[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/09/art.latino.mccain.gi.jpg caption=" McCain said he could balance the budget by 2013 by keeping taxes low and curbing spending."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The economy is issue number one for American voters, and that has sent both presidential candidates scrambling to describe what they'd do to fix this nation's economic problems.
John McCain is vowing to balance the budget by 2013. He says he'll do it by keeping taxes low and cutting back on spending. McCain's plan includes a one-year freeze in domestic spending, entitlement reforms and reducing the growth in Medicare spending. He also says he'll veto any bill with earmarks.
A lot of economists suggest there's no way that McCain can balance the budget in 4 years. Remember, McCain wants to extend President Bush's tax cuts and he's committed to staying in both Iraq and Afghanistan. One group estimates that even if U.S. troop levels in Iraq were cut by 80%, McCain would still face an annual deficit of almost $450 billion.
The Arizona Senator also says he plans to create jobs by doing things like building nuclear power plants, and he says he'd make a bipartisan push to fix Social Security. But by his own admission, when it comes to the economy, McCain is not at his best.
Take Social Security. This is how McCain answered a question earlier this week about how he'd fix it:
“Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace and it's got to be fixed.”
Note to Senator McCain: older workers benefits have always been paid by the taxes put into the system by younger workers. When you're young and working, you pay into the system so that older retired people can collect their benefits. Where has Senator McCain been?
Here’s my question to you: How confident are you in John McCain’s ability to solve our economic problems?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Susan from Scotts Valley, California writes:
Confidence? Uh, no. Even a fifth grader can do the math and realize that you can't cut revenue and hope to balance the budget. The idea that it's all going to be fixed by cutting pork barrel spending while you're staying in a war we can't afford, and hoping that trickle down economics is suddenly going to work when it hasn't yet, is delusional.
Mike from Vancouver writes:
John McCain believes that younger working people should not be supporting the retirement benefits of older individuals. This is a huge disconnect in his thinking. That is the way it is set up. It is not broken and works quite well, I believe. If he wants to "fix" this one issue, he will undermine a core way of life in the U.S. There is something wrong with this boy. Mind you, Cindy will look after him in his retirement.
I'm not confident with McCain or Obama's ability to fix our economy. I'm hoping that one of them will have enough sense to pick a running mate with good economic sense, such as Ron Paul. If it's up to these two, we're in a lot of trouble.
Geri from Mead, Oklahoma writes:
Having experienced 60 years of presidents’ economic policies, I think presidents don't fix the economy, they ruin the economy. I doubt that either McCain or his wife have to worry about Social Security, Medicare, or anything else and this is why McCain doesn't know anything about the rest of us folks or what to do about the economy. This is a sign that he would be just another Bush.
Jack, I don't doubt his good intentions, but he clearly does not understand what he is proposing. The Republicans are using McCain as a Trojan horse. They get the "maverick war-hero" on stage to promote policies that would make any overpaid CEO giggle.
Will from Los Angeles writes:
As confident as I am that Joan Rivers has never had plastic surgery.