McCain Vs. Obama: A Big Difference On Spending

If you believe that the expansion of government and deficit spending are serious issues, then there almost could not be a starker difference between the two candidates for President.

From the LA Times,

Among other proposals during the course of the campaign, Obama has said he would strengthen the nation’s bridges and dams ($6 billion a year), help make men better fathers ($50 million a year) and aid Iraqis displaced by the war ($2 billion in one-time spending). Last week, he pledged to give religious and community groups $500 million a year to provide summer education to low-income children.

Other proposals are more costly. Obama wants to extend health insurance to more people (part of a $65-billion-a-year health plan), develop cleaner energy sources ($15 billion a year), curb home foreclosures ($10 billion in one-time spending) and add $18 billion a year to education spending.

It is a far different blueprint than McCain is offering. The senator from Arizona has proposed relatively little new spending, arguing that tax cuts and private business are more effective means of solving problems.

The total price tag of Obama’s plans, according to his campaign, is $130 billion a year. On top of that, Obama is proposing a middle-class tax cut of about $80 billion a year.

Obama’s campaign says the new spending would be more than offset by cuts to existing federal programs and other savings.

“His plan reallocates what we’re spending today on the war in Iraq and wasteful and low-priority government programs into higher-priority investments in our future,” said Jason Furman, Obama’s economic policy director.

Given the nature of how the price tags for government programs almost always dramatically expand, if Obama is saying he is proposing $130 billion a year in new spending, you can safely assume the initial amount is somewhere around $260 billion and rising.

Then there’s McCain, who has one of the best records of fiscal conservatism in the Senate and who “has proposed relatively little new spending.”

Controlling spending is like securing the borders. Every politician says that they want to do it, but then when it comes right down to it, you find that most of them don’t believe what they say. Given that he’s proposing all that new spending, Obama certainly isn’t going to cut the deficit. On the other hand, McCain is promising to balance the budget in four years and he has proven time and time again that he will walk the walk on this issue.

So, which politician is more likely to make a change for the better on spending? Hint: it’s not the guy who keeps repeating “change” over and over like a parrot.

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