McCainomics [Henry Payne]
John McCain is running an ad here in Detroit boasting of his small-government credentials. McCain scoffs at “a bridge to nowhere and $74 million for peanut storage.”
But McCain’s rhetoric masks Big Government instincts that may not play well if Mitt Romney continues to hammer McCain on economic themes. Long a national anomaly with its one-state recession, Michigan is suddenly on the cutting edge of economic concerns that have now grown national.
McCain’s solution? Massive, expensive regulation of a key economic sector, the auto industry, via fuel economy mandates that amount to a $85 billion tax increase on the domestic industry. Similar, so-called CAFÉ laws, have cost the industry thousands of jobs when they were first imposed during the last oil panic in the 1970s.
Coupled with his tin ear for economic stimulus (he opposed the crucial Bush tax cuts post 9/11) and McCain – for all his populist appeal here – appears more war leader than economy leader.