John McCain's Record on Economic Issues

Andrew Roth - March 12th, 2007

Club for Growth Releases Third Presidential White Paper
John McCain is No Supply-Sider

Washington &mdash Today, the Club for Growth released its presidential white paper on Republican presidential candidate Arizona Senator John McCain (PDF file or see below). The third in a series of white papers on presidential candidates provides an extensive summary of Senator McCain’s twenty-four-year congressional record.

While Senator McCain’s economic record contains a number of pro-growth positions, such as his support for school choice and free trade, and his steadfast opposition to wasteful government spending, his overall record is tainted by a marked antipathy towards the free market and individual freedom.

This antipathy is evidenced by the Senator’s vocal and class-warfare-laced opposition to the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts; his occasional but eager support for increased government regulation; his support for raising Social Security taxes; and his persistent attacks on political free speech in the form of the McCain-Feingold Act.

“The Bush tax cuts were a driving force behind the economic prosperity of the last couple of years and a cornerstone of a pro-growth philosophy,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “Not only did Senator McCain oppose these cuts, he aligned himself with the likes of Ted Kennedy in his rhetorical attacks in 2001 and 2003. Four years later, American taxpayers still have not heard the Senator disavow his misguided statements and votes.”

“There are certainly aspects of McCain’s economic record that are praiseworthy,” Mr. Toomey continued, “but the question facing American taxpayers is whether they can sufficiently trust a McCain administration to produce consistently strong economic policies. Unfortunately, both his rhetoric and record suggest that the answer is no.”

Club to Host Presidential Candidates

Andrew Roth - March 12th, 2007

Club for Growth to Host Major Presidential Candidates at 2007 Annual Winter Conference

Washington – The Club for Growth is happy to announce a star-studded array of guest speakers for its 2007 Annual Winter Conference in Palm Beach, Florida to be held March 29 – April 1, 2007. Joining the Club for Growth for its policy forums are declared or potential presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Kansas Senator Sam Brownback; and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Arizona Senator John McCain was invited to attend, but declined.

In addition, the Club for Growth is pleased to have in attendance an impressive group of elected officials and leading economic conservative thinkers, including: Governor Mark Sanford; Senator Tom Coburn; Representatives Jeb Hensarling; Tim Walberg; Jeff Flake; John Shadegg; Jim Jordan; Doug Lamborn; and Todd Akin; economist Brian Wesbury, National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru; the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund; former Congressman Dick Armey; and author Dick Morris.

“The Club for Growth is honored to have such an illustrious group of guests at our Winter Conference,” said the Club’s President, Pat Toomey. “It is encouraging that the majority of the leading Republican presidential candidates recognize the importance of the pro-growth issues that the Club for Growth fights for. We look forward to hearing each of the candidates put forth their positions on taxes, spending, and other economic issues essential to preserving a limited government and thriving economy.”

The Club's 2006 Congressional Scorecard

Andrew Roth - March 12th, 2007

Club for Growth Releases Annual Congressional Scorecard at March 14th Press Conference

Washington – On Wednesday, March 14, 2007, the Club for Growth will be holding a press conference in honor of its annual presentation of the Defender of Economic Freedom Awards.

The awards are based on a study of key economic votes the Club for Growth compiled for its 2006 scorecard, including votes pertaining to taxes, wasteful spending, and tort reform. The study included a comprehensive examination of each lawmaker’s record on pro-growth policies, resulting in an economic growth score ranging from 0 to 100, with a score of 100 indicating the highest support for pro-growth policies. This year, a total of 22 lawmakers received a score of 90 or above and will be presented with an award at Wednesday’s press conference.

“A lot of congressmen like to pass themselves off as defenders of economic freedom,” Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said, “but the best way to make that determination is by looking at the congressional record, and that is what our scorecard does. These 22 top-scoring lawmakers work tirelessly to protect American taxpayers and deserve to be recognized for their courageous efforts. The scorecard is also a warning to low-scoring lawmakers that their anti-growth records do not go unnoticed.”

The press conference will be held March 14, 2007 at the Capitol in room HC-8, beginning at 9:00 AM. Speakers include Club for Growth President Pat Toomey and congressional members who received a score of 90 or above.

Complete scorecards with a detailed explanation of the votes and methodology used will be available at the press conference.

For more information, please contact Nachama Soloveichik at 202-887-7039.

Rangel Proposes Cutting Taxes by Raising Taxes

Andrew Roth - March 05th, 2007

Here’s a Head Scratcher: Rangel Proposes
Cutting Taxes by Raising Taxes

Washington &mdash House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel’s proposal to raise taxes in order to cut the Alternative Minimum Tax is a recipe for economic disaster.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” Representative Rangel unabashedly supported raising taxes to achieve a more “equitable distribution” of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts by limiting deductions or by lowering the threshold of income subject to the top rate.

This concocted notion of “equitable distribution,” however, flies in the face of economic evidence. Prior to the Bush tax cuts, the top 50% of wage earners bore 96% of the tax burden. Following the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, that number has grown to 97%, with the bottom half of wage earners paying only 3% of all income taxes. “Does Chairman Rangel want top wage earners to go back to paying 96% of all income taxes?” asked Club for Growth President Pat Toomey.

“Rangel’s plan to undo the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 might as well be called the Economic Destruction Act of 2007,” Mr. Toomey continued. “The Bush tax cuts ushered in a wave of economic growth and prosperity felt across all income levels. We strongly support the elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax, but the lesson of the economic boom and shrinking deficits caused by the Bush tax cuts is that you don’t need to raise taxes on some people in order to cut them for others. You just need to cut taxes period.”

Huckabee Buckles under Heat from Club

Andrew Roth - March 02nd, 2007

Mike Huckabee Buckles under Heat
from Club for Growth

Washington &mdash Feeling the heat from the Club for Growth’s presidential white paper on his tax-and-spend record, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee pledged today at the CPAC Conference to rule out raising taxes if elected president. Club for Growth President Pat Toomey commended Governor Huckabee’s pledge as an important step in the right direction. “We hope this is evidence that Governor Huckabee appreciates that Americans are overtaxed and neither want nor need higher taxes,” Mr. Toomey said.

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press on January 28, 2007, Tim Russert challenged Governor Huckabee’s fiscal conservative credentials, citing the Club for Growth’s repeated criticisms of his tax-hiking record, including a 37% increase in the sales tax, and a 16% and 103% increase in the motor fuel and cigarette taxes. Despite his glaring record, Governor Huckabee refused to rule out raising taxes at the time. His pledge today demonstrates the important role the Club for Growth plays in protecting American taxpayers on the national stage.

Still, Mr. Toomey warned that it is easy and common for candidates to make campaign promises. “We certainly appreciate Governor Huckabee’s conversion,” Mr. Toomey continued, “but we believe a candidate’s record in public office is often more indicative of his philosophy than his pledges on the campaign trail.”