The Recession Election

With the economy on worried voters' minds, the next President will be the candidate who can show he is willing to make government part of the solution

Jae C. Hong / AP

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, speaks during a meeting with his economic advisors, Monday, July 28, 2008, in Washington, DC.

In an economic-policy speech on July 7, John McCain promised to balance the federal budget, sort of. Actually, he said he would "demand" a balanced budget, but he never quite got around to saying how he would balance it. This set off a reflexive think-tank hiccup of outrage of the sort we've been living with since the days of Ronald Reagan. McCain's claim that he could achieve balance by cutting government spending elicited an immediate and justifiable Yeah, right from the experts. As always, he was fixated on cutting little things, the so-called earmarks that our legislators...

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