Tuesday, September 09, 2008

McCain & Miss Teen South Carolina

One of the most watched videos (28.5 million hits in one version alone plus several millions more in other versions) on youtube is the answer of Miss Teen South Carolina Laura Caitlin Upton on the question of why a fifth of Americans can't locate the United States on a world map, which she answered by saying we should help people in "everywhere,like such as" South Africa, "the(?)Iraq" and Asian countries so that we shall be able to build a better future over here.

Less known is the fact that during one of the debates during the Republican debates John McCain answered an economics question about the President's working group on financial markets from Ron Paul in a not so dissimilar matter by simply mentioning the names of his economics advisors and then talk about tax cuts. The first video below is an unedited version simply showing the question from Paul and answer from McCain, and the second is a shorter edited one illustrating the similarity between McCain's answer and Miss Teen South Carolina's.

In light of this, Republicans should be a lot more worried about McCain making a fool of himself during the debates than about Sarah Palin making a fool of herself during her debate with Joe Biden.


Blogger Rebecca Wilder said...

I know - it is a bit scary that a Presidential candidate struggles with basic economic fundamentals like taxes and financial markets. But not everybody is perfect, Palin has her moments, too: http://www.drudge.com/news/112097/palin-blunders-fannie-mae-freddie-mac. Oh, well vote on, I will and put my trust in McCain's choice of Economic Advisers!

Thanks, Rebecca

11:10 PM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

Rebecca, given the fact that Fannie and Freddie are now costing tax payer's money, I would hardly characterize that as a blunder. That is really true even if you consider the temporal aspects as their mistakes always relied on the government guarantee and given the normal accounting principle of attributing costs to the time where the activities that caused the cost happened.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Wilder said...

Touche. I thought the same thing myself, actually.

I wanted to pass something by you if you have time. I read your post on Sweden’s corporate tax cuts and thought that McCain could spin a similar argument for his campaign. I am thinking of a pitch to middle class middle class voters without having to resort to government transfers and gimmicks.

McCain would offer education-specific tax incentives to workers in industries that have been cutting jobs for the last two years (aka, manufacturing). So workers would have an incentive to retrain and move into industries that offer stronger growth potential (I don’t know, health care or something of the sort). Contemporaneously, he would offer a corporate tax break, on a rolling basis, that is based on industries with strong growth and job potential. It is likely that the strong gains in productivity and taxable wages would outweigh the costs of the tax cut and incentives package. In the end, you get the middle class appeal, the corporate tax reductions, and productivity gains.

I don’t know, what do you think? Rebecca

1:29 AM  
Blogger stefankarlsson said...

Rebecca, what is most economically rational is often not the same as what is most politically rational. Obama's tax plan, as I've explained before, is very economically irrational but probably quite politically rational.

The most economically rational plan is one with across the board tax rate reductions, which I think is what McCain wants with corporations, but not individuals. Targeted tax credits to middle class workers creates incentives problems if they are phased out, but that economic irrationality will to a large extent be neutralized if it encourages education. And I suppose that would be politically rational.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Lasse Pitkäniemi said...

I still remember a debate where John McCain said that he would want the Fed to put the interest rate to 0%. The stupidity of that comment really left me speechless...

12:11 AM  

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