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McCain U: What Economic Policy? "What's rather stunning about Sen. McCain's their magnitude, and the magnitude of the tax relief that is devoted solely to people at the very top," Gene Sperling, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, told the audience. Sperling was a participant in the economic panel, which was moderated by Robert Gordon, also a Senior Fellow at CAPAF, and included Jared Bernstein, Director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute. Prior to the panel, James Kvaal, Domestic Policy Advisor for CAPAF, provided an overview of McCain's economic plan. The panelists focused on the president's influence on the distribution of wealth and national regulatory policies. Referring to McCain's economic policy, Sperling said, "I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like that." Sperling pointed out that all major presidential candidates from both parties support extending the Bush tax cuts for people earning under $250,000, but McCain supports an additional $110 billion in tax cuts for those with incomes above that amount. Additionally, McCain has proposed corporate tax cuts of over $175 billion. "The difference between him and most progressive about $300 billion per year," said Sperling. The panelists agreed that McCain's plan to offset these tax cuts by eliminating earmarks and holding down spending was unrealistic, with Bernstein comparing cutting earmarks to "bringing a thimble to a crater." "This notion that we can hold the line on spending is a complete abstraction," said Bernstein. To offset tax cuts, "you're going to have to go after the entitlements, and that's actually what worries me the most." Because they favor the wealthy, the Bush and McCain tax plans "exacerbate the inequalities in the system," Bernstein said. Sperling added, "corporate profits have not been a problem. The problem has been wages and ...
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