Joe Klein reveals that John McCain's chief economic adviser is smart enough to know that unless there are real, deep cuts in entitlements, taxes will have to be raised somewhere if the US is not going to fall off a fiscal cliff. But McCain will not say so in this campaign. Why? Matt Miller's forthcoming book explains:

So why does tax-cutting mania persist among Republicans, I asked [Douglas] Holtz-Eakin, the McCain adviser--given...that, as Holtz-Eakin himself explained to me, taxes soon have to go up substantially in any event?

"It's the brand," he said, "and you don't dilute the brand."

Beneath McCain's veneer of dishonesty lies another veneer of cynicism. They're interested in marketing, not governing, in lying, not debating.