As a Republican, I happily used the "tax and spend liberal" label against Gore and Kerry. I believed that George W. Bush would cut taxes and spending, reduce the size of government, and keep us out of expensive foreign entanglements. I believed Gore or Kerry would have spent our money irresponsibly leading to an economic crisis.
Today, the "tax and spend liberal" label is being applied to Senator Obama, and Senator McCain is being called a "tax cutting conservative." Is it true? John McCain's chief economic policy adviser does not believe it is, as he was quoted in an article in Time Magazine:
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's chief economic policy adviser said, "I used to say that Barack Obama raises taxes and John McCain cuts them, and I was convinced," he told me in a phone interview this week. "I stand corrected about Obama's plans."
McCain has a 95 percent pro-Bush voting record in the past year (when he was not absent) and has commented often that he is Bush's greatest supporter and that he plans to continue Bush initiatives if elected. Under the Bush administration we've had trillions of dollars in hidden "taxes," sucking away at our wealth, our investments and our incomes, that we can expect to continue under McCain. I call them Incompetence Taxes.
The Dollar Devaluation Tax
The value of the US Dollar has decreased an average of 30% against other major currencies since Bush took office. This means if you had $1 million in 2000, it is now worth only $700,000. $300,000 simply disappeared in purchasing power. That's the price the wealthy and everyone else has paid for voting in a "tax cutting conservative" instead of a "tax and spend liberal."
The War Tax
The Iraq War is the first American war that did not come with a tax increase. Costs are just about to exceed the total cost of the Vietnam War. So how is it being paid for? The Iraq war is being funded outside the general budget, making it appear inexpensive. The Bush administration is simply borrowing the money, with The People's Republic of China only second to Japan as a US creditor. This means China now holds over half a trillion dollars in American debt. With us running in a spending deficit, who will pay this debt? Taxes will have to be increased, or our children will be paying for our adventures. Either way, there's an Incompetence War Tax hidden in our debt. For being afraid those "tax and spend liberals" might extend welfare a bit, our "tax cutting conservative" administration has outspent anything a Democrat could have even conceived of.
Non-Defense Federal Spending Tax
With record No Bid Contracts from this administration, federal spending has increased under the Bush administration faster than any previous president. It is now estimated at over $23,000 per year per American citizen (not counting supplemental expenses such as Iraq). Again, since we are borrowing our way to paying for all this spending, our debt will have to be paid someday, either by us or our children. Just because they don't tax you now, doesn't mean you don't owe it. The debt will come due and you will have to pay. If we get a responsible Democrat in office who wants to pay down our debt, Republicans will yell "tax and spend liberal!"
Special Interest/Lobbyist Tax
The Bush administration created the most expensive entitlement program in history with the Medicare Modernization Act. But why is it so expensive? Because it bans drug price negotiations, forcing the government to pay full retail prices for drugs. While insurance companies negotiate bulk rates, the pharmaceutical lobbyists influenced the old school politicians to accept this ridiculous provision. Senator Obama has stated that he will repeal this ban, but McCain has not stated his position, and was not present during a Senate vote on the issue.
With the last eight years of Incompetence Taxes, do we really want to risk four more years of a so-called "tax cutting conservative?"