It's worth saying that reducing the corporate income tax, as per John McCain, is not a terrible idea per se. As far as these things go, the corporate income tax is not a great way of raising revenue in part because it's shot-through with loopholes and such. And then the existence of the loopholes and the desire of various companies to squeeze their revenues into the loopholes has a deleterious impact of some kind on economic growth. I believe the standard center-left technocratic proposal is to eliminate the corporate income tax entirely and replace the lost revenue with a hike in the top individual income tax bracket -- that should ensure that the benefits of a corporate tax cut are captured by the middle class.

That, however, is very much not what John McCain is doing. Rather, he's proposing a cut in the corporate income tax rate and an extension of tax cuts in the top bracket and he's proposing to pay for that through some mix of borrowing and large cuts to domestic spending on retirement security and who knows what else. There's no good case for doing that. The imperfections of the corporate income tax, though real, aren't nearly so terrible as to make it worth paying any price to eliminate them. The kind of technically sound, revenue neutral corporate tax cut I outlined in the first paragraph is the sort of thing you would have expected the McCain of 2001-2003 to propose, but the new-old dogmatic rightwinger McCain is just offering flim-flam and smokescreens.

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