted by: KAT9 | April 16, 2008 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Preview your Comment


All Americans must be willing to pay for and sacrifice if we are to succeed in Iraq. We should not place the burden of this war on military families and future generations. Therefore, I am proposing an Iraq tax, a surcharge to be paid by all Americans, to cover the costs waging this war. We are spending $341.4 million dollars a day on the war effort, which means a surcharge of $1,721 per person. We will add this cost to your annual tax bill. This surcharge will continue for as long as we stay in Iraq.

If we are to have a strong American and succeed in Iraq, we must make the sacrifices to win the war in Iraq. Paying for the war today is the right thing to do. Support the Iraq tax because it is the right way to support a strong America.

Thank you and God Bless America.
Posted by: Ruth | April 15, 2008 4:03 PM .......................... I'm sorry to dissagree with you RUTH , but , I NOR MANY OTHER AMERICANS are willing to pay for an 'IRAQ TAX TO PAY FOR THE WAR. THE COST IN AMERICAN BLOOD HAS BEEN MORE THAN WE SHOULD HAVE PAID. LET THE OIL RICH COUNTRY PAY FOR THEIR OWN DEFENSE ,HIRE PAID ARMIES , WHATEVER.. OR , LET THE PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENTS' BUDDIES THE SAUDIS OR DUABI PAY FOR OUR PROTECTION , AFTER ALL , ALL OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED ARE MAKING SO-O-O MUCH 'BLOOD' MONEY AND PROFITS. LET THEM PAY . IF MCCAIN SUPPORTS THIS HE WONT GET THE 'BITTER' DEMOCRAT VOTE AND BELIEVE ME, PLENTY ARE READY TO JUMP FROM HILLARY(if obama is chosen) TO MCCAIN , BECAUSE OBAMA IS A RACIST FINANCIALLY ,AND BY COLOR , AND A SEXIST...NEVER MET A TYPICAL WOMAN , WHITE OR BLACK...HE CALLED HIS G-MA"A TYPICAL WHITE WOMAN" NICE WORDS FROM SOMEONE WHO WANTS THE NATION NOT TO BE COLOR-BLIND...


Posted by: KAT9 | April 16, 2008 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Cut the corporate income tax? Fine.

Quit busting my union and you have a deal.

Heads you win, tails I lose, is over.

But as much as McCain loves corporations, he hates unions and other organizations that advocate for working families even more.

He believes in Reagan Trickle-On, and has faith that the rich, if allowed to get richer, will take care of us.

We've seen how that works.

Posted by: Phil Newton, Murphy OR | April 15, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Stickety -- lower taxes for corporations to 25% might not be a terrible idea -- especially considering that some companies pay NO taxes aside from the payroll tax. First close tax loop holes. Second provide incentives for companies that invest in America rather than shipping jobs overseas.

As far as investment income goes, put a ceiling on the 15% rate before higher rates kick in. Hedge fund managers though shouldn't be taxed at a 15% rate on multi-million dollars worth of investment income.

The 33% top marginal rate also needs to go back up to where it was during the Clinton years at 38%. We all remember the dire warnings from Phil Gramm et al about the economic impact of the increase -- it didn't happen. We also aren't return rates to the 50% level as was the case during the early Reagan years.

Simplify the tax code. Instill greater budget discipline -- including a draw down in Iraq which is eating up a huge chunk of tax revenue -- not one cent of which has been paid yet.

McCain talks about discretionary spending as being the bogeyman -- I think spending 8 cents of every tax dollar on interest on our national debt is one huge piece of poor. Some fiscal sanity needs to be brought to the table -- and part of that equation is cutting into that part of the budget called "defense spending" which accounts for close to 50% spending on all tax receipts.

Invest money more wisely in the U.S. economy for a change. The Interstate Highway Act in the 1950s and the GI Bill were major spending programs, but they also provided a huge return on investment. Cultivation of domestic energy sources -- and alternative energy sources -- is a great place to start.

If you really want to help American businesses jettison our private insurance health care model. One of the biggest sources of weakness in competition vis a vis Europe is the fact that Europeans get a substantially better return on their single-payer health care model than we do with private insurance. Yes, some of these companies pay higher taxes, but those health care taxes are still lower than the skyrocketing health care premiums that employers cover.

The problem with McCain's economic policies is that they just continue the Bush approach to economic policy with a skewed distribution of economic growth where the benefits gush upwards -- while simultaneously fueling artificial growth with massive debt spending.

Sensible regulation also makes sense. The problem with people like McCain is that he creates catastrophes. The Savings & Loan scandal may have made a few people rich by jettisoning transparency in the markets, but at the end of the day tax-payers were stuck with a $120 billion bail out tab for the screw-ups of people like McCain. Spending $120 billion to bail out reckless and corrupt bankers in the 1980s was a form of wasteful spending -- but McCain is inconsistent and uses the term too restrictively. Twenty years later thanks to an opaque regulatory framework for the banking sector we are once again looking at YET another tax-payer funded bailout of reckless business interests to the tune of another $100 to $200 billion of tax-payer funded handouts. Some politicians never learn.

At least McCain was being honest when he said he didn't really understand economics. His policies have been an absolute disaster for ordinary Americans.

Unfortunately, a generation of self-identified "fiscal conservatives" have grown up thinking that "tax-cuts" are some universal panacea for all kinds of economic ills. They don't talk about spending -- and when they do -- it's usually increasing spending and increasing bureacracy -- it's just bad policy and it's hypocritical.

The lion's share of national debt can be traced back to just two presidents -- Reagan (who deserves credit for some good economic policies -- at least for the middle class); and George W. Bush (who has just been a disaster).

If people want a 3rd G.W. Bush term they have a great choice in McCain. The differences between him and Bush are entirely linguistic -- in economic and foreign policy they are one and the same.

Posted by: JP2 | April 15, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that gas tax repeal will do wonders here in California where we're paying $4 a gallon. We'll only be paying $3.82. Woah, maybe I can save my house with that extra $2 a tank.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Phil..you think? John, the idiot is in your bathroom mirror, go take a look. The answer to all questions regarding paying for tax cuts (a proven economic stimulator) is what the Bush Admin DID NOT DO...cut federal waste and reduce spendin

Posted by: Phil-eeez | April 15, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

This is simply Bush III, a continuation of Bush/Cheney policies, tactics, and misdeeds against the citizens on behalf of corporate donors, wealthy benefactors, friends and associates. Why lower the corporate tax rate when they use our tax laws to avoid paying any taxes already and are being subsidized by the ATM which is sticking up those taxpayers making $100,000. Stop telling citizens this lie about "spurring business growth" when corporate profits are higher than ever and you continue to support the exportation of our jobs overseas by these corporations to exploit foreign labor markets. This joke about a gas tax holiday is just as bad as the tax rebate to give pennies to the taxpayers while sticking them up for more money than ever between the Social Security/Medicare/Health tax, the ATM and the high tax rates for the majority of low-income, working Americans. Do you really think this tactic is helping families by giving them a couple of days of deducting the federal tax amount being paid on a tank or two of gas at the pump - SPARE US, PLEASE, nobody is that ignorant to believe that will help families buying gas at least once a week. When are you going to create "real" foreclosure assistance programs for homeowners who have been late, but have struggled and managed to make their mortgage payments for substantial periods of time, not merely priority bailouts and usurpation of our tax dollars for irresponsible corporate lenders. Late payments are merely signs of family economic problems and should be taken into account in allowing a refinance, but should not be used as a sole reason to deny refinancing. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES, should the Bush "HELP THE WEALTHY TAX CUTS" be made permanent and are the very reason this government is running a substantial deficit and HAVE CAUSED the working poor and middle class to subsidize those tax cuts. If anything McCain needs to be determining how he can lower the tax burden placed on the working poor and middle class by making the wealthy actually pay their fair share of taxes in this country. Right now the income gap means that for every dollar being made by the working poor and middle class, the wealthy class is making over $150,000 or more.
As for earmarks, the truth is that McCain isn't going to do anything as no one else has or ever tried to change this age-old money pit to congressional districts.
We have already gotten stuck up bigtime with the double Social Security/Medicare/Health taxes and they will only go up higher if Congress gets hold of them when they should never have been increased to pay into a pot that has been siphoned off to pay for other government debts and bills. How did affluent retirees get to participate in government-sponsored prescription drug program in the first place - the affluent need more government assistance????

Posted by: hotezzy | April 15, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I THINK PEOPLE DONT THINK.
IF YOU BORROW AND YOU
MUST PAY IT BACK WITH INTEREST THAT
IS A TAX ON YOU. NOW YOU MIGHT FEEL
SAFER BECAUSE YOU NOW CAN VENT ABOUT
THE OTHER EVIL DOERS AROUNG THE WORLD.
WE PAY TAXES FOR ALL KIND OF SERVICES FOR
ALL AMERICANS TO BE UNITED AND FOR SOME
OF NON CITEZENS TOO. NOW WE ARE PAYING
10 TIMES THE TAX FOR A WAR THAT ONLY WILL
GET US DEEPER IN DEBT AND ROB US OF ANY
CHANCE TO REGAIN OUR POSITION , MORAL AND
ECONOMIC. WE NOW SELL OUR WEAPONS TO EVERONE, THE SUNNI THE LATEST, JUST SO THEY
WONT KICK US OUT. THE LAST THING BIN LADEN OR THE ENEMIES WANT ,IS FOR US TO PULL OUT!!!SO
YOU LET SOMEONE ELSE BORROW THE MONEY
TO SPEND ON SOMETHING YOU HAD NO CHOICE IN

Posted by: JOHN | April 15, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

First of all,

Anybody who knows a thing about economics realizes that our corporate tax rate is terrible for business and forces jobs overseas. Dropping it to 25% is a start - although it should go lower.

On the other hand, the dumbest thing we could do would be to rescind Bush's dividend and capital gains tax cuts (see Obama's plan). Raising taxes on dividends and capital gains will kill the stock market, especially considering the thin profits that companies are taking in right now due to decreased economic activity.

Not surprisingly, the "friends" of the working man, the Democratic party are opposed to McCain's idea of a three-month gas holiday. Now, I realize that this is a gimmick, but at least it's a highly progressive way to put some money back in people's pockets and to stimulate the economy.

I would think my Democratic friends, the ones who have so much COMPASSION for the working class, would thoughtfully consider Senator McCain's proposal.

Posted by: stickety | April 15, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Vote McCain and the US deficit (largest deficit on earth)will continue to grow to ultimately bankrupcy! His proposed taxcuts will cost the US government trillions of dollars, continue the war in Iraq will cost trillions more so that will be the end. I'm going to Europe if he wins and start to make euros.

Posted by: Sam | April 15, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

-- Worst labor record of any candidate

-- Lobbyist-run campaign

-- Wants to tax health insurance benefits

-- Wants to further cut taxes for the rich

-- Wants 100 years war in Iraq

Populist?

Populism is to McCain what grass is to Astro-Turf.

Posted by: Phil Newton, Murphy OR | April 15, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

John McCain '08! Because when fear brings Americans together, the whole military-industrial complex benefits!

John McCain '08! Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what YOU can do for Lockheed Martin!

Four More Wars! 100 More Years! John McCain for President!

My friends, there's a new energy in the country. A yearning for a new direction. Like Iran!
With John McCain protecting Americans, every day of the week will be threat level Red!
Our nuclear arsenal will be FIRED UP and READY TO GO!
John McCain. Ready on Day One to fight World War Three!


McCain '08! Don't worry about the deficit, your kids will pick up the tab for all this stuff!!

Posted by: bourassa | April 15, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

John McCain and the Economy:- Straight Talk, Real Solutions

Although you may have heard John McCain insisting that Americans have become better off under George Bush, John really understands that a lot of people are worried about the economy right now.
Did you know John McCain is a war hero? It may be a few years since he rode the old horse, but let me tell you - between friends - John keeps up pretty good with current thinking in tactical air operations. That recession hasn't got a chance.

And should the recession persist in its refusal to disarm, then yes, all nuclear options are on the table ... and John McCain will not flinch in his duty to protect Americans from the menace of Islamo-stagflation.
Because he is resolute, damn it. Not a white-flag waver.

My friends, I promise you this: John McCain will never surrender until Iraq is free of WMD!

Posted by: bourassa | April 15, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Poor McSame. Target is the new Kmart. McCain is Bush re-packaged.

Posted by: Matt | April 15, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Just what we need, another borrow and spend Republican. Why is it that Republicans are so financially irresponsible?

Posted by: Javalation | April 15, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

My friends, John McCain understands that the American people want change; they want a new direction.

That's why John is planning a new and completely different set of wars.

John McCain believes that with American optimism and can-do spirit, we can reach out and grab hold of a bigger dream. A bolder dream. Like, for example, the dream of fighting three wars at once.

Or perhaps you're one of those who thinks America's best days are behind her. You think three wars is too many? Unlike some, John McCain is not a man who sells America short. It's all about integrity, you know?
John has lots and lots of integrity.

My friends, I hope you'll join me and others who believe with John McCain that YES WE CAN fight three wars at once. Or four.


McCain '08! Because 189 countries still remain unconquered by our mighty legions!

Posted by: bourassa | April 15, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

There's a shorter, simpler way for America to implement McCain's policies. Just gather all your kids and grandkids together in one place, and unleash your bloated, black hole moneypit military on them directly.

Posted by: kevrobb | April 15, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

BUSH BOUGHT YOUR VOTE WITH A TAX BREAK ALSO, THEN TOOK BACK A HUNDRED TIMES MORE, AND SOME AMERICAN AND IRAQI LIVES TO GO WITH IT.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

McCain apparently doesn't know anything about providing American security. The national debt is the number one security risk in America, and every day that the war in Iraq and the Bush tax cuts go on, the more debt we pile up and the less secure our country becomes. You want to improve American security? RAISE TAXES, END THE WAR, AND PAY DOWN THE DEBT!!!!!!

Posted by: Jeff | April 15, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a junior high campaign for with the promise for soda in every fountain.

Posted by: Keith Ensminger | April 15, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

OK, I was on the fence, but I definitely won't be voting for McCain now. This gas tax break is a shortsighted move, John. If that's all you can come up with, and look so stupidly happy as you announce it, then how are you any different from Bush?

Posted by: Cordy Reagan | April 15, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"break" from the gas tax for the summer is EXACTLY THE WRONG THING TO DO! The efforts should be on figuring out ways to REDUCE our use of oil, not INCREASE it. In addition, it will be at least an $8-10 billion drain on the Federal budget, let alone almost four time that amount for the states. This is a PANDERING move on his part, and it is a terrible suggestion. Maybe he is having more than senior moments, maybe it is more serious than that.

A McCain SENIOR MOMENT - and a really bad idea. But it is OK, he will have a lot of them, especially when he isn't swearing or screaming at everybody when he get mad - which he also does a lot.

I really look forward to his hand being on the nuclear trigger - NOT ! !

Posted by: swanieaz | April 15, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

FreeMoney -- the gas holiday works out to something like $1 on every 5 gallons of gas.

Of course what McCain isn't saying is that the gas tax holiday is really like one of those "pay no interest until January!" type deals. Unfortunately, in the case of McCain's deal, the interest will kick in on this one immediately and won't be paid off until about 50 years from perhaps even much longer from now than that by our country's grandchildren and great-grandchildren with an additional interest penalty of about $3 dollars for every $1 tax dollar deferred.

The only way that the kids end up OK is if the currency continues its devaluation relative to the world and inflation continues to outpacing the growth of interest rates.

Of course, when that happens in a big way, we end up with a major economic crisis.

Republicans seem to be pretty good at fostering those.

Posted by: JP2 | April 15, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain sounds like he wants to beat all Reagan and Bush records for deficit-building. He wants to prove he's the truest conservative, and building deficits is what conservatives do.

John McCain will build a $20 Trillion monument to true conservatism!

Posted by: bourassa | April 15, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"if the war in Iraq were to end, the price of gas would drop considerably."

What would happen to the price of gas if terrorists took over Iraq, then Iran, then Saudi Arabia, etc.?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

This is not a populist message. McCain is not a populist (man of the people type, friend of the poor) but a multi-millionaire Republican who is a trusted friend of the oligarchy who really run the country.

His gas tax holiday will cause the gas companies to raise their prices to equal the tax saving and will also add to increased oil use. Which we don't need because it is causing people to starve to death around the world. More oil use, more food crops go into ethanol =more starvation.

Friends, McCain is no friend to working families.

Posted by: Dr Wu, I'm just an ordinary guy | April 15, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

7000 per child? This is welfare for everybody since it works out to 583 per month per child. Talk about welfare queens. and a gas tax break? Okay what is going to pay for the upkeep of the roads then? I thought the infrastucture was in shambles already.. besides won't a tax break (which mostly won't be passed onto consumers and will further line the pockets of big oil) just increase demand for a product with a limited supply further driving up the real costs?

Posted by: MrlewisH | April 15, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

What a sleazy bribe the gas tax holiday is. Surely King Abdullah has agreed to pump a little harder for the GOP this summer anyway.

Posted by: OD | April 15, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Preview your Comment


To give gas tax cuts in a country that is in the massive financial debt we are in, is irresponsible. Smacks of Bush tax cuts for the rich, which McPops also wants to keep. These are bones to be thrown at the voter. As for USA corporocats paying more in taxes than anyone else..I wonder??...how is it possible countries in Europe have full health coverage, employees get 5 weeks vacation, full social security, high unemployment benefits and little national debt? Is McPops saying they pay less than us who get nothing?

Posted by: Joe | April 15, 2008 5:29 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Voodoo economics only work out when you have a fiscally responsible administration following along to clean up the mess. That's why the house of cards Reagan and Bush I built didn't completely collapse on our heads: Clinton's people and their economic wherewithal were able to bail them out and regenerate the economy. Trouble is, the cycle went a little faster this time around, and instead of being functional after 12 years of mismanagement, the wheels are coming off after only 7. No doubt part of that was Reagan having to fight an opposition Congress, while Bush II has had a free ride down his hill. Maybe Barack or Hilary can put things back together again, maybe not, but it's crystal clear that all McCain will be able to do is make things worse.

Posted by: DaveG | April 15, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Today's headline: "McCain Offers Populist Message, Corporate Tax Cuts"

Tomorrow's headline: "McCain Wants His Cake, Would Like to Eat It Too"

Posted by: dg | April 15, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

After all this talk about "bitter," the Gallup daily tracking poll for April 15, reports that Senator Obama has increased his lead over Hillary to 11% points among Democrats nationally, and both lead McCain by 2 points.
------------------------------------------

April 15, 2008
Gallup Daily: Obama 51%, Clinton 40%
Both Democratic candidates have 46% to 44% margins over McCain
USA Election 2008 Gallup Daily PRINCETON, NJ

Barack Obama is maintaining his lead over Hillary Clinton among Democrats nationally in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking, with a 51% to 40% margin in the April 12-14 average.
------------------------------------------

Posted by: New Era | April 15, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Borrow so much money that when the Dems get in they don't have money to do anything. It worked with Reagon & Bush I.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Drink the Kool Aid. Vote Republican.

Posted by: Mister Tony | April 15, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Cap, cut or even end entitlement programs such as Social Security, Military pensions and benefits, Medicaid and other vital services, services that are wanted and paid for by taxpayers, ok so far. Continue or even increase tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, who by the way have off-shored just about everything they can without causing a general uprising and hidden thier money in off-shore accounts and according to a PBS program recently may owe our government 6 trillion dollars in unpaid taxes...yeah John.....John what about the fact that your family has for three generations (Like the Bush family) received health care, paychecks, pensions and other benefits from tax payers...how many pensions will you be receiving should you become President...ever have a private sector job John? your father or maybe your grandfather, did they?

Posted by: What He Is Saying Is... | April 15, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Unions, healthcare, worker pay, corporations paying their way not on welfare, workplace safety, housing costs, misleading advertising, our ecology, sustainability, & PEACE.

That's populism, what part of that does McWarcriminal support?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Borrow and spend Hypublicrits!

Posted by: Okie | April 15, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

What a great idea. We can just borrow more money from China to make up the $10 billion short fall. China can then spend the money supporting rogue states that support terrorism. This guy is running for President? Give me break.....

Posted by: froth | April 15, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"McCain Offers Populist Message, Corporate Tax Cuts"

That seems to be the biggest contradictory statement I've read in a while...

Federal gas tax is pennies really--that's quite a cop out. And reducing the corporate tax is refried trickle-down (read voodoo) economics. But both these policies are cutting federal revenue from sources that really don't need the relief.

McCain proves once again that economics is not his forte...

Posted by: gavin930 | April 15, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

It's aboot time we start getting our oil from Iraq and Kuait, no?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Christ, McCain is more of an idiot than I thought.

Posted by: Phil | April 15, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Fossil-fueled terrorism.
Fossil-fueled global warming.
Fossil-fueled war (e.g., Operation Iraqi Liberation).
Fossil-fueled trade deficit.
Fossil-fueled deficit.
Fossil-fueled debt.
Since McCain claims to be for Pay As You Go (PAYGO), his "gas tax holiday" is McINSANE.

Posted by: fccm | April 15, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Vote for the black guy with a muslim name, yeah, I'm all for that!

Posted by: HAHA | April 15, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Of course if the war in Iraq were to end, the price of gas would drop considerably. THAT would be a gas tax holiday.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

To once again see this crotchety old right-wing Republican trot out the GOP's false populism is risible. How many times do they think they can fool the people with this dodge?

Posted by: almaden | April 15, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a senile old nut, I certainly hope he does not make ir to the White House.

Posted by: datalley | April 15, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

We can't afford John McCain as President.

Posted by: Cheryl | April 15, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Yep, that's what I need $5 extra every time I fill up my car. That will for sure pay for war in Iraq with no end, help me out with my health insurance premiums, and pay for our failing transportation infrastructure. When are we going to actually start paying for any of the stupid Republican policies, rather than foisting off the costs on my little kids? Oh well, if McCain and Bush give out more free money maybe we won't notice that they are bankrupting the next generation to pay for corporate welfare and inept foreign policy. They must really think the people of the USA are idiots? Please tell me we'll prove them wrong come November.

Posted by: Yay! Free Money! | April 15, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

PANDER

FREE LUNCH

ANYTHING TO WIN

POLITICIANS ARE JOKERS

FAILURE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT OURSELVES

Posted by: Larry | April 15, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Now that's an inspired idea cut federeal taxes on gasoline -- which is 18.4 cents a gallon. Which means that anytime anyone filled their 20 gallon tank they would save $3.68.

Yes, I know every $3.68 helps, but assuming The average vehicles travels about 15,000 miles per year and gets an avarage of 15 mph that about 50 tanks of gas which totals about $184.00.

I hope McCain loses just for that dumb idea--- and we'd have no federal funds for highway repairs left.

Posted by: Kurt | April 15, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The US gas tax is a joke it is so low. Instead, regulate oil companies like utilities. Make them justify price increases to PUCs. Their profits are obscene and they raise prices whenever they want. And why should diesel be more expensive than regular gas when it requires less refining? Ask that question McCain. With the increase in crude oil prices, Big Oil's decisions affects every aspect of our lives. It's time to regulate them like utilities.

Posted by: TwoEvils | April 15, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

So let's see, there are alot of McCain haters. Who are all you voting for? Obama, gimme a break, CHANGE, he has no plan to change anything in Washington. He just wants to make history and be the first black president. Granted he is good speaker, but president, no way. I think he has a hidden agenda!

Posted by: SO WHO | April 15, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, cut taxes and reduce spending. Cutting taxes will leave more money in our pocket (at the expense of roads, bridges, education, etc.)and presumably we will spend that money and provide some stimulus to the economy. Cutting government spending will take money out of the economy and leave us with crumbling roads, bridges, and a lagging education system. 1 - 1 = 0. Sounds like McCain doesn't know much about economics after all if this is his "economic stimulus" plan. The Bush/McCain team should have raised taxes and limited spending when the economy was hot, then cut taxes and increased spending when the economy started to falter. Unfortunately, the Bush/McCain team cut taxes and increased spending (Iraq) when the economy was hot. Because of this, we can't afford a true "stimulus" package now that the economy has faltered. Bush/McCain = Bankruptcy.

Posted by: hesingswithfrogs | April 15, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

In addition to reducing the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% (which would line up with average rates in Europe and maybe stem the tide of corporations relocating overseas), we need to cut government spending so as to implement the following TAX CUTS:

· Full immediate expensing for major business asset investments;

· Indexing the capital gains tax for inflation; and

· Cutting and simplifying the corporate capital gains rate.

Enactment of these dramatic tax cuts will free up money so employers can start hiring again. It's the best long-term solution.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

It's long past time to call the Republican Party on the enormous damage its "Don't Tax and Spend" policies have wreaked on the American economy. Our reliance on borrowing from abroad to fund out undisciplined spending habits at home is a ticking time bomb. Republicans used to ridicule the Democrats for their inclination to "Tax and Spend", but what do they offer instead? "Don''t Tax, and Spend Somebody Else's Money", leaving our children and grand children with a massive burden of debt which will one day have to be repaid. That's not just bad economic policy, it's immoral. Whatever became of fiscal conservatives?

Posted by: Fiscal Conservative | April 15, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

We wouldn't have half of this problem without the Bush/McCain dirty invasion of Iraq that is on the way to costing trillions. What expenditures are to be cut (surely not defense) to pay for this silly "gas tax holiday" for Americans who still pay among the lowest gas prices in the world. McCain has his head in the sand just like Bush, while the American economy flatlines.

Posted by: AnnArborGuy | April 15, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Let it be known, I have TRIED offering MY services to both McCain and Romney.
Guess they have a hang-up about Surf-Rats! :-(

Let is also be known;

I know, that supply is NOT the Problem. Bottle-Necked Refining is. Lack of Final Product IS.

Alaska? What about the Much Larger Field off Floriduh-The CHINESE are moving into! :-(

If I was not willing to HELP, I would not be so quick to condemn IDIOTIC Stunts like Redoing Bad debtors Loans with Government Money, Instead of making Mid-Term Loans to catch up on payments while selling, or idiotic garbage like trimming the few Pennies on Multi-Dollar/Gallon Gas needed for Roadways.

Sigh! :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | April 15, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

SIMPLE:

GOP ~ GUNS
GOPS ~ GAS GOUGING
GOP ~ GAY (Not Literally)
GOP ~ GOD (Not Spiritually but just for VOTES)

SIMPLE:

Will GOP commit to GAS not hitting $6 a GALLON?

Will GOP commit to MILK not hitting $5 a GALLON?

Will GOP commit to STOP RELEASING BIN LADEN's TAPES?

Will GOP commit to STOP Showing FOX Terror LEVELS?

Will GOP commit to STOP abusing "CIVIL RIGHTS"?

Its all Evangelicals who made our life miserable.

WE DO NOT WANT OUR PRESIDENT TO DECIDE at 3AM.

WE DO NOT WANT OUR PRESIDENT TO DECIDE at 3AM.

as she can't answer questions at 3PM itself.
Her husband claims She was sleepy when she told Bosnia story (was he saying she was dreaming of Sniper fires then)?

Posted by: kg | April 15, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Getting elected is the sole purpose that will make all the 3 Presidential candidates promise to give the world to the voters.
McCain is turning out to be a McBush in every way, DAH. Looks like the Corporate Campaign Contributions have now started pouring in. We gonna be sold again to line the pockets of a few Good Ol Boys. He only talks about pain killers but has no cure.
Hillary is promising free medical and making every illegal a US citizen, without realizing that for each one of them there are 7 more (Wife, 4 kids, father and mother)across the border. How many millions of uneducated masses can any country support? This will send more jobs overseas because slowly we will have a society capable only of flipping burgers.
I do not see much ideological difference between OBAMA and Hillary just a better use of the English language. The only difference is the packaging and presentation. Obama lost my vote after he talked about the black people bitterness and so on. Just another way to get the black vote. All Black leaders (Jesse Jackson, Shrapton) make a living by using this tactic.
From being the most esteemed country in the world, we have become the most hated.
From having the strongest currency, we are struggling to keep the dollar viable.
From being the largest exporter of High quality products we have become the largest importers of cheap quality products.
Our educational institutions were the pride of the world, now we have to import qualified personnel.
The basic fabric of our Morals and Values has degraded where Priests are becoming pedophiles, Cops are running drugs, Morons are getting elected, Media will do anything for ratings, Loyalty towards America is not found any more.

God Bless America

Posted by: G. Washington | April 15, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

MCBUSH, the Populist!

Posted by: Milo Santini | April 15, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

ya might think a war president uninterested in economics could not be considered populist. ya might think.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

What I want John McCain to say:

My friends, I truly believe that we must succeed in Iraq if the United States is to be free from terrorism. This is not a short-term commitment; it is one that will last for many years. I also believe that this commitment should not only be borne by the military families, who so bravely defend our country, but by all citizens.

Right now Americans are not paying for the Iraq war. We are borrowing money from foreign countries to pay for it, placing the burden on future generations to ultimately pay for this war. I believe this wrong.

All Americans must be willing to pay for and sacrifice if we are to succeed in Iraq. We should not place the burden of this war on military families and future generations. Therefore, I am proposing an Iraq tax, a surcharge to be paid by all Americans, to cover the costs waging this war. We are spending $341.4 million dollars a day on the war effort, which means a surcharge of $1,721 per person. We will add this cost to your annual tax bill. This surcharge will continue for as long as we stay in Iraq.

If we are to have a strong American and succeed in Iraq, we must make the sacrifices to win the war in Iraq. Paying for the war today is the right thing to do. Support the Iraq tax because it is the right way to support a strong America.

Thank you and God Bless America.

Posted by: Ruth | April 15, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

McCain's plan is fantasy- having served both in government & as a government contractor for the past 25 years- it is clear that EVERYTHING except defense spending/security discretionary government spending has been on a starvation budget for years now, starting when Al Gore "reinvented" government. Few government agencies have anything left, & costs are actually going up as many functions have been transferred to "more efficient" private contractors who must add and grow their profits. Worse, taxes have already been reduced far below prudent levels, primarily for the ultra-wealthy & for most corporations, which the middle class taxpayers are already unknowingly subsidizing through reduced deductions, tax credits & increases in the AMT. The next president, no matter who or what party, will have little choice but to raise taxes. It is absurd that somebody with any intellect can promise to cut them. Johnathan McCain must think Americans are pretty stupid.

Posted by: RobV | April 15, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Vote for Ron Paul. Sense and sensibility.

Posted by: Ron Paul | April 15, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

What's next? Promises of Kool-Aid in the drinking fountains and 2 hour lunch breaks?

Posted by: DEF | April 15, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

McCain's tax cuts for corporations are too much. 60% of corporations pay no taxes at all, and that includes some with billions in profits. The same people who have denied workers a share of the doubling of productivity in the last 30 years. Why should Microfsoft (IBM, Sun

Posted by: Harrison Picot | April 15, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The big picture is, We are the Worlds protectors, we are THE superpower, even if you don't like it, it's the way it is. We must have the most powerful military in the world, no president is ever going to change that. weather you like it or not! I am a republican, I'm don't agree with all of McCain's issues, but more than this Osama person, and personally I don't think this Country or the rest of the world to have Hillary as the President of the Unites States.

Posted by: Michael | April 15, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

John,
Take it a step further- why not pay Americans to buy fuel? Maybe $2 per gallon could be paid by the federal government directly to the oil companies for each gallon they sell. What a win-win!

Posted by: Don Scott | April 15, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter anymore, the republicans have already one. Obama has destroyed what little was left of a once great party. If I actually believed in conspiracy theories I would say Karl had somthing to do with it but the truth is the dems did it to themselves.

Posted by: reason | April 15, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I think this is step one of his "balance the budget" pledge.

Posted by: jad | April 15, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

So to paraphrase McCain is suggesting:

1. Less taxes for everyone
2. More war for everyone
3. The first Quadrillion dollar national debt

Brilliant platform. He'll take us far.

Posted by: DonJulio | April 15, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes! We're back to kissing John McCain's butt. I actually like John McCain, but this newspaper should at least try to paint the picture of objectivity in the news section. It can do whatever it wants in the editorial page, of course.

Posted by: GoHuskies08 | April 15, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

John McCain shouldn't be allowed in any office where he has any control over public financial policy. He should've been thrown in prison with the other Keating Five. Vote for McSame if you want a second saving and loan collapse.

Posted by: John McKeatingFive | April 15, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Great, another politician giving away freebies without any explanation of how they'll be paid for. Just like Bush. And look where it's gotten us.

Posted by: JimBob | April 15, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Genuine entitlement reform would entail putting everything on the table: from Social Security and Medicare to the beloved Veterans Benefits.In the hypothetical scenario that everything was put on the table, it would be kind of like a political version of survivor. Those who didn't get eaten alive by AARP would get ripped to shreds by the Veterans lobby.

Given the political implications almost nobody is willing to touch entitlements with a ten foot pole. As a result entitlement reform remains a joke.

Senator McCain may want to do something about Social Security and Medicare, but I somehow don't think he'll touch Veterans benefits.

Posted by: Martian | April 15, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Even better idea. Eliminate all forms of personal income & property tax and have only corporate tax with no loopholes.

The positive economic impact will be incalcuable and we can also eliminate 75% of the IRS personnel.

We can also get the corporations to fund national health care for all.

All in all. Such an idea will force corporations to operate lean & mean.

Posted by: Maddogg | April 15, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Ahahhhh! so McWar proposes more tax cuts for the rich, and a 100 year ocupation of Iraque! So, let someone else pay for the folly of this generation!!! There goes the dollar guys. Seems like these bozos are determined to act as agents for the tulibane and destroy us economically!

Posted by: Rasputynne | April 15, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

How about free gas for 6 months, for everyone, McCain?

Posted by: tydicea | April 15, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

It is rhetoric until a plan is put into action. As oil reaches $115.00 United States dollars, I doubt tax rebates will stretch too far into the summer. And there is a six month lag from field prices to pump so guess what, gasolene will be very expensive just in time for the elections.

I doubt McCain ever had an orginal idea in his life. Maybe he should "punch out" while he is ahead. This is just another temporary fix for the short-term not addressing these problems like a real Rhodes Scholar, Economist and Diplomat. Now who would that be ?

Problem is that the dollar is losing value on world markets. We are getting less oil for our dollar. Maybe a no brainer for those of us that pump our own gasolene into the tank. We are not all priveledged to ride in the backseat like Dick what's his name. Our gas costs are tethered to a shrinking dollar. And eventually, if the trend continues, oil companies heavy in liquid capital will opt to merge rather than see their personal stock holdings become worthless. Ask Neil Cavuto over at that tabloid network as history seems to be repeating itself.

Maybe the One World New Order is in play here. Is the United States of America to become a third world country while the President eats ice cream with the Pope ? If equity is not returned to domestic shores, our credit as a nation becomes even more worthless than a homeowner in America today.

In addition to reduction in spending revenues, have to increase restoring the value of the dollar, remember our deficits ? At the same time real economic growth (and not war time profits that do not contribute to the GDP) will provide revenues if One-Percenters are not heavily favored for political gains. McCain flopped on tax breaks to the ultra rich and don't forget reductions in inheritance taxes. I guess elitists figure they should not have to work if daddy leaves them an inheritance. Baby-boomers of late just sell off heirlooms like it were gold held by the Federal Reserve.

Posted by: Mark W. | April 15, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Eliminating the gas tax will either require not paying for roads or borrowing more money. Borrowing more money will put further pressure on the dollar. As the dollar falls in value the price of oil will rise since it is priced in dollars. So McCain's plan will either eliminate money for roads or increase the cost of oil.

This is the preview of the types of policies we will get from a man who knows nothing about the economy.

Posted by: Jim B | April 15, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't understand economics, he shouldn't open his mouth like this...but it is an election year.. you can't fault him for trying.

Posted by: Economics | April 15, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Did he mention how he will get the $2 billion a week needed to stay in Iraq? If not then he is all talk and no plans. Passing the Iraq expense to our children and the unborn is criminal negligence. If you really believe staying in Iraq is a must then PAY FOR IT. Don't give lip service and pass the bill to the next generation. That is NOT leadership.

Posted by: Scott | April 15, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

JakeD-Admittedly Alan Keyes IS my kind of American.
But, I am just too much of a RAT;
to allow johnfromcali,
to get as happy as he would with the RepubliCANS acting like the "Gored" and Nadered Dims! ;~)

Welcome to the Cabinet Mr. Keyes.

Again, John McCain needs to be informed it is the GOP, not the John McCain Show. Alone, he will NEVER Win.

The GOP has got to win the Executive Seat.

Simple as that! Team Up Fools!

Posted by: RAT-The | April 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Ah good, another politician who is planning on selling out younger generations in order to buy votes from selfish or stupid adults. Someone who, despite his proclaimed conservatism and pro-environmentalism, is willing to reduce taxes while maintaining an absurd level of spending thus creating more and more debt, much of which will make us indebted to 'strategic competitors' like China.


Posted by: ep thorn | April 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Senator McCain wants to cut funding for everything except for--surprise, surprise--the military.

Translation: if you aren't in or haven't been in the military you don't matter. Ineligble to serve in the military? well you still didn't "serve your country" so you don't matter.

Posted by: UnAmerican | April 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Gas Tax Holiday. This will be a good incentive for oil to raise their prices.

How is this. No gas tax holiday and instead McBush agrees to repair all the broken highways & bridges. Perhaps that is too deep for McBush.

Posted by: Maddogg | April 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, some Americans need to get up off their asses and work for a living. If you don't have an education, you gotta do what you gotta do and if it's earning $3.50 per hour, so be it. And yes, drill the hell out of Alaska. "It's nice country" so is Germany, but I'm not living there.

Posted by: Marc | April 15, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about wanting something for free is pitiful. NO MORE HANDOUTS!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

How about a "public transportation holiday" where all rides on commuter buses and trains are free? Oh yeah, that would be a "wasteful government subsidy."

Posted by: Stuart | April 15, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe if the Liberal tree huggers would get out of the way and allow us to drill for oil in Alaska we wouldn't be paying $4 for a gallon of gas. Instead they find it more important to protect the precious muskox or whatever it is they don't want harmed. Give me a break!"

You are in denial.

Posted by: jayh | April 15, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Vote for anyone but BARRACK HUSSEIN OSAMA, every now and then he quietly pulls the racial card, doesn't he?

Posted by: Peter | April 15, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The posters here show very little perspective. Rather, like every other message board, only rank and file vehemence toward any idea that is fodder for progressive talking points.

The US has the 2nd highest corporate tax rate. Although many find loopholes to bring the effective rate probably somewhat lower (~28%), we are losing to Europe and other countries that have *lower* tax rates. That is fact, just like the sky is blue. If that doesn't bother you, so be it. However, high taxes and economic growth are possible in *this* country only when productivity is keeping pace (which it no longer is).

I'll be quite frank, nothing would give me more joy than to see massive tax cuts followed by massive cuts to our education system. On large scales, it's a total flop. Why don't you ask yourself why such a large number of jobs that require technical competence are filled by foreigners. Part is because Americans want "sexy" jobs that pay well with no real ability other than to BS your peers. The other part is that the system failed them.

It's time Americans stop whining, decide what they want, and make the *necessary* sacrifices to achieve them. If you want a progressive/socialist country, say so and let's get it out in the open and debate it. In America, being branded socialist/progressive is damning in many circles, but let's drop that nonsense. I am strongly libertarian, and I don't give a damn how that brands me.
If all you can do is piss and moan about how the pols are stupid and you are a clear thinker, get back to work and make this country better, you lazy SOBs. Speaking of, it's time I lead by example and get my lazy butt back to it as well ...

Posted by: Marc | April 15, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Headline from finance.yahoo.com right now:
"Oil Pushes to New High Above $113"

It used to be, just a few years ago or so, $20 a barrel!

As our USD sinks, the oil producing nations (NOT the gas companies or refiners- those owning the oil, e.g. OPEC) ***raise*** the price even more. As our economy slows, they raise even more. It is a nasty cycle and gimmicks and short-sighted slight of hand will not tackle it.

We need to change our monetary policy. Save the USD, save our livelihoods.

Posted by: Dave | April 15, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Let's raise taxes, reduce profits and jobs, run the economy into the gutter, and then we can default on all foreign debt - yeah that's it, that's the alternative. We need to realize that we are in a no-win situation here, NO ONE has a silver bullet here.

Posted by: soothsayer | April 15, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

So McCain says - Americans are also right to be offended when the extravagant salaries and severance deals of CEOs -- in some cases, the very same CEOs who helped to bring on these market troubles -- bear no relation to the success of the company or the wishes of shareholders," he said. "Something is seriously wrong when the American people are left to bear the consequences of reckless corporate conduct, while Mr. Cayne of Bear Stearns, Mr. Mozilo of Countrywide, and others are packed off with another 40 or 50 million for the road."

Um - where was the federal govt during all this? Oh yeah, getting rid of any regulations that might have helped control the lenders. Well, gee, too bad McCain wasn't in the Senate where he could have stopped this... oh wait, he WAS a senator and he did nothing to end it. So, what's he going to do different as president? NOTHING

Posted by: Anne | April 15, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

If it came out tomorrow that McCain's preacher was anything like that nut that Osama calls his friend and mentor the Democrats would crucify him. The man is friends with some of the most evil and disgusting people in the world and he's got countless Americans fooled into thinking that he's a great leader. I never thought I'd wish for Al "the Idiot" Gore to come back but anything's better than Osama!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The Economic Laws that McCain is proposing if passed will probably be followed like the McCain Finegold Law; which have been ignored, for convenience, as it appears McCain has done in this campaign.

Posted by: Fareed | April 15, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

jonfromcali:

I live in California.

http://www.alankeyes.com/pledge.php

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi Jinx wrote:
"...try and live just on unemployment income (approx $300 per week) for 3 months without any aid from family and friends, no planes, ..."

------------------------------

Hi Jinx, you should be aware that in washington jet planes are not planes, they are (pelosi) 'rides'.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually, we had a very active program directed towards energy independence during the Carter Administration. It was based on conservation and development of various alternative and renewable sources of energy.

During the 1980 presidential Campaign, one of Ronald Reagan's favorite applause lines in front of Republican audiences was that he was going to eliminate the Department of Energy because it had never produced so much as one barrel of oil. Reagan, as we all know, got elected in 1980. We have been on the path that led us to our current situation ever since then. Had we followed a different path 25 to 30 years ago, we might not be in this situation AND we might have the respect of the developing world for our foresight and commitment to making the necessary hard choices.

Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it.

Posted by: Antonio | April 15, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Go McCain!!. If you are old, and have "money" then you should pay for your own medicine. You can afford it. Most of our Countries seniors can not, I see it first hand everyday. We really need someone who will fight these oil companies and their outrages profits from us. Don't be fooled by wishes to have a US wide health care system, it just won't happen, there is way too much money in it for everyone. Oh and anyone voting for Osama is blind.

Posted by: Marc | April 15, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

How on planet earth these contrived Ronald Reagan musings can be considered "populist" is beyond me.

McCain would do well to explain how people in small town America are not bitter, but happy that the good times never "trickled down" to their level 25 years ago.

Ah, no. I guess that would actually mean Obama was speaking the truth the other day...

Posted by: Johnny | April 15, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good, but. . . the Defecit! More tax cuts, more war spending, inflationary pressure, a weak dollar, and foreign governments wondering if you can pay it back? Whose the drunken sailor now?

Posted by: SL | April 15, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Mcain is one of the best ,the very brave americans neede ast such times.He commands the respect on both sides of the aisle and not oo partisan to get work done.His economic theory loks mature.

Posted by: eads | April 15, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree that we should have one day without federal gasoline taxes. We should take whatever taxes are lost and charge the oil companies a windfall profits tax to make it up. That would only be a drop in the bucket compared to what Exxon Mobil, Shell, Conoco, and the rest have stolen from our pockets for the last few years, but if McCain is really serious about helping out American workers, he should start by taking back some of that ill-gotten fortune from the oil industry.

Posted by: Antonio | April 15, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Paul is the only candidate left in the race that understands the economy. Dr. Paul understands the ravaging force of inflation, fiat monetary systems, uncontrolled credit expansions, supply-side economics, sound currency, and works to pass legislation that favors economic growth.

McCain has admitted that he knows very little about economics (which makes sense because he fails to understand that our current recession is linked to our foray into Iraq). McCain would be Bush's 3rd term. Hillary or Obama would be much better than McCain, but only Dr. Paul really understands the issues enough to get us out of this mess.

Posted by: Jake in Salt Lake | April 15, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

A populist Repub.....now that's straight out of the lower orafice.....gimme a break.....

Posted by: seakeys | April 15, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? The wheels got off the Straight Talk express indeed. John McCain would say anything to get elected. What we need a sound fiscal policy that does away with the free ride of Washington that puts our children in debt for years to come. There is nothing Ronald Reagan about this speech, and it is the sad part of it. If we lost the presidency to OBAMA, don't blame the democrat for being better, blame the republican for not learning their lesson.

Posted by: Lionel | April 15, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if the Liberal tree huggers would get out of the way and allow us to drill for oil in Alaska we wouldn't be paying $4 for a gallon of gas. Instead they find it more important to protect the precious muskox or whatever it is they don't want harmed. Give me a break!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"What's the mindless, Republican answer to everything. What's the answer that has the US economy in shambles? Read my lips! No new taxes!"

And what's the mindless Democrats answer to everything? Raise taxes!! Throw money at it! Those evil rich people are too rich! Company too successful?? TAX EM!

FO progressives!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Vote Republican ! It beats thinking !
Corporate Tax Cuts & Deregulation gets you....Unsafe planes, unsafe prescription drugs, unsafe food, unsafe toys, unsafe animal food, mortgage industry collapse,
$4.00 gas, skyrocketing food prices, etc,etc,etc.
Vote Republican, it beats thinking!

Posted by: A.Lincoln | April 15, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Incompetent and dangerous.

Our Federal fuel taxes are already among the least of the industrialized nations.
High oil costs are a chronic condition, thus solutions must be long term.

Long term solutions require leadership, leadership that would be at odds with the energy monopolies in this country. Thus, no such leaders will ever arise. Such is capitalistic democracy.

Moreover, the relieving of fuel tax would be presumably followed by their reenactment later in the year, when things could be much worse for the economy. The resulting backlash could spell the end of federal fuel tax, or its significant reduction, at the peril of our already increasingly decrepit transportation infrastructure.

John McCain, pandering politician, yes, visionary leader, of course not...such is not possible in our present form of capitalist democracy.

Posted by: theantibush | April 15, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't see the problem with having someone just like Bush for another 4 or hopefully 8 years. If Barack Obama wins the election this country is doomed. And for the guy who said that McCain should live on unemployment for 3 months, how about you live as a POW for however long it was that he was held against his will? I'm sick of people in this country expecting to have things given to them. If you want something get off your lazy tail and work for it! I get up and go to work every morning so that I can pay for the things I want. Laziness should not be rewarded! No more handouts for Democrats!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 15, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

As someone who favors reducing traffic I support the elimination of gas taxes and the roads that they pay for.

Posted by: Jim B | April 15, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The oil companies are just skimming off the top, while they can. The real problem is:

* Oil is sold in USD
* The USD is _weak_ 40% weaker than the EUR
* Oil is in high demand in China and India

Thus, our great nations monetary policy is the issue. As the dollar sinks, we sink. Add with manufacturing jobs leaving, outsourcing, most plastics and electronic components are based on oil (inflation), the housing crisis and rising food costs (they are using palm oil in Indonesia to run their cars, not to sell to bakeries around the world, for example) and you have one huge mess. And I did not even mention our huge bill in Iraq...

Time to tighten the belt, not give hand outs, left and right.

Check out this man;
http://ronpaul.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=37

Posted by: Dave | April 15, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Vote for McCain and watch gas shoot up to $5.00 gallon. Republicans believe in de-regulation...that includes the oil industry, obviously. The American Public gets screwed.

Posted by: A.Lincoln | April 15, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

PS. The last day of the Clinton Administration the price of gas was $1.49 gal. and oil was $39 a barrel. The American Public voted in a President and Vice-President who were ex-oilmen. It's no surprise that gas is now $3.39 gal and oil over $113. a barrel.

Posted by: A.Lincoln | April 15, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

McCain talking out of both sides of his mouth - WOW that's shocking!

Posted by: Chris | April 15, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

McCain's idea of a "gasoline tax holiday"
is a joke. The oil companies will simply adjust their prices up accordingly. Of course, they'll be some excuse...refinery overhaul, some third world conflict, etc,etc. A three month tax holiday simply puts a bandaid on the serious question of extremely high profits of oil companies. Of course, the Republicans don't want the public to ask those questions. PS. Why do they receive a 3.5 Billion tax credit each year when they make 40+ Billion in net profits?

Posted by: A.Lincoln | April 15, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

McCain's idea of a "gasoline tax holiday"
is a joke. The oil companies will simply adjust their prices up accordingly. Of course, they'll be some excuse...refinery overhaul, some third world conflict, etc,etc. A three month tax holiday simply puts a bandaid on the serious question of extremely high profits of oil companies. Of course, the Republicans don't want the public to ask those questions.

Posted by: A.Lincoln | April 15, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

McCain's idea of a "gasoline tax holiday"
is a joke. The oil companies will simply adjust their prices up accordingly. Of course, they'll be some excuse...refinery overhaul, some third world conflict, etc,etc. A three month tax holiday simply puts a bandaid on the serious question of extremely high profits of oil companies. Of course, the Republicans don't want the public to ask those questions.

Posted by: A.Lincoln | April 15, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The headline 'McCain Offers' is quite provocative. It'd be like me offering a million dollars to the first caller, but the fact is "I don't have it!". McCain is a joke and so are the rest of the 3 the media has proclaimed as Candidates yet I still resonate with Ron Paul's message of liberty and freedom. Do you remember those 'promises' as espoused in the U.S. Constitution or do you even remember it. How 'bout coverage on the Freedom March in DC today as I could not drive down there. Good-bye fair and honest media. May your stockholders choke on their devalued dollars. By-the-way, link to truth!

Posted by: www.theradioavenger.com | April 15, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Great idea on taking a 'gas tax holiday!' We know the oil companies can be trusted to lower our prices after THAT happens, right? They wouldn't just pocket the difference - right? Right??
I especially like that John SIDNEY McCain doesn't have any plan for balancing the budget other than charging high income Medicare recipients for their drugs. Folks, you don't get something for nothing. The Bush and Reagan years have shown that supply side economics does not lead to balanced budgets. At some point you have to pay the piper. Now seems like a good time to start, after a seven year 'tax holiday' for the rich. Let's tax them again to begin getting us back in the black. Who knew that the Democrats would end up being the party of fiscal responsibility?

Posted by: Chuck | April 15, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

So let me see if I understand -- mccain is proposing following the same bush policies that created the economic disaster as the cure for the economic disaster. Tax cuts, followed by tax cuts, and if that doesn't work, some more tax cuts. And cutting a few million from feeding poor people, funding parks and national monuments and protecting the envoronment. Yeh that will fix the sub-prime meltdown. That will fix the weak dollar and decrease gas prices in a meaningful way.

Really.

mcsame. mccain=bush. four more years.

Posted by: Brandon | April 15, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

How does Santa McCain propose to pay for this gas tax holiday?

Posted by: Keith | April 15, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

McCentury McCain requires a dictionary for the debates against Harvard Scholar Barack Obama.

It's 3:00 am and the phone rings. President Obama answers to Hillary's voice asking "Do you know where slick Billy is?" The dysfunctional Clinton Gang still has no class.

Posted by: Christopheur | April 15, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Shear,

Let me guess - you're a liberal. A tax holiday is not populist, I would call it sort of progressive if anything. You're an idiot. Stop the SPIN!!!

Posted by: That's not Populism!! | April 15, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Good idea on paper, bad (perhaps even terrible is the word) idea in reality- at least under the current circumstances.

Fix the USD and you help fix the economy.

Maybe this will help McCain get more popular on the Internet;

Obama vs Clinton vs McCain -
a Web Comparison:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=76

Posted by: Dave | April 15, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The cost of fuel is high because demand is bumping up against supply. Lower the tax, and the price will be lower. For about a week. Then all of us filling our tanks with cheaper fuel will drive up the demand and the price again. Use less and produce more, and the price goes down.

An investment in populism is, well, business as usual.

Posted by: Bill Mosby | April 15, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Could anything be more counterproductive in 2008 than a "gas tax holiday"? Forget every bit of lip service McCain pays to the subject of global warming. He's a typical Republican, more than happy to encourage gasoline consumption and line the pockets of industry while the planet burns.

And the Post identifies this bit of irresponsibility as "populist." Bravo! Would you like another donut on the "Straight Talk Express"?

JakeD and Rat, please Please PLEASE vote for Alan Keyes!!! Especially if you live in swing states. He'll definitely solve all your problems.

Posted by: jonfromcali | April 15, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

This will get rid of the huge federal surplus, and ease the burden of the War Tax the wealthy and the oil companies have been paying.

Posted by: R. Tard | April 15, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Give Michael Shear a break. The idiots on cable news are saying he's gonna cut the price of gas by 20% because the tax is 18-19 cents a gallon. If you ever wondered how Bush got to be President, that's how.

Posted by: Mario | April 15, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

It's rather difficult to be a populist when you want to cut corporate taxes almost 30%.

Hopefully sometime in the future McCain will find a way to pay for these types of promisees. Just cutting out port won't do the job, but - hey - maybe he'll just print more money to pay for everything.

Posted by: Ken | April 15, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

It's rather difficult to be a populist when you want to cut corporate taxes almost 30%.

Hopefully sometime in the future McCain will find a way to pay for these types of promisees. Just cutting out port won't do the job, but - hey - maybe he'll just print more money to pay for everything.

Posted by: Ken | April 15, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Populist? A tax holiday. It's tokenism. But at least he got you to right a lauditory and misleading headline.

Posted by: Rich | April 15, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

What's the mindless, Republican answer to everything. What's the answer that has the US economy in shambles? Read my lips! No new taxes! Next McCain will attack the "jack-booted thugs" who took children away from their bizarre cult, fundamentalist, bare-foot and pregnant demanding parents. He's looking more and more like a Bush everyday.

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 15, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

So how are we going to pay for all of McCain's wars with these tax cuts? I guess we'll have to get rid of all those domestic programs like education and infrastructure. We'll have no jobs to go to, so why do we need roads?

Posted by: Annie Oakley | April 15, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

All of the tax cuts McCain mentions are cute. After he decides to stay in Iraq for 100 years and invade Iran, does he think that will help balance the national budget?

Posted by: Mike McNally | April 15, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Clear and Simple.. Mr. McCain and all other presidential contenders should be given and asked to try and live just on unemployment income (approx $300 per week) for 3 months without any aid from family and friends, no planes, choppers, cars, etc etc and prove to the American people that he even understands their pain before even coming up with these crazy ideas benefiting their corporate sponsors and donors.

Posted by: Hi Jinx | April 15, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Gas tax holiday. What a great idea! The highway infrastructure certainly doesn't need the money, and we definitely need to do all we can to consume more oil and encourage people to drive. The guy is brilliant!! And less taxes on the oil companies profits from this too. It's a double winner!

Posted by: ctyank1 | April 15, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

JakeD-LOL! :-D

Who are you going to Vote For?

The Conservatives, meaning those of us who are having to settle for the one small consolation that the RINO will NOT appoint Libbie Judges, have somehow gotten Stuck with this Guy!

Fact of the matter though, his best chance of pulling that is now that he is still a Legislator.

Even then, it needs approval.

"Sidney", needs to play Soldier, and let St. Mitt save Business! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 15, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

President McCain needs to take more Advantage of Mitt Romney. Yes, he is on the right track about many of the things he is doing, but he is on a Short Line.

Some Realties NEED to be addressed. The simple FACT of the matter is;

WE HAVE A GLUT OF HOUSES! No mas por favor!

Let the existing Home market catch back up! End the incredibly STUPID "Flip this Twice Cursed House" Ponzi Scheme!

NO MORE Sub-Prime Loans! They won't be in fashion after the Twice Cursed Capital Gains Waiver on Houses "Flipped" within 2 Short Years, is REPLACED!

Replaced? :-/

Yeah-By the proposal Mitt Romney suggested that eliminates Capital Gains Taxes on Income Earners of less than $300,000.

NOW, ALL speculative Investments are tax free for the lower Income Majority. Stocks, Bonds, Properties-ALL! :-)

Welllllll Gooooolly! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 15, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"Affluent retirees should be required to pay higher premiums for the government-sponsored prescription drugs they receive" -- that does it -- I am not voting for John SIDNEY McCain now.

Posted by: JakeD | April 15, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

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