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Mr.Peabody

McCain’s 10 Worst Ideas

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The List: McCain’s 10 Worst Ideas

Posted September 2008

Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Creating a League of Democracies

What he said:“We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact—a League of Democracies—that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests.” —Speech at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, March 26, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: As Thomas Carothers argues in the July/August issue of FP, “[T]he idea that democracies naturally align is only half right and risks being a dangerous oversimplification.” Carothers and other critics have noted that such a league might further weaken the United Nations. For the most part, world leaders have been cool to the idea, and rightfully so. A previous iteration, the little-known Community of Democracies, founded in 2000, has stumbled into irrelevance.

Calling for a Gas-Tax Holiday

What he said: “I propose that the federal government suspend all taxes on gasoline now paid by the American people—from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year. The effect will be an immediate economic stimulus—taking a few dollars off the price of a tank of gas every time a family, a farmer, or trucker stops to fill up.” —Speech at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., April 15, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: Pick your poison. Many (including Dick Cheney) predict that such a “holiday” would have little effect, as oil companies would just pocket the difference. Ditching the 18.4-cents-a-gallon gas tax and 24.4-cents-a-gallon diesel tax would deprive the already-strapped Highway Trust Fund, which relies on gas-tax revenues to fund transportation projects, of cash. Economists and environmentalists also widely deride the proposal, which would boost demand and therefore quickly drive prices back up. When you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging.

Requiring a Three-Fifths Majority to Raise Taxes

What he said: “John McCain believes it should require a 3/5 majority vote in Congress to raise taxes.” —Press release, Dec. 18, 2007

Why it’s a bad idea: States that have enacted supermajority requirements for tax increases haven’t exactly entered the pantheon of budgetary glory. Take California, which requires approval from two thirds of the state legislature to raise taxes. The Golden State has recently struggled to raise revenues—and has witnessed an increase in taxes disguised as “fees” as a result. Raising taxes should be like the use of force in foreign policy—the last resort, yes, but you never want to take any option off the table.

Flip-flopping on Immigration

What he said: “I understand why you would call it a, quote, shift. I say it is a lesson learned about what the American people’s priorities are. And their priority is to secure the borders.” —Remarks to reporters in Simpsonville, S.C., Nov. 3, 2007

Why it’s a bad idea: Immigration was once an issue where McCain could justifiably claim to be a “maverick,” unafraid to buck party orthodoxy and popular opinion. The Arizona senator even partnered with Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2005 to craft a bipartisan bill that would both give illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship and boost security at the U.S.-Mexico border. But with his poll numbers plummeting during the Republican primary, McCain began trumpeting the party line of “securing the borders first.” The problem is, without providing more opportunities for legal immigration or taking steps to build up the Mexican economy, taller fences and more guards will only address the symptoms, not the ultimate causes of illegal immigration.

Drilling Our Way Out of the Oil Crisis

What he said: “Gas prices are through the roof. Energy costs have seeped into our grocery bills, making it more expensive to feed our families. ... It is time for America to get serious about energy independence, and that means we need to start drilling offshore at advanced oil rigs like this.” —Press conference on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, Aug. 19, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: Even ignoring potential environmental impacts, lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling would make little difference for consumers. According to the government’s own Energy Information Administration, production of the new supplies would not even begin until 2017 and would have little effect on what Americans pay at the pump anyway—just a few cents a gallon by 2030 under the best-case scenario. More to the point, it’s a strategy of yesteryear. As columnist Thomas Friedman put it in a recent interview with FP, “When I hear McCain pounding the table for ‘drill, drill, drill,’ it reminds me of someone pounding the table for IBM Selectric typewriters on the eve of the IT revolution.”

Balancing the Budget through Victory in the War on Terror

What he said: “The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction.” —Jobs for America: The McCain Economic Plan, released July 7, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: The yearly bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is certainly enormous. Yet it still covers less than half of the United States’ projected $490 billion deficit for 2009. Given the massive tax cuts that McCain also supports, it’s unclear how his debt-reduction math adds up. McCain opposes a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, yet he feels confident enough to budget for victory by the end of his first term. Afghanistan is getting worse, not better. And as for “the fight against Islamic extremists,” how does one even define victory? Don’t try asking McCain: He doesn’t have an answer.

Making the Bush Tax Cuts Permanent

What he said: “We’ve got to make these tax cuts permanent. We have to, otherwise I think it’ll have a negative impact on our economy.” —NBC’s Meet the Press, Jan. 27, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: You might say McCain was against the $1.35 trillion Bush tax cuts before he was for them. In 2004, he said he opposed them “because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans.” Now, he says he supports them because the economy is weakening. Yet “the tax cuts are more likely to reduce long-term growth than to increase it,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. McCain insists he will restrain spending and eliminate the budget deficit. But McCain’s budget numbers simply don’t add up, and the senator’s constant hammering on congressional earmarks misses the big picture: Defense and entitlement programs are where most of the fat lies, not in relatively small pork projects such as Alaska’s infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.”

Supporting Abstinence-Only Education and the Global Gag Rule

What he said: Asked on the campaign trail if he thought grants for sex education should include instruction on contraception, McCain turned to an aide for help, saying, “Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception—I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.” The reporter asked, “Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?” After a long pause, McCain replied, “You’ve stumped me.” —Town hall meeting, Iowa, Mar. 16, 2007

Why it’s a bad idea: A landmark, 10-year study sponsored by Congress found in 2007 that students in sexual-abstinence programs “were just as likely to have sex as those who did not, reported having similar numbers of sexual partners, and first had sex at about the same age,” the Chicago Tribune reported. Abstinence-only education is one of the core principles guiding the so-called global gag rule, an executive order passed by President George W. Bush in 2001 that prohibits giving foreign aid to NGOs that offer any kind of counseling on abortion as family planning. McCain voted against repealing the measure in 2005. Critics of the gag rule point to reports showing a shortage of contraceptives, clinic closings, loss of funds for HIV/AIDS education, and a rise in unsafe abortions since it was instituted.

Calling for 45 Nuclear Power Plants

What he said: “If I am elected president, I will set this nation on a course to building 45 new reactors by the year 2030, with the ultimate goal of 100 new plants to power the homes and factories and cities of America.” —Speech in Springfield, Mo., June 18, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: There are many good reasons to be skeptical of the widespread new enthusiasm for nuclear power, including its high-and-rising costs, but perhaps the best one is that, as experts Charles Ferguson and Sharon Squassoni explained in 2007, “a nuclear renaissance will take too long to have a significant effect” on climate change. Moreover, how do we know that 45 is the right number? A drop in the price of alternative fuels could “make nuclear plants look like white elephants,” the Wall Street Journal noted in May. For someone who likes to extol the virtues of the free market, McCain’s target sure smacks of socialist planning.

Backing Cap-and-Trade Without a 100 Percent Auction

What he said: “We will cap emissions according to specific goals, measuring progress by reference to past carbon emissions. … Over time, an increasing fraction of permits for emissions could be supplied by auction, yielding federal revenues that can be put to good use.” —Speech in Portland, Ore., May 12, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: McCain’s gotten credit for supporting a cap-and-trade system, but his specific proposal is pretty weak. Cap-and-trade systems work by putting a ceiling on carbon emissions, and then allocating permits that give companies the right to pollute a given amount. From an environmental standpoint, it doesn’t much matter how you initially distribute the permits, as long as the cap is stringent enough. But most economists think that, unless you first auction these off in a transparent process, you’re basically enabling a massive corporate giveaway, raising the likelihood that well-connected corporations or industries will get sweetheart deals, and failing to capture revenue that can pay for other priorities.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php...465&print=1

McCain't say he will rid the hill of Lobbyists .... yet 2 of the biggest have/do work for him. cough' hypocrite 'cough.

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I see 10 good ideas, but bad if you are a socialist liberal.

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McCain't say he will rid the hill of Lobbyists .... yet 2 of the biggest have/do work for him. cough' hypocrite 'cough.

And Obama promised not to take public campaign fund money, even challenging the GOP candidates to join him in that promise.

A few weeks later he took the money. :devil:

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Atleast McCain has ideas

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Yeah but they aren't vague promises of "change".

You know we all want change, we just don't have to be told what that change is prior to the change because he who so wisely is bringing about this change will change something.

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"At least McCain has ideas"? What? I would never vote anyone with bad ideas unless the opposing candidate had much worse ones. And I haven't seen such a list about Obama yet...if someone has any, do post some. Fortunately for me, we have multiple candidates in elections round here. And multiple parties to choose from.

And AROCES, you see 10 good ideas? Well I'd like to see you give reasons as to why they're good, like the article described why they were bad. If you can't/won't, don't bother replying.

I just can't believe the hypocrisy in the debates concerning the election. Goes both ways.

EDIT: Interesting how little attention an actual article published in a fairly respected magazine gets, compared to e.g. Obama's muslim slip of the tongue. :rolleyes: Seems to me a lot of the McCain supporters here are very passionate about Obama...i.e. very emotional.

Edited by Clocker

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Yeah but they aren't vague promises of "change".

Obama has offered detailed policy proposals on at least 23 different areas of policy. Compare that with McCain's 12.

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Could you give me a link that summarizes those, Star? I'm having a devil of a time getting a clear picture of his ideas.

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The List: McCain’s 10 Worst Ideas

Posted September 2008

Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Creating a League of Democracies

What he said:“We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact—a League of Democracies—that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests.” —Speech at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, March 26, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: As Thomas Carothers argues in the July/August issue of FP, “[T]he idea that democracies naturally align is only half right and risks being a dangerous oversimplification.” Carothers and other critics have noted that such a league might further weaken the United Nations. For the most part, world leaders have been cool to the idea, and rightfully so. A previous iteration, the little-known Community of Democracies, founded in 2000, has stumbled into irrelevance.

The UN is an impotent, incompetent, worthless failure bent on the "Robin Hood" approach to global economic development..Tell me once they were on Americas' side? (I'm sure there are examples.but nothing that meant much). We cannot depend on them at all. Ditch them and ditch them fast..

Calling for a Gas-Tax Holiday

What he said: “I propose that the federal government suspend all taxes on gasoline now paid by the American people—from Memorial Day to Labor Day of this year. The effect will be an immediate economic stimulus—taking a few dollars off the price of a tank of gas every time a family, a farmer, or trucker stops to fill up.” —Speech at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., April 15, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: Pick your poison. Many (including Dick Cheney) predict that such a “holiday” would have little effect, as oil companies would just pocket the difference. Ditching the 18.4-cents-a-gallon gas tax and 24.4-cents-a-gallon diesel tax would deprive the already-strapped Highway Trust Fund, which relies on gas-tax revenues to fund transportation projects, of cash. Economists and environmentalists also widely deride the proposal, which would boost demand and therefore quickly drive prices back up. When you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop digging.

It might just enhance the economy to give a tax break to people..Instead of trying to tax your way OUT of a hole..But somewhere in the middle is the answer: I would give the truckers the tax break (as a stimulus)..but the tax on gas would remain the same..

Requiring a Three-Fifths Majority to Raise Taxes

What he said: “John McCain believes it should require a 3/5 majority vote in Congress to raise taxes.” —Press release, Dec. 18, 2007

Why it’s a bad idea: States that have enacted supermajority requirements for tax increases haven’t exactly entered the pantheon of budgetary glory. Take California, which requires approval from two thirds of the state legislature to raise taxes. The Golden State has recently struggled to raise revenues—and has witnessed an increase in taxes disguised as “fees” as a result. Raising taxes should be like the use of force in foreign policy—the last resort, yes, but you never want to take any option off the table.

California is still trying to dig out from the mess that Grey Davis (D) left it (tens of billions in the hole) when he was canned by the people...But 3/5 vote to raise taxes? Sounds like a great deal to me. Taxes; while a certain amount are necessary-too much hurts growth and then stifles increased tax revenues through attrition..And with a 3/5 vote means that tax increases will have to be bi-partisan. I like this plan a whole bunch..

Flip-flopping on Immigration

What he said: “I understand why you would call it a, quote, shift. I say it is a lesson learned about what the American people’s priorities are. And their priority is to secure the borders.” —Remarks to reporters in Simpsonville, S.C., Nov. 3, 2007

Why it’s a bad idea: Immigration was once an issue where McCain could justifiably claim to be a “maverick,” unafraid to buck party orthodoxy and popular opinion. The Arizona senator even partnered with Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2005 to craft a bipartisan bill that would both give illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship and boost security at the U.S.-Mexico border. But with his poll numbers plummeting during the Republican primary, McCain began trumpeting the party line of “securing the borders first.” The problem is, without providing more opportunities for legal immigration or taking steps to build up the Mexican economy, taller fences and more guards will only address the symptoms, not the ultimate causes of illegal immigration.

Securing the borders makes perfect sense. The border CAN be secured, making it much tougher to get in. THEN get a grip (a rational one) on the illegals that we do have-along with better control of employment standards...

Drilling Our Way Out of the Oil Crisis

What he said: “Gas prices are through the roof. Energy costs have seeped into our grocery bills, making it more expensive to feed our families. ... It is time for America to get serious about energy independence, and that means we need to start drilling offshore at advanced oil rigs like this.” —Press conference on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, Aug. 19, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: Even ignoring potential environmental impacts, lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling would make little difference for consumers. According to the government’s own Energy Information Administration, production of the new supplies would not even begin until 2017 and would have little effect on what Americans pay at the pump anyway—just a few cents a gallon by 2030 under the best-case scenario. More to the point, it’s a strategy of yesteryear. As columnist Thomas Friedman put it in a recent interview with FP, “When I hear McCain pounding the table for ‘drill, drill, drill,’ it reminds me of someone pounding the table for IBM Selectric typewriters on the eve of the IT revolution.”

Switching to alternative fuels won't happen overnight..But BOTH candidates want alternative energy development for the US. McCain's plan will at least keep fuel costs reasonable till alternative energy comes into fruition.

Balancing the Budget through Victory in the War on Terror

What he said: “The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction.” —Jobs for America: The McCain Economic Plan, released July 7, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: The yearly bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is certainly enormous. Yet it still covers less than half of the United States’ projected $490 billion deficit for 2009. Given the massive tax cuts that McCain also supports, it’s unclear how his debt-reduction math adds up. McCain opposes a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, yet he feels confident enough to budget for victory by the end of his first term. Afghanistan is getting worse, not better. And as for “the fight against Islamic extremists,” how does one even define victory? Don’t try asking McCain: He doesn’t have an answer.

Neither does Obama..at least McCain has not shifted his stance on it..Afghanistan is getting 'worse' because we are taking the fight to them-and have nearly zero help from the UN or Muslim nations...Only criticism.

Making the Bush Tax Cuts Permanent

What he said: “We’ve got to make these tax cuts permanent. We have to, otherwise I think it’ll have a negative impact on our economy.” —NBC’s Meet the Press, Jan. 27, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: You might say McCain was against the $1.35 trillion Bush tax cuts before he was for them. In 2004, he said he opposed them “because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans.” Now, he says he supports them because the economy is weakening. Yet “the tax cuts are more likely to reduce long-term growth than to increase it,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. McCain insists he will restrain spending and eliminate the budget deficit. But McCain’s budget numbers simply don’t add up, and the senator’s constant hammering on congressional earmarks misses the big picture: Defense and entitlement programs are where most of the fat lies, not in relatively small pork projects such as Alaska’s infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.”

The Bush tax cuts are a weakness..It should be more towards the Middle class granted..You got him on that one..

Supporting Abstinence-Only Education and the Global Gag Rule

What he said: Asked on the campaign trail if he thought grants for sex education should include instruction on contraception, McCain turned to an aide for help, saying, “Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception—I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.” The reporter asked, “Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?” After a long pause, McCain replied, “You’ve stumped me.” —Town hall meeting, Iowa, Mar. 16, 2007

Why it’s a bad idea: A landmark, 10-year study sponsored by Congress found in 2007 that students in sexual-abstinence programs “were just as likely to have sex as those who did not, reported having similar numbers of sexual partners, and first had sex at about the same age,” the Chicago Tribune reported. Abstinence-only education is one of the core principles guiding the so-called global gag rule, an executive order passed by President George W. Bush in 2001 that prohibits giving foreign aid to NGOs that offer any kind of counseling on abortion as family planning. McCain voted against repealing the measure in 2005. Critics of the gag rule point to reports showing a shortage of contraceptives, clinic closings, loss of funds for HIV/AIDS education, and a rise in unsafe abortions since it was instituted.

Teaching abstinence without teaching contraceptives is pretty wacked I agree..2 for you..

Calling for 45 Nuclear Power Plants

What he said: “If I am elected president, I will set this nation on a course to building 45 new reactors by the year 2030, with the ultimate goal of 100 new plants to power the homes and factories and cities of America.” —Speech in Springfield, Mo., June 18, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: There are many good reasons to be skeptical of the widespread new enthusiasm for nuclear power, including its high-and-rising costs, but perhaps the best one is that, as experts Charles Ferguson and Sharon Squassoni explained in 2007, “a nuclear renaissance will take too long to have a significant effect” on climate change. Moreover, how do we know that 45 is the right number? A drop in the price of alternative fuels could “make nuclear plants look like white elephants,” the Wall Street Journal noted in May. For someone who likes to extol the virtues of the free market, McCain’s target sure smacks of socialist planning.

Nuclear plants are the only alternative that will supply enough power to sustain growth and allow us to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. We needed them like 15 years ago (thank the Dems for shooting them down for the last 20). The 45 number?..Probably takes this from studies and charts with the power needed (now and later) vs power currently available (now and later) -taking in account for shifts in populations over the next 50 years or so...Any way you look at it..we need them NOW to get off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Right now the saying is: "Electric cars run on coal" (and it's true for the moment). Plugging in 50 million electric cars will put a serious hurtin' on what we have now. Besides, building 45 (or so) nuke plants will stimulate the economy like no stimulus check ever would (lots of people and companies put to work)..

Backing Cap-and-Trade Without a 100 Percent Auction

What he said: “We will cap emissions according to specific goals, measuring progress by reference to past carbon emissions. … Over time, an increasing fraction of permits for emissions could be supplied by auction, yielding federal revenues that can be put to good use.” —Speech in Portland, Ore., May 12, 2008

Why it’s a bad idea: McCain’s gotten credit for supporting a cap-and-trade system, but his specific proposal is pretty weak. Cap-and-trade systems work by putting a ceiling on carbon emissions, and then allocating permits that give companies the right to pollute a given amount. From an environmental standpoint, it doesn’t much matter how you initially distribute the permits, as long as the cap is stringent enough. But most economists think that, unless you first auction these off in a transparent process, you’re basically enabling a massive corporate giveaway, raising the likelihood that well-connected corporations or industries will get sweetheart deals, and failing to capture revenue that can pay for other priorities.

If you're going to regulate CO2 output..You gotta do it somehow. If the companies do get sweetheart deals-blame Congress (currently under the Democrat rule as you know)-they will be the ones handing them out..Ideas?

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php...465&print=1

McCain't say he will rid the hill of Lobbyists .... yet 2 of the biggest have/do work for him. cough' hypocrite 'cough.

The Dems are just as bad with lobbyists as the Republicans, so it needs to be in writing from both candidates as a written guarantee to the American people. But I doubt it is going to happen anytime soon..They (the lobbyists) have lobbies to stop just that..

/neither candidate has spoken on what they will do with the horrible failure known as 'The War on Drugs'...

Edited by Pinky Floyd

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Yeah but they aren't vague promises of "change".

You know we all want change, we just don't have to be told what that change is prior to the change because he who so wisely is bringing about this change will change something.

Wow. thats a lot of change.

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Drilling Our Way Out of the Oil Crisis

What he said: “Gas prices are through the roof. Energy costs have seeped into our grocery bills, making it more expensive to feed our families. ... It is time for America to get serious about energy independence, and that means we need to start drilling offshore at advanced oil rigs like this.” —Press conference on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, Aug. 19, 2008

I might need some help with this one.

I hear many people claim that the Republicans think we can drill our way out of the oil crisis. But I've never heard any of them actually say that. Have any of them been quoted as saying that drilling is the end all answer to the oil crisis ? I don't think I have.

I've only heard them say that it will help lower the price of oil. And that our domestic drilling along with the pursuit of other alternate fuels have the potential of making us energy independent.

Basically the " Yes to all of the above " principle.

But maybe there have been those in favor of domestic drilling say we can drill our way out of the crisis. I just haven't heard any.

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I might need some help with this one.

I hear many people claim that the Republicans think we can drill our way out of the oil crisis. But I've never heard any of them actually say that. Have any of them been quoted as saying that drilling is the end all answer to the oil crisis ? I don't think I have.

I've only heard them say that it will help lower the price of oil. And that our domestic drilling along with the pursuit of other alternate fuels have the potential of making us energy independent.

Basically the " Yes to all of the above " principle.

But maybe there have been those in favor of domestic drilling say we can drill our way out of the crisis. I just haven't heard any.

DRILLING WILL BRING PRICE STABILITY, it will help erase price hike whenever MAHMOUD opens his mouth for one thing.

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