John McCain on the economy

Matt Yglesias writes:

…these would be my sober-minded, non-psychic points about John McCain and the economy:

All of this leads me to conclude that John McCain would not govern very well on economic policy issues…

On policy, I am heartened if he realizes he does not understand economics.  Are the other Republican candidates equally self-aware

I don’t put much weight on what the Republican candidates say about economics one way or the other.  In the current situation a Republican should favor whichever candidate would be most popular in office.  That candidate would have the best chance to check a Democratic Congress or perhaps put forward some alternative agenda.  Furthermore national interest-minded Presidents tend to favor better economic policies than does Congress, especially if that President is of your party persuasion.  A Democrat should favor, on economic issues at least, whichever Republican is most vain and most likely to seek fame in office.  That means lots of legislation passed and working with a Democratic Congress on issues such as health care. 

Two points: a) I don’t have strong views on which particular candidates fit these descriptions, and b) foreign policy is in any case more important for evaluating a candidate overall. 

Here Matt discusses McCain’s economic advisors.  Here is Dave Leonhardt on McCain and the economy.  I assume, by the way, that McCain’s invocation of Kemp and Gramm is an attempt to build a right-wing coalition, not an actual statement of his preferences.


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