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Monday, January 21, 2008

Two-Week Flashback: McCain Lacks Understanding of Economic Issues

I wrote the following blog back on Jan 5th . . . and the issue has only become more and more important. However, with the worldwide stock market crashes today (here too) and Wall Street likely to suffer as well (the Dow Futures look dismal) it bears repeating now. I think it's becoming clearer and clearer that we NEED Mitt Romney at the helm of our country and economy. And we absolutely DON'T NEED John McCain anywhere near the control panel of our economy.

So "The Economy" constantly ranks up there among the top issues/concerns among voters of BOTH parties. With the Iraq issue being far less polarizing of late, the Economy, Illegal Immigration, and Healthcare look to be the key issues for the general election. Additionally, this New Hampshire Fox News Poll last month had the Economy and Illegal Immigration as the two most important issues to GOP voters with the Economy being by far the most important issue.

Additionally, unlike many issues listed, the status of the economy is something that touches EVERY American in some real and powerful way (as opposed to Iraq, or abortion, or foreign policy, or those without healthcare insurance).

In the financial world, the news of an imminent recession has been dominating the headlines (including the sinking strength on Wall Street). Just yesterday, Bush met with the economic advisors and the Fed Chairman to discuss these issues. The press conference afterwards was not terribly positive.

So is a McCain presidency a good fit for a good economy? Back in 2003 many didn't think so. His new economic plan isn't impressing many. And let's not forget what the Club for Growth thinks about McCain's economic record (Their main points are that "John McCain is No Supply-Sider" and that he has a "Tenuous Record as an Economic Conservative")

Those are the words of others . . . but what does McCain think of himself in relation to the ecomony?

Just one month ago, a piece from the Boston Globe (who has since endorsed McCain) led off with this:

SALEM, N.H. -- John McCain, who happily volunteers he doesn't know much about economics . . .

Later in the piece:
McCain stood before a line graph showing the increase of the alternative-minimum tax, a low-budget campaign's alternative to the PowerPoint presentation Mitt Romney uses when talking about economic policy, a subject McCain has said he feels he is unknowledgeable and that filling the void would be a priority when selecting a vice-presidential nominee.

So McCain wants to bolster the ticket because he's weak on the #1 issue and at a time that recession is a real concern? Sounds scary to me.

Yet further:
Like Mike Huckabee, who joked recently that he "may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night," McCain suggested to reporters Monday that American consumer culture offered a short cut to expertise. "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," McCain said. "I've got Greenspan's book."
Sorry John, but if you haven't gotten a grasp of economic issues after 71 years of life, and after 3+ decades in politics, something tells me that you're not ever going to "get it" . . . even if Greenspan's book is really good.

If we really are headed toward recession in the next few months, do we really want John McCain as our nominee to put up against Hillary or Obama? I think we have much better options to have at the TOP of the ticket.

Update Jan 14th:
I was just watching Road to the White House 2008 on C-Span (DVR'd) and John McCain, in a Saturday town hall meeting in MI, got a question about the economy and the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

He promptly said he knew it was a problem, but didn't know much about the details and so he brought up Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard to discuss the issue. After she answered the question, McCain mentioned that he wasn't an expert on every issue, but that he'd get people like her to advise him. I mean, this is a major issue in our economy and every other POTUS candidate can grasp it enough to say a few nice lines. Even Huck can sound conversant on the issue!


Update Jan 20th:
McCain is showing his lack of depth on economic understanding . . . and is proposing policy based on his faulty logic. It's SCARY folks!



I also noticed that the Romney campaign has been reading my blog :)

Jeff Fuller

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