McCain’s Solution to our Financial Crisis… Seriously?

Once he locked up the Republican primary, Senator John McCain spent several months building a narrative for the general election. His operatives spent countless hours reciting Mr. McCain’s willingness to politically stand on principle. Television ads paired Senator Barack Obama with flimsy celebrities and mocked his followers as naïve idol-worshippers. In the process they cast their pitch for the election: Mr. McCain would take his duties seriously as President, and Mr. Obama wouldn’t. But that was eons ago. Today we live in a state of financial emergency, and America cries out for someone who takes this crisis seriously in the White House. Yet thanks to McCain’s unsteady economic proposals over the last few months, the groundwork he laid to take advantage of this situation has crumbled. The first hint that McCain’s economic proposals fell short of serious came this summer with his proposal of a “gas tax holiday” to offset high gas prices. Quickly the economist community, both right and left, reached the consensus that a “gas tax holiday” would not lower gas prices. The structure of the oil market insists that demand dictate the price of gasoline. Lowering the gas tax wouldn’t significantly change user demand, so gas prices would stay the same and oil companies would reap the difference in profits. The only explanation for McCain’s policy is that it sounded good to those of us uninitiated...

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