ElectionWatch: NBC on McCain's Proposed Tax Cuts: It 'Doesn't Add Up'

     The only presidential candidate with an economic plan that even remotely resembles a pro-growth, low taxation platform just can’t escape populist scrutiny from the media.

     GOP presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain’s path to economic prosperity, which involves tax cuts, has nothing going for it, according to the April 15 “NBC Nightly News.”

     “Most Americans don’t need reminding this is tax deadline day and John McCain used the occasion to give his second speech on the economy in two weeks time,” said “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. “He is offering more specifics on how he would handle the economy and the federal budget; but some critics say his economic plan, which centers on more tax cuts, doesn’t add up.”

     But there’s a little more to McCain’s plan than just cutting taxes. He outlined his blueprint for economic recovery on CNBC’s  “Kudlow & Company” April 15.

    “Bring spending, obviously, under control – that is very obvious,” McCain said. “Have a balanced budget. Reduce corporate taxes from 35 to 25 [percent]. Allow expensing in the first year of new equipment. Job retraining and education programs that work, that give us qualified workers into the work force.”

     And what about those tax cuts NBC was so critical of? Tax cuts work based on historical data. The last major federal tax break came from the Bush administration in 2001 and that led to an unprecedented 52 straight months of job growth and enormous gains in gross domestic product.

     Yet, that didn’t pass NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell’s muster. Without citing any “critics” or “economists,” she reiterated the left’s talking point on “Nightly News” – a plan based on lowering taxes would favor the wealthy.

     “McCain’s core idea, lower taxes and make up lost revenue with cuts in government spending,” O’Donnell said. “But critics and some economists argue McCain’s math is wrong, that his plan would tilt toward the wealthy, swell the deficit and not trim enough.”

     Another of McCain’s ideas involved reducing taxes on gasoline – before he is elected president.

     “Let’s have a gas tax holiday and maybe just give everyday Americans some relief this summer,” said McCain.

     But even though gasoline prices are at record levels, O’Donnell still couldn’t find an upside to McCain’s proposed break at the pump.

     “That gas tax is used to pay for highway repairs,” O’Donnell said. “McCain advisers say they would make up for that with money from the general fund.”

     But McCain explained in his “Kudlow & Company” appearance that the gas tax actually hurts the lower income people, a point not recognized by O’Donnell.

     “We’re talking about 18 cents a gallon for regular fuel and 24 cents for diesel,” McCain said. “I’m not sure that it stimulates it – I think it eases the burden. The people that drive the furthest in America are the lowest income people. You spent enough time in Washington, D.C. to know that the wealthiest live in Georgetown and can almost walk to work. The least wealthy live the furthest away and drive many, many miles.”