The economy is sure to take a front seat in tonight’s GOP debate at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Issues with regard to illegal mmigration and the Global War on Terror will also be thrown around, I’m sure, but with the roller coaster ride in Wall Street over the past few days, it’s a good bet that taxes, stimulus, mortgages and spending will be on everyone’s mind.
A quick reminder: When Sen. John McCain states, as he has in recent debates and campaign stops, that he is in favor of making the Bush tax cuts permanent, know that this opinion is a recently formulated one. McCain was one of only two Republicans to oppose the tax cuts from their inception, and at least until the end of 2007, that vigorous opposition did not change.
Click below, for example, to watch a quick and telling snippet from an interview with McCain following the killing of Benazir Bhutto just four short weeks ago.
McCain maintains that the reason he voted against the tax cuts was because the measure did not provide enough cuts in spending to go along with it. As much as I admire McCain’s hard line against earmarks and unnecessary government spending, this assertion is 100 percent campaign-essential rationalization of one of his many mistakes.
In May 2001, remember, McCain was the standard-bearer of the opposition for a completely different reason. Parroting the message from those like former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle and 46 other democrats who opposed the tax cuts almost as vigorously as he did, Sen. McCain stated simply: “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.”