From Daniel Kurtzman, About.com
We’ve spent the past month or so watching the candidates come off their primary paces, attempting to rejigger their respective approaches to the general election, and taking some hits for the resulting adjustments.
The mishandled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been top of mind for many voters since the pointless charade of “Mission Accomplished!”
Paul Krugman reminds us, however, of another paramount issue in this election, the economy, and what its dire condition means to John McCain.
Our current economic distress has been covered in this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© quite frequently, most recently while highlighting this glass-half-full analysis from two senior Federal Reserve Bank officials. The U.S. economic juggernaut didn’t get to its current poor state by itself. President Bush, and his Republican allies in Congress can take plenty of the credit.
Behind the Bush Bust
Op-Ed Columnist | By PAUL KRUGMAN | Published: July 7, 2008
By huge margins, Americans think the economy is in lousy shape — and they blame President Bush. This fact, more than anything else, makes it hard to see how the Democrats can lose this election.
But is the public right to be so disgusted with Mr. Bush’s economic leadership? Not exactly. We really do have a lousy economy, a fact of which Mr. Bush seems spectacularly unaware. But that’s not the same thing as saying that the bad economy is Mr. Bush’s fault.
On the other hand, there’s a certain rough justice in the public’s attitude. Other politicians besides Mr. Bush share the blame for the mess we’re in — but most of them are Republicans.
For Krugman, our crummy economy has many causes, but three of the most important are the housing/mortgage bubble, the cost of health care and high commodity (fuel and food) prices. And the seeds to the crises in all of these areas were sown, if not on George III’s watch, then under the constipated purview of the six years of Republican Congresses that immediately preceded Bush’s presidency.
Whatever his strengths might be, the economy has not been McCain’s area of expertise. As a result, he’s fallen back on knee-jerk Republican economic thought (cut taxes for the wealthy, and the rest be damned) that has led us into this all-but recession. We’ll let Paul Krugman have the last word:
And bear in mind that John McCain has gone to great lengths to affirm his support for Republican economic orthodoxy. So he’ll have no reason to complain if, as seems likely, the economy costs him the election.
It’s it for now. Thanks,