4.15.2008 | McCain's economics lesson

Aptly enough, John McCain chose today, April 15th (tax day), to unveil his economic stimulus package (original speech here) after having been the subject of attack by his two Democratic rivals. Like him, I've never understood economics very well, so my interest is not so much in the substance of his proposals as his style – the way he chose to present them.

Seeking perhaps to reassure us that he understands economics, Sen. McCain had the exceptional insight to point out that "Economic policy is not just some academic exercise, and we in Washington are not just passive spectators. We have a responsibility to act. And if I am elected president, I intend to act quickly and decisively."

Wonderful! So apparently the economy is something the president should do something about. I'm reassured. Do go on.

"In all of this, it will not be enough to simply dust off the economic policies of four, eight, or twenty-eight years ago. We have our own work to do. We have our own challenges to meet."

Now this is interesting, because in one sentence McCain — or his speechwriters — has at once dismissed the approaches of his predecessor (also a Republican), his predecessor's predecessor (President Clinton, the one whose experience the current Senator Clinton is running on), and — here's the kicker — Barack Obama's.

How is Obama's policy one of twenty-eight years ago? Very simply, Obama has been on the campaign trail criticizing the economic policies of Republicans and Democrats over "the last 25, 30 years" — the same policies that he says have made people bitter, and the same policies McCain and Hillary accuse him of being "elitist" and "out of touch" for criticizing.

It's a tantalizing hint as to how McCain will combat Obama's message of "change" as the fall approaches. All he has to do, it seems, is remind voters of who was in office before Reagan. I'm predicting here and now he will try to compare Obama to Jimmy Carter. It will be up to Obama to show how he will be able to do better.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home