McCain Doesn't Understand the Challenges Alaska's Families Face

John McCain demonstrates just how little he understands the economy and the challenges Alaska's families face everyday.

John McCain demonstrated just how little he understands the economy and the challenges Alaska's families face everyday.

From an Alaska Democratic Party press release: Confronted with more disturbing economic news this week, John McCain demonstrated just how little he understands the economy and the challenges Alaska's families face everyday. Asked this morning in Atlanta about today's terrible economic reports, McCain said the jobs numbers were "not terrible" because "the unemployment rate did not go up," even as experts reported the worst job losses in five years. These comments come just days after McCain said the best short-term relief for families feeling the economic pinch was making Bush's budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy permanent in 2010-nearly two years from now. [AP, 3/7/08; Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08]

Maybe McCain didn't realize that oil prices hit a new record high yesterday with people in Alaska paying up to $3.31 for a gallon of gas. That, of course, comes as home foreclosures around the country hit an all-time high in the final quarter of last year, with 640 families in Alaska losing their homes. And a new jobs report out today shows employers cut 63,000 jobs in February, a five year high, while new consumer confidence numbers have sunk to record lows as families struggle with stagnant wages and skyrocketing energy, college, and health care. [AAA Fuel Gauge Report, 3/4/08; Joint Economic Committee Factsheet -; AP, 3/7/08; AP, 3/7/08; Democratic Policy Committee Factsheet, 2/12/08]

Yet despite all those economic challenges, McCain backed President Bush's decision to veto a children's health insurance bill, skipped a key vote on the economic stimulus package, and refused to say whether he supports President Bush's threat to veto a Democratic mortgage relief bill. [AP, 2/6/08;, 2/6/08; Congressional Quarterly Today, 2/27/2008] His pledge to make Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy permanent, cuts he himself argued were fiscally irresponsible in 2001 and 2003, would cost $6.3 trillion by 2012 when combined with the costs of the never-ending war in Iraq. No wonder McCain himself admitted "[t]he issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." [Boston Globe, 12/18/07; Senate Budget Committee Fact Sheet, 1/24/08]

"John McCain just doesn't understand the challenges that working families face every day," said Alaska Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins. "If he did, he would offer solutions to the families of Alaska who are struggling to get by instead of trying to defend and extend Bush's economic policies that have been devastating for Alaskans. Instead, McCain offers more of the same out-of-touch policies that do nothing to help Alaska's working families, and that's the last thing voters want."

McCain Is Sure No Expert On the Economy

McCain Says He Doesn't Understand the Economy. McCain admitted to reporters "[t]he issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." [Boston Globe, 12/18/07]

McCain's Short-Term Solution For the Economy? Tax Cuts for the Wealthy in Two Years, Of Course. When asked what efforts would have a short-term impact on the economy, McCain responded "In the shorter term, if you somehow told American businesses and families, 'Look, you're not going to experience a tax increase in 2010,' I think that's a pretty good short-term measure. And as far as confidence is concerned, I think if you say, 'Congress is going to cut corporate taxes right away,' if you say that you've got a plan to eliminate the AMT, I think some of those are kind of short-term measures right now." [Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08]

Republicans Postponing Consideration of Housing Bill So McCain Doesn't Have to Make a Hard Vote. "Consideration of the mortgage package was delayed earlier in the week when a debate over the Iraq War lasted longer than expected. At the time, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., maintained that Republicans were intentionally delaying consideration of the mortgage package so that Arizona Sen. John McCain -- the presumptive GOP presidential nominee -- would not have to cast a vote on the bill before the March 4 Ohio primary." [Congressional Quarterly Today, 2/27/2008]

McCain Skips Vote to Give Tax Rebates to Seniors and Disabled Veterans. "McCain skipped a difficult Senate vote Wednesday on whether to make 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans eligible for rebate checks as part of a proposed economic stimulus package" despite the fact that he "was actually in Washington -- his plane landed at Dulles Airport by 5 p.m., leaving plenty of time to make" the vote." [AP, 2/6/08;, 2/6/08]

Cost of "Four More Years" Placed At $6.3 TRILLION. Yesterday's CBO "January Budget and Economic Outlook" showed continued deterioration in the budget outlook with the projected 2008 deficit growing to $219 billion. But as bad as the budget situation has become under the current Republican Administration, continuation of the Republican policies by any of the Republicans on stage tonight will only make things worse. The majority staff of the Senate Budget Committee estimates that funding Republican priorities like making the Bush tax cuts permanent and funding ongoing - and perhaps permanent - operations in Iraq will add $6.3 trillion to the CBO's already dismal ten-year predictions. [

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