Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Could McCain Be Thinking?

Alert The Wall Street Journal (and the mainstream media, generally): I am not a knee-jerk free trader, though some people have used a portion of that phrase to describe me. Even if I were, I would wonder whether John McCain is in touch with reality. In a speech delivered on May 20, 2008 in Miami, Florida for Cuban Independence Day, the Arizona senator said

We have made progress toward this vision by expanding the benefits of free commerce, through NAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and our free trade agreements with Peru and Chile. But the progress has stalled; our longstanding bipartisan commitment to hemispheric prosperity is crumbling. We see this most vividly in Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's opposition to the free trade agreement with Colombia. The failure of the Congress to take up and approve this agreement is a reminder why 80 percent of Americans think we are on the wrong track.

Maybe there are other reasons for Americans believing our nation is on the wrong track. Consider:

-the mortgage crisis- according to USA Today, "about 2.3% of prime loans were 60 days' past due in February, the highest level in at least a decade, according to data from FirstAmerican CoreLogic LoanPerformance. That's up from 1.4% a year ago."

-gasoline costs- according to U.S. government statistics, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline on 4/21/08- after prices began to rise- was 350.8 and on 5/26/08, 393.7, a rise of 42.9 cents; the average price of all grades of gasoline over the same period rose from 355.7 to 398.6, a rise also of 42.9 cents. That's an increase of over 8 cents per week.

-Persian Gulf II- There now are over 4,000 American soldiers who have died in Iraq with no end to this war in sight.

-Corruption- At least ten (10) officials of the Bush Administration have been indicted and/or found guilty of criminal offenses; another twenty-four (24) have resigned due to investigation or because of pending investigation or allegations of impropriety.

Still, the Repub who will be nominated for president believes that failure of Congress to pass the "U.S.-Columbia Trade Promotion Agreement" (Columbia Free Trade Agreement) is a reason that 79% of Americans believe the U.S.A. is on the wrong track and only 15% that our nation is on the right track. Either John McCain is divorced from reality, or he believes that he can delude us voters. But could he really be that elitist?

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