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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8542/cato-on-pro-mccain-george-will-column/

Cato on Pro-McCain George Will Column

September 18, 2008 by

Cato’s Twitter feed praises the “brilliant column from George F. Will today”. Brilliant? Was this brilliant–? “Bubbles will always be with us, because irrational exuberance always will be.” Oh, I see now why it’s brilliant–it mentions Cato by name, enlisting it in support of McCain:

William Niskanen, chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, notes that in the past 50 years, “government spending has increased an average of only 1.73 percent annually during periods of divided government. This number more than triples, to 5.26 percent, for periods of unified government.”

I.e., electing McCain is the fiscally responsible thing to do. I’m sure glad we had divided government under W. It really kept government spending increases restrained!

{ 12 comments }

fundamentalist September 18, 2008 at 10:55 am

The problem is that with McCain as prez, the gov won’t be divided. He’s as Democrat as any Democrat on the Hill.

Stefan Karlsson September 18, 2008 at 11:28 am

For the first 6 years of Bush’s presidency, America did not have divided government. However, after the Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007 Bush has improved dramatically. After having previously vetoed only one spending bill (stem cell research) during 6 years, he has during the last 1½ years vetoed countless spending bills (and stopped many others by the mere threat of veto). This change in attitude can clearly be attributed to the existence of divided government. When Republicans controlled Congress Bush didn’t want to pick a fight with his own Party. He is however very willing to pick a fight with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

The value of divided government is therefore, considering the near certainty of an increased Democratic congressional majority, likely a good reason for regarding McCain as a lesser evil. McCain will hopefully restrain the excesses of Pelosi and Reid while Pelosi and Reid will restrain the excesses of McCain. However, there is of course always a risk that McCain will decide to get bipartisan with Reid & Pelosi, and as someone said, bipartisan policies are usually both evil and stupid.

Just Say No to McOBiLin. September 18, 2008 at 1:11 pm

There is no difference. Hell I have trouble telling the policie differences between McPalin and OBiden apart.

McPalin is for more war clearly. OBiden is for slightly less.

OBiden is for complete socialization of the health care system. McPalin is for more government involvement.

The next president McOBidLin is for bailouts of everyone including Banks, Investment Banks, Brokerage Houses, Government Sponsored Enterprises, Car Builders, Steel Makers etc.

These 4 people suck!!!!

100% ignorant about economics!!!! September 18, 2008 at 1:25 pm

This is the best/worst part of the article displaying Will’s complete ignorance of economics:

Bubbles will always be with us, because irrational exuberance always will be. Its symptom is the assumption that old limits have yielded to undreamed-of possibilities: The Dow will always rise, as will housing prices, and rapture about a running mate can be decisive in a presidential election.

Mmmm, The brilliant writer as some little annoying things here.
1. Bubbles or Business Cycles are caused by CENTRAL BANK INFLATION not exuberant or irrational people. People read the central bank distored market signals and behave accordingly.
2. The DOW would rise on the increasing real productivity of the nation except that the Federal Reserve gives incorrect market signals causing bad investments.
3. The DOW and housing prices falling is the bubble breaking? Why, how? The answer is that the companies in the DOW found it easy to make more money that is progressively worth less with loans that were artificially cheap. The resulting rise in prices, especially commodities, has changed the profitability of these investments. Similarly home buyers could buy more and more house with the same money as loans were artifically cheap.

fundamentalist September 18, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Stefan: “However, there is of course always a risk that McCain will decide to get bipartisan with Reid & Pelosi, and as someone said, bipartisan policies are usually both evil and stupid.”

I think the greater danger is of McCain working with the Democrats as if he were one. That has been his history. He only talks like he wouldn’t during the campaign because he doesn’t want Republicans to stay home on election day. There is very little difference between McCain and Reid/Pelosi on any issue.

That’s why I think Obama is a better bet for getting a divided gov. I think people will hedge their vote for him by voting for Republicans for Congress. Republicans make a much better Congress than they do a Presidency.

Paul September 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Both candidates are pretty much the same and share similar socialistic views. I wish this financial mess, that we’re currently in, started several months ago. That would have given third party candidates more time to establish themselves and give us some real choices coming this November.

Jack September 18, 2008 at 1:53 pm

So if McCain is basically a Democrat, care to explain his Senate voting record? He basically agrees with Bush on more or less everything.

Mike September 18, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I think people oversimplify the two candidates. There are some minor differences. Obama seems less likely to start WWIII over a central Asian conflict. I think that’s about it.

That being said, I am still either writing in Ron Paul or voting Bob Barr.

Bill September 19, 2008 at 11:24 am

Did Kinsella sleep for the first 6 years of the Bush presidency? How ridiculously ignorant to state, “I’m sure glad we had divided government under W.”

How can one talk about fiscal responsibility without addressing the elephant in the room, lavish military budgets and two major overseas engagements?

Further, why do discussions regarding reduction of government spending never include ethics reform, limiting the bribery capacity of lobbyists, and short circuiting the campaign finance system by public financing of elections? As long as it is possible to buy access to legislators, legislators will reward contributors with government spending. Haven’t you folks ever taken an economics class?

Stephan Kinsella September 19, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Bill: “Did Kinsella sleep for the first 6 years of the Bush presidency? How ridiculously ignorant to state, “I’m sure glad we had divided government under W.”"

Uh… Bill…. ? Did you not detect my sarcasm? Guess not.

Larry N. Martin September 19, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Kinsella was engaging in sarcasm, Bill.
And the problem with your minor reforms are that they are MINOR reforms, and don’t address the fundamental problem: the existence of government. Government agents are highly unlikely to willingly limit themselves, and the voters don’t seem willing to, either.

Larry N. Martin September 19, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Beaten to the punch by Stephan. D’Oh!

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