Monday, April 16, 2012

As bad as Obama has been, I don't think things would have been that different had McCain won.

Let's start with the economy. McCain has no more of a clue about the economy than does Obama. McCain doesn't understand the psychology of the market, he lacks any underlying conservative economic philosophy and is a big believer in big government manipulation of the economy.

Thus, McCain is no more likely to have instituted any free market reforms or done anything to stimulate real economic growth. He would have been just as likely to sign on to the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul and to have spent billions upon billions of dollars attempting to 'stimulate' the economy. He would have thrown billions into bailing out GM and Chrysler and would have probably twisted the bankruptcy laws in favor of the labor unions just as Obama did. McCain wouldn't have been able to resist Democratic cries to raise taxes on the wealthy.

As for government spending, there is no reason to think that federal spending would be measurably less with McCain. As Obama, McCain believes the federal governments exists to spend money. Perhaps the rate of growth might not have been as high, but we'd still be facing trillion dollar plus deficits. We'd still have wasted billions of dollars on 'smart' investments in infrastructure.

Moving on to health care, while McCain voted against Obamacare, as President his solutions would be just as unwieldy, expensive and unlikely to work as Obama's policies are. Why do I say this? Because there's nothing in McCain's background to indicate that he has any clue about this issue... and if you don't understand a problem, you can't solve it. He wouldn't have resisted Democratic pressure to both raise mandates and put pricing pressure on health insurance companies. Medical costs would have risen just as much.

McCain would have been more aggressive in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But since I don't like the idea of our guys being in either place, this isn't an area where I would welcome a departure from Obama's policies. And like Obama, McCain would not have done what it takes to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

McCain might not have jumped into the race issue as did Obama, he wouldn't have jumped to criticize the Cambridge policeman, nor have said that his son would have looked like Trayvon Martin. But as McCain is rather contemptuous of most of Americans, he no doubt would have found numerous instances of times where we were not living up to McCain's standards.

There is a couple of areas where his tenure would be markedly different. The first is vacations and living it up on taxpayer money. (even if his arm weren't mangled) McCain would not have been trying to set a record for the number of golf rounds in a four-year term. He wouldn't have had his wife spend millions jetting around the world on taxpayer paid vacations.

The second is that McCain wouldn't have been as harsh towards gas and oil exploration. While I think McCain would have over-reacted to the Gulf oil spill, I don't think he would still have the moratorium im place. He wouldn't have pushed to take as much federal ground out of play as Obama. As a result, gas prices wouldn't be quite as high as they are now.

So all in all, a McCain presidency would have an awful lot of similarities to what we have had to suffer through for the past three plus years.