It’s much worse than I gave credit for in the previous post.
From Josh Marshall TPM on McCain’s announcement today of promising to balance the budget:
Now, the general routine is the face of this kind of candidate announcement is that journalists and economists look at the numbers to see if they add up. In most cases, the exercises generates fairly unsatisfying contradictory opinions, with some experts saying one thing and other experts another.
But here’s the thing. McCain doesn’t have any numbers. None. Not vague numbers of fuzzy math. He just says he’s going to do it. Any other candidate would get laughed off the stage with that kind of nonsense or more likely reporters just wouldn’t agree to give them a write up. But this is all over the place.
The simple truth is that given his foreign policy promises in Iraq and tax cut promises at home there’s really no way McCain could come up with even a fuzzy plan to balance the budget in his first term. So he’s decided instead just promise it. Included in his white paper is just the standard hocum about cutting waste, fraud and abuse in government and making sure we have “reasonable economic growth.”
Remember, this is the guy who’s riding on his reputation for ‘straight talk’. And he’s just promised that he’ll balance the budget in his first term. For any serious reporter covering this campaign that should immediately lead to a request for actual numbers to back up how he’s going to accomplish that.
McCain, re-invoking his surreal 2013 ad says that he will balance the budget by winning/ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ah, why didn’t I think of that? It’s so obvious. Just win the wars that we’ve been in for 7 and 5 years respectively and have not made any substantial post-initial conflict movement on towards end-game political status.
It would be too much to ask our ignorant press (who would seem constitutionally incapable of understanding this fact) how in fact he plans to win? And “fightin’ harder” is not a legitimate answer.