How to reconcile John McCain's reputation as a fiscal tightwad with his desire for open-ended war in Iraq? It's simple, magical ponies victory will solve the problem, as a policy paper leaked to Mike Allen at Politico says: "The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit." Jason Furman is skeptical:

"McCain would have to pay for all of his new tax cuts and other proposals and then, on top of that, cut an additional $443 billion from the budget—which is 81 percent of Medicare spending or 78 percent of all discretionary spending outside of defense," Furman said.



And of course even this may be too kind, as McCain has in the past hinted at a desire to increase defense spending back up to a Cold War share of GDP and McCain's plan to keep fighting in Iraq until the last Iraqi who wants us gone is dead seems unlikely to allow us to realize his "victory" savings on any feasible timeframe.

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