John McCain = Underpants Gnome

Blogging has been light for a variety of reasons, but this is too good to pass up. This week, both Barack Obama and John McCain are going to talk about the economy at various events around the country. McCain is back to saying that he’s planning on balancing the budget by the end of his first term. Here’s how: (H/T Balloon Juice)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to promise on Monday that he will balance the federal budget by the end of his first term by curbing wasteful spending and overhauling entitlement programs, including Social Security, his advisers told Politico.

The vow to take on Social Security puts McCain in a political danger zone that thwarted President Bush after he named it the top domestic priority of his second term.

McCain is making the pledge at the beginning of a week when both presidential candidates plan to devote their events to the economy, the top issue in poll after poll as voters struggle to keep their jobs and fill their gas tanks.

“In the long-term, the only way to keep the budget balanced is successful reform of the large spending pressures in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” the McCain campaign says in a policy paper to be released Monday.

“The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction.”

Both James Joyner and Matt Yglesias find McCain’s plans to be more than just a little impluasible. McCain’s plan, which seems to involve trying to cut spending in certain targeted agencies and Social Security doesn’t square up with his wanting to extend the Bush tax cuts (which would cause a drop in federal revenues) and his desire to maintain a long term troop presence in Iraq. One might surmise that McCain’s economic advisors have consulted the Underpants Gnomes of South Park in formulating this plan. For those unfamiliar with the Gnomes, they basically steal underwear from unsuspecting people in the hopes of doing something with them to make a profit, but that something (how to move from idea to profit) is never revealed and is conspicuously missing from their scheme:

This, of course, is not the only context in which McCain might have considered using the Underpants Gnome’s business plan, but it is the latest. Let’s see if the press actually has the stones to call him on this (don’t hold your breath).

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~ by uvasig on July 7, 2008.

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