Wall Street Journal: Security Is Job One

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Wall Street Journal
February 1, 2008

Americans have always wanted to make a better life for their children than the one they inherited. In the pursuit of this goal, Republicans have always trusted the courage, good sense, resourcefulness and decency of the American people -- who expect in turn a government that respects their values and is committed to enhancing their personal, political and economic freedoms.

The first responsibility of the next president will be to keep this country safe from an enemy that so despises us they would unleash any terror to cause us harm. John McCain has a record of courageous service and broad experience of years of involvement in every military and national security issue that has faced this nation. He is the only candidate prepared to be commander in chief from the first day in office.

The sad failures of government-centered economic development have proven that private markets are the only true hope for sustained prosperity. Republicans believe that government should do only those things we cannot do individually, should tax no more than is necessary, and should spend only on genuine national priorities. Mr. McCain will preserve these principles, and thus also preserve and enhance Americans' economic freedom.

Entrepreneurs lie at the heart of innovation, growth and advancing prosperity. Hard work, ingenuity and entrepreneurialism are a proven route to meeting one's goals and providing for children and family. Mr. McCain is committed to preserving their freedom, ensuring that they are not shackled by excessive regulation, starved of risk capital, or taxed into submission.

Over the past year, Mr. McCain has outlined a vision for steps toward a U.S. tax code that is simpler, fair and flatter. He will begin by keeping taxes low -- making permanent the current income and investment tax rates, and defending those rates against Democrats' partisan goal of taxing our economy into collapse. He has proposed that it should require a three-fifths majority vote in Congress to raise taxes.

Mr. McCain also proposes immediate elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax. This is a growing burden on middle-class families that also raises marginal tax rates by a substantial four percentage points on average.

The tax code should be more pro-growth, and enhance our international competitiveness. Otherwise the United States runs the risk of becoming a tax-unfriendly location in global markets. Mr. McCain has proposed to cut the corporate tax rate to 25%, permit first-year expensing of all equipment investment, and institute a permanent and reformed 10% R&D tax credit. Although more reform would be beneficial, these steps would reduce the burden of our tax code and support faster, sustained growth in the U.S. At a time when the economy is weak, they would also help American workers and their families if adopted right now.

John McCain is committed to restoring the trust of taxpayers that the government will spend their money wisely. Since Ronald Reagan left office, government spending adjusted for inflation has increased $2,500 for every man, woman and child in the country. Sadly, wasteful spending may be the enduring image of recent Congresses. It has been bad for Republicans, bad for governance, and it is bad economic policy. When Congress sends a pork-laden spending bill to President McCain's desk, he will veto it.

Congress just passed another omnibus appropriation bill stuffed with nearly 10,000 earmarks costing about $10 billion. Washington needs to get the message: No Earmarks. Not 10,000. Not one. Zero. Mr. McCain will deliver the message.

Mr. McCain will return the Republican Party to its principle that government should do its job, and can do it with less of America's money. This means reducing spending on health-care programs, and reducing the threat that higher health-care costs present to our businesses and families -- while maintaining the quality of our medical science. Thus Mr. McCain has proposed a comprehensive, market-driven health-care reform that places the American family at the center of a reformed and flexible health-care system. It has been called supply-side medicine for health care.

Mr. McCain will re-affirm American leadership in global trade. It is essential that American workers have access to the 95% of the world's customers that are outside our borders. The U.S. should engage in multilateral, regional and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers to trade, level the global playing field and build effective enforcement of global trading rules. Opening new markets for trade in goods and services is an indispensable aspect of economic freedom, for entrepreneurs and workers, and a proven road to greater prosperity.

As a student of history, Mr. McCain rejects those who preach the false virtues of economic isolationism -- those who urge the U.S. to bury its head in the sand. The world made the grave error of building walls against trade 75 years ago, which contributed to the Great Depression. Since then, the U.S. has been in the forefront of the fight for reduced barriers to trade. It has reaped the benefits of sustained growth in standards of living, an awesome display of innovation and technical advance, an explosion in the variety, quality and affordability of consumer goods, a rise in home ownership, and ascendancy to the position of world's greatest economy.


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Feb. 2, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Even though I won't be voting for McCain, this is a great post! Thanks for finally putting a post out there FOR your candidate!! Voted popular! : )

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