McCain on the Bush Tax Cuts

He didn't think much of them back in 2000.

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Here is what John McCain thought of the 2001 Bush tax cuts—the ones he was against but now wants to keep—during the 2000 South Carolina debate (I think it displays his underlying economic philosophy quite well):

I want a balanced approach. A working families tax cut—Governor Bush has 38 percent of his tax cut go to the wealthiest one percent of Americans—pay down the debt, Social Security and Medicare. If we're going to save Social Security, we've got to take a bunch of the non-Social Security surplus, pump it into the Social Security system, because we all know that it's going broke. If we do that, then people can then invest part of their own payroll taxes in investments of their choice. The difference between Governor Bush's proposal and mine is that I put a whole lot of money into Social Security, Medicare and paying down the debt. He puts a whole lot of money into tax cuts.... Because we'd lay this obligation on another generation of young Americans—$3.6 trillion. At town hall meeting after town hall meeting, I have average Americans stand up to me and say to me, Senator McCain, all these years of running deficits, we've accumulated this debt. We're paying more interest—as much interest, almost, on it as we are in spending on national defense. We ought to pay down that debt, and not saddle the next generation of young Americans with it.... Look, Alan Greenspan just recently said we shouldn't have these massive tax cuts like Governor Bush is proposing. We should pay down the debt. But working families need the tax cut.

McCain, John
federal taxes
2008 presidential election

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