Today, during an appearance on Fox News, McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer dismissed the Tax Policy Center’s conclusion that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) tax plan would increase the deficit. Pfotenhauer argued that the center was a “liberal think tank” that did not analyze “the spending side” of McCain’s plan:
[We'll] keep the growth rate in federal spending to about 2.4 percent. I love Austin’s statement that we are going to somehow balloon the deficit. First, the Tax Policy Center is a liberal think tank run by former Clinton-ites and Jason Furman worked there up until about two months ago. But set that aside. They don’t look at the spending side, they only look at the tax side.
But even conservative economists who have looked at the “spending side” of the senator’s plan, believe that his proposal would only add to the deficit:
- “The spending cuts are far too vague to be counted on for significant savings and, even if they were more specific, I can’t see how they would come close to offsetting the level of tax cuts he recommends.” [Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition]
- “[But] I am worried that continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will tear apart our social fabric and defeat any economic proposal to reduce the deficit and stimulate growth. Guns are crowding out butter.” [Michael Connolly, Professor of Economics, University of Miami]
- “He’s not going to balance the budget.” [William Albrecht, professor emeritus at the University of Iowa]
In July, the McCain campaign falsely suggested that 300 economists agreed that the senator’s economic plan could reduce the deficit and balance the budget by 2013. When contacted by reporters many of those economists — Connolly and Albrecht included — actually expressed deep reservations about McCain’ pledge to reduce the deficit.