Friday, June 11, 2004

McCain is the voice in the deficit wilderness

the Progressive Policy Institute, in conjunction with eight other Washington think tanks ranging from the right to the center to the left, convened a forum entitled Restoring Fiscal Sanity -- While We Still Can. The forum showed that even at a time of deep partisan divisions, all serious thinkers, regardless of party or ideology, agree that the federal government has gone fiscally insane, and needs radical therapy to recover.

...McCain promised the audience the he would offend "each and every one of you in some way." Citing the general loss of bipartisan spirit in Congress, McCain said: "[T]here is one thing that unites Republicans and Democrats: Fiscal irresponsibility has become the great unifier of late, and for that we should all be ashamed."

But McCain reserved his strongest words for his own GOP. "The party that was long known to be the guardian of the treasury is now its routine raider," he said. "I'm a Barry Goldwater Republican. I revere Ronald Reagan and his party of limited government. Sadly, that party is no longer."

McCain also excoriated the misguided priorities of the GOP-controlled federal government during the war on terrorism. "I don't remember ever in the history of warfare when we cut taxes," he observed. "Throughout our history, wartime has been a time of sacrifice.... Name one thing that Congress has told the special interests and their fat-cat lobbyists to do without since this war began?"

... How's that working for ya, John?

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