One thing to keep in mind when considering John McCain's bogus balanced budget plan is that the wound here is entirely self-inflicted. Given the present circumstances, I can't think of any good reason for a presidential candidate to be promising to that we'll be at balanced budgets in four years. It would be nice to see the deficit on a decreasing trajectory rather than an increasing one, but achieving short-term balance isn't necessary or even necessarily desirable.

But since there's a supply-side faction on the right and also a deficit hawk faction on the right, and since McCain doesn't really seem very interested in whether or not his proposals make sense, he seems to have just decided to do both -- flip-flop on the Bush tax cuts and propose large new tax cuts and promise to balance the budget even though he has no way of doing it.