John McCain Holds The Keys To Tax Reform's Fate

Anybody who was watching the July Senate floor vote on the Republicans' bill to repeal and replace Obamacare will remember the audible gasps that John McCain elicited when he surprised his own party by voting against the plan. And now just four months later, he's gearing up to do it again.

According to the New York Times, McCain may once again decide the fate of one of the Trump administration's top legislative priorities.

The senator from Arizona has been tight-lipped about whether he will vote ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on the bill, which was voted out of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday with the support of Bob Corker and Ron Johnson, who have both expressed reservations about the plan – Johnson had even said he wouldn’t vote for it.

As the NYT points out, McCain has staked his career on a platform of fiscal responsibility, and has bucked his party by voting against tax cuts in the past.

McCain’s skepticism of tax cuts stretches at least as far back as 1994. At that time, he was fretting about being fiscally responsible now that Republicans had seized control of Congress. “I think we would be making a terrible mistake to go back to the 80s, where we cut all of those taxes and all of a sudden now we’ve got a debt that we’ve got to pay on an annual basis that is bigger than the amount that we spend on defense,” McCain said.

“Mr. McCain has voted against big tax cuts before, including two that passed under another Republican president: George W. Bush In that case, he bucked the majority of hi party on the grounds that the 2001 and 2003 cuts overwhelmingly benefited the rich – a widespread criticism of the current Senate legislation and the bill that has already passed the House. Mr. McCain is also a deficit hawk and could find it had to swallow a tax cut that will add around $1.5 trillion to the federal debt over 10 years.”

 

 

“In 2001, as Republicans forged ahead with a $1.35 trillion tax cut, Mr. McCain became one of two Republican senators to vote against the bill’s passage. He said he could not accept that changes to the bill lowered the top individual tax rate to 35% and delayed tax relief for married couples.”

 

‘We had an opportunity to provide much more tax relief to millions of hard-working Americans,” Mr. McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor. ‘But I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief.’

 

Two years later, Mr. McCain voted against another round of tax cuts. In his remarks in 2003, Mr. McCain again cast doubt on the need to use ‘billions of federal dollars to cut taxes for our nation’s wealthiest.’ The deal breaker that time was that his fellow lawmakers would pass such cuts while rejecting legislation that would have allowed members of the military to get tax breaks on profits from selling their homes.

Several of McCain’s associates said they wouldn’t be surprised if he voted against the senate bill, which he has criticized for being too generous with the wealthy.

“’I don’t know,’ Douglas Holtz-Eakin, policy adviser to Mr. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said when asked how his former boss would vote on the tax overhaul. ‘For most people there are going to be things in there they don’t like and the question is what is preferable, the status quo or the bill.’”

During the 2000 Republican primary, when he ultimately lost out to George W Bush, McCain positioned himself as the candidate of fiscal restraint, advocating paying down the debt over tax cuts for the rich.

“We ought to pay down the debt, and we also ought to make Social Security solvent,” he said.

More recently, Mr. McCain has been toeing the party line on taxes.

In 2006, Mr. McCain supported extending the Bush tax cuts on the basis that letting them expire would represent a tax increase.

The tax plan that Mr. McCain crafted in 2008 during his presidential run against Barack Obama was even more mainstream Republican. He called for lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent, phasing out the alternative minimum tax and doubling the value of exemptions for each dependent to $7,000 from $3,500.

Anyone who was paying attention to McCain’s explanation for opposing the Republican health care plan will remember that one of his reason for opposing the bill was its lack of bipartisan support. Given the intensely partisan atmosphere that has persisted in Washington for much of the last decade, this sounds like an excuse for voting against the bill out of spite.

At the end of the day, McCain and fellow Trump opponents Bob Corker and Jeff Flake aren’t running again. They’ve already suggested that they find Trump and his agenda repugnant.

And with the Republicans’ razor-thin majority, three no votes would be enough to kill the bill, which is expected to be brought to the floor for a vote tomorrow.
 

Comments

Beam Me Up Scotty chubbar Wed, 11/29/2017 - 13:48 Permalink

"As the NYT points out, McCain has staked his career on a platform of fiscal responsibility"*COUGH* BULLSHIT *COUGH*If that was the case, we wouldn't be spending TRILLIONS running around bombing people who can't bomb us back.  They only way said people can hurt us, is if we actually let them into the country!!  Thats what BORDER CONTROL is for!  And he's the biggest war cheerleader we have!

In reply to by chubbar

JimmyJones MisterMousePotato Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:07 Permalink

John McCain is a Globalist Traitor beholden Globalist special interest not the working American.  He will do anything possible to further diminish our purchasing power and manufacturing capacity.  In short he is a Treasonous POS.  I expect him to do what he usually does and that is vote with the Dems whenever it counts and could help regular working people.I know he is pissed since Trump cut off the funding for his little CIA private Terrorist group commonly known as ISIS or the "moderate Rebels".

In reply to by MisterMousePotato

MadHatt Wed, 11/29/2017 - 13:37 Permalink

McCain’s skepticism of tax cuts stretches at least as far back as 1994. At that time, he was fretting about being fiscally responsible... Since 1994 all the books have been balanced?

Stan522 Wed, 11/29/2017 - 13:37 Permalink

I say McLame will vote no, not because he believes it's a bad law, but because he can once again stifle Trump...... It's personal with him......

wmbz Wed, 11/29/2017 - 13:40 Permalink

McShitstain will vote against any and everthing that Trump may want.McStain hates Trump simply because Trump told the truth about his sorry ass!The bastard can not depart this planet soon enough!

azusgm Wed, 11/29/2017 - 13:41 Permalink

Why has he not been removed from the senate due to brain cancer? He is unfit for duty.BRAIN cancer. Not lung cancer or colon cancer or prostate cancer. Brain cancer.BTW, he surely is hanging around a long time and not showing ill effects of radiation or chemo. Glioblastoma Multiformae is majorly aggressive.

. . . _ _ _ . . . Wed, 11/29/2017 - 13:43 Permalink

Why does it always seem to come down to him?Didn't he lose his bid to become president?How come he always gets to call the shots?Who made him the decider?It's almost as if he holds the veto power.The political boot is on the wrong foot. (heheheh)

wisefool Wed, 11/29/2017 - 13:42 Permalink

let us wet start an aircraft carrier so the the plebs know what a an IRS funded slush fund is!just kidding. basically, the point of this life is to be a good person. the ones and zeros do not care about us.

Pasadena Phil Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:01 Permalink

“I think we would be making a terrible mistake to go back to the 80s, where we cut all of those taxes and all of a sudden now we’ve got a debt that we’ve got to pay on an annual basis that is bigger than the amount that we spend on defense,”...

John. Where were the spending cuts? Maybe you missed the memo but this is about small government, not being fiscally irresponsible. Cut the spending already!!!!

MasterPo Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:20 Permalink

Unfortunately he doesn't hold the keys to his ankle GPS tracking device.[Can't wait 'til they frog march this criminal into court in ankle bracelets.  Oh happy days are here again...]

venturen Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:21 Permalink

McCain has been destroying things since his childhood whether it is his corvette,   McCain began as a sub-par flier[18] who was at times careless and reckless;[19] during the early to mid-1960s, two of his flight missions crashed and a third mission collided with power lines, getting his A-4E shot down or blowing up Forrestal and killing 134.!

geno-econ Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:23 Permalink

If anyone thinks the Tax Bill will change the course of financial responsibility is dreaming.  It is more of the same deficit producing results because it does not change the fundamental truth that USA is in slow economic decline and China will keep on growing at 5-7 %.  We have been living beyond our means and squandering our wealth  in silly wars rather than making sound investments for too long.  Now the remaining goodies like healthcare , SS and pensions will be sacrificed just to keep the the Ponzi going until it collapses, bitcoin and all.  McCain, facing imminent death and no longer a beneficiary of "playing the game" may want to leave a legacy of voting for a "reality check".  No one else in Washington is willing to do it.Go for it McCain 

fiddy pence ha… Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:39 Permalink

oh the high drama.They wheel the degenerate in,and he still has the right to vote.he's got enough brains toblow up Trump's stupid plans again!where's that thumbs down emoji?I used to enjoy hating McStain on thesepages. I'm kinda conflicted now.

loveyajimbo shankster Wed, 11/29/2017 - 19:03 Permalink

"Put your money with your mouth is and boycott Arizona until McStain is out of office."Hey, rim me, you maggot... would you prefer two democrappers instead of the moron traitors McStain and Flake?  At least they both usually still vote R.  We had a shitty choice here, due to corrupt GOP politics in Phoenix.

In reply to by shankster

csmith Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:56 Permalink

"...on the grounds that the 2001 and 2003 cuts overwhelmingly benefited the rich – a widespread criticism of the current Senate legislation and the bill that has already passed the House."If the tax system has evolved to the point where the vast, vast majority of tax dollars are paid by the "rich", then ANY tax cut can be pilloried as BENEFITTING the rich. Bottom line:  There IS NO tax cut without cutting the taxes of people who pay most of the tax.