Yesterday, during an interview with NBC’s affiliate in Tampa Bay, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) was asked which economic policies she and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) support that would be “great for the middle class.” The policies that Palin cited included a corporate tax cut and earmark reform, neither of which do much of anything for the middle class. Watch it:
To her credit, Palin answered this question better than McCain campaign surrogate Carly Fiorina, who was only able to come up with “drill, drill, drill” when asked about McCain’s middle class tax cut. Still, Palin put forth one policy that benefits corporations and another that has nothing to do with middle class taxpayers at all.
As the Wonk Room has noted time and again, the McCain/Palin proposal to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% gives $175 billion to America’s corporations, while not creating any jobs, which is the campaign’s justification for the cut. Palin also repeated the campaign’s false claim that the U.S. corporate tax rate is the “second-highest in the world.”
As for earmark reform, it’s hard to see how cutting earmarks benefits the middle class. Accordng to USA Today, “eliminating every congressional earmark in the federal budget would save an estimated $18 billion a year.” And as Matthew Yglesias noted, “normally an earmark will be for something popular that you’re proud to claim credit for,” such as food banks, schools, and medical centers.
Palin is using earmarks and corporate tax cuts to distract from the fact that the McCain/Palin economic plan includes nothing for the middle class. 100 million middle class households receive no benefit from McCain’s tax plan, and some middle-class households could actually see a tax increase if McCain’s health care plan is enacted. In the end, the McCain/Palin economic vision is not “great” for the middle class at all.