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What's worse than flip-flopping? Consistently promising two opposing goals at the same time

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 10:32 AM
Original message
What's worse than flip-flopping? Consistently promising two opposing goals at the same time
The New Republic
McContradiction by Robert Gordon and James Kvaal
What's worse than flip-flopping? Consistently promising two opposing goals at the same time
Post Date Wednesday, July 09, 2008


John McCain's fantastical pledge on Monday to balance the budget by 2013 through massive tax cuts and unidentified budget reductions deserved the bad reviews it received. But the most unfortunate element of his incoherent promise is that it's representative of his policy agenda these days. While the McCain campaign is trying to paint Barack Obama as a flip-flopper, the Arizona Republican is making diametrically opposed policy promises to different audiences at the same time. The contradictions are often in the details, but their obscurity is evidence of the campaign's cynicism.

Take McCain's ambitious health care plan. It would give every family a $5,000 health insurance tax credit at a cost of $3.6 trillion, by his campaign's own account. Despite its size, McCain aides have said, repeatedly, that McCain's health care proposal has no net cost. That's because it would tax workers' health benefits, which the Joint Committee on Taxation agrees will raise $3.6 trillion (in its analysis of the Bush proposal that served as the model for McCain's plan). Taxing health benefits solves the budget problem, but it creates another: It raises taxes on tens of millions of middle-class families, according to a Center for American Progress Action Fund report one of us co-authored.

Rather than face up to the difficult choice between higher deficits and more taxes, McCain advisors are attempting to have the best of both worlds. Jonathan Cohn noted "rumors" that McCain was actually subjecting health benefits to income taxes but not to payroll taxes--a policy that would help middle-class families but explode the deficit. And the McCain campaign told Daily Tax Report that "health benefits would only be subject to income taxes, not payroll taxes."

This makes no sense. The campaign's own $3.6 trillion figure is based on both income and payroll taxes. To say the plan cuts taxes by $3.6 trillion, has no budget cost, and doesn't raise payroll taxes is sort of like saying that Cindy McCain's passion fruit mousse recipe has no fat, burns calories, and eliminates male pattern baldness: It's impossible.

You see the same kind of doublespeak with tax policy. In June, the respected Tax Policy Center tallied up the cost of McCain's plans. The Tax Policy Center's report was based in part on conversations with McCain aides. It has since been cited in dozens of media reports. Yet the report's clarifications essentially rewrite the tax policies that McCain has publicly espoused.

more...

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=f32048af-6a69...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-09-08 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's the Ronald Reagan Game Plan
and the basis of "trickle-Down" Economics.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-11-08 07:27 PM
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2. What's worse?
REFUSING to change your mind when circumstances change.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-12-08 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. The Obstinate Flip Flopper? OMG...Another One?
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