Given that national security is John McCain’s only real issue, it’s understandable why he tries to subordinate every other issue to it. For example, asked by Fortune magazine last month what he sees as “the gravest long-term threat to the U.S. economy,” McCain responded (after staring into space for eleven seconds) “the struggle…against radical Islamic extremism.” Got that? Not the housing crisis, not the price of oil, but radical Islamic extremism.
Today this tendency reached a new level of ridiculousness, as McCain promised that “victory” in Iraq and Afghanistan will enable him to balance the budget:
“The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction.”
This could be an attempt by McCain to cover for his admission that he doesn’t know much about economics by suggesting that that doesn’t matter, because once we achieve victory against terrorism, every American will be a millionaire! We’re gonna be rolling in the dough! Victory dividend!
Sadly, however, back in the reality based community there are some problems with this. Here are two. In McCain’s view, “victory” in Iraq means we get to stay in Iraq for 100 more years. How, exactly, does this save us money? Also, McCain has promised us more wars and a bigger military to fight them. Where does he think the money for this is coming from? (Atrios has an idea.)
Hilzoy has a detailed examination of McCain’s economic plan. It’s not pretty.