During the opening of the debate, John McCain spent a great deal of time either pivoting to or expounding upon the great many benefits of crusading against pork-barrel spending as a means to reign in government spending. I’d make a joke, but this chart is only punchline needed.
In this light — and indeed I think McCain did make this argument — combating earmark spending, such as through the ludicrous promise to veto any earmarked bill, would be of largely attitudinal benefit. The virtue of positive thinking notwithstanding, it would be nice to hear how McCain plans on curbing spending while expanding Bush’s tax cuts on the wealthy without cutting Social Security or Medicare. I’d say cutting defense spending is an option too, but if you think McCain’s going to slash defense, I have some Lehman stock I’d like to sell you.