AP failed to note McCain switched positions on Bush tax cuts


The Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain favors an "extension of expiring tax cuts from Bush's first term," but the article did not point out that McCain changed his position on the Bush tax cuts, opposing the reductions in 2001 and 2003, then voting to extend them in 2006.

In a January 17 article on the "long-term economic plan" proposed by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) while campaigning in South Carolina, the Associated Press reported that McCain favors an "extension of expiring tax cuts from Bush's first term." The AP, however, did not point out that McCain changed his position on the Bush tax cuts. In May 2001, when Congress first considered the tax cuts, McCain said in a May 26, 2001, floor statement that he opposed the bill because "so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief." And in 2003, McCain voted against legislation to accelerate the tax reductions enacted in the 2001 bill and to cut taxes on dividends and capital gains. Yet in 2006, McCain voted for the bill extending the 2003 tax cuts.

By contrast, The New York Times reported on January 18 that McCain's economic plan was "designed to reassure voters worried about the economy as well as fiscal conservatives who have been wary of him ever since he initially opposed President Bush's tax cuts."

From the January 17 Associated Press article:

McCain's plan would also establish a permanent research and development tax credit and allow tax breaks for equipment and technology investment. GOP rival Rudy Giuliani has also proposed cutting the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.

The McCain plan does not contain additional tax relief for individuals beyond previous proposals to repeal the Alternate [sic] Minimum Tax, a tax originally designed to fall on the wealthiest but which each year snags more middle-income taxpayers who claim a lot of deductions; and extension of expiring tax cuts from Bush's first term, a course also favored by others campaigning for the Republican nomination. "We've got to make these tax cuts permanent," McCain said.

"One of the reasons we have the difficulties we do is that spending went out of control," McCain said.

Among McCain's opponents in the South Carolina Republican primary Saturday, Mitt Romney said, "it makes sense for Congress to take immediate action" and he'd have his own plan soon. Fred Thompson, meanwhile, said it's not time for the government to give the economy a jolt.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Associated Press
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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