McCain's erratic campaign scrambled to cook up a new economic plan in response to the plan Barack Obama announced yesterday. The campaign has contradicted itself multiple times over the last few days leaving us to wonder just how carefully thought out McCain's "bold" new ideas really are.
On Saturday, McCain's campaign said they would be introducing a bold new economic agenda on Monday. On Sunday, spokesman Tucker Bounds retracted saying, "We do not have any immediate plans to announce any policy proposals outside of the proposals that John McCain has announced, and the certain proposals that would result as economic news continues to come our way." Then yesterday, shortly after Obama's speech, the campaign said McCain would reveal new proposals on Tuesday.
This morning, the campaign previewed McCain's new plan. He proposes a reduced tax rate for people 59 years and older who withdraw money from IRAs or 401k retirement plans in 2009 and 2010. McCain also tossed in a 50 per cent reduction in the capital gains tax on stock profits, from the current 15 per cent to 7.5 per cent, for a period of two years; an acceleration in the tax write-off for stock losses, allowing Americans to deduct $15,000 in losses a year for the tax years 2008 and 2009 (current rules allow deductions for up to $3,000 in losses); and a suspension on the tax on unemployment insurance benefits in 2008 and 2009.
The current incarnation of McCain's economic plan continues to provide no tax relief at all to 101 million hardworking families, including 97 percent of senior citizens, and it does nothing to cut taxes for small businesses or give them access to credit.
McCain's plan was cobbled together to give the illusion that he is proactively looking for solutions to the economic mess. In truth, McCain keeps tossing up one Hail Mary pass after another in hopes that he gets lucky and lands a game changer.