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McCain and Those Bush Tax Cuts

By Perry Bacon Jr.
John McCain is now offering another rationale for his opposition to the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003: He had his own tax plan.

Asked by the Kansas City Star on Thursday if he had "flip-flopped" on any issues, he conceded changing his position on offshore drilling, but said, "I have not changed my position on any other issue."

McCain, who at the time voted against the tax cuts by arguing, "I'd like to see much more of this tax cut shared by working Americans. . . I think it still devotes too much of it to the wealthiest Americans." McCain supports them now.

Asked by the paper if he had changed his position, McCain said: "Actually no, I had a package of tax cuts and I said ... we had to restrain spending, that's the main reason I voted against them."

His aides said the Arizona senator was referring to a combination of tax cuts and spending cuts McCain proposed back then.

In 2001 and in 2003, McCain opposed tax cuts of more than $1 trillion, one of only a few Republicans to do so, because he worried they would balloon the deficit and skewed heavily toward the middle-class. Democrats have slammed him for backing them now.

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 18, 2008; 8:56 PM ET
Categories:  John McCain  
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