The Spectacle Blog

The McCain Economic Team That Wasn’t

By on 2.19.08 | 5:49PM

Andrew Ferguson has a clever piece in the Weekly Standard pointing out that John McCain's favorite economic advisers aren't likely to give similar economic advice. The starkest contrast is between Jack Kemp, the ebullient supply-sider who warns Republicans against "root canal politics," and Peter Peterson, the Concord Coalition guru who is root canal politics. McCain needs the assistance of such men, since by his own admission he doesn't know much about economics.

Ferguson reports that both men think their pupil agrees with them:

"He understands that the solution to our long-term problems will involve some shared sacrifice," Pete Peterson says. "And I think his leadership skills will be very effective in putting this idea of shared sacrifice across."

"I tell him: 'Stop mentioning Pete Peterson!'" Kemp says. "And he gets that."

As I've said before, there could be a meeting of the minds, with McCain heeding Kemp on tax rates and Peterson on spending (perhaps Phil Gramm could faciliate this). But what's on McCain's mind here is a bit harder to fathom.

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