Fiorina Claims ‘Economists Agree’ With McCain’s Pledge To Balance The Budget

On NBC’s Meet the Press this morning, host Tom Brokaw challenged the claim that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) balance the budget by the end of his first term. Economists say that “you, in fact, can’t balance the budget in four years,” Brokaw told top McCain adviser Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina, however, disagreed, claiming that there is “a set of economists” who support the McCain campaign’s claims:

BROKAW: In fairness, economic analysts who are looking at both of these plans, say that they don’t add up. That, you in fact, can’t balance the budget in four years and in fact, you cannot get the revenues that you say that you can.

FIORINA: Actually, there are a set of economists who believe we can balance the budget in four years.

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Fiorina is likely referring to the statement signed by 300 economists that the McCain campaign released when it announced McCain’s balanced budget pledge. The statement said the economists “enthusiastically” supported McCain’s economic plan.

But when contacted by reporters last week, many of those economists actually expressed deep reservations about McCain’s balanced budget pledge:

– “He’s not going to balance the budget.” [William Albrecht, professor emeritus at the University of Iowa]

– “[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]

– “No, I think some flexibility to run deficits and surpluses, although I agree that the deficit is too large.” [Glenn MacDonald, Distinguished Professor of Economics and Strategy at Washington University in St. Louis]

While the McCain campaign has repeatedly fip-flopped on its pledge to balance the budget, it seems that economists have consistently considered his proposal unrealistic.