One of FOX News (and most Republican pundits) favorite lines this election season is how Obama is being dishonest with tax payers (Republicans aren’t “voters” they’re “tax payers”) when he proposes tax cuts along with all “his new social programs.” This line is usually brought up when John McCain is caught in yet another bold-faced lie. And they’re right. Well, specifically, they’re right IF the Iraq occupation continues.

“Conservative estimates place the costs of the [occupation] at $120 billion a year, and some estimates–which take into account the long-term costs, chiefly care for veterans–are much, much higher.1” The Tax Policy Center is still working on the specific numbers but it looks like most estimates place Obama’s proposed spending on par with his tax hikes on the rich (by rescinding Bush’s cuts) and an end of the occupation in Iraq. The latter being a fairly lofty goal but a goal we should all back nonetheless.

On the other hand McCain is bat shit insane to think he can balance the budget while continuing Bush’s tax cuts and the Iraq occupation. He’s lying, and the middle-class will pay if he’s elected.

If we take McCain at his word and accept that he’s going to implement all the tax cuts he’s calling for AND his promise to balance the budget by 2013, the only possible conclusion is that he will have to cut Social Security and Medicare by 60%, all but dismantling the programs.2

Back to Obama and the Republican pundits. Another line getting thrown about lately is, “McCain votes with Bush 90% of the time, but Obama votes with the Democrats 97%.” While this is true, Obama has spent far lesser time in the legislative branch of Washington than McCain (a fact we’re reminded of everytime we hear a Repub’ open his/her mouth). A slightly lower percentage (90%) of a high number versus a slightly higher percentage (97%) of a low number, equates to a higher number. Confused, don’t worry McCain is too.

Actually, when we look closer at Obama’s proposed tax policy we uncover one point where (unlike McCain’s tax policy) he sides AGAINST his party (gasp).

Congressional Democrats [--] should have the courage of their presidential nominee [...] They are wrong to try to raise taxes, but they are even more wrong to pretend otherwise by hiding behind a completely unrealistic CBO [Congressional Budget Office] baseline.3

That’s from the Heritage Foundation (a right-wing foundation). Yeah, you read that right. Here’s more from the same article.

It is said that politics makes for strange bedfellows. Perhaps to his own surprise, Obama has apparently joined forces with conservatives to correct the CBO revenue baseline. Maybe this also demonstrates that Washington is ready to have an honest debate about tax and spending policy.3

Of course, you won’t hear anything about that from O’Reilly. One additional thing you won’t hear is this:

The true cost of Senator McCain’s tax proposals is $2.8 trillion larger than what his advisors have acknowledged. And most of that $2.8 trillion is the cost of yet more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. The plan still offers very little for ordinary Americans.4

On the other hand the Tax Policy Center found…

little difference between what they described as Obama’s stated positions and his campaign advisors description of his tax plan.4

What we have is more lies, more deception, and more incorrect assumptions that the Republicans have it “right” when it comes to taxes, revenue, and spending.

In all honesty neither McCain or Obama–with their current proposals–have a chance in hell of balancing the budget within 4, 8, or even 10 years. If you really want a fiscally responsible president, voting for Bob Barr or writing-in Ron Paul is probably you’re best option. I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords.

1 Do Obama’s Tax and Spending Proposals Add Up?
2 Report from the Duel of Economic Advisors
3 Obama to CBO Revenue Baseline: Nuts—and He’s Right!
4 McCain’s tax plan is $2.8 trillion more than previously admitted (PDF)