On taxes, Straight Talk Express off the rails

John McCain was against Republican tax-cutting philosophy before he was for it.


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Alex Koppelman
April 25, 2008 8:43PM (UTC)

It seems John McCain hasn't exactly kept to a coherent philosophy on taxes. Once, he opposed big tax cuts like President Bush's. Now that he's the presumptive Republican nominee, though, he has apparently seen the light and embraced his party's ideology when it comes to tax policy. So for Friday's Washington Post, reporter Jonathan Weisman penned a front-page piece that points out McCain's dramatic shifts, and knocks him for them. It's worth reading in full, but here's a snippet:

Now that he is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee ... McCain is marching straight down the party line. The economic package he has laid out embraces many of the tax policies he once decried: extending Bush's tax cuts he voted against, offering investment tax breaks he once believed would have little economic benefit and granting the long-held wishes of tax lobbyists he has often mocked.

McCain's concerns -- about budget deficits, unanticipated defense costs, an Iraq war that would be longer and more costly than advertised -- have proved eerily prescient, usually a plus for politicians who are quick to say they were right when others were wrong. Yet McCain appears determined to leave such predictions behind.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections John Mccain, R-ariz. War Room

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