Thursday, June 12, 2008

McCain v. Obama on the Economy

It's almost funny, if it weren't so sad and predictable, how both sides are trying to cast the other as the continuation of another failed President's policies. Obama calls McCain "Bush's Third Term" and McCain retorts that Barak's tax plan will take us "...back to the policies of the '60s and '70s that failed", invoking Jimmy Carter.

From my view, McCain's linking of Obama to Carter is well off the rails from an economic perspective, but may have some other interesting overtones.

From an economics POV, Barak's policies are more about getting back to the winning policies of the 90's under the Clinton administration, not Carter's. And strangely enough, much of the characteristics of the Carter years (high inflation, rising unemployment, rising gas prices and growing budget and trade deficits) resemble the current economy under Bush 43. And McCain is looking to extend much of the same economic policies that Bush promulgated, most notably the Bush tax cuts...which McCain voted against in 2001 and 2003, but now supports wholeheartedly. Kind of like "I voted against them until I voted for them", perhaps a weird homage paid to Senator Kerry who is seen as the anti-McCain from a Vietnam War perspective.

Now the other thought I've had on McCain's Carter-Obama linkage, is whether there is an ulterior motive of also trying to link them from an Israel policy point of view. Many Jewish voters are already concerned about Barak's support of Israel, partially because Hillary questioned it, on top of the fairly blatant lies about Barak's "Muslim upbringing" while living in Indonesia. While Carter was probably best known for delivering peace between Israel and Egypt in the Camp David Accords, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Carter has recently acted as if he is a founding member of Hamas, pounding Israel at every opportunity. Perhaps the most inflammatory statement being about the existence of more than 150 nuclear warheads in Israel's arsenal (which I think they should use one of to nuke Plains, GA...if the warheads do truly exist). It was a truly idiotic statement by Carter which could accomplish nothing other than to weaken Israel and prop up both Hamas and Iran's push towards becoming a nuclear nation. I can't fathom the upside in pushing for either of those objectives. I think someone should give Carter a CAT-scan as he has clearly suffered some sort of head injury.

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