Both John McCain and Barack Obama pride themselves on straightforwardness, but as one might expect, each has lobbed his fair share of less-than-accurate statements. Politico and PolitiFact take a look at some of the doozies the two candidates have told over the course of the campaign.
McCain claimed his gas tax holiday would cost as much as “a bridge to nowhere” or “another pork-barrel project.”
In an April interview on Fox News, McCain said his plan to suspend the federal gas tax for the summer would cost the federal government “very little. Maybe a ‘bridge to nowhere.’ Maybe another pork barrel project. And it should be made up by general revenues. Look, all I’m asking for is a little holiday.”
But McCain dramatically underestimated the fiscal impact of suspending the gas tax. According to 2007 figures from the IRS, suspending the gas tax in June, July and August would cost the federal government about $9 billion in lost revenue.
On the other hand, the estimated federal share of erecting the so-called bridge to nowhere was about $200 million, which Congress eliminated amidst an anti-earmark furor provoked by revelations that the planned span would have benefited only a few dozen residents of Gravina Island in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Likewise, in 2008 the average price tag for earmarks—which McCain derides as pork-barrel projects—is $1.3 million, according to the small government nonprofit group Taxpayers for Common Sense.