Dream No Small Dreams
The presumptive candidates of the Democratic and Republican Parties, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, have both explored their proposed plans for the U. S. economy in campaign speeches and policy papers and, honestly, I’ve been amazed at how mild and incremental both are. Given the rhetoric that’s been flying around over the last six months (not to mention the last seven years), I might have expected a bit more.
Let’s play a game. Harnessing the combined intellectual power of the OTB commentariat, let’s think about the candidates’ economic plans. Let’s pretend that it’s 2012 and all of the economic proposals of whichever candidate has been elected to the presidency have been enacted into law. What changes have they effected in the U. S. economy? You can pick either of the candidates, analyze their proposals either negatively or positively, or contrast the two candidates’ views. You can pick a single economic plank and discuss its implications if enacted into law. Please limit the discussion to the candidates and the campaigns rather than some of their more extreme supporters or fellow partisans. Also, please give evidence for your views.
I’ve already examined the economic proposals of both candidates at some length over at my own blog. If I were to venture my own opinion of what would happen if either candidate were to get his way, my guess is that the best way to describe the effects would be Not much. In particular neither candidate is proposing anything that will alter the course that the economy has been on for the last 30 years or so, which has resulted in enormous growth and much of the increased income going to the highest income-earning Americans.
Neither candidate is proposing exciting, bold new initiatives. Neither candidate is proposing a complete transformation in the U. S. economy. Both are proposing wonkish, fine-tuning approaches, within the Beltway approaches. Judging by how minor their proposals are I think the most appropriate conclusion is that both candidates are pretty happy with the way things are.
Just for the record I think that trying to fine-tune the U. S. economy from the Oval Office is a fool’s errand.
So, have at it. I look forward to your contributions.
I’d also like to encourage my fellow OTB contributors to update this post with their own views. Tell me how Sen. Obama is proposing revolutionary change. Explain how Sen. McCain’s proposals will transform the economy.