McCain strategy brings optimism to race forefront

Freedom New Mexico

In a disappointing presidential campaign, we were encouraged this week by Sen. John McCain’s announced economic plan. If we squint, it almost looks like a conservative Republican platform we vaguely recall associating with that party.

As far as it goes, it’s pretty good. We wish it went further. But it’s considerably more palatable than what’s offered by Democrats seeking the same job.

McCain occasionally offers a good idea for not such a good reason. He wants to reduce corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent, but because American companies shouldn’t pay more than “our major trading partners impose.” If foreign taxes increase, would McCain increase ours to match?

He says government shouldn’t subsidize prescription drugs for the most affluent. We’d like to see government get out of drug subsidizing altogether. As in education, commerce and everywhere government tries to help by subsidizing, all that’s accomplished in the long run is to drive up prices.

McCain pledges immediate relief from high gasoline prices by having Congress suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Taxes far exceed corporate profits from gasoline. Why should government earn more from private commerce than manufacturers do?

Subsidies for ethanol, tariffs and quotas hurt Americans,