The 8 AM Budget Director Phone Call

Steve Chapman doubts any of the presidential candidates know how to handle the economic situation:

They claim they can pay for most of this by raising taxes on the wealthy and ending the war in Iraq. But the first would bring in no more than $100 billion a year or so. And the money we are spending in Iraq is money we don't have in the first place. It's like saying, I can't afford a Hawaiian vacation, so  I'll take the money I'm not spending on that to buy a Mercedes. The clear implication is that either of the Democrats will finance their proposals the same way President Bush has financed hisby sending the bill to our kids.

For all his stern talk about eradicating earmarks, John McCain would take a similar approach. True, he is much less inclined to launch new initiatives, but he spurns the notion of paying for all the expenses we currently have, much less the ones looming ahead.

He says he would not increase taxes under any circumstances. That would be lovely if McCain were proposing deep cuts in the federal budget to eliminate the growing deficit. In fact, NTUF calculates, his plans would increase federal spending by $7 billion a year.