Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Kim Mance Headshot

McCain's Spending Freeze Would Send Us Into the Dark Ages

Posted: Updated:

With all the horrible decisions coming out of the McCain/Palin campaign, it's almost like shooting fish in a barrel (or wolves from a helicopter) to point out more failure.

But we shouldn't let McCain get a free-ride on his proposed government spending freeze. If for some fluke of a reason (2000 election, anyone?) McCain wins this thing, his proposed freeze will send us back into the Dark Ages.

During the first debate, McCain's off-the-cuff answer about fixing the ailing economy:

"How about a spending freeze on everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs."

Some would think after a hot-headed, ill-advised statement like that, the presidential hopeful would try and distance himself -- pretend it never happened.

But instead, he fought back against Barack Obama's previous description of his vast spending freeze, in the final presidential debate saying:

"OK, what -- what would I cut? I would have, first of all, across-the-board spending freeze, OK? Some people say that's a hatchet. That's a hatchet, and then I would get out a scalpel, OK?"

No Senator McCain -- a government spending freeze of "everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs" is not OK.

Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association said:

"He still fails to grasp the direct link between a 21st century education system and a robust economy." He continued, "a No Child Left Behind funding gap of $15 billion and putting a crunch on millions of special education students, low-income students, children living in poverty and the hiring of future teachers."

McCain recently promised NASA $2 billion in funding for manned space flight, yet conveniently forgot to remind them of his hatchet.

He'll have to convince the DoD to include his Homeownership Resurgence Plan into their defense budget, because otherwise it would be axed under his spending freeze.

A majority of federal service providers like independent contractors, social workers, and those working for non-profit community organizations will become jobless. As will a ludicrous number of federal employees. ...Isn't that just about the exact opposite of FDR's New Deal, which helped end the Great Depression?

The McCain health care tax credit (ya know, the one that only buys less than half a family's insurance premium) would come out of Medicaid and Medicare, which is a cut separate from the spending freeze. But it would no longer then be an entitlement, and thus would be subject to the spending freeze.

Let's take a quick look at several other agencies and programs the McConomist plan would freeze (and this is by no means an exhaustive list):
  • Executive Office of the President
  • Interest payments on the National Debt
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Agriculture / Rural Development
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
  • Judiciary Appropriations
  • The Smithsonian Institutions
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • National Park Service
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • NASA
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Institute of Health
  • Small Business Administration
  • No Child Left Behind
  • Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
  • American Indian Reservation funds for basic necessities and services
  • National Wildlife Refuge system
  • National Endowments for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund
  • The National Academies (Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, Research Council)
  • The USDA
  • Federally-Funded Public Libraries

2008-10-19-500pxU.S._Federal_Spending__FY_2007.jpg

This isn't change we can believe in; it's change we can fear.

Register To Vote