John McCain's Economic Plan: Only 33% Stupid

“John McCain Stinks Less” — that’s my inspiring proposed slogan for the McCain campaign’s conservative outreach effort, should it ever make any such effort.

In that one glorious phrase, I have summed up every reason American conservatives have to choose Senator McCain over Senator Obama.  Take McCain’s newly released economic plan, ominously entitled “Jobs for America.”

I say “omninously” because I believe America has enough jobs already: policing the world, subsidizing loser countries, being the bogeyman for conspiracy theorists at home and abroad, protecting countries too cheap to pay for their own militaries (aka “NATO”), being the sputtering mistuned engine of economic growth for ambitious plastic mongers in China.  We’ve got our hands full.

But John McCain has a plan to get us even more work, and parts of it are not bad.  For example, the most important and avoidable factor driving up the cost of food right now is our idiotic infatuation with the mathematically ludicrous idea of making “biofuels” out of the corn we used to use for “food.”  We are currently destroying 25% of all the corn in America in order to make just enough expensive low-quality motor fuel to replace 0.6% of global oil.  The inflationary pressure of the price of food skyrocketing is substantial, coming on the heels of oil price surges.  Corn ethanol as biofuel is a threat to our economy, among other things.

McCain wisely proposes to roll back corn ethanol mandates and remove the $0.54/gallon tariff that prevents US fuel producers from importing cheap Brazilian sugar-based ethanol to compete with the corn-based product.  To get more fuel, McCain radically proposes we drill for it at home, instead of relying on foreign oil or glorified corporate moonshiners.  This is unusually clear thinking for politician.  

Obama, by contrast, wants no drilling ever again and thinks corn ethanol is just great.  He dreams of a day when we can use 50% of our entire corn crop to replace a whopping 1.2% of oil demand. (Obama’s long-term plans call for the exile of Orville Redenbacher to Kuwait and criminal penalties for ordering extra butter on popcorn in movies so we can turn 100% of our corn into an expensive replacement for 2.4% of oil production).

But just when you think that McCain might be all right after all, you get to something like his proposed “HOME” plan.  The fact that the name of the plan has been mangled to spell “HOME” is one’s first warning sign that this is a garbled Democrat-style expansion of government in the name of little helpless victims — the kind that might need “HOMES.”  McCain’s plan is to use government to give new cheap loans to the “deserving” homeowner in default.  Evidently, “deserving” is a new term for “those with poor judgment,” because the only people getting HOME welfare are those that ran out and got subprime adjustable rate mortgages at the height of the housing bubble and are now shocked to find that the rates on those mortgages are actually adjustable. (A lot of them are NINJAS. No, not stealthy Jackie Chan types: they’re people who got loans despite having, “no income, no job, no assets.”)

If you, like me, passed up that stupidity and got a fixed rate mortgage despite the fact that this meant you struggled to pay more for years while others used the surplus income provided by the introductory rate on their ARMs to buy gold-plated disposable jet skis for their pit bulls, then you are now officially a chump.  You can keep on paying.  That’s your punishment for forethought.  John McCain now wants you to pick up the tab for everyone else too.  In case you’re still undecided about the wisdom of the HOME bailout for human credit hazards, McCain proudly points out that it was really Barney Frank’s idea and that the press really loves it.

That’s pretty much the pattern of the whole “jobs” plan, and for that matter, McCain’s career – two common sense ideas followed by an excerpt from the Unabomber manifesto, Ted Kennedy’s website or some other crazy diatribe.  In fact, I see this economic plan as a wonderful preview of what a McCain Presidency might be like for conservatives: two steps forward then one step off a cliff.  

Probable McCain State of the Union speech from 2010: “This year I have taken bold and decisive action to stabilize inflation, strengthen our military, expand our energy supplies and work toward balancing the budget.  I have done this to make America the strong prosperous nation I always dreamed it would be when I give the whole place away to illegal aliens.  THE BORDER IS OPEN, AMIGOS!!! RIDE!  RIDE, NOW!  I GIVE YOU CONNECTICUT AS A HOUSE WARMING GIFT!”

But I digress; the point is… ah… oh, yes… that conservatives need to half-heartedly sort of support the lesser of two evils, John McCain — probably not with volunteer efforts or donations, or bumper stickers or yard signs, though.  Lord knows I wouldn’t want to be openly associated with the author of the most un-American act in congressional history: the McCain/Feingold Anti-Free-Speech laws.  

But I suppose that we could vote for McCain, as long as the polling place isn’t that far away or it’s not raining or the election is not the same day as a NOVA special on dark matter that I might want to see.  

Then again, Bob Barr is polling at 6% nationally on the Libertarian ticket.  This news is very exciting since it means Barr now trails Obama by only 44% — the exact percentage of the vote that is going to John McCain in the same poll.  I am very worried that this means McCain could be the spoiler in this election, throwing the entire thing from Barr to Obama.  Since all conservatives should be worried about, according to McCain’s election strategy, is stopping Obama, I would now like to call on McCain to withdraw from the race and endorse Barr.  It’s not too late to unify the voters behind a candidate who is actively courting conservatives.

Alternatively, McCain could stay in the race and actually energize conservatives with a reason to vote for him, rather than just vote against Barack Obama.

Either way.  Whatever.  Go team.  Snore.