$2.8 Trillion — The Gap Between What McCain Promises On The Stump And What His Advisers Say In Private

Senator John McCain has been offering opposing policies to different audiences.

In its last report on the candidates’ tax plans, the Tax Policy Center had focused on a series of private assurance from the campaign. Today, the Tax Policy Center surveyed what McCain tells the public. It was not pretty.

On a series of tax proposals, from eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax to allowing the full expensing of all business, McCain has promised more expansive and expensive versions to crowds and on his website, while his advisers reassure tax and budget experts with relatively cheaper, phased-in proposals.

Now, the Tax Policy Center has put a price tag on the gap between McCain’s rhetoric on the trail and his adviser’s private e-mails: $2.8 trillion.


Earlier this year, the Tax Policy Center did an analysis based on private correspondences with the McCain campaign staff and advisers. But in a revision of their analysis they found that if they did an analysis based only on public statements and publicly available text on their website, his tax plan would cost an additional $2.8 trillion over ten years. That’s over “two-thirds more than the plan described by McCain’s campaign staff.

Read the full analysis here.

McCain’s public plan is even more skewed towards the rich than his adviser’s plan is, with the richest .1% of Americans earning “twice the tax cut that they would get under the more modest plan outlined by Senator McCain’s economic advisers.”

In addition, the Tax Policy Center points out that the public version of McCain’s plan “would add enormously to the public debt,” making his public plan to balance the budget require “a radical and unprecedented downsizing of government.