The McCain Budget

Contessa Brewer asks Tucker Bounds how, exactly, John McCain plans to balance the budget consistent with his tax promises (huge cuts) and commitment to endless war in Iraq. Bounds has no idea:

As Pat Garofalo observes you’ve got to feel bad for Bounds in this situation because he’s been given an impossible assignment: “before accounting for the bailouts — they result in a budget deficit of $505 billion, which would be the largest deficit in 25 years.” You should probably treat the bailout money as additions to the debt that occurred via immaculate conception and don’t count as part of any given year’s budget deficit. Still, even accounting in that manner you need to put the interests payments on the increased debt as part of the deficit ledger. Long story short — you couldn’t possibly do what McCain is proposing to do, the cuts in discretionary spending would be incredibly large.

McCain has, in this regard, really gained a lot during the campaign from the press’ knowledge that Democrats are all-but-certain to retain control of congress. Under the circumstances, any budget proposals McCain might make on the campaign trail would be subject to drastic revision before they could be enacted. And that means there hasn’t been much scrutiny of his actual proposals on this score. Which is lucky for him, since they don’t make any sense and extended focus on that point would be embarrassing.