A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

The Budget According to McCain: Part I

McCain’s big promise is that he can balance the budget while extending Bush’s tax cuts and adding a few of his own. He likes to leave the impression that this can be done painlessly, for example, by eliminating “wasteful” spending in the form of “earmarks” that lawmakers like to tuck into spending bills to finance home-state projects. We found that not only is this theory full of holes, it’s not even McCain’s actual plan. In this story we examine the spending-cut side of McCain’s budget program. In Part II, we’ll look at what McCain has said about taxes.

The Budget and Deficit Under Clinton

Q: During the Clinton administration was the federal budget balanced? Was the federal deficit erased?
A: Yes to both questions, whether you count Social Security or not.

More Mitt Missteps

Mitt Romney has been boasting of accomplishments as governor, while also outlining foreign policy proposals. But Romney sometimes alters the past, exaggerates his record and traffics in ambiguous language.

Don’t Veto the Truth

In an ad, Mitt Romney said he “vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations as governor.” What he doesn’t mention is that over 700 of his vetoes were overturned by the Massachusetts Legislature.

Supply-side Spin

John McCain has said that the major tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 have “increased revenues.” He also said that tax cuts in general increase revenues. That’s highly misleading.

Counter-rotating Tax Spin

Summary
The Democrats’ proposed 2008 budget is being spun by both sides. Democrats claim it will not raise taxes by even a penny, while Republicans say it will impose the largest or second-largest tax increase in history.
Obviously, the budget can’t be the largest tax increase in history and zero tax increase simultaneously. So which is it? The answer depends on a couple of questions: What constitutes an increase? And an increase compared with what?

Democratic Radio Ads Can Stand Clarification

Radio ads being run by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee refer to three Ohio Republicans as “rubberstamp Republicans” for initiatives supported by the President. In fact, their voting records are about average for Republican House members.