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McCain's Call for Fiscal Sanity

Attempting to further bolster his conservative credentials, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today railed against entitlement spending and sought to link economic security with national security during a speech to the Economic Club of New York.

Sen. John McCain
Can Sen. McCain win over deficit hawks and fiscal conservatives? (AP File Photo)

"A tsunami of entitlement spending is threatening our economy while providing no real security for retirees," McCain said. "We have made promises that we cannot keep." (Read the text of McCain's speech.)

Huge federal budget deficits are threatening the economic future for younger Americans and destabilizing the country on the international stage, according to McCain. "No security strategy can succeed without a firm economic foundation," he said. "Just as we must anticipate and confront outside threats using all instruments of our national power, we must face the very real threats emanating from home that endanger our prosperity."

McCain cast his call for a renewal of fiscal conservatism through the historical lens of former president Ronald Reagan, whom he repeatedly singled out for praise in today's address. He lauded Reagan for "rededicat[ing] our national energies to the principles of personal, political and economic freedom" -- tenets, McCain said, that have largely been lost in today's politics.

The Arizona senator also offered a bit of veiled criticism for the current president, saying: "Legislators pass pork-filled bills without fear of public retribution or presidential veto."

President Bush has not vetoed a single bill passed by the Congress since coming into office in 2000. By contrast, McCain pointed out in his remarks that in the past few years he has "opposed some Republican fiscal initiatives out of concern for the absence of spending restraint."

Much has been made of McCain's courting of social conservatives (most notably his speech last month at Liberty University), but little has been written to date of his outreach to the fiscal hawks within the party -- with whom he has had a somewhat testy relationship.

In 2004, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) -- one of the most outspoken fiscal conservatives in the House -- weighed a primary challenge to McCain with strong encouragement from the D.C.-based Club for Growth, a group of anti-regulatory, pro-free market individuals whose members were angered by McCain's opposition to the Bush tax cuts and his support for campaign finance reform.

Flake eventually decided against a run, citing McCain's popularity in Arizona. McCain endorsed Flake for reelection this fall, a move that has no practical significance since the congressman sits in a safe Republican district, but is certainly a nod to the fiscal hawks in the Republican Party. Along those lines, McCain this year supported legislation to extend capital gains and dividend tax cuts. (In his speech today, McCain said: "I have always believed in the power of the American people, and the importance of keeping marginal tax rates low. But tax cuts work best when accompanied by lower spending.")

It remains to be seen whether McCain can win over fiscal conservatives before 2008. But it is clear that he is making inroads with segments of the GOP coalition that supported Bush over him in the 2000 primaries.

The latest evidence came late last week when McCain won a straw poll in Ottawa County, Mich. McCain took 59 percent of the vote to 22 percent for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), five percent for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, four percent for Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo (a leading supporter of tougher immigration laws) and three percent for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (whose father served as governor of Michigan). McCain allies note that Ottawa County encompasses much of the state's 2nd congressional district, one of the two the Arizona senator lost to Bush in the 2000 Michigan primary.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 12, 2006; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , Republican Party  
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Comments

I don't understand why the "so called" political experts continue to avoid the scandal problems of the Gov. of Illinois. It is a real probability that the GOP will regain control of the state.

Oh, by the way.. after 9/11 the only way to achieve rapid recovery of the economy was deficit spending. Have you noticed that the economy is growing at a very healthy rate and the tax revenues flowing into the treasury are projected to cut the deficit in half, way ahead of schedule. But that is NOT the story the MSM and liberals want to spin. Truth is not their long suit.

Posted by: Jerry Claar | June 16, 2006 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, last three commentators, for three more examples of invective without content.

Or is there only one of you? Style looks mighty similar.

Posted by: Kakuzan | June 15, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

At 4:56 PM June 12 King of Zouk described this blog as "an echo chamber of hate, bile, and filth." Life imitating art, the next 14 comments exemplified what he meant. Substantive good sense didn't come back until Colin's post at 5:55--nearly an hour of hate, bile, and filth later.

An editorial in the June 13 San Francisco Chronicle (not known for conservatism) describes Republican assaults on same-sex marriage and the estate tax as "political calisthenics. The true believers work up a sweat, feel great, but don't advance a foot." Recognize yourselves, Right and Left both?

Posted by: Kakuzan | June 13, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

let's face it - Fiscal Sanity and the GOP are like oil and water - they don't mix.

actions speak louder than empty promises and they've had more than enough time to take action.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 13, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

So is the true fiscal conservative the person who favors tax cuts (which are popular) or the person who opposes spending increases (which are also popular)?

Posted by: kal-el | June 13, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Colin: I'm fairly certain that 'Tina' IS getting paid in some capacity. Too reliable, too immune to the reality of the situation. There has to be direct financial incentive to be that refractory in the face of common sense.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | June 13, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Tina -- You're seriously not getting paid to post this stuff about Rice? B/c this sure seems to be your full time job. She has no chance. Zero. None at all.

Posted by: Colin | June 13, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

McCain might be a player for the 2008 race, but he will have competition against a stronger candidate, Condi Rice.

www.4condi.com provides a wealth of information about Condi building relationships with world leaders which are helping the Bush Administration now and will also help her adminstration if she wins in 2008.

www.4condi.com has the contacts for people across the nation who are promoting Condi in 2008

It will be the Republican voters in Iowa and New Hamphsire who will be deciding which person wins their support and their delegates. In fact, Condi's name can be included at the Iowa caucus in January without her being a declared candidate in order to included in this effort to show who is viable.

Posted by: Tina | June 13, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The thought that economic growth and tax rates are inversely related is a beautiful theory. Unfortunately, here's the ugly fact:
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/template.cfm?PubID=9494

There is in fact no proven correlation between economic growth and tax rates. Clinton and the Democratic Congress in 1993 passed a tax increase on the wealthy, and the late 90's saw the largest sustained period of growth since World War II.

Posted by: Zathras | June 13, 2006 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Q, I'll take a stab at the obvious answer (since the trolls on The Fix are ignoring you):

Uh, b/c thered be nothing left for Republicans to run on?

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | June 12, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

So tax cuts stimulate the economy. And the bigger the tax cut, the more it stimulates the economy. So then, why not get rid of all taxes?

Posted by: Q | June 12, 2006 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with Colin. Tax-cuts without a decrease in spending are a recipe for disaster. I only wish the Republicans would get the message, and make the hard choices (Pork) that are required to fix this problem.

Posted by: FH | June 12, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, you are SO right about the Right's problem with projecting. Every once in a while us "moonbats" have to whip out our trusty-dusty NeoCon-decoder-ring (found at the bottom of a folder of Mickie-D's Freedom Fries) just to decipher the madness that spews from the Limbaugh Lemmings.

McCain and the GOP may seem like hawks with their sorry attempts at so-called "spending restraint" but every time a $75B "emergency war supplemental" passes whilst decimating Homeland Security dollars they clearly lose more and more votes from Independent voters.

You can cut "entitlement spending" all you want but 70% of the country thinks we're on the wrong track, and chopping $500 Million dollars from PBS, and undercutting NCLB for example, will NEVER balance the GOP budget or make America a better place.

We need pay-go and we need ANYONE but the GOP with their hands in the cookie jar. And speaking of, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA; chairman of the Appropriations Committee) is in deep doggie do-do.

side note, this is interesting (from WaPo):

"Murders, robberies and aggravated assaults in the United States increased last year, spurring an overall rise in violent crime for the first time since 2001, according to FBI data.

Murders rose 4.8 percent, meaning there were more than 16,900 victims in 2005. That would be the most since 1998 and the largest percentage increase in 15 years.

...

Criminal justice experts said the statistics reflect the nation's complacency in fighting crime, a product of dramatic declines in the 1990s and the abandonment of effective programs that emphasized prevention, putting more police officers on the street and controlling the spread of guns."

At least we have George W. Bush to make us FEEL safe (even when we're not). Whatta joke.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | June 12, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk -- I gather that you are a very firm believer that tax cuts per say stimulate economic growth. Well get ready for a surprise - I agree wit you, to an extent. I don't think anyone can argue that the HUGE tax cuts that Bush has passed over the last 6 years have had some type of growth effect on the economy, although anyone that says they can quantify with any degree of specificity the extent of that effect is promising more than the data can support.

Even allowing that the tax cuts have had at least marginal postivie effects - from a growth standpoint - it's not at all clear that the tax cuts have in fact been a wise or prudent policy decision. First, there is zero evidence that tax cuts are REQUIRED to stimulate the economy. Clinton and Rubin showed that by creating an atmosphere in which interest rates can remain low and by strategically investing in the economy, you can create an atmosphere ripe for economic growth absent the need for any affirmative government stimulation in the form of tax cuts OR increased government spending.

Second, by running up record deficits to pay for these tax cuts, rather than actually cutting spending to pay for them, Bush has done three additional things that you don't discuss in your analysis at all: (1) He's given the illusion, just like Reagan did, that tax cuts don't actually require any sacrifice in services; (2) He's made sure that in the future capital will be more expensive, since interest rates will almost certainly rise to combat the increased risk of inflation that comes with a combination of government spending and tax cuts; and (3) He's ensured a significant tax increase in the future, since congress has proven itself completely incapable of making the kind of SWEEPING spending cuts that would be required to pay for the loss of revenue these cuts will create.

For once, I wish purported "fiscal conservatives" on the Republican side would join that debate by actually addressing the COSTS (and there are ALWAYS costs, in any policy decision) associated with tax cuts in an intellectually honest manner. A reasonable person can think that government should do less and charge less taxes. But the message of so-called conservatives today is that you can get tax cuts without giving anything else up. That's just not true.

Posted by: Colin | June 12, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

'Drindle - the fact challenged spewer of hate who never misses an opportunity to display her total ignorance and lack of any anchor in reality.'

That's the thing that's really clinically interesting about republicans -- their ability to project their own traits onto others.

And really -- 'moonbats'? Anyone who uses term instlantly loses credibility. Talk about tinfoil hat childishness.

Posted by: Drindl | June 12, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Very enlightening. duh - the name says it all. Drindle - the fact challenged spewer of hate who never misses an opportunity to display her total ignorance and lack of any anchor in reality.

//Back to ignoring moonbats.//

RMill (who I appreciate greatly), you stated no one thought tax breaks helped yet then admitted half do. and you have clearly pointed out that there were jobs created, although it is certainly valid to question the cause and effect. but you did include 9/11 in your numbers. this is an anomly that skews the data.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 12, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Zouk - Please do us a favor and return to your hole.

Posted by: Duh! | June 12, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

'This blog is an echo chamber of hate, bile and filth' --well, it is when you're on it, zouk.

Posted by: Drindl | June 12, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

This blog is an echo chamber of hate, bile and filth. No idea is ever taken at its face. you Dems deserve the leaders you have and the election results you have received. you all think you are so clever but anyone with an objective standard sees you for exactly what you are - big government, big taxing know-it-alls with no tolerance for any view outside your petite world view.
Yes there are laws of economics and standards for military actions. simpletons can't seem to grasp this and comprehend that. your opinions on these matters aren't worth spit.
this is what passes as Democratic wisdom:
"stinkee zouk with brown do-dee"
"cowardice and hypocrisy of the GOP quite like Ronnie's out-of-control spending and incompetence"
"white trash that can be led by the nose with petty fear tactics and other partisan buffoons"
"Republican Party runs the economy into the ground "
We're suppose3d to let some 'expert' bureaucrat in the government tell us how to live"

Posted by: king of zouk | June 12, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Wait a sec? Wasn't McCain one of the R's who voted against the estate tax last week?

Posted by: activist | June 12, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't McCain, Repubs call for Pay as you go? Seemed to work during Clinton Adminstration. Those tax cuts have really produced, haven't they? Clinton 23 million jobs, 3.9 unemployment, budget surpluses expected to wipe out national debt in 10 years. Now, with Repubs in control we're headed for $9 Trillion deficit owed largely to Communist China and Saudia Arabia. Wow!!

Posted by: Paygo? | June 12, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Actually the last numbers for job creation were far below what was projected -- I think about 75,000 way below what needs to be created just to break even. In any case, it was far enough below it eased investors fears about inflation. What is projected is stagflation, which also occured during the Reagan years.

Reagan was a big-spending hypocrite, and John McCain clearly will say anything to get elected.

As to the following quote 'Economics and Warfare are not really something for the lay public to be trusted to analyze properly. now abortion or religion absolutely, or tax policy'

I really am curious what this person thinks citizens are? Peons? Serfs? We're suppose3d to let some 'expert' bureaucrat in the government tell us how to live? Conservatism has sure died a painful death.

Posted by: Drindl | June 12, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

My boy Clinton? I am a liberal Clinton was not but he was better than the criminal we have now. The Reps wanted to gut all federal housing and at least Clinton slowed the assault on the poor. Clinton left a 450$ surplus where is it now? Neocon fantasy land is a strange place it is gone very soon.

Posted by: Larry | June 12, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The trouble, RMill, is that much of those numbers were built on the sand of the dot-com bubble, as you know. All the numbers from the late 90s are thusly skewed and practically worthless.
Larry, the neocons are responsible for welfare reform? I thought your boy Bill took full credit.
Reagan's record shows what any President is up against when the other party controls Congress. Reagan DID talk a better game than actually occurred, but even if he had proposed draconian cuts, the Dems in the House would have never passed them.
Glad to see McCain at least talking like a fiscal conservative. I suspect he would act like one to an extent as well.

Posted by: wburkett | June 12, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party runs the economy into the ground but this guy can come out 5 months before a massive election and he's all of a sudden "Fiscally Responsible"? Gimme a break.

Way too little, way too late.

And besides, you can harp all you want on "entitlement spending" but imho unless you look at the ENTIRE budget you're just pissing in the wind.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | June 12, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

RMill - Can you tell what the increase in jobs has been since 2004 only? Hadn't there been a loss of jobs from 2001 to 2004, when it began to turn around?

I seem to remember Bush being pounded about the continued "net loss of jobs" up to and through the 2004 election.

If it was fair to attack the Administration on it then, it's only fair to give some credit now, if the numbers are significant.

I looked at the BLS site and couldn't find your data, but there's so much data on that site, that I might not find it.

Posted by: Duh! | June 12, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

ya welfare reform worked well. Poverty up 5% children no health care homeless up 10% crime rising murder rising. Know why neocon morons? It is called poverty! That small welfare check that you hate so much helped many Idiot neocons

Posted by: Larry | June 12, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

RMILL -- What ya want to bet King of Zouk doesn't respond to the date you just cited? I give solid 3:2 odds that that's the case...

Posted by: Colin | June 12, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

How convenient of 'ol man McCain to be touting fiscal sanity just a few days after he voted for permanent repeal of the estate tax. And isn't he the same guy who voted against repealing the estate tax as part of an earlier and equally fiscally sane tax package before voting for it this time around. This guy's a joke.

Posted by: Upstate NY | June 12, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you can say "most economists". Maybe half. You can pretty much find one economist to refute the claims of another on a 1:1 basis.

As far as employment, the total non-farm, seasonally adjusted employment of the United States was 137,778,000 in 2001 (Bush first year) and last month was at 143,976,000, a little more than 6 million jobs created (this is not net). Not spectacular considering the Clinton Adminsitration witnessed 22 million jobs creations in 8 years.

In addition, unemployment levels went from 6,023,000 in 2001 and has escalated to 7,015,000, up nearly 1 M. This does not include those dropped from the rolls. So the employment numbers are quite modest. How any of this can be attributed to tax relief has yet to be proven or reasonably explained. All data is from the BLS website.

For comparison, Clinton Adm-
1996 125,125,000 to end of 2000
137,614,000 (+12.5 M jobs)

Unemployment 1996 7,491,000 dropped to 5,634,000 by end of term in 2000 (-1.85 M).

Posted by: RMill | June 12, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Our spending is out of control; if you say anything else you are the dreaded "liberal" spender. All we do is pass endless pork projects, which have been typically associated with Democrats through the propaganda machine, but the true numbers do not lie. Where is our surplus in a Republican dominated gov't?

They're socially conservative to the point of borderline fascist and they are the most liberal spenders and advocates for intrusive government since the new deal. Except instead of safety net programs we have the far right clamoring for similar social standards to the enemy Islamic fundamentalist. Government has no place in our bedrooms or dictating the debate for our own future.

Poor white trash that can be led by the nose with petty fear tactics and other partisan buffoons like zouk eat this garbage hook line and sinker. YOU ARE NOT A CONSERVATIVE!!!

Posted by: Mike | June 12, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"I must agree that this blog is an exercise in futility. Has anyone here ever changed their mind based on something that was posted. If not this is just pure vanity." - Zouk

If this is so worthless, you can do us the service of just disappearing.

Or, isn't there anything better to do at the RNC right now?

Posted by: Duh! | June 12, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I love it when spend-and-spend Republicans bring up the name "Reagan" and "fiscal sanity" in the same breath. I mean, nothing quite exposes the cowardice and hypocrisy of the GOP quite like Ronnie's out-of-control spending and incompetence. So, if you're reading this, Senator McCain, please, mention Ronnie Reagan as often as you can.

Posted by: Tab Khan | June 12, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: che | June 12, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

A conservative trying to be fiscally conservative...what a concept!!!

RMill: In Georgia we let the lottery pay for our Pre-k. How progressive for a Southern state. But anyway, I'd like to keep my $300 dollars personally. Something about me spending my money as opposed to the govt. always makes me happy.

Posted by: FH | June 12, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I believe tax cuts help our economy, as do most economists. Take a look a the job creation numbers - astounding. Economics and Warfare are not really something for the lay public to be trusted to analyze properly. now abortion or religion absolutely, or tax policy.
You are free to donate you money to anything you see fit. but you are demanding everyone else does it too. and you stated goal is anything but demonstrated. did you ever notice that college tuitions went up exactly the same amount as federal assistance. how did this help? do we really need PhDs making hamburgers or maybe the market could sort it out if unencumbered by a makeshift morality.
did you know that our deficit is about 2.5% of GDP. compare this to Europe at about 5%. If you make $50K and spend $55K, (on credit by racking your card up to 5,000), you are spending like a european or drunken sailor. but I think most people would not be concerned if it was spent on something worthwhile.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 12, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry--another accidental double post. Slow computer posting speed.

Posted by: MHK919 | June 12, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

When it came to cutting spending and downsizing government, Reagan talked a better game than he played. Tax cuts were not balanced by commiserate spending cuts, and in many areas spending was increased, and not always to good effect (remember the scandals over all the defense spending that was wasted?)

McCain may have forgotten that Reagan ran up the largest deficits in history, as a part of the economy, that we have ever had absent a full-fledged declared war. Even Bush's deficits haven't (yet) hit the level of 6% of the economy that Reagan's did at one point.

Judging from the records of the last 30 years, Democrats should be elected for fiscal restraint, as only Bill Clinton balanced the budget (to work Clinton into the conversation in an on-topic way.) And for those who claim that a Republican-controlled Congress should get most of the credit, the record of the still-GOP Congress in the Bush years refutes that argument.

Posted by: MHK919 | June 12, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

When it came to cutting spending and downsizing government, Reagan talked a better game than he played. Tax cuts were not balanced by commiserate spending cuts, and in many areas spending was increased, and not always to good effect (remember the scandals over all the defense spending that was wasted?)

McCain may have forgotten that Reagan ran up the largest deficits in history, as a part of the economy, that we have ever had absent a full-fledged declared war. Even Bush's deficits haven't (yet) hit the level of 6% of the economy that Reagan's did at one point.

Judging from the records of the last 30 years, Democrats should be elected for fiscal restraint, as only Bill Clinton balanced the budget (to work Clinton into the conversation in an on-topic way.) And for those who claim that a Republican-controlled Congress should get most of the credit, the record of the still-GOP Congress in the Bush years refutes that argument.

Posted by: MHK919 | June 12, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Independent Woman-
All the better when wise policy can also be good politics.

Good point Jason.

Andy R.- at least while Bill was getting some in the Oval he wasn't going tax and spend crazy. His greatest contribution was creating a budget surplus while investing wisely (public safety and education)in America.

That seems to be where McCain is trying to go but has to get away from the tax cuts. Everyone wants a tax cut but no one believes they help our economy. They have certainly stimulated very little in the past six years.

I would personally just as soon forego my $300 middle class tax cut to get universal pre-K childhood development. That is a long term investment in the future of this country and an overall boon to economic development (albeit 20 years down the road). Also, trading the death tax for more Pell Grants and encouraging higher education, especially in math and sciences, is a wiser use of these dollars IMO.

Posted by: RMill | June 12, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Jason - typical clinton apologist. He did indeed lose his law license, why? and please do tell all those laws he passed while in office. I will give you the only real one - welfare reform which he vetoed twice and finally signed kicking and screaming but now claims as his own since it seemed to have worked. What about the lack of foresight on terrorism? you want to give him credit for the economy, then give Reagan and Bush and Carter credit (or blame) as well. How many jobs did he actually hire? One intern maybe! think back about 50 - 100 years and tell me what you know about any president. this is how it will read:
clinton - impeached because of an intern. that is his deserved legacy.
Reagan - won the cold war, fair or not that is what they will say.

Posted by: king of zouk | June 12, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

To add to Andy R's comments (and please correct me if I'm wrong) but didn't Reagan leave office with record budget deficits in place? Records that were only recently broken by Bush II?

Reagan is a useful icon but didn't do much to cut spending. Believe it or not, you cannot balance the budget by zeroing out the National Endowment for the Arts. And who did more to cut welfare costs, Reagan or Clinton?

And then there's this little piece of hypocrisy: "In 2004, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) -- one of the most outspoken fiscal conservatives in the House -- weighed a primary challenge to McCain with strong encouragement from the D.C.-based Club for Growth, a group of anti-regulatory, pro-free market individuals whose members were angered by McCain's opposition to the Bush tax cuts and his support for campaign finance reform."

You CANNOT favor fiscally liberal tax cuts that benefit 0.25% of America AND still be labeled a "fiscal conservative." This is close to (but not quite) a talking point that CC (and the rest of the MSM) has swallowed hook, line and sinker. Question those labels people!!

And finally "In his speech today, McCain said: I have always believed in the power of the American people, and the importance of keeping marginal tax rates low. But tax cuts work best when accompanied by lower spending.' " Lower spending is much much much more difficult than cutting taxes, especially when the current Congress has all the fiscal discipline of a drunk sailor in a brothel with a pocket full of $100 bills. Perhaps McCain would introduce legistlation penalizing members of Congress for pork? Now that'd work wonders. Bridge to Nowhere = 5 years in prison.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | June 12, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I have to take issue with your comment Andy R. Bill Clinton was impeached for purely political purposes--it didn't work out for them--but that was the intent. To my knowledge, former President Clinton was never convicted on perjury, nor was he even charged with it. Also the matter had nothing to do with his job as President which he did very well. How many President's in recent years brought about a surplus financially?

Posted by: Jason | June 12, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The only problem is that by bringing in Reagan he sounds hypocritical to me. Reagan led this country into a recession with his MASSIVE cold war spending. Not to mention that the under his watch we trained the same people who we are fighting now in Afganistan. I am sick and tired of hearing about Reagan and Clinton. Both are canonized by their respective parties as these great presidents when in reality one was a sea-nile old man who was clinicly losing his mind to alzheimers, the other was the second president to be impeached ever for committing perjury.

Posted by: Andy R | June 12, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Not just shrewd politics, but wise policy.

Posted by: Independent Woman | June 12, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

It's a win/win for McCain...he can posture himself as both a fiscal conservative (and spin it to be neocon-friendly using the Reagan riffs) AND a maverick (appealing to moderates, like myself).

Shrewd.

Posted by: Independent Woman | June 12, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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