On Saturday, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argued on his blog that “the combination of the Bush tax cuts and McCain’s extensions and revisions would leave the federal government without sufficient revenue to do its job.” Krugman added that McCain’s top economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, is resorting to “sophistry” to defend McCain’s plans. In his Times column today, Krugman continues his critique, saying that McCain’s economic proposals are “Bush made permanent”:
The McCain campaign wants us to accept the success of that deception as a fact of life. Mr. Holtz-Eakin is saying, in effect, “We’re not engaged in any new irresponsibility — we’re just perpetuating the Bush administration’s irresponsibility. That doesn’t count.”
It’s the sort of fiscal double-talk that has been a Bush administration hallmark. In any case, it offers no answer to the principal point raised by the Tax Policy Center analysis, which has nothing to do with scoring: the McCain tax plan would leave the federal government with far too little revenue to cover its expenses, leading to huge budget deficits unless there were deep cuts in spending.