Larry Elder

Remember the silly nightmare scenario McCain claimed would play out under "ObamaCare" -- Sen. Obama's ambitious plan for universal health coverage? McCain mocked Obama for saying that, under his plan: "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. ... If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan."

McCain called the promise impossible to keep. He said Obama's claim that his plan "would not add to the deficit" relied on politically unlikely cuts to Medicare and/or higher taxes that would hurt small businesses. McCain predicted higher, not lower, health care costs. He predicted that businesses, states and the politically connected would push for waivers. He even predicted that a majority of the state attorneys general would call ObamaCare unconstitutional, specifically the mandate that everyone must purchase health insurance or pay a fine.

We'll never know. But, really, how bad could it have been under Obama?

McCain gleefully pounced on the senator's "game-changing" encounter with "Joe the Plumber," when Obama sensibly promised to "spread the wealth." "Socialist!" screamed the Reaganites at Fox News. A vote for Obama, they said, is a vote for European-style "job-killing" socialism.

Instead, we got McCain.

Obama electrified us with his call for "hope and change." He promised a "stimulus" package of nearly $1 trillion to "save or create" 3.5 million jobs. He promised to "invest" in green technologies of the future. He promised a "world-class" education for every man, woman and child -- with the federal government taking over the student loan program to eliminate the costs imposed by middleman-banks. He promised new regulations to rein in Wall Street greed. He promised new regulations on bank credit card fees, as well as new EPA rules on industry and factories in order to fight climate change.

We'll never know. But imagine how much better off our economy would have been under Obama.

"Recovery Summer" is the term the McCain White House used to describe its expectations for last summer. The economic team laughingly pointed to the so-called "green shoots," which supposedly signaled brighter days of rapid job growth and rising incomes. "Recovery Summer" is to the McCain administration what "Mission Accomplished" was to President George W. Bush's. Two and a half years into the McCain presidency, our economy remains sluggish. This recovery flat-out pales in comparison with those of past economic downturns.

Eighteen months remain in McCain's first, and hopefully only, term. Incredibly, given these dismal economic numbers, he asks for a second. Must we warn you again?

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2011 LAURENCE A. ELDER

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Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.