John McCain Gets It

Everyone knows that this blog has been critical of our senior Senator, John McCain, on a number of issues.

Here’s one I’m going to publicly applaud him on because he knows it’s a bad idea to raise taxes during a severe recession. Senator McCain also understands that the party of Reagan which has always stood for reducing the tax and regulation burden on individuals and small businesses was sent the message over the last two election cycles, that you don’t raise taxes, period. Now if that Reganesque way of thinking would only trickle back down to the state level where some elephants have lost their memory.

Here’s the news story reported on ABC-15 from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain is refusing to consider raising taxes to reduce the ballooning deficit.

McCain was asked on ABC’s “This Week” whether he would make a similar pledge as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to do whatever it takes to bring down the deficit over the long run, such as raising taxes.

The Arizona Republican said “no.” He says the government should be able to reduce the deficit without new taxes by reducing the costs of Medicare and Social Security, which make up significant portions of the federal budget.

McCain also says the government should eliminate earmark and pork-barrel spending to send a message to Americans that it is serious about eliminating waste and corruption in federal spending.


  1. Sure he can say that when he’s in the minority and his opinion has no bearing on national policy.

    At home here in Arizona, McCain’s cronies such as the Jameses, Coughlin, Verdones, et al are pushing the governor into RAISING taxes to close the budget gap and into tearing the Republican party apart in the process.

    Because the fact is you cannot be conservative and raise taxes. Because it necessarily means that you lack the backbone to CUT SPENDING (and you want to ensure that your friends continue to get lucrative government infrastructure contracts so they can contribute to your campaign.)

  2. Again, the State of Arizona needs to live within its means. Even if the voters passed a sales tax incease, it would not be enough to cover our current level of spending.

    “Because the fact is you cannot be conservative and raise taxes.”

    Actually, I thought it was a core REPUBLICAN principle to work toward lower taxes and smaller efficient government – not to contiually fund government programs.

    According to the Republican Party Platform of 2008 (page 23):

    “Economic freedom expands the prosperity pie; government can only divide it up. That is why Republicans advocate lower taxes, reasonable regulation, and smaller, smarter government.”

    The platform continues:

    “The most important distinction between Republicans and the leadership of today’s Democratic Party concerning taxes is not just that we believe you should keep more of what you earn. That’s true, but there is a more fundamental distinction. It concerns the purpose of taxation. We believe government should tax only to raise money for its essential functions.

    Today’s Democratic Party views the tax code as a tool for social engineering. They use it to control our behavior, steer our choices, and change the way we live our lives. The Republican Party will put a stop to both social engineering and corporate handouts by simplifying tax policy, eliminating special deals, and putting those saved dollars back into the taxpayers’ pockets.”

    I would presume that we Republicans agree with this premise. However, maybe the sticking point is what or how we define as “essential functions.”

    I would argue that under the prior Governor, “essential functions” were defined loosely to include programs that are questionably “social engineering.” I would also argue that some programs were created to award those demographic cliques who worked toward the election of the prior governor.

    Finally, I would question the effectiveness of these programs. Are we throwing away taxpayer dollars on programs that would be better served under the private sector?

    That, is perhaps where we disagree.

  3. MaricopaGOP says

    I bet he would support a guaranteed temporary relatively small increase in the excise tax in return for a large decrease permanent decrease in income taxes — and so would I.

  4. Given the government’s track record AND the volatility of elections wherein Arizona could get a Democratic Governor and Republicans lose their majority standing in the legislature, does anyone believe a temporary tax hike would remain temporary? And that still doesn’t answer the question whether the sales tax revenue would be enough to close the budget deficit. I still vote for a “live within your means” agenda.

  5. MaricopaGOP says

    When the voters place a certain ending date AND the revenue from the tax are capped at $2.2 Billion, Prop 105 MANDATES that those voter passed restrictions be applied.

    In that case, and only in that case, I believe it. So do the people who wrote the bill with that specifically in mind – as opposed to those who are working only on knee-jerk reactions to previous actions prior to Prop 105 AND Prop 108.

    Please put your opposition in context with the applicable laws.

    As to the “live within your means” argument, this package includes the first steps to meeting your admonition. A huge set of direct and indirect reductions in the size and scope of our state government.

  6. No, sorry.

    There would be a budget SURPLUS if the AZ state government were the size it were in 2002.

    Sorry, but revert to the 2002 government size and spend is no “crisis”.

    Hence no tax increases are required.

    Furthermore the tax decreases you mention will not go into effect until years 2, 3 and 4 after this budget passes – which gives liberal republicans and dems plenty of time to reverse the cuts when we are in crisis mode this time next year.

    So, again, no, you cannot be conservative and raise taxes. Sorry.

  7. Oberserve,

    Since 2002….Do you account for inflation, do you account for the increased demand on services due to the economic fiasco, do you account for increases in demands on health and public safety, do you account for the statutory increases that are vote protected?

    As for the:
    “We believe government should tax only to raise money for its essential functions.”

    See above.

    Where is it written that opposition to raising taxes IS THE ONLY criteria for being a conservative…No sir/madam, you are wrong. Sorry.

  8. I still can’t believe what I’m reading. When was it ever a good idea to raise taxes during a recession? What guarantees can you make that increasing sales taxes during a time when credit is extremely tight and people have dramatically cut personal spending, will even yield revenues to close our budget gap? Who are you and what have you done with the Republicans?

  9. 🙂 You are a funny guy.

  10. Ann, you have no knowledge of economics. Increased taxes = decreased proportional tax revenues over time.

    Furthermore, even accounting for inflation, reverting to the size and scope of state government in 2002 is hardly a crisis.

    If we did so, we’d have a budget SURPLUS right now and could CUT taxes to stimulate the economy.

    That is the CONSERVATIVE solution.

    You believe that “we have to burn down the village to save it”. In other words “we have to raise taxes to lower them.” Perhaps it has to do with your ties to McCain and his staff and people.

    That is the LIBERAL solution.

    Liberals are not conservatives and conservatives are not liberals. Words mean things.

  11. MaricopaGOP says

    I AM OPPOSED TO RAISING TAXES! Let me say it again, I am opposed to raising taxes.

    Conservative leaders like Harper, Verschoor, Huppenthal, Pearce, C. Gray, S. Allen, Burges, Seel, Stevens, Hendrix, Montenegro, Adams, and Burns ARE OPPOSED TO RAISING TAXES.

    Grover Norquist, Steve Voeller, Tom Jenney and Don Goldwater ARE OPPOSED TO RAISING TAXES.

    For you to imply that to support this package means that all of the above no longer should be called Republican is repugnant to me and calls for an apology for your alluding to such an outlandish conclusion. Many of them were Republican before you could spell the word.

    Gould, Gorman, Crump, Biggs and you combined do not have the conservative legacy of Gorver Norquist alone, let alone all of these conservative leaders together.

    None of the conservative Republicans believe that the sales tax increase – if it passes – will eliminate the budget deficit. All believe that more cuts will have to be made whether the referendum passes or not.


    Your statement that what is in the budget package is a tax increase is like complaining that your wife has increased your grocery bill because she is preparing more meals at home. You absolutely refuse to recognize that the increase of grocery store purchases is NOT a FOOD increase, because her efforts have reduced your total cost for meals dramatically. HELLO!

    In this scenario, sometimes there is a cost for a food processor or the purchase of shelves for a pantry, and it looks like – for a month or two – that it is costing more, but thereafter it costs less forever!

    The elimination of the Equalization Tax and the reduction of the QTR in and of themselves – both mandated and not able to be reinstated without a Prop 108 super majority because they start immediately – will offset the voter mandated temporary sales tax, in the highly unlikely possibility that voters pass the Brewer tax, that is capped at 2.2 Billion within seven years — and these tax CUTS will go on in perpetuity!

    When the package is fully implemented NEXT YEAR, taxpayers will pay $750 million to $1 Billion dollars less to our state government every year — forever!

    Now I will ask you a question. Do you really believe that Kirk Adams, Bob Burns and Warde Nichols would all support a bill getting to the floor that would rescind the income and property taxes in the second session of this legislature. I do not.

    I notice that you never question the Pro-Life vote that I reference, which leads me to the belief that you are aware of that vote and the long-term consequences.

    While this package is not about life, it is about the quality of life. I believe conservatives are being convinced to support a bad decision by our fringe in the same manner as conservatives were convinced to make a bad decision by the fringe then.


    The tax “cuts” proposed along with the referral to the ballot DO NOT HIT UNTIL YEARS 2, 3 and 4. Therefore NO TAX CUT THIS YEAR.

    Furthermore, the tax cuts are REVERSIBLE with a SIMPLE MAJORITY next year or any year.

    I.e. when the crisis doesn’t abate next year, these “cuts” CAN AND WILL BE REVERSED.

    That leaves us with fewer buget CUTS, a tax INCREASE and NO TAX REDUCTIONS.

    The liberals WON!

    You supported them.

    End of story.

  13. Maricopa GOP said:


    No it’s not unless the other tax reductions are guaranteed and irreversible.

    The CONSERVATIVE solution is to cut the state government’s size and scope to what it was in 2002.

    Then we’d be arguing about what to do with the SURPLUS.

    THAT is the CONSERVATIVE solution!

    Conservative is not liberal and liberal is not conservative. Words mean things.

  14. MaricopaGOP says

    Right – NOT! Look at the Arizona Guardian article this morning and tell me you like what the alternative is, df.

    “Democrats have a price for their support of Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget plan, and it‘s not just about the sales tax hike.

    Shut out from budget negotiations throughout the legislative session, the minority party now finds itself with the power to make demands and perhaps craft a budget more to their liking.

    Shut down twice by members of her own party, who refused to vote for her sales-tax referral, Brewer turned to Democrats last week and met for the first time Friday with the leaders of all four caucuses.

    Democrats want the sales-tax hike to be at least 1-cent for three years. The latest iteration reduces the tax-hike to a half-cent in year three.

    Democrats also want changes to the education funding formula, which currently eliminates automatic inflation funding.

    And they want the state equalization tax to return, generating an additional $250 million in property tax revenues.”

    I know that you can read, but you seem not to be able to read for comprehension. So, lets focus on just one thing at a time. This package mandates the permanent repeal of the Equalizaiton Tax and the reduction of the QTR take place prior to any increase in any possible sales tax. Those add up to one third of a billion a year in tax cuts to Arizonans — forever. GUARANTEED!

  15. What about the 1.2 Billion in cuts, the reduction of 2,000 state bureaucrats, the elimination of teacher tenure, the elimination of the automatic increase in education funding while the number of students is decreasing, etc. Are all of you willing to give those up to negotiations with the D’s who will send her the sales tax referral they hate in order to eliminate these changes.

    Why can’t you see that the fierce opposition of this package by the Democrats demonstrates why this package should be passed? Dang fools!

  16. Hello, is anyone in there?

    Possible temporary increase in one area with the Guaranteed permanent decrease in two other areas AND the overwhelming probability of decrease in four other areas.

    Even my third grader has learned math at the level to make that decision. She will forego her one-sixth of her allowance for a month for an automatically increasing allowance forever.

  17. Because as soon as there is a “crisis” next year, which there will be, the tax cuts in the package WILL BE REVERSED by a simple majority.

    This is the ultimate plan. And you are supporting it.

    That means: fewer cuts, tax increase, no tax decreases.

    In other words Republicans moving the Democrat agenda forward!

    And you call that “conservative”.


  18. Oberserve,

    PHooey yourself!

    The elimination of the Equalization Tax and the reduction of the QTR and the 1.2 Billion in spending cuts and the elimination of teacher tenure and the elimination of 2,000 full-time equivalent state government positions and the elimination of the automatic increases to the education industry and the requirement to implement the first fraud abuse program and much, much more are all GUARANTEED and ALL will be lost in the talks taking place now with the D’s while the sales tax referral will happen. In addition, the income and property tax cuts to individuals and corporations will never even have the possibility of happening!

    Read the damned package instead of merely epostulating wrong-headed simplistic rhetoric that is ill-informed or intentionally misleading!

  19. Gould and Gorman should think long and hard about the article referenced above. A good challenger will make their part in the outcome a centerpiece of a future campaign.

  20. To all those who can see the forest AND the trees, we get it.

    We see the net tax cut, we see permanent versus statutorily protected temporary increases and understand the need.

    We see the other reductions in spending and government growth as a huge step in the right direction rather than the slash and burn, scorched earth mentality some would use to deliver the death blow to our economy in the name of conservative principles.

    No amount of debate or logic will sway those who are blinded by their inner disdain for anyone who is not lock step in line with THEIR definition of conservative.

  21. Janelle et al.

    None of the tax cuts are GUARANTEED. They are reversible by a SIMPLE MAJORITY next session which is what 30 days away?

    As soon as the next crisis hits, weak Republicans like the Governor will be calling on the legislature to “lead” by reversing the cuts in this years budget.

    The weak republicans will cite the “continuing crisis” to reverse the tax cuts.

    Therefore, as I pointed out before we will end up with less spending cuts, no tax cuts and a tax INCREASE.

    That is NOT conservative. Brewer, Coughlin, McCain and you Ann are NOT conservatives. You are liberals.

  22. MaricopaGOP says


    You are DEAD WRONG!! Read the bill and the implementation timelines. The repeal of the Equalization Tax and the reduction of the QTR are retroactive to July 1 and cannot be reversed without a Prop 108 provision.

    You are an idiot if you believe Harper, Verschoor, Huppenthal, Pearce, Pierce, Melvin, C. Gray, S. Allen, Burges, Seel, Stevens, Hendrix, Montenegro, Antenori, Gowan, Barto, Kavanaugh, Tobin, Adams, Burns, Grover Norquist, Steve Voeller, Tom Jenney and Don Goldwater are LIBERALS!

    I believe you know that and are really a liberal democrat that is supporting the position of Gould and Gorman because you know that is what is driving the need for the five-way talks with the D’s that will get rid of the spending cuts, reforms and tax cuts that are included in this package.

    The jig is up. You have been outed!

  23. Maricopa GOP,

    Trying to paint Gould and Harper as liberals is absurd.

    The tax cuts will be reversed before anyone in the economy (other than property taxes) feels any cut.

    Furthermore, county and local property taxes are going up, so no one in the economy will actually get a property tax cut.

    Therefore, fewer reductions, no tax cuts, tax increases. In other words: the democrat agenda achieved by Republicans!

    You’re fooling no one. You’re a lib.

  24. Oberserve

    MaricopaGOP wrote that many of those people who are supporting the position of Gould and Gorman are liberals. He did not accuse the senators of being libeals. Nice try, though.

    I would further that by saying that all of the Democrats are supporting the position of Gould and Gorman. It is the only way they can get to the table and get their items included in a “compromise” budget.

    I will repeat what I wrote on another article:

    The Bottom Line: 32 out of 35 Republicans in the House and 15 out of 18 Republicans in the Senate support this package.

    They include Harper, Verschoor, Huppenthal, Pearce, Pierce, Melvin, C. Gray, S. Allen, Burges, Seel, Stevens, Hendrix, Montenegro, Antenori, Gowan, Barto, Kavanaugh, Tobin, Adams, Burns.

    In addition, the strongest and most recognized Pro-taxpayer, small government advocates -Americans for Tax Reform, Free Enterprise Club, Americans for Prosperity and the Pachyderm Coalition – support this package. There are no recognized taxpayer organizations that oppose the package.

    Gould, Gorman, Crump and Biggs are outside their own support base. Read Russell Pearce’s letter of last week for a clear understanding of the whole package.

    So, I think MaricopaGOP is right, you are a closet liberal democrat.

  25. AZNooz,

    I am a conservative Republican. As a liberal, you use ad hominem and misdirection as your approach to argumentation.

    The FACTS are these
    1) other than property tax, none of the cuts hit until next year and years 3 and 4 after that.

    2) property taxes are going up at the county and local levels (outside of legislatures or governors control, admittedly)

    3) 1+2 above taken together means no property tax cuts for anyone

    4) All other “cuts” do not occur until subsequent years

    5) the crisis, according to the governor is WORSENING

    6) You, the governor, and other liberals will call for the REVERSALS of these cuts in 30 or 60 days as soon as the next session begins which is your and the liberals plan as soon as you get the tax INCREASE on the agenda.

    7) the reversals of these cuts require a simple majority of the legislature

    In summary, the governor’s and your current approach is the DEMOCRAT approach. There is no “reform” as all tax cuts will be REVERSED next session. You support fewer spending cuts AND a tax increase.

    By that very definition, you and Maricopa GOP (and the governor) are liberals.

    Exposing your deception demonstrates that I am a conservative.

  26. We’ve drifted!

    The gist of the article congratulated McCain for his stance against any federal tax raise during a recession and in the first comment following the post, Observe correctly comments that all the most prominent “McCaniacs” are supporting Gov. Brewwer’s efforts to raise local taxes.

    I would opine that facing re-election next year and looking at primary opposition for for the first time in two decades, our boy is publicly sounding the correct tones for the edification of the electorate while ensuring that his cronies work to effect his real leanings.

    I notice his chief spear carrier in the U.S. Senate, Lindsay Graham is working with Chuck Schumer on the next immigration Amnesty packet!

    Ah yes! A fighting conservative until November 2010 and then a return to RINO land and the “Big Tent” the following January for another six years as a “Maverick”!

    This charade has been played for the past quarter century and the ‘boobs’ have yet to wake up!

    We, the GOP, are the “stupid” party!

  27. MaricopaGOP says

    I am in alignment with 32 out of 35 Republicans in the House and 15 out of 18 Republicans in the Senate.

    They include Harper, Verschoor, Huppenthal, Pearce, Pierce, Melvin, C. Gray, S. Allen, Burges, Seel, Stevens, Hendrix, Montenegro, Antenori, Gowan, Barto, Kavanaugh, Tobin, Adams, Burns. We do not support raising taxes, but support a package that temporarily lets the voters increase their own sales tax for a proscribed time limit and capped at 2.2 billion in return for a guaranteed PERMANENT group of tax cuts.

    In addition, the strongest and most recognized Pro-taxpayer, small government advocates – Americans for Tax Reform, Free Enterprise Club, Americans for Prosperity and the Pachyderm Coalition – join me to support this package. There are no recognized taxpayer organizations that oppose the package.

    Therefore, your position is that ALL of them are liberals because they are ALL in agreement with me.

    Who will you blame when the five-way talks end up eliminating all of the reforms, most of the spending cuts, referring the sales tax proposal, increases the Equalization tax and QTR and does not even propose the cutting of income or property taxes? Blame yourself and those who would not vote for this package that guarantees a cut of $330 million a year even without the cuts in income and property taxes that will take place in sixteen months if the current budget is passed.

    Please read Russell Pearce letter on this subject before you drink the Kool-Aid being handed out by the four “conservative” outliers in the Republican Caucus.

  28. I think you are right Maricopa. A Dem trolling this site.

  29. Nice try Ann and Maricopa.

    It’s not the Republicans in the legislature’s fault, not even Gorman’s or Gould’s or any of the other Republican’s you mention.


    She needs to STOP VETOING and approve the budgets that the peoples’ representatives send her.

    She is not a dictator but is acting like one and needs to stop.

    The FACTS are the plan you support have FEWER spending cuts, NO TAX CUTS this year, NO TAX CUTS in ANY subsequent year as they will be reversed in the next session and are by no means guaranted, and it contains tax INCREASES.

    You can try to use sophistry to get around facts, but you will fail as the facts stand up to any lie you try to put forward.

  30. “the party of Reagan which has always stood for reducing the tax and regulation burden on individuals and small businesses was sent the message over the last two election cycles, that you don’t raise taxes, period.”

    Is that the same Reagan who raised taxes in 1982 with a $100 billion tax hike over 3 years the largest since WWII, again 1983 with a gasoline tax and again in 1984 with a tax hike of $50 billion over 3 years?

    What todays GOP has not learned is how to be pragmatic.. Reagan knew that. He did what he had to do to keep the country going and get what he wanted in the end. I am not saying Reagan was not conservative. He was, he stuck to his values but he compromised and was pragmatic. Till people like DSW get it through their heads that this iswhat is required you will always be looked at as part of the fringe

  31. MaricopaGOP says


    Last attempt, because you are stating absolutely wrong information.

    The permanent repeal of the Equalization tax AND the reduction of the QTR takes place RETROACTIVELY to July 1. Last time I checked, that is in this year!

    Your supposed ability to forecast what will happen in the future with a certainty that does not allow for any variance is crazy. If you have that ability, why don’t you rule the world? Get off your own self adulation as being the only one who knows what will happen this fall, next spring, etc.

    Good night. Don’t let the gravel companies spew so much dust that you can’t see your nose in front of your face.

  32. MaricopaGOP says

    I am sorry, I said you were stating misinformation. I meant to use your term – You are telling lies!

    I support no Tax Increases, I support income and property tax cuts, 1.2 Billion in spending cuts, getting rid of tenure, cutting 5% out of the size of state government, I support strong efforts to ferret out fraud, waste and abuse, and I have read the bills.

    You, on the other hand, are incapable of understanding even the basics. Now, for sure, good-night and good-bye on this post.

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