I just got off the McCain conference call on gasoline prices and taxes. Rep. Eric Cantor and economic policy director Douglas Holtz-Eakin did the talking for Team McCain. In addition to pushing McCain's summer gasoline tax holiday, Holtz-Eakin made a point of referring to Barack Obama's recent interview with CNBC's John Harwood in which Obama gave this answer about what he would do about his tax increases if the economy was weak in 2009. This was Obama's answer:
Some of those you could possibly defer. But I think the basic principle of restoring fairness to our economy and encouraging bottom-up economic growth is important.
"Why would you want to damage the economy at all?" asked Holtz-Eakin. I found Obama's answer particularly strange given that I have appeared on CNBC with many left-of-center economists who are completely dismissive of the negative impact of higher tax rates at any level less than 90 percent or so. But here's Obama clearly making the connection that higher tax rates somehow retard economic growth. New economic policy director Jason Furman must already be working his wonkish magic!