Time for McCain to Ditch that Balanced Budget Pledge

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


After the Tax Policy Center, the New York Times, and Marc Ambinder all methodically took apart John McCain’s pledge to balance the budget by the end of his first term (while extending massive tax cuts for the wealthy, creating new tax cuts for corporations, continuing the war in Iraq, fully funding No Child Left Behind, and introducing a climate change action plan), I thought maybe the media pressure on the McCain campaign would be great enough that it would have to walk the pledge back. No dice. It hasn’t budged. Maybe McCain’s campaign staffers are betting that everyday folks in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida won’t see any serious analysis of their numbers.

If that’s the case, the fact that the usually conservative Washington Post editorial board is now breaking down the McCain budget pledge and exposing all of its fuzzy, fuzzy math probably won’t help either. Nor will the fact that Bloomberg is going after him. But it’s nice to know that the coverage of this has legs.

Update: I want to add that there is no secret McCain plan to balance the budget. The man doesn’t understand economics, America’s recent economic history, or simple economic policy. His campaign simply made a pledge for political reasons that it couldn’t back up and now it’s seeing if it can survive the media windstorm that has resulted.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate