Wednesday, April 16, 2008

McCain Has A Senior Moment

Senator John McCain's long term memory has started clouding over in his old age, and the proof of that can be seen on Think Progress.

McCain has promised to be a fiscal hawk and balance the budget. McCain's foggy memory seems to crop up whenever he gets a bit of pressure to square his rosy outlook on the budget against his promises to drastically cut taxes across the board. In the example seen in the video at Think Progress, when Andrea Mitchell points out that financial experts tend to have a dim outlook on this approach, McCain sputters that he disagrees with the experts, and he has his own. Then McCain reaches into history and entirely destroys his own logic, all the while thinking that he is making a great case his manifestly backwards budgetary outlook:
"And that's what we did in 1980, or Ronald Reagan did in when he came to office in 1981. We reduced taxes, we reduced regulations [here he gives his words emphasis by wagging his finger towards the camera ] and we controlled spending."
Unfortunately this is not the first time that McCain has cited Reagan as a grand example of budgetary discipline. Just over a week ago an audience member asked for some straight talk on the budget and McCain recalled the Reagan model as a good example.
“When Ronald Reagan came to office,’’ he said, noting that few in the audience were old enough to remember, “we had 10 percent unemployment, 20 percent interest rates, and 10 percent inflation, if I’ve got those numbers right. That was when Ronald Reagan came to office in 1980. And so what did we do? We didn’t raise taxes, and we didn’t cut entitlements.
When McCain said that I posted that he was suffering a severe case of cognitive dissonance. I can no longer give cognitive dissonance as a diagnosis for McCain's delusion, but have to chalk it up to a senior moment because of a very crucial difference between the quote from two weeks ago and what McCain said on MSNBC.

On MSNBC, McCain emphatically declares that Reagan controlled spending. A couple of weeks ago McCain trumpeted that Reagan did not cut entitlements. This is a crucial difference on a fundamental aspect of the budget. Something has happened in a very short time span to change McCain's memory on a very important part of Reagan's supposed budgetary triumph.

To be sure, it's bad enough that McCain would repeatedly cite Reagan as his example of fiscal discipline. McCain only worsens the mistake by contradicting himself from one week to the next when it comes to Reagan's record on spending.

This is widely acknowledged to the one of the most important elections in this nations history. The next President has to guide the nation out of, or deeper into, Iraq, and reverse eight solid years of budgetary madness. Let us hope that such senior moments as McCain has displayed lately are not a daily feature at the White House starting next January.

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