The Club for Growth, a leader in the fight for free markets, evaluates the record of Senator John McCain on economic issues.
While John McCain can easily point to a handful of pro-growth votes over his twenty-four years in Congress, a deeper look at Senator McCain's record and rhetoric, especially in recent years, ought to give American taxpayers a long and hard pause.
To give credit where it's due, John McCain's record on spending, school choice, and free trade is extremely positive. His go-it-alone moralism sometimes results in pro-growth policies, as is the case in his anti-pork crusades. However, this moralism often manifests itself in the form of more government, less freedom, and a distrust of the individual and the free market system. This is dramatically the case in his opposition to the Bush tax cuts, his class-warfare rhetoric, his occasional support for large-scale increased government regulation, his willingness to raise Social Security taxes, and of course, his abysmal record on political free speech.
Senator McCain's outspoken pursuit of anti-growth and anti-free-market policies in the realms of taxes, regulation, and campaign finance reveals a philosophical ambivalence, if not hostility, about limited government and personal freedom. This ambivalence, combined with a rebellious nature, often leaves taxpayers the victims of his latest cause célèbre. Despite his positive votes-and there are several-his negative positions have tainted, perhaps beyond repair, the positive ones over his twenty-four years in Congress. The evidence of his record and the virulence of his rhetoric suggest that American taxpayers cannot expect consistently strong economic policies from a McCain administration.