Today the Wall St. Journal editorial page repeated its oft-made claim that: "Sen. Obama is proposing to raise taxes more than any recent candidate, while Sen. McCain wants to cut them substantially."
What I find remarkable about the claim is how it ignores basic accounting: tax cuts without spending cuts will raise government borrowing above the already too-high level of the Bush Administration. That unsustainable borrowing, in turn, will mostly lead to higher taxes in the future. There may be some modest reductions in spending to the extent McCain's tax cuts lead the government to break promises about Social Security and health care for retired people - although this is not the spending restraint McCain emphasizes. As everyone who has looked at the federal budget knows, with military spending off the table, there is not enough other government spending to cut to make up for McCain's tax plans. To put it simply, McCain's plans to reduce tax revenue without cutting spending are delaying taxes for our children to pay, not cutting them.
McCain is a good and decent man. It is a shame that his weak knowledge of economics leads him to favor policies that I think he would abhor if he understood their effects.