GREENSPAN REJECTS MCCAIN’S TAX PLAN…. I guess McCain shouldn’t count on a Greenspan endorsement.

Alan Greenspan says the country can’t afford tax cuts of the magnitude proposed by Republican presidential contender John McCain — at least not without a corresponding reduction in government spending.

“Unless we cut spending, no,” the former Federal Reserve chairman said Friday when asked McCain’s proposed tax cuts, pegged in some estimates at $3.3 trillion.

“I’m not in favor of financing tax cuts with borrowed money,” Greenspan said during an interview with Bloomberg Television. “I always have tied tax cuts to spending.”

Well, Republicans might argue, McCain has talked about cutting spending. Don’t believe it — McCain has vowed to curtail earmarks, but his tax-cut package dwarfs the combined total of pork-barrel projects in the federal budget. McCain has raised the notion of saving money on entitlements, but according to Sarah Palin, the goal is to find “efficiencies” in the “agencies,” whatever that means.

I should note that I don’t much care what Greenspan thinks; he’s not a credible voice on economics to me at all.

But he’s a very credible voice to McCain. During the Republican primaries, McCain conceded that he doesn’t understand economics, but boasted, “I’ve got Greenspan’s book.” Around the same time, McCain said he’d rely so heavily on the former Fed chairman, he told a New Hampshire audience, “Get ol’ Alan Greenspan — whether he’s alive or dead. And um if he’s dead, we’ll put dark glasses on him and prop him up like they did at ‘Weekend at Bernie’s.’”

And now, the “maestro” is publicly trashing McCain’s tax plan. Good to know.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.