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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 05/23/2008

McCain's Fantasy War on Earmarks

By Michael Dobbs


Portland, OR, May 12, 2008.

"I can eliminate $100 billion of wasteful and earmark spending immediately--35 billion in big spending bills in the last two years, and another 65 billion that has already been made a permanent part of the budget."
--John McCain, NPR All Things Considered, April 23, 2008.

John McCain boasts that he can save $100 billion a year "immediately" by eliminating the so-called earmarks that legislators attach to spending bills to finance pet projects, usually in their home state. But he has refused to say exactly which projects he would cut, and his estimates of the amount of money that is being spent on earmarks have been challenged by independent experts.

The Facts

The Arizona senator is promising to balance the budget by the end of his first term, while simultaneously extending the George W. Bush tax cuts, introducing billions of dollars of new tax cuts of his own, and remaining in Iraq as long as is necessary to stabilize that country. Asked how this miracle will be accomplished, McCain told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News This Week on April 20 that he could come up with $100 billion "tomorrow" by vetoing pork-barrel spending bills.

Here's $100 billion right here for you, George. Two years in a row, the last two years, the president of the United States has signed into law two big spending, pork barrel-laden bills with $35 billion (in earmarks). In the years before that, $65 billion. You do away with those, there's $100 billion right before you look at any agency.

Pouff! $100 billion in taxpayer money! Saved! Just like that! With a flick of the presidential veto pen!

There are a number of problems with this magical budgetary balancing act. First of all, the suspiciously round $100 billion figure is largely a figment of the McCain campaign's imagination. I have not been able to find a single independent budget expert to vouch for it. McCain's economics adviser, Doug Holtz-Eakin, will not say how the campaign arrived at the figure, other than that it is an extrapolation from various studies, including a 2006 study by the Congressional Research Service available here.

The CRS study breaks down earmarks by different government departments, without giving a global figure. According to Scott Lilly, a former Democratic appropriations staffer now with the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the CRS study identifies a total of $52 billion in earmarks for a single year. However, much of this money is tied to items such as foreign aid to countries like Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, that McCain says he will not touch.

By most definitions of the term, the amount of money spent on earmarks is much lower than the CRS study. The Office for Management and the Budget came up with a figure for $16.9 billion in the 2008 appropriation bills. Taxpayers for Commonsense, an independent watchdog group that focuses on wasteful spending, identified $18.3 billion worth of earmarks in the 2008 bills, a 23 per cent cut from a record $23.6 billion set in 2005.

How much of this $18.3 billion could be eliminated is a "difficult question that we have not yet figured out," said Taxpayers for Commonsense vice-president Steve Ellis. The figure includes such items as $4 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which could not be eliminated without halting hundreds of construction projects around the country. Another big chunk goes to military construction, including housing for servicemen and their families, which McCain has also promised not to touch.

Bruce Riedl, a budget analyst with the Heritage Foundation, says it might be possible to eliminate roughly half the expenditure on earmarks every year, i.e. around $9 billion, using the Taxpayers for Commonsense figures. He identified $5 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds, most of which goes to local governments, as a prime target for cuts. Even if earmarks were eliminated altogether, many other expenditures would have to be shifted to other parts of the budget.

Like other analysts, Riedl was mystified by McCain's argument that previous year's earmarks automatically become a "permanent part of the budget." "I don't understand how they come up with that," he told me.

Excluding those programs McCain has promised to preserve, the draconian slashing of earmark expenditures might save around $10 billion a year. But that is still a long way from the $100 billion in savings that McCain says that he can identify "immediately."

The McCain camp now says that the senator never meant to suggest that his proposed $100 billion in savings would all come from earmarks. Holtz-Eakin told me that McCain had simply promised to cut overall spending by around $100 billion. Some of these savings will come from earmarks, some from other parts of the budget. He declined to identify which specific projects would be cut.

Asked whether McCain had misspoke or whether he had been misunderstood in his focus on eliminating earmarks, Holtz-Eakin replied: "a bit of both."

The Pinocchio Test

McCain's talk about eliminating $100 billion a year in earmarks is largely fantasy. His advisers are now promoting a more realistic plan of eliminating $100 billion in overall spending. But it is difficult to take even that promise very seriously given the fact that the senator refuses to identify exactly which projects he will be cut. To use a phrase coined by George H.W. Bush, this is "voodoo economics," based more on wishful thinking than on hard data or carefully considered policy proposals.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | May 23, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  4 Pinocchios, Candidate Watch, Economy  
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Comments

I look forward to a similar analysis of Obama's proposed budget.

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Still, I have to admit McCain is full of it here. Also, how will he get rid of earmarks he disagrees with exactly? Veto all legislation with earmarks he doesn't like? Good luck. For someone who brags of 'straight talk', this is pretty disappointing.

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

McCain gets four Pinocchio's for an overstatement while Barry Obama gets two for outright lying! The Post sure is balanced!

Posted by: bnichols | May 23, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday's Observation:
"words mean what I choose them to mean. Neither more nor less."
You've got everyone off and running now!

Still 4 Pinocchio(s) seems excessive. Maybe you don't understand Politician Math. That is, to cut $1,000,000 out of the budget you have to start with at least a $100 billion cut.

Posted by: vcsmith | May 23, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

still sucking up obama eh?

Posted by: obamaisgawd | May 23, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The general election will be a walkover.

Republicans are not going to turn out to vote for this goon, whether or not they are afraid of a black president.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 23, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Even if it were true, it wouldn't be true.

If $100 billion worth of earmarks was passed over the past two years, McCain couldn't, as President in 2009, wave his veto pen and restore that money to the budget.

The veto is not retroactive. You can't "do away" with a spending bill that has already been approved and "immediately" add money that has already been appropriated to the budget.

He should get another Pinocchio just for failing to understand the basic realities of time.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 23, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Even if it were true, it wouldn't be true.

If $100 billion worth of earmarks was passed over the past two years, McCain couldn't, as President in 2009, wave his veto pen and restore that money to the budget.

The veto is not retroactive. You can't "do away" with a spending bill that has already been approved and "immediately" add money that has already been appropriated to the budget.

He should get another Pinocchio just for failing to understand the basic realities of time.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 23, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

We'll see, shrink2 ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Ugh, I hate it when people double-post, and now I've fallen victim to the same malady.

Sorry, everyone.

Posted by: John in Mpls | May 23, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

McCain admits that he does not know much about anything financial. I'll admit that the only reason he's in the Senate is because he was a POW. He is less than competent.

Posted by: RAT-The | May 23, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Wow, his bald-faced lie only gets 4 Pinocchios?

Posted by: flounder | May 23, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Jake, McCain drew a crowd of 200 people to his airport hangar rally yesterday. The number includes a biker gang, looky loos, war protesters...I call that being ignored. Of course, I am in Portland, OR today and standards here are different.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 23, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

McCain has a very checkered past with lobbyists and their pots of money. He is the last of the Keating Five. When Lincoln Savings and Loan failed, with Republican, of course, Charles Keating as the CEO,tax[ayers had to bail out savers to the tune of 30 billion dollars. In short, McCain, is another dirt-bag Republican.

Posted by: tanaS | May 23, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

John in Mpls:

You need to understand hypothetical scenarios such as "If John SIDNEY McCain were President tomorrow ..." (especially to get you ready for the shock of November 4th ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

tanaS:

As I believe I have pointed out to you, several times now, McCain has apologized for his involvement in the Keating Five scandal and, since then, has been a champion of campaign finance reform.

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

jakeD:
Doesn't make any more difference than Obama, who had no control over Rev Wright. But you Right-Wingers applying ever-changing standards to politicians - if the crook is of the GOP.

Posted by: tanaS | May 23, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

JakeD:
If McCain is apologetic why hasn't he returned the 'campaign' money he received from Keating? McCain did not support strong campaign finance reform. Very few Repubs do.

Posted by: tanaS | May 23, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree that not many GOP agree with McCain on campaign finance reform, but that's not McCain's fault. What exactly MORE do you think should have beem reformed? Are you are aware that SOME parts of McCain-Feingold were ruled Un-Constitutional by the Supreme Court for going TOO FAR, right?

Also, why should McCain have given back LEGAL contributions? Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received a total of $112,000 from Charles Keating Jr. and his associates at Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, along with trips on Keating's jets (which were NOT illegal at the time).

In 1987, McCain was one of the five senators whom Keating contacted in order to prevent the government's seizure of Lincoln, which was by then insolvent and being investigated for making questionable efforts to regain solvency. McCain met twice with federal regulators to discuss the government's investigation of Lincoln.

On his Keating Five experience, McCain said: "The appearance of it was wrong. It's a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do." Federal regulators ultimately filed a civil suit against Keating. The five senators came under investigation for attempting to influence the regulators. In the end, none of the Senators were charged with any crime. McCain was rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising "poor judgment", but the 1991 report said that McCain's "actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him."

In his 1992 re-election bid, the Keating Five affair was not a major issue, and he won handily, gaining 56 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic community and civil rights activist Claire Sargent and independent former Governor Evan Mecham.

Before McCain was named the presumptive nominee, The New York Times ran an article on January 28, 2008 revisiting the scandal in addition to some other allegations of inappropriate behavior by McCain. Robert S. Bennett, whom McCain had hired to represent him in this matter, defended McCain's character and was one of many people who criticized the piece. Bennett, who was the special investigator during the Keating Five scandal that The Times revisited in the article, said that he fully investigated McCain back then and suggested to the Senate Ethics Committee to not pursue charges against McCain because of "no evidence against him."

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The same Supreme Court that as a plurality has been appointed by Repubs. McCain subscribes to the philosophy that to muddy his past by 'supporting' something that seems to conflict with his behavior of the past is good politics for short-memories of the average GOP voter.

Posted by: tanaS | May 23, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

What exactly MORE do you think should have been reformed then?

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

JakeD:
I find it ridiculous that YOU blame Obama for having Hussein as a middle name, and an association with a wing-nut like Reverend Wright, but you're an apologist for a crook like McCain. McCain has supported and advocated legislation that benefits his cronies. But I never read any criticism from you of ANY Republican. You're just another hyper-ventilating GOP voter.

Posted by: tanaS | May 23, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Jonny Mac will change his tune again tomorrow.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

tanaS:

If you don't want to answer my question, that's fine with me. I have been critical of McCain (and the GOP) though. For instance, I believe that many more parts of McCain-Feingold should have been overturned, and I denounced the legislation as Un-Constitutional from the start. Perhaps someone actually interested in debate will answer my question instead.

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Of course, none of this campaign finance reform talk has anything to do with the fact that in saying he could reduce federal spending by $100 billion "before looking at any agency...", Senator McCain is either lying or hopelessly deluded. In either case, it belies his experience argument. He does not appear to have learned anything in his decades in the Senate.

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

You see, that was "critical" of McCain too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

vcsmith:

I'm surprised the Heritage Foundation guy quoted in the story didn't attack "earmarks" better. If you've never used their on-line Federal Budget Calculator to slash every liberal spending program, it is really fun:

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/budgetchartbook/fed-rev-spend-2008-boc-C5-FY-2008-Had-the-Second-Highest.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

One wonders how long Americans will accept the "Bull" that John McCain consistently puts out. He seems to think he is going to shuck and jive his way to President. He is probably the most ill informed, arrogant, deaf, and self righteous politician we have seen in a long time. Because he had the misfortune to be a POW somehow he seems to think that gave him some kind of superior moral authority no matter the subject. You name the problem and John McCain has some simplistic solution. Balancing the Federal budgets by eliminating "ear marks" and "pork" whatever they are, are just the latest in a long line of silly statements by McCain.

Whatever the issue John McCain's refrain is "I know hoiw to fix it". Unfortunately over the course of 26 years there is scant evidence that McCain has fixed anything. After ignoring economic affairs for most of his career now he tells us he knows how to fix that too. Funny thing is only a few short months ago this is the same McCain who told us the American economy was just fine.

Foreign Affairs and Military Affairs are considered his strong suites, I say why? Other than what he received at various military schools there is scant evidence he is any more of an expert than any other former military pilot. Many of his statements on these fronts are a repudiation of every Post WWII President's foreign policies regardless of political party. Don't talk to our enemies, really? So Truman should not have talked to Stalin? Eisenhower should not have negotiated with North Korea? Nixon should not have talked to Mao or gone to China? The British should not have talked to the IRA? The South Africans should never have talked to the ANC? India should not be talking with Pakistan? Israel should not have talked with Egypt, or as we find out with Syria? China should never have talked to Russia? Vietnam should not have talked to China? We should not have talked to Libya? McCain seems to want a return to the pre-1914 World where nations felt free to attack or invade other countries on pretext, miscalculation, or due to some real or imagined threat.

When he asked what is Obama going to talk to Iran about, my question is what is McCain not going to talk to them about. Commonsense tells you that fear and weakness are the only reason not to talk to anyone. McCain has forgotten FDR's prophectic words "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself". It was true then and it's true now.

When will the Press and the rest of us realize that the straight talk express was nothing more than a calculated public relations ploy by a candidate who was virtually broke during a previous Presidential campaign. The press and many Americans lapped up the propaganda, but not this time! As they say, never again!

Posted by: How Long | May 23, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

McCain will need all the money the RNC can raise, he could never raise enough money from the people who actually "believe in" him. For this reason, he will have to run on a third Bush term platform, the platform of the money donors.

Whether or not people think he is better or somehow different from Bush, there is no wiggle room if the RNC is the money behind the campaign. You like the direction this country is going? A few rich people and Faux news sure do. Go ahead, vote to stay the course, vote for John McSame.

Obama owes his donors nothing, and the

Posted by: shrink2 | May 23, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It seems that his $100 billion isn't $100 billion a year.
It's $100 billion in earmarks in bills that Bush has signed into law in the past seven years.
Of course, that doesn't save any money from future budgets.
He's following the Reagan pattern: "I'm a fiscal conservative, so I'll save money. Don't ask me where or how."
Of course, Reagan left office with a debt two or three times what it was when he came in.

Posted by: Frank Palmer | May 23, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Why is McCain a more war hero than the other American who fought the same war and are now relegated to homeless?What credentials qualify him as an expert in national security and defence matters?Being shot down and held prisoner of war?Come on ,there are many soldiers who suffered the same fate.

Posted by: nobby | May 23, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Given the enormous challenges we will have in the next four years I think it is impotant for our next President to have the ability to "think critically" i.e. examine a problem from many angles and try to forsee the consequences of our decisions.

Which candidate do you think is the best equipped to be a critical thinker?

(hint: it has to do with education)

Posted by: JR | May 23, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Ha, ha I meant "Important", I typed "Impotent"

Posted by: JR | May 23, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Pick one:
1. A student that flunked the bar exam
2. A student that finished close to last in their class
3. A student that became the first AA of the Harvard Law Review

Posted by: JR | May 23, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

#2 : )

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Good post, Michael. Candidates are always coming up with BS claims that they'll cut "wasteful" spending, and the press is generally way too easy on them.

Posted by: Dave | May 23, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

How much more "specific" do you want at this stage in the game?! You do realize that he is NOT President yet, right? He has proposed the following:

"A One-Year Spending Pause To Evaluate Programs. He believes that outside of essential military and veterans programs there should be a one-year pause in discretionary spending growth that should be used for a top-to-bottom review of the effectiveness of federal programs.

John McCain Has The Leadership And Courage To Make The Right Spending Choices. Reduced spending means making choices. John McCain will not leave office without balancing the federal budget. He will not do it with smoke and mirrors. When he leaves office, he wants to leave a budget that stays balanced after he is gone, and can weather the occasional downturn and unexpected contingency. John McCain will provide the courageous leadership necessary to control spending, including:

Eliminate Broken Government Programs. The federal government itself admits that one in five programs do not perform.

Reform Our Civil Service System To Promote Accountability And Good Performance In Our Federal Workforce.

Eliminating Earmarks, Wasteful Subsidies And Pork-Barrel Spending.

Reform Procurement Programs And Cut Wasteful Spending In Defense And Non-Defense Programs.

Budgetary Reform To Give Tax Cuts A Fair Chance:

John McCain Will Reform Budgeting To Treat Equally Spending And Taxes And To Stop Damaging Tax Hikes. Congress has unfairly stacked the deck to spend more and raise taxes. If a spending program is on the books, budgets assume that it is on the books forever - and continues to grow - even if the law says it expires. If low taxes are on the books, budgets don't assume that they last forever. When they expire, those taxes are automatically raised.

Reforming Entitlement Programs For The 21st Century:

John McCain Will Reform Social Security. He will fight to save the future of Social Security while meeting our obligations to the retirees of today and the future without raising taxes. John McCain supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal accounts - but not as a substitute for addressing benefit promises that cannot be kept. He will reach across the aisle, but if the Democrats do not act, he will. John McCain will not leave office without fixing the problems that threatens our future prosperity.

John McCain Will Act To Control Medicare Growth. The growth of spending on Medicare threatens our fiscal future. John McCain has proposed comprehensive health care reforms that will reduce the growth in Medicare spending, protect seniors against rising Medicare premium payments, and preserve the advancements in medical science central to providing quality care.

John McCain Believes That We Should Not Subsidize The Prescription Drugs Of America's Most Affluent Individuals. He will propose reforms to reduce the large subsidies in the Medicare drug program."

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/4dbd2cc7-890e-47f1-882f-b8fc4cfecc78.htm

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

You know, I live in Arizona, and McCain walks around the state like he is a rock star or something, but I can't come up with anything he has really done for the state in the last eight years I have lived here. Like an article stated today: even though he has already won the republican nomination, he has missed over 60% of the senate votes.
In Arizona, he is like a 'kept" trophy husband by Cindy McCain. Here, stay in my new house, use my jet to fly around, stay out at my ranch in Sedona. And yes, he is a very good little boy for her.

Posted by: charles | May 23, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

You know, I live in Arizona, and McCain walks around the state like he is a rock star or something, but I can't come up with anything he has really done for the state in the last eight years I have lived here. Like an article stated today: even though he has already won the republican nomination, he has missed over 60% of the senate votes.
In Arizona, he is like a 'kept" trophy husband by Cindy McCain. Here, stay in my new house, use my jet to fly around, stay out at my ranch in Sedona. And yes, he is a very good little boy for her.
Also, why is it that no one brings up the year long (at least) courtship that John and Cindy had while John was still married??

Posted by: charles | May 23, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

charles:

Same reason no one brought up the name "Monica Lewinsky" (except for that ONE person who was roundly denounced for even mentioning her to Chelsea ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the same old 'DOUBLE TALK" from the 'straight talker' McSameBush! Don't take my word for it, view video link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cliff-schecter/the-real-mccain-goes-vira_b_102626.html

Posted by: MadasHell | May 23, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

JakeD

Are you one of McCain's paid bloggers???

Posted by: Alanis | May 23, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain scares me. I think he wants all Americans to go through what he did in war.

TJ

Posted by: Jefferson2008 | May 23, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Alanis:

No (can I get paid for this? If so, who do I call, and will they pay me for fake JakeD posts too?).

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

To all you folks who dilike Obama and want me to vote for McCain, instead of character attacks on Obama why don;t you tell me what policy's of McCain's that you like and why I should consider voting for him for President. Thank you. I look forward to reading your responses.

Posted by: undecided voter, usa | May 23, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

undecided voter, usa:

Are you pro-life?

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

On cutting government spending, my post (above) at 11:05 AM pretty much summarizes McCain's position vs. both Obama and Clinton promising to INCREASE taxes and spending!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The "$100 billion" is a laughable figure, but it isn't his only fib on earmarks. McCain tried to blame the Minneapolis/ St. Paul bridge-collapse on earmarks by suggesting that without earmarks the money would have been spent on repairing that bridge. McCain just made that up. Furthermore, McCain is pulling a double-fib by suggesting he can reduce spending by cutting earmarks and at the same time saying he would spend the earmarks on other projects (like bridge repair).

Posted by: renu1 | May 23, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Grant it, the round figure may be off by a little here or there, but with all the dems pork spending, it would be impossible to find all the projects they have crammed through secretly!

Posted by: Chris B. | May 23, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

undecided voter, usa:

Are you pro-life?

Posted by: JakeD | May 23, 2008 4:48 PM


This has to be the worst post I've red from you yet. Pro-life/Pro-choice why do ppl even give a poo? How does this effect us in the lives we are living? How does this help our economy or our global standing? How does this keep food in our bellies or give us medical coverage when we are sick or injured?

These "Wedge" issues that have no real impact on anything need to be pushed aside. These should NOT sway peoples votes one way or another as they mean absolutely nothing and a president have no control over them anyway. Abortion is generally handled at the state level as it and many other "social" issues should be.

The US government and the office of the POTUS need to focus on global issues that impact the American people's way off life and ability to be world leaders. Not arguing over something as ridiculous and insignificant as abortion which impact no one directly.

Posted by: TimL | May 23, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

^

Needs to proof read for grammar issues in the future :)

Posted by: TimL | May 23, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I believe that the $100 million figure referenced by the McCain campaign refers not only to earmarks, but also irresponsible bills and spending that are not technically earmarks, but are blatantly inappropriate and the effect of political pandering by Congressmen. For example, the latest $300 billion farm bill includes countless provisions that are included because of political pandering by Congressmen. In the latest bill, the crop price floor used to calculate subsidies are reset to current prices. We currently are in a food price super-spike!

I believe those are the type of expenses that he refers to.

Posted by: Armando | May 23, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The analysis of the lies of John "straight talk" McCain is far too generous. In particular, $100 billion, even if cut per year, is only 1/4th (or 1/6th if you believe in real "straight talk") of what needs to be cut to balance the budget (even assuming that the US doesn't suffer a recession / depression, which would dramatically cut tax revenues and possibly also increase necessary expenditures, including massive bailouts of the financial system).

The CBO in January estimated that this year's budget deficit "is likely to exceed $350 billion, and the debt is likely to increase by over $600 billion" (the difference of $250 billion between the "deficit" and debt increase in 2008 is due to the $250 billion being "borrowed" from the Social Security Trust Funds - under the fed's "unified budget" accounting, trust fund borrowings show up as additional total debt but do not add to the deficit).

Posted by: Sage | May 23, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that McSame has no clue about economy. Of course he wants tax cut for rich because firstly his wife is one of them. Then Mr.Bush becomes one of them too when he finally leaves the office so tax cut is great opportunity for McSame to say thank you Mr.President. These two are like Siam twins. McSame even started to tell us not vote Barack Obama because it would be disaster. May be some one would remind Mr. McSame that he is not president yet and USA is not kingdom or even Russia where new president was elected after recommendation from president in leaving. So we people will vote for candidate we like the best and I am sure it is somebody who has nothing to do with Republican Party or current administration.

Posted by: Jarda1 | May 23, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Take a look at the Obama Global Poverty Act S-2433 to see your future.

Posted by: chrisj | May 24, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

What worries me is that McCain will save money by cutting programs that are necessary and would benefit working class Americans while he will increase tax cuts for the wealthiest members of our society and continue spending money to finance his war in Iraq and rebuild that country's infrastructure while our own deteriorates. We need a President who will represent middle class, hard working Americans for a CHANGE!

Posted by: diksagev | May 24, 2008 2:50 AM | Report abuse

I read McCain's campaign is recruiting comment trolls and rewarding them for every post they report. So I have to ask JakeD what prize he's shooting for? Is it an autographed copy of McCain's confession to his Vietnamese captors? Or perhaps a date with McCain's lobbyist girlfriend Vicki Isman? Or maybe, if you keep posting 50 times in every thread, you'll earn the top prize of a tract of pristine publicly owned land in exchange for the chunk of swamp your trailer sits upon. You know old Johnny takes care of those who take care of him!

Posted by: Julie | May 24, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

To Jake D: McCain is not pro-life; McCain, like his war-loving party in general, is pro-death, for he is pro-war and for prolonging the war. He and his pro-war allies are killing precious, fully developed humans everyday. Is McCain and his party against the death penalty? No way. They worship at the altar of Thanatos, God of Death and Destruction.

Posted by: Roameo | May 24, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 95776bqtxj | May 24, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

You fools. You will be happier with communists and those who choose to destroy the fabric of our nation.

Posted by: Ricktofen | May 24, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Michael,
I agree that the McCain campaign needs to be more specific about where he would make cuts in spending, but I think you're misreading his quote. He said he would eliminate "$100 billion of wasteful AND earmark spending". This would mean that he is targeting earmark spending AND other wasteful spending in embedded in the federal budget. Your focus is solely on earmark spending.

I would like to think hope that you're trying to be objective in taking each of the candidates to task, but this post does not assure.

Posted by: Charles Bird | May 24, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

John McCain is a war hero. No if's or buts about that. We gave him his richly deserved medals and maybe his political position was due to this status as a war hero. How much I can't say. He was a POW in a North Vietnamese prison for 5 plus years. Now we have to ask this question. How much effect has this done to his mind? No one who has been in a POW captivity will ever come out the same. Ever POW will tell you this. He was in for a long time. That means the Chinese and the Russians had access to his mind and body. Remember the Manchurian candidate movie. I know it might be a bit farfetch but what if it is not. We are electing the president of the United States. We have already given Senator McCain the merits and the glory for being a POW. Electing him to be the US president,who is a hair's breath of our nuclear trigger, is another story. The doctors say that he is physical able to run for president but what about his mind. Nobody talks about the effects of being a POW for a very long time. I do not believe he should be elected for president for this reason alone because the Chinese and the Russians had access to his psychological faculties and God only knows what they could have done to him, mentally. I am not even talking about the other issues such as his age and his dealings with the Keatings Savings and Loan scandal, etc. So I will ask this last question. Will the real John Mccain please stand up?

Posted by: James Neely | May 24, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Thats because Mccaine is a fraud. All he does is give nice predictions on how beautiful American and foreign countries will be with him as president and never states how he's going to get there. Mccain never tells how he's going to pay for anything. He's a fraud and talk tough with no action just like Bush.

Posted by: BRAD | May 24, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

ALL MCCAIN DOES IS TALK TOUGH. HE DOESN'T HAVE A PLAN BECAUSE HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND ECONOMICS AS WELL AS HE SHOULD, HE ADMITTED THAT. SO HE'S BORROWED BUSHE'S PLAN THAT HAS PROVED DOESN'T WORK. WHY WOULD ANYBODY WANT TO USE A BUSH PLAN BESIDE MCCAIN. MCCAIN NEEDS TO GET A REAL PLAN AND STOP SHOPPING AROUND FOR IDEAS AND FIXER UPPERS AND FANTASY PREDICTIONS OF THE FUTUR WITHOUT A CLUE ON HOW HE'S GOING TO GET THE COUNTRY THERE. MCCAIN DOESN'T HAVE A CLUE WHAT HE'S DOING AND THIS PEICE IS PROOF OF IT.

Posted by: JANET | May 24, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

http://www.pubrecord.org/index.php?view=article&catid=1%3Anationworld&id=51%3Amccain-defends-enron-loophole&option=com_content&Itemid=8

McCain Defends 'Enron Loophole'

The Public Record

Sen. John McCain says he opposes the $307 billion farm bill because it would dole out wasteful subsidies, but his chief economic adviser Phil Gramm also wants to stop its proposed regulation of energy futures trading, a market that was famously abused when Enron Corp. manipulated California's electricity prices in 2001.

Clearing the way for that California price gouging, Gramm, as a powerful Texas senator in 2000, slipped an Enron-backed provision into the Commodities Futures Modernization Act that exempted from regulation energy trading on electronic platforms.

Then, over the next year, Enron - with Gramm's wife Wendy serving on its board of directors - worked to create false electricity shortages in California, bilking consumers out of an estimated $40 billion.

Posted by: ThePublicRecord | May 24, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are so amusing......

TO MAKE UP FOR THE FACT THAT THEY CANT BE SHRILL AND WHINY ON THE INTERNET THEY POST IN CAPS LOCK!!!

Cute.

Posted by: John from NH | May 24, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

McCain is consistent, consistently delusional on Voodoo economics and his endless parade of contradictory statements. Visit www.therealmcain.com. The evidence is clear. He has only one consistency in all policies and statements - he says whatever pops into his head.

Like his confusing Iran with Al Quaeda he does not see clearly at all. If the truth be told he confuses all present U S enemies with his unhealed experience as a war prisoner -
All the world is to McCain - the Vietcong. Iraq will avenge Vietnam for him even if he destroys the country in his redemptive journey.

Part I of America's journey into a dark psychodrama called policy was G W Bush's redemptive journey into Iraq to finish the job Dad did not finish. Since character is above all fate, G W failed in Iraq as he did before in his AWOL laden military service as opposed to Dad's WW II heroics; he failed in his Chap XI oil business insider selling to get out in contrast to Dad's oil business successes.

We are again confronted with a Personal Psychodrama parading as policy whether Voodoo economics or Voodoo Iraq policies. McCain is indeed G W Bush Redux - a Don Quixote trying to use the American presidency Iraq to redeem his Vietnam trauma.

More Republican Death Wish psychodramas parading as policy with mock bravado "Missions Accomplished" or McCain's undefinable concept of Iraq "Victory".

They should both be locked up for impersonation as leaders. Visit www.therealmcain.com.

Posted by: Steven Brier | May 24, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to talk with Iran, just put me in a room with Khatami and I'll tear his guts out. I don't need bodyguards neither. What a great commander in chief. So diplomatic.

Posted by: Jimbo | May 24, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Why does anyone take seriously anything this flip-flopping liar has to say?

McNothing is the same as that frat boy (might even be fart boy), squatting in the White House, privileged, elitist, son of an accomplished father, who, naturally assumed that walking in daddy's footsteps is his birthright.

How can there be any improvement in the well being of the commoners of this country, when those meriting less than nothing are allowed to indulge themselves at the expense of the huddled masses.

Wasn't the republic founded on the blood of common people in defeating the royalists of England? Seems to me the royalists have surreptitiously taken back what they believed was theirs. This is the great conspiracy in our country, and we stood by and gawked as the media played us for the suckers we are, whilst the vultures picked us clean.

Posted by: Emlio | May 24, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Due diligence diligently noted, Fact Checker, but does it matter? Hasn't he promised to p*ss it all away on Iraq? If he bombs Iran, it too will need "reconstruction" by no-bid crony contractors. "America Last" is the GOP motto.

Posted by: jhbyer | May 24, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

The name Republican would lead you to believe that people aligned with this party believe in what this, our, Republic stands for. But like everything in this through the looking glass world we inhabit, they use words or phrases to mask their nefarious intents. Republicans should acknowledge their traitorous royalist allegiances and give the American people a sense of why Republicans/Royalists seek to destroy the way of life in our nation.

McNothing is a Royalist who will continue to punish the American people and oversee the destruction of a once enviable enterprise.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 24, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

How Long's post excellently addresses a critical topic neglected by the press. Bush 43 was the first POTUS to conceive of a posture of not talking to enemies. It's obviously one with his policy to meet only with Americans hand-picked for extreme deference, a policy implemented by his handlers during his 2000 campaign, after it was learned he'd refuse to answer difficult questions and would blow up at hecklers - behavior in stark contrast to all prior presidents.

McCain seems to be of the same mindset. Being from a military family, he'd come by this naturally, or so I've gathered from my own military background. (Ike rose above it. Ulysses S. Grant did not.) That this has proved fatal to Bush's domestic and foreign policy ambitions is so evident, it's dismaying that McCain regards it as a valid strategy. Admittedly, it will insulate him from stress and embarrassment - but at America's expense.

Posted by: jhbyer | May 24, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

in honor of memorial day...

a look at presidential military service:

http://thevote.abc13.com/2008/05/commander-in--1.html

Posted by: Anonymous | May 25, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

that man maccain keep talking about cutting tax and funding a war he want to last a hundred years where is the money going to come from. i cant stand a second idiot ruling this country in the name of john mcbush

Posted by: lucas | May 25, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Mac in 2000. I thought of him as " A STRAIT TALKER", he was much better than Bush or Gore. But the religious right won at the end to send Bush to the white house and the rest of us to hell.

Toaday Mac has changed. He will say anyhthing to anyone to get a vote. He is desperate to become President, just like Hillary. Let us try some thing new and fresh. Nothing to LOOSE.

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Posted by: 2d17f1yqu2 | May 26, 2008 4:56 AM | Report abuse

Julie:

I do not expect anything for my efforts. Being an informed citizen is reward enough.

TimL and Roameo:

Most abolitionists were not "personally" impacted by slavery either.

Posted by: JakeD | May 26, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

JD, do you not understand that a tax cut for the wealthy aka Bush tax cut, is really a tax increase for the middle class and a tax cut for the middle class aka Obama, Clinton tax cut, is a tax increase for the rich? Which income class do you belong to? That should, under normal circumstances, dictate who to vote for, but some people ingnore the facts, and vote for the wrong person. (i.e. Bush 2000 and 2004) who told everyone that he was going to cut taxes, but was only talking to the wealthy, meanwhile the money to pay for that tax cut was paid for by the middle class who by the way under the Bush administration has almost disappeared. At least Bush should have left the main source of income for this country intact and now here we are talking about making the same mistake by electing a republican who historically are for the rich, not the middle class. We need the change just to balance everything and get the middle class growing again so that we can pay our bills for the country. Republicans have spent money on the war and tax cuts, destroyed the middle class and at the same time say that they are fiscally responsible. Who's fooling who?

Posted by: nlh | May 26, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I am concerned about McCain's psychological profile with the reports that he was raped during his captivity.

And how does this impact the support from the right - if McCain is a victim of violence, is it still okay despite his having homosexual relations?

And how does being raped by men during captivity affect his ability to negotiate with men, foreigner diplomats, et cetera?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 26, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

When Senator "Hunh?" can't even get the Heritage Foundation to back up his daydreams you know it's past imaginary, past fantasy, into Bizarro World loopy.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 26, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

it si so sad how the the mjor publications i grew up with i.e. Washington Post, new York Times etc,
have become so partisan in reporting the news. I can hear Edward R Morrow now

Posted by: Mary | May 26, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

McCain is old and white like the average 'Merican voter. A candidate who's familiar feels like someone we can influence and control. Barack Obama looks different than the average voting 'Merican, therefore he might be uncontrollable because he's, you know, one of them.

Don't underestimate the power of fear and buried xenophobia to make people think they're voting for a "lesser evil" in McCain.

They think that because he looks like them that he thinks like them, is amenable to the same reasoning as them. Couldn't be more untrue, but that's the power of the familiar. "We could talk to McCain, but Obama, he's colored, so he thinks different and might defy white folks like us. Just to stick it to the man, see."

And what bigotry and fear won't do, some hard-fisted vote fraud by CheneyCo will.

Posted by: VC | May 26, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

VC:

Let's just HOPE there are no race riots when Barack HUSSEIN Obama loses.

Posted by: JakeD | May 26, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Dems are wiping the floor with the faces of republicons in recent special elections held in IL, LA & MS. Those districts have been solidly republicon for YEARS if not decades.
Republicon John Boner is crying in his scotch as we speak.
Looks like you kooks on the right picked a bad time to allow the likes of Larry Craig and Mark Foley to join your ranks, BUT, I do hope you all get full use of the bathrooms at MSP Airport in September.

Posted by: Bush=Loser | May 26, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

First of all.. Flying in the face of generally accepted tax policy... the truth is if you want to STIMULATE the economy you want to minimally INCREASE taxes... not cut them.

An equivalent increase in taxes to the stupid tax rebates we will receive will effectively put the EXACT same amount of money into the economy. The difference is the government does not SAVE money.

If you take your rebate check and save it, invest it, or pay off bills, then there is no IMMEDIATE stimulus impact. The multiplier effect is greatly reduced due to reserve requirements and the inefficiency of today's investment/capital markets (e.g. bankers are scared to make bad loans).

But, the government... has shown a propensity to overspend... where do you think the money goes when they spend it? Into the economy... directly...

So, any candidate that blithely tells me they are going to cut taxes without demonstrating an understanding of the Laffer Curve... cannot get my vote!

Posted by: Thoughts... | May 26, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

JakeD - you've made it clear what a fear-mongering, zenophopic a**hole you are w/ the B.S. re: Sen. Obama's middle name. Thanks for clearing that up for me - a couple of your posts lead to believe you had a brain, but you managed to dispell that illusion w/ that idiotic post.

Posted by: JadedMarty | May 26, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Second of all...

The original proposed budget for FY2007 (Last year I have analyzed) proposed the following:
Military $847.8 billion
Medicare/Medicaid Costs $719.5 billion
Human Resources $567.1 billion
General Government $127.1 billion
Physical Resources $184.9 billion

I allocate interest ($353 billion) to each category based on percent share.

You want to argue with me... go analyze the budget and re-allocate by category and we can talk... Oh yeah... if you even MENTION Social Security... GET - OUT! - SS is one of the only positive off-budget funds... IT is NOT going bankrupt, the General Fund is!

So, if you want my vote you HAVE to be adult enough to say: I will cut defense spending by 25%, Medicare by 25% and Human Resources by 10-15%... Of yeah, those savings will go directly to retiring debt!

Liberals think you can cut Defense spending to balance the budget. Conservatives think they can cut those "commie social programs."

But, because of the last 20 years of Republican presidents, we now have to do both! (US debt in 1981: $1.0 trillion (200 years!) Collectively Reagan/Bush/Bush added $6.0 trillion (17 years!) - yeah! Real fiscally conservative!)

I mean... get real! The interest on our debt is now greater than all of our government and resources (Executive/Judicial/Congressional Branches, Justice Department, Homeland Security, Department of Ag, Dept of Interior, State Dept, etc.)...

And that's where all the "pork" is!

So, any idiot that claims he can cut the deficit by cutting pork! Is blowing smoke!

Posted by: Thoughts... | May 26, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

JakeD Is a fu(king traitor who posts the same sh}t over at Think Progress. He is a paid troll who just sits in McFLIPITYFLOP's war room blogging for dollars.
We will be coming for you after President Obama has the two stooges on stage with him at the inaugeration arreested on the spot after he says "I Do."

Posted by: Alecto | May 26, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I use Hillary and McCain's MIDDLE names too, and I am not posting at Thinkprogress.

Posted by: JakeD | May 26, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts ...

Did you see my post at 1:29 PM?

Posted by: JakeD | May 26, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: I am sure at birth you told your parents what name you want to be called by! What is this obsession with Barack Hussein Obama- I'm sure he chose the name at birth.

Posted by: Buddy | May 26, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Neither of us chose our name, but I want to teach little known facts -- for instance, did you know that HUSSEIN means "handsome" in Arabic -- are his supporters ashamed of that too?

Posted by: JakeD | May 26, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, jakeD, but there's very little you can teach me (or anyone else, I'd imagine) - & as some of your posts make clear, your grasp of what's a "fact" is more than a little questionable.

Two fine examples in one sentence 1) you wrongly assume as "fact" that anyone not agreeing with your blatant personal prejudices is a supporter of Sen. Obama, and 2) you also put forth as "fact" the pure conjecture that those who do support him are "ashamed" of his name (which in FACT has at least 3 meanings - small, good, handsome - & possibly more, depending upon which source one cites). So much for you & "facts".

Big difference between being ashamed of something vs pointing out blatant prejudice - & again, bubba, no one with your obvious mindless prejudice has anything to teach me (or anyone else w/ even half a brain).

Posted by: JadedMarty | May 27, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

LOL! I was simply asking questions.

Posted by: JakeD | May 27, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Lets put this "wasteful" pork barrel spending in perspective shall we.

Even though Senator Obama's earmarks totaling $320 million represent requests for spending and not the actually amount that will be awarded this fiscal year, for the sake of our discussion regarding fiscal responsibility, lets assume that all of it is awarded to the State of Illinois and for that matter all 50 states are awarded $320 million in earmarks for similar non-bridge to nowhere projects which would equate to $16 billion for the upcoming fiscal year and in total represent the amount of money that will be spent on the War in Iraq during the next 5 weeks.

Given the money being wasted in Iraq and the sad state of our economy in the US, an economic boost via wasteful earmark pork barrel contract spending does not look too bad as long as it is not spent on building bridges to nowhere and thus sounds fiscally responsible to me.

I vote for taking the next 5 weeks off in the War in Iraq.

Posted by: Caryl S. Foster | May 27, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

I've been reading this thread, and I've been wondering something. JakeD, are you an employee of the McCain campaign?

Posted by: TonyD | May 27, 2008 3:19 AM | Report abuse

McCain's apology for the Keating Five show isn't enough recompense. Lots of people lost their life savings. I think he and Cindy should make up those losses and ask their forgiveness. That should bring real forgiveness.

Posted by: cando | May 27, 2008 3:42 AM | Report abuse

I remember when Pete Wilson's boys backed Shwarznegger. Arnold was all about cutting the fat from the CA budget.
He gets elected and decides the best place to cut is from mental health for the youths of CA.
Couldn't see that one coming.
Why would anyone vote for a Republican for a government office? Republicans hate the government.
It would be like hiring a Marxist to be the CEO of your Fortune 500 company.

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Posted by: zc9xq6dru4 | May 27, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Caryl:

Didn't Hillary DIANE Clinton's "earmarks" total more than $2 BILLION? I don't think that $320 million is the average.

Tony:

No.

Posted by: JakeD | May 27, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

McCainiacs - be thankful no one is looking into the war heroes psychological profile after the press floated a story suggesting that McCain was brutally raped repeatedly in POW camp.

It was shortly after that his fund raiser in Phoenix was moved from a convention center seating 1,000's of guests to a private residence.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 27, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Imagine how far the man has come from being brutally raped repeatedly in POW camp for 5 1/2 years -- where he tried to commit suicide and refused the offer to leave early once it was discovered who his father was -- perhaps you could at least muster the courage to post with your real name?

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Posted by: 51i1063wfq | May 27, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't like McCain, but Jesus, do you just pull these ratings out of a hat?

Or are you constantly trying over-correct to make up for the last terrible rating you gave?

Posted by: Patrick | May 28, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

McCain does have "real" pork barrel budgets in mind, $100 billion is just the tip of the iceberg;

Social Security, Public Education, Welfare
Medicaid, Transportation, Dept. of Justice, Farm subsidies...

It's understood among Republicans that any transfer of funds not to Wall Street, Defense, oil, media and banking industries is "pork barrel".

Posted by: speedemon | May 30, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

This is my first, and perhaps will be my only post, inspired by JakeD:

My politics are nowhere near being on the Left-Right spectrum. I consider all political parties to practice ideological hypocrisy. Nothing could make me believe that ANYone who made it to the stage of contention for the office of US President as John, Hillary, and Barack have, are not beholden to special interests nor will do everything they have claimed they will, once elected.

Despite having declared that from the outset, after reading so many of JakeD's posts, I fully expect him to interpret elements of this post falsely, linguistically or connotationally, in order to manufacture springboards to post his opinions (and he will likely claim they are "facts". Well, they will be--it will be a fact that they are what he wants to post in order to attempt to sway.) He will try to say that I am a supporter of some other candidate than the one he supports, simply because I point out the weaknesses in his comments. He, like Shrub, will come from the ideological backwater of "if you're not with us, you are against us"

1) It is absurd for JakeD to suggest that another poster "at least muster the courage to post with (their) real name." What is "real" about "JakeD", I ask? Maybe if JakeD were to post her address and phone number, someone might be able to verify who it really is.

2) To post: "Neither of us chose our name, but I want to teach little known facts -- for instance, did you know that HUSSEIN means "handsome" in Arabic -- are his supporters ashamed of that too?" is NOT, as JakeD attempted to claim, "only asking questions." If it were, then a lawyer asking a witness "Why did you hate your wife", before the witness had ever claimed they hated their wife, would not be refered to as a "leading question". If I were to treat JakeD's post here as if he were only asking questions, and also assume that it would be entirely fair to respond in the same mode as those questions were asked, MY response would be: I DID choose my own name, years after I was born, but I'm not going to use it here, and I do NOT know that "Hussein" means "handsome" in Arabic, NOR do I care, NOR am I inclined to now believe that it means "handsome", because, for one, I have no reason to believe that you are a linguistical expert, nor fluent in Arabic, and I do NOT believe everything I read, even if it's written by Rush Limbaugh, Karl Marx, or Albert Einstein. I have no idea if any of Obama's supporters are ashamed of that possible connotation of his middle name, but I would guess that they would not be. Why do you ask?

3) I don't know if "Thoughts" saw JakeD's post at 1:29 (May 27) but I did. That post said NOTHING about McCain's proposal to cut military spending, other than a vague reference that McCain would "Reform Procurement Programs And Cut Wasteful Spending In Defense And Non-Defense Programs." "Wasteful" is a judgement call, and what JakeD posted of McCain's promise gave no indication of what standard McCain would use to judge an expenditure "wasteful". "Thoughts" opined "if you want my vote you HAVE to be adult enough to say: I will cut defense spending by 25%" (along with many other cuts). Filling-in the blanks, I suggest that Thoughts meant "period"--that is, whether anyone considered any of that 25% "wasteful" or not. For Jake D to merely point Thoughts to his 1:29 post allowed JakeD to sidestep the issue of reigning-in the second biggest culprit of all in the budget deficit equation (the first being the subsidy to the Federal Reserve System, in the form of interest on money created out of thin air). I am reminded of the bumper-sticker saying: "It will be a great day when our schools have all the funding they need, and the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."

Posted by: Jim Wells | June 1, 2008 5:35 AM | Report abuse

Jim:

Thanks for your post. Sorry I missed you. If you see this, feel free to contact me (my full name and address -- as I've posted several times now on these threads -- James Moore Dort, 5181 Aquario Drive, San Diego, CA, 92109 ; )

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

For his part, Chris Cillizza did a good job on Hannity & Colmes tonight.

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
You are a sad, pathetic, little man. Get some help.

Posted by: Delores | June 7, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Delores. Did you have the same reaction about Hillary's speech?

Posted by: JakeD | June 7, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

For the record, my question to "muster the courage" was directed toward someone posting anonymously re: unsubstantiated rumors of an American POW being tortured.

Posted by: JakeD | June 7, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I am not Republicans, but to say Republicans hate the government is wrong and you know it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Every politician scares me because they are not grounded in reality. The fact that McCain looks a bit like Steve Martin doesn't build credibility. I am extremely uncomfortable committing my vote to any of the candidates because I do not think any of them are up to the job. The Senate and the House are a joke when it comes to serving a constituency. The only thing that will help fix current problems is another revolution. They all need to be fired and the USA needs a fresh start. We have no leaders - just users and manipulators.

Posted by: garbibion | June 7, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Especially voters in San Francisco should get rid of Nancy Pelosi for failing to end the war and taking impeachment off the table.

Posted by: JakeD | June 7, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh McCain!

His campaign doesn't do too well with marketing. Why would he promise such a thing? Furthermore, his internet marketing strategy seems to be weak compared to Obama's.

Posted by: ryan scrope | June 9, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Luckily, for McCain, voting does not take place on the Internets. We'll see if Rock the Vote pans out this time. If Barack Hussein Obama does not pick Hillary for VP, I expect that McCain will choose a woman running mate. He's making a big push, on both sides of the aisle, for voters concerned with Obama's lack of experience. NBC barely has 200 Electoral Votes for him so far. Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan will decide thus race.

Posted by: JakeD | June 9, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

McCain is pro-War. McCain is Pro-Nafta. McCain is Pro-Bush failed ecomonic policies. McCain is against the women's right to choose.

McCain will only continue the failed GW Bush policies. McCain will be a disaster for America.

John McCain said he disagrees with what Americans want. And John McCain said that yes, he says things for his own ambitions, even if he knows what he said is not true! This is HOT everyone and we must spread this information. McCain has said this with his own words.

This You Tube video reveals what many people do not know about McCain. The video is 8.45 minutes long.

To hear McCain talk about how he does not care what Americans think and how he says things for his own ambitions, go to the five minute mark of the video.

Many parts of this video are VERY damaging to the McCain campaign and we need people to see this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y395Tftgz0E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8OXXZCn9QI -- Air Bus -- John McCain sold America out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBobsMD7DBM -- John McCain - The Fool on the Hill

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