POLITICS

McCain's Fantasy War On Earmarks

05/31/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

John McCain boasts that he can save $100 billion a year "immediately" by eliminating the so-called earmarks that legislators attach to spending bills to finance pet projects, usually in their home state. But he has refused to say exactly which projects he would cut, and his estimates of the amount of money that is being spent on earmarks have been challenged by independent experts....

McCain's talk about eliminating $100 billion a year in earmarks is largely fantasy. His advisers are now promoting a more realistic plan of eliminating $100 billion in overall spending. But it is difficult to take even that promise very seriously given the fact that the senator refuses to identify exactly which projects he will be cut. To use a phrase coined by George H.W. Bush, this is "voodoo economics," based more on wishful thinking than on hard data or carefully considered policy proposals.

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