McCain Backs Away From "No New Taxes"


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We noted a couple of weeks ago that presidential candidate John McCain appeared to be following in the footsteps of the first President Bush by making a pledge that he would almost certainly not be able to keep as President: "no new taxes." But in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, McCain laudably retreats from this position:
WSJ: On ABC's "This Week" on Feb. 17, in response to a question, "Are you a 'read my lips' candidate, no new taxes?" you replied, "No new taxes." Did you mean that literally?
McCain: I'm not making a "read my lips" statement in that I will not raise taxes. But I'm not saying I can envision a scenario where I would, OK? But I'm not making it a centerpiece in my campaign.
I want lower taxes. I want the family to keep more of their money.
McCain clearly wants to enact more tax cuts, of course. In the same interview, here's his prescription for getting the economy going again:
I would go very public in advocating that the tax cuts be made permanent, otherwise Americans are looking forward to a tax increase at a vulnerable time in our economy. I would call for the elimination of the AMT [alternative minimum tax]. And we absolutely need to reduce corporate tax rates, which are the second highest in the world.
But the good news is that he's not taking a blood oath that this is the only acceptable outcome. In today's political climate, that (sadly) counts as a victory for fiscal sanity.
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