10/16/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Bush-McCain Economic Philosophy Needs More than "Adjustments"


This morning George W. Bush used the carefully chosen word, adjustments, to describe the accelerating financial collapse.

"In the long run I am confident that our capital markets are flexible and resilient and can deal with these adjustments," the president said.

John McCain fully agrees with this Hooveresque assessment that the economy is "fundamentally sound."

That is a fundamentally flawed argument.

We don't need an "adjustment." We don't need tinkering with the let-go-of-the-reins-and-hope-that-greed-works philosophy that has been in the driver's seat without holding on to the steering wheel for the past eight years.

The Republican economic philosophy has brought us to a point very similar to where the nation's economy was in 1929: little regulation, income concentrated among the hyper-rich, weak unions. It was a prescription for disaster under Coolidge and Hoover, and it remains a prescription for disaster under Bush.

A euphemism often employed for a massive stock market fall is "correction."

Now, though, we desperately need a real correction: a correction of the foolish policies of deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, golden parachutes for failed greedy CEOs and trickle-down economics that got us into this mess.

Anyone who votes for John McCain on November 4th should make no mistake about what she or he is voting for:

Dr. McCain's economic prescription is to increase the dosage of Dr. Bush's bad medicine that has brought the patient to death's door.

Are people going to vote for personality and more of the same or for their own personal interests and genuine change from the disastrous policies brought to us by the current personality in the White House?

{Robert S. McElvaine is professor of history at Millsaps College and the author of Down and Out in the Great Depression, the 25th anniversary edition of which was published earlier this year and The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941, the 25th anniversary edition of which will be published early next year by Three Rivers/Random House. His latest book is Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America (Crown, 2008)}