Monday, January 14, 2008

John McCain Gets It - on Jobs, Taxes and Freedom

John McCain spoke on Saturday to Americans for Prosperity in Livonia, Michigan

His prepared remarks were excellent - but his delivery was extraordinary.

He even seeks out questions from his critics.

There are things Democrats, and even some Republicans, don't seem to get.

John McCain gets it.

John McCain gets the connection between regulation and jobs. He gets the connection between taxes and spending and jobs. He gets the connection between taxes and freedom and jobs and reforming health care.

And he gets the connections between trade and jobs and foreign policy.

"Tough times breed fear, my friends, and we are hearing the fear-mongers say that Michigan cannot compete on global markets. Those voices ignore the lesson of history that any nation that turns to protectionism hurts itself in the end. We need to continue to lower barriers to trade because ninety-five percent of the world's customers live outside the United States. We need to have competitive manufacturing through lower health care costs, lower taxes, and opening new markets. Our future prosperity depends on our competitiveness.

* * * * * * * * * *

It would be a mistake to view economic relations with China in isolation. I am concerned that China through its piracy of US intellectual property is also building itself into a military superpower that has already developed the capability to shoot down satellites. We will only be successful in getting China to meet its international economic obligations by engaging it on the full range of issues involved in our relations -- from suppression of personal and religious freedoms, to relations with North Korea and Iran, to its rising influence in Africa -- which will determine whether China will emerge as a responsible or irresponsible world power. I have the experience in these areas that will also serve to ensure that American workers -- the most productive worker in the world -- will be even more competitive.

* * * * * * * * * *

Our country's dangerous dependence on foreign oil threatens both our national security and our environment, not to mention the terribly injurious effect high oil prices has on our economy. The transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars of American wealth to the Middle East helps sustain the conditions on which terrorists prey. Some of the most oil-rich nations are the most stagnant societies on earth. As long as petro-dollars flow freely to them those regimes have little incentive to open their politics and economies so that all their people may benefit from their countries' natural wealth.

John McCain wants to retrain workers for lost jobs. Instead of creating a new program, with more spending, McCain's program is fundamentally conservative, reminiscent of the welfare reform of 1996:

"Right now we have a dozen different programs for displaced workers and others out of a job. Our unemployment insurance program was designed to assist workers through a few tough months during an economic downturn until their old jobs came back. We need programs that work in the world we live in today.

If I'm elected President, I'll work with Congress and the states to overhaul unemployment insurance and make it a program for retraining, relocating and assisting workers who have lost a job that's not coming back to find a job that won't go away. We need to better connect training with business knowledge and needs. As I talk to business people and education experts I hear again and again that community colleges do a great job of providing the right skills to workers and the right workers for firms. We should take greater advantage of this record of success. And we can trust workers to choose. We need to transform rigid training programs to approaches that can be used to meet the bills, pay for training, and get back to work."

No comments: