Shhhh! McCain will raise taxes too

A McCain aide admits that regardless of who wins the election, the next president is going to have to raise taxes.

Published September 12, 2008 5:43PM (EDT)

It seems that Douglas Holtz-Eakin, John McCain's chief economic advisor, has exposed yet another hole in the Straight Talk Express. Time's Joe Klein reports that in a forthcoming book by Fortune columnist Matt Miller, Holtz-Eakin admits that the next president will have to raise taxes. "If you do nothing on the spending side, you're going to have to raise taxes whether you're a Republican, a Democrat or a Martian," Holtz-Eakin tells Miller.

So why does McCain keep voicing his opposition to tax hikes, and hitting Barack Obama for supposedly wanting them? Holtz-Eakin had an idea about that too. When Miller asked him why Republicans continue to push tax cuts, Holtz-Eakin replied, "It's the brand ... and you don't dilute the brand."

Holtz-Eakin has also previously acknowledged, to Time's Michael Scherer, that Obama's tax plan will lower taxes over 10 years.

So perhaps Holtz-Eakin should sit down with McCain himself as well, because the candidate seems to disagree with his chief economic advisor on these two points -- at least publicly. In his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, McCain said, "I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them ... My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them."

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz. Sarah Palin