With the economy in a tail spin, regardless of what the last vestiges of deniers want to say, Paul Krugman took a look yesterday at the economic proposals of the various candidates on both sides of the aisle. Here’s a few observations from Krugman that I’ve re-interpreted for sake of brevity:
The short McCain: “a candidate who’s so out of touch that he regards Mr. Bubble, the man who refused to regulate subprime lending and assured us that there was at most some “froth” in the housing market, as a source of sage advice.”
The short Rudy: “wants us to go for broke, literally.”
The short Huckabee: “raise taxes on the middle class and cut them for the rich.”
The short Romney: “offering nothing but standard-issue G.O.P. pablum about low taxes and a pro-business environment.”
Moving on to the Democrats, Krugman notes that “John Edwards, although never the front-runner, has been driving his party’s policy agenda.” Edwards gets it and was ahead of the curve when last month he “he proposed a stimulus package including aid to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, public investment in alternative energy, and other measures.”
Hillary Clinton also gets it. She offered a plan similar to Edwards plan last week, that was “somewhat larger proposal.”
(It also includes aid to families having trouble paying heating bills, which seems like a clever way to put cash in the hands of people likely to spend it.) The Edwards and Clinton proposals both contain provisions for bigger stimulus if the economy worsens.
And you have to say that Mrs. Clinton seems comfortable with and knowledgeable about economic policy. I’m sure the Hillary-haters will find some reason that’s a bad thing, but there’s something to be said for presidents who know what they’re talking about.
But, Obama… well… Krugman says, his “campaign’s initial response to the latest wave of bad economic news was, I’m sorry to say, disreputable:”
Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser claimed that the long-term tax-cut plan the candidate announced months ago is just what we need to keep the slump from “morphing into a drastic decline in consumer spending.” Hmm: claiming that the candidate is all-seeing, and that a tax cut originally proposed for other reasons is also a recession-fighting measure — doesn’t that sound familiar?
Anyway, on Sunday Mr. Obama came out with a real stimulus plan. As was the case with his health care plan, which fell short of universal coverage, his stimulus proposal is similar to those of the other Democratic candidates, but tilted to the right.
For example, the Obama plan appears to contain none of the alternative energy initiatives that are in both the Edwards and Clinton proposals, and emphasizes across-the-board tax cuts over both aid to the hardest-hit families and help for state and local governments. I know that Mr. Obama’s supporters hate to hear this, but he really is less progressive than his rivals on matters of domestic policy.
Hello??? Voters need to think about this. I for one don’t want a tax cut happy president again who just doesn’t get it when it comes to the economy. And tilting to the right and less progressive isn’t all that appealing either.