John McCain has been attacking Barack Obama as a “tax-and-spend liberal” for his plan to roll back the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000 in order to pay for middle class tax cuts and investments in alternative energy, health care, and education.
McCain, for his part, has proposed doubling the Bush tax cuts by adding an additional $300 billion in budget busting tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.
Both these approaches have been tried, and only one created real job growth and widespread prosperity.
Under President Bush, whose economic agenda consisted almost entirely of massive tax cuts heavily skewed to the wealthy, job growth was sluggish, creating only 4.8 million jobs over the course of his entire presidency.
By contrast, in the first months of his administration, President Clinton proposed a budget that raised income tax rates slightly on the very rich and “new ‘investment’ spending for education, job training, social services, health, science and technology and community and regional development.” The resulting budget lay the groundwork for a balanced budget and stunning economic growth that created 23 million jobs over the course of his presidency.
At the time, the Washington Post reported that conservatives “blasted [the Clinton plan] as more of their old ‘tax and spend’ policies.”