Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm not an economist. Does it show?

There was a GOP debate the other day, and the Boston Globe has a piece about it. I found this interesting: Romney apparently believes that the line-item veto is constitutional. I don't know whether he meant that he thought the Supreme Court was wrong, or if he really doesn't consider their opinion to the contrary to be meaningful. Giuliani at least stuck up for them:
They swapped their strongest words over the may or's successful lawsuit challenging the Clinton administration's use of the line-item veto. Romney said he believed that presidential power was not only constitutional, but also necessary to control government spending.

"You have to be honest with people," Giuliani responded to his rival. "And you can't fool all of the people all of the time. The line-item veto is unconstitutional. You don't get to 'believe' about it; the Supreme Court has ruled on it."

The debate was mostly over economic matters, so of course the candidates had to masturbate using Bigby's Invisible Hand of the Free Market:
The debate, hosted by CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, and the Michigan Republican Party, was designed to focus on economic issues, and the top contenders appeared to find consensus on major policy matters. They alternated in delivering largely undifferentiated paeans to low taxes, free trade, restrained government spending, and the power of the free market.

Uh-huh. And yet, despite their calls for "restrained government spending", they all seemed pretty willing to suck up to Bush's economic genius:
Dissent from Bush economic policy came almost exclusively from the candidates lagging in the polls, who took issue with most favored nation status for China (Representative Duncan Hunter of California), presidential "fast-track" authority for trade negotiations (Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado), and the country's historical departure from the gold standard (Representative Ron Paul of Texas).

That kinda surprised me. I thought they'd all be trying to show just how much un-like Bush they were. Oh, well; no, they still think that Bush's economy is doing great. And if mere peasants are struggling... well, that's the state's fault.

The debate was held in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb that has stood at the intersection of the major currents in Bush-era foreign and domestic policy. It was in the streets of the country's largest Arab-American enclave that Iraqi refugees celebrated the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in the spring of 2003, and at the headquarters of Ford Motor Co. that the effects of global trade on American manufacturing have been most acutely felt.

In an interview before the debate, Saul Azunis, Michigan Republican Party chairman, was pessimistic about his state's future, citing a six-year job-loss streak and foreclosure rates among the country's highest. "Michigan is all about the economy," he said. "The jobs issue is really affecting us."

Yet, the candidates remained largely cheerful about the nature of the American economy, as they attempted to divorce local fortunes from national ones. The leading candidates stood by the Bush administration's policies on taxes and trade, blaming state government for the area's troubles. Romney quipped that he feared that Michigan's Democratic governor, Jennifer Granholm, "was going to put a tax on this debate."

Ahahahahaha! Democrats want taxes so that the government can pay for things, therefore they're fiscally irresponsible! And so are all the states whose economies are in the toilets. But America as a whole--as opposed to any individual part--is doing great! Why, we're even up to 0.98% of the Canadian dollar! Can't beat that.

And this quip from McCain was just bizarre:
"By the way, a dollar-a-pack increase for cigarettes?" said McCain, a leader on efforts in the mid-1990s to regulate the tobacco industry. "So we want to take care of children's health and we want everybody to smoke? I don't get it."

Uh, no, you flaming imbecile. People are going to smoke, despite our efforts to stop them. We can use this fact to our advantage by increasing the prices on cigarettes and using the profits to fund health insurance for children in a pique of delicious irony. People are going to smoke--so we might as well make some good come of it.

Or we could just blame their parents for making poor choices, a la Michelle Malkin.

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