This is a bit of an old story now, but I think it is a very revealing one. John McCain once admitted that he was an economic novice and doesn’t really understand economics. You know, I don’t find that a crime. No single person, even those who chose to run for president, can be an expert on every single subject. I actually think it is a strength for people to know their shortcomings. That’s why you hire good advisors. But, there are a couple of things about this issue that really bug me, and hopefully, should bug the rest of the country, including the media people who still like to give McCain a pass because he is that “straight shooter” and “maverick” we keep hearing about.
The first thing is that McCain now asserts, on a regular basis, that he never said that. In this day and age of the “Macaca” internet, he should know that you cannot just rewrite your personal history just because you once said something that you now wish you hadn’t. Again, a Republican seems to think he can change reality just by repeating his desires often. And this is after Tim Russert showed McCain the video clip of him saying this very thing! He still goes around and denies that he ever said that. It’s George Bush and Company all over again. Tell people what you want them to believe, not the truth.
Another problem is that, as his economic advisor, he has Phil Gramm. Gramm is vice-chairman of UBS Investment Bank, a big player in the mortgage meltdown in the U.S. He was also one of five co-sponsors of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which critics blame for permitting the Enron scandal to occur. Gramm just recently said that America was a “bunch of whiners” and all this economic bad news is just a “mental recession”.
The choice of Phil Gramm, longstanding friendship or not, does not indicate to me that John McCain is able to make intelligent choices about his advisors. This looks, to me, all the world like George Bush and his tendency to surround himself with either strong-armed ideologues or sycophantic yes-men. Again, it’s George Bush all over again.
Finally, in more proof that he doesn’t understand even the fundamentals behind the economy, John McCain stated that he would balance the budget with all the savings he was going to achieve from “winning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”, and he said that he would do this in the first year of his administration.
This isn’t “lack of information” speaking. This is out and out delusional. He fails to acknowledge how huge a deficient hole that this country is in, and the fact that China and Japan are holding huge amounts of U.S. debt at this time. To pay off this amount in a year might be achievable only if these countries decided to forgive our debt to them. Otherwise, we are in a massive hole that is going to take a long time to climb out of, even with a robust economy (which it isn’t, Phil Gramm’s comments notwithstanding). And one year? That seems akin to saying that some hugely obese person, maybe weighing 500 pounds, is going to get down to a svelte 127 pounds in six months. The final goal may be achievable, but only with a large amount of effort over a significant amount of time. Six months isn’t realistic, is fantasy. But yet, that is what McCain is trying to sell the American voter.
Finally, here is the thing that bugs me the most. John McCain has no clue about what he even wants in Iraq, other than “victory”. He has said before that he would be fine for the U.S. to be in Iraq for 100 years. Out of context or not, there is video of him saying that. In his victory speech in the primaries, he made some “visionary” declaration about what the country would look like in 2013, when the wars had been won. I do not ever remember anyone ever saying that we could win the wars in a year. But yet, that is what McCain said about how he plans to balance the budget. I would like to see some reporter ask John exactly how this is going to come about, considering the U.S. has been involved in these two wars now longer than we were in WWII and that we haven't done such a great job of ending the wars up to now. As far as I can see, McCain just wants to "stay the course" set by George Bush and his band of outlaw cronies, and there is still no end in sight. So, by what miracle is McCain proposing to end these wars in the first year of his adminstration? He doesn't seem to be talking about that aspect much.
So, what is it, John? 2010, after your first year in office is up? 2013? 2113?
Yet another example of IOKIYAR (It’s O.K. If You Are A Republican). This guy can spew out a mish-mash of nonsense and outright fabrications, while running for the presidency, and the press gives him a pass. If Barack Obama or any other Democrat would have said any one of these things, the press would have been all over them. But McCain? Hey, he’s a “straight shooter”, a “maverick”. Obama? Well, he’s not worthy, apparently, because he’s an elitist, he orders orange juice instead of coffee, he can’t bowl, and he has worshipped at a church that has a really loud-mouthed pastor who doesn’t know when to shut up.
God, this country really is insane.