McCain Vows to Balance the Budget
Social Security reform one scenario; Dems call plan unrealistic
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2008 1:44 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., boards his campaign jet in to depart Mexico City, Thursday, July 3, 2008.    (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – John McCain will pledge to balance the budget by the end of his first term, Politico reports, promising spending and entitlement programs, including Social Security, in a policy paper released today. McCain is renewing a promise he’d backed off from in April—a vow likely to excite his fellow Republicans, but already drawing Democrat derision.

McCain is also counting on “savings from victory in Iraq and Afghanistan,” wars which, he notes, were paid for by deficit spending. Barack Obama’s economy guru called McCain’s pledge “preposterous,” saying McCain would have to cut 81% of Medicare or 78% of all non-defense spending to cover the projected $443 billion deficit if he sticks to his pledge to renew the Bush tax cuts.