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ETpro's avatar

How well off would the USA be today if John McCain and Sarah Palin had won in 2008?

Asked by ETpro (34202 points ) December 23rd, 2011

What would have been done differently? Would we have had a stimulus, or a payroll tax cut? Would Chrysler and GM still be here, or would they be bankrupt? How would the jobs picture look given what McCain and the Republicans favored then and now? What wars would we be out of, and what wars would we be in? Would our foreign policy be more or less effective at securing our long-term interests? When you think about it, does your vision of America under President McCain as 2012 approaches square with the constant Republican claim that Obama has made things much worse than they were in 2008, and that only Republican ideas can fix that?

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43 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

We almost certainly would have gotten ourselves more militarily involved in the so-called Arab Spring, which would likely have bolstered the ancien regimes.

So far I as I can imagine, the economy would be in more or less exactly the same place that it is now.

jerv's avatar

War is good for the economy, but >90% of the profits would still be going to 1% of the population.

We would also be moving closer and closer to an authoritarian Theocracy.

We would have totally alienated every other nation on Earth.

Basically, we would be Iran.

ragingloli's avatar

The US would have started World War 3 and caused the nuclear apocalypse.
There is no doubt about that.

comity's avatar

Give me a break!

WestRiverrat's avatar

First Since it got him shot up, McCain is pretty much against armed intervention anywhere.
GM and Chrysler would still be there, But they would have gone through the normal Bankruptcy reorganization, which would have potentially rewritten the union contracts. We would not have been any more involved in the Arab Spring than we were already.

There would not have been the tea party movement. Democrats would have solidified their hold on the Senate and congress.

DrBill's avatar

I do not suggest one political party over the other, but I seen first hand the way Obuma ran the state economy into the ground, ran state debt to an all time high, and now he has done the same thing to the whole country. It kind of explains why he could not win his “home” (tic) state.

whitetigress's avatar

Conservative America’s confidence might have been hire and the markets might not have dipped as low as they did when a black President came to be.

marinelife's avatar

It would be a nightmare. There would be few rights and even less liberty.

whitetigress's avatar

What marinelife said, all in the name of patriotism too, and that would be horrendous.

Sunny2's avatar

After seeing what George Bush did, I don’t think another Republican 4 years would make things better. It’s a matter of political philosophy and I’d rather the whole country be considered than just those who made a lot of money (or even just enough) and think everybody should be able to do the same.

zenvelo's avatar

@DrBill When did Obama do that to Illinois? He was a state rep, not Governor! Get real.

If McCain had won we would have had a major credit crisis with the collapse of the banking community. Because of production falling to near zero, and unemploymnet would be around 20%, the deficit would be much larger.

And we would still be in Iraq, Bin Laden and Gaddhafi would be in power, and we would be fighting in Iran.

john65pennington's avatar

Our country would have been much better off, economically, if we had not spent $100 million in Iraq.

ragingloli's avatar

@john65pennington
100 million?
more like a trillion.

filmfann's avatar

Following the assassination of McCain, and the impeachment of Palin (for shooting McCain), Nancy Pelosi would be president. VP Weiner wouldn’t have been scandalized, since he was too busy not doing anything.
We would still be in Iraq, Afganistan, Lybia, Egypt, North Korea, and Ubeccibeccibeccistanastan, but President Pelosi would be trying to ensure gay rights and no happy meal toys there before we pull-out. Oh, and it isn’t called that. It’s called Interruptus.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Realistically, under McCain & Palin, the Republicans would have already decimated the Social Services (Soc.Sec., Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment Benefits, etc.). The Key Stone Pipeline would have already been approved, big coal would be mining coal adjacent to the Grand Canyon. The EPA would have been dismantled & toxic chemicals would be ever more present in our air, & big oil would be increasing the toxic chemicals they use in fracking. The economy would be worse for the average American, but very rosy for the 1%. The military’s budget would have been increased by a large amount. Our infrastructure would still be falling apart.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Um, @ETpro , I think Spoony THE Cat would have done well to co-opt the keyboard before letting you ask this…

Blondesjon's avatar

I don’t know. If that happened I imagine that Dewey won before that and, wow, what if we threw in Al Gore taking it in 2000 and, uh, well shit, my worthless conjecture muscle just sprained.

I’d prefer to know what would have happened if Clinton would have gotten another term or three.

miss ya william j :(

Paradox25's avatar

It is tough to answer this. I don’t believe we would be pulling out of Iraq. I don’t believe there would have been unemployment benefit extensions like they are now, unless voters would had been more inclined to elect more Democrats into Congress with a McCain/Palin victory. Chrysler and GM would still be here and I don’t think that the results of the TARP legislation would have been affected too much differently. I also don’t believe the abortion and gay marriage issues would have been touched either. I think we would of had a stimulus package, but a smaller version. I believe there would have been some type of payroll tax cuts too. The jobs picture would have been bleaker in my opinion because I think that the McCain Administration would have focued on lowering the debt ceiling and the deficit over job creation in that respective order. I do think that Obama has done the right thing by focusing on legislation to help with job creation as his top priority. Also, like others have said there would have been no TEA Party, but the libertarians would still be hounding the big government McCain Administration like they did when W was in office. The TEA Party movement is much bigger than the libertarian movement.

Cruiser's avatar

The biggest difference is the financial climate would have been much more friendly and we would not have 2 trillion dollars of idle cash sitting scared on the sidelines that would be otherwise invested and better utilized to buy new equipment and hire more people. Can you say “jobs”???

Plus we would have had a “leader” who would not take the mamby pansy bullshit that the Senate and the House has been shoveling our way and would have demanded results and got them.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

We would have engaged Iran with military action by now. There would have been more reasons created for remaining in Iraq, and we’d still be there today.

jerv's avatar

@Cruiser If you believe then I have a bridge in Utah to sell you. If they were going to invest that money in anything but executive bonuses, they would have done so during the Bush years, the Clinton years, the other Bush years, the Reagan years…

As for the other, I agree that we would have a White House that would demand and get results. That would make things hard for those of us who are not pro-life Christians, those of us who value education, who respect the poor as fellow humans instead of animals. Maybe its a good thing that the White House can’t always get what they want.

Sunny2's avatar

@john65pennington I agree we’d be better off not having spent all that money on war for 10 years. Mr. Bush started it and left an untenable situation. Bad judgment all around.

ETpro's avatar

@MamradpivoWe have Senator McCain’s voting record in Congress to tell us where he would have come down on many issues. He excoriated Obama for not forciong the Iraqis to let us stay in their supposedly soverign country. So under McCain, we would have stayed in Iraq until some unspecified objective like the death of terrorism as a tactic occurred. Given that we know armies are notoriously poor at fighting ideas, ti might have taken a few more millenia to defeat terrorism, or we could have opted for the quick path of making the world unfit for human life.

McCain sang this on the campaign trail, so I can guess we would have long since invaded Iran. Syria is on his list too. And he was for a heavy military footprint in Lybia or letting Qaddafi just use genocide to maintain power. So there probably would never have been any Arab Spring.

As to the economy, I’ll address my thoughts on this to those who specifically picked that issue below.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir My, you’re accumulating a lot of GS marks for a simple, one-word reply. GA!

@jerv War is indeed good or the economy because it involves massive government spending. The Republicans love the Big Lie that government spending is ALWAYS bad for the economy even though they never met a war they didn’t like. They claim that FDR’s WPA did not help the economy because government spending NEVER helps the economy, even though the US GDP had fully recovered before WWII began. Then they add the contradictory claim that WWII is what ended the Depression. WWII was government spending on a scale never before seen in the US.

But war spending is terrible for the deficit. Another Republican Big Lie is that they are the party of fiscal responsibility and hate the deficit. Yet George W. Bush could have used a inexpensive lightning raid to get the Taliban and Bin Laden instead of the longest and now second most costly war in US history, still ongoing. And Iraq was a $1 trillion war of choice that would likely have resolved itself as cheaply as Lybia did had we simply waited for the Arab Spring. And unlike every other President in US History, Bush financed his tow wars not by raising taxes but by cutting them twice. Add on a massive giveaway to the insurance lobby in the Prescription Drug Benefit; and you see how Bush doubled the national debt. The debt in today’;s dollars was $1 trillion and dropping when Reagan began his trickle down plan and slashed taxes for the rich. He tripled it to 3 trillion.. In fact, over 9.6 trillion was added to the national debt by Republicans between 1980 and 2008.

Obama inherited the worst financial crisis in US history from the Republicans. The GDP didn’t drop as far as it did in the Great Depression that Republican Hoover presided over beginning, but we were in almost no debt when FDR inherited the reigns, so he had a much better toolbox available to repair the deregulation and casino capitalism damage left in 1929. Including the FY 2009 budget Obama inherited from Bush, the National Debt was already at 11.6 trillion when he took office. And fixing that sort of train wreck of the economy is expensive. Plus the dead economy drops revenue so debt piles up rapidly.

zenvelo's avatar

Actually, the more I think about it the critical, overwhelming, divisive issue in the country would be lack of any movement on health care. The system would be getting overwhelmed by people that had no hope of affordable health care, especially with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.

We’d also have troops on the border with Mexico, and crops rotting in the fields from no one willing to harvest.

comity's avatar

Well, here I go again. I was so happy not to hear analyzations about Sara Palin for awhile. It’s like she disappeared from the map. Hubby misses her though. I think he was in love. I can’t analyze like you guys but I can always talk up close and personal You’ve probably seen this on my other writings, but heck, we old ones repeat ourselves. If they were in office, I would still have a cap on my health insurance, my grandsons pre existing condition wouldn’t be covered if my son were to switch jobs, my husband wouldn’t be wearing hearing aids that he got through the VA because of improvements for veterans that were enacted in 2010, my cousin wouldn’t have been covered by unemployment insurance, you all wouldn’t have the pay roll tax extension and…........

mattbrowne's avatar

Many European countries would have been overrun by Americans seeking political asylum or seeking decent schools for their kids which keep teaching real science in all science classes.

Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch but you get the picture.

Cruiser's avatar

@jerv My answer is based on cold hard reality not some progressive ideologue. It is obvious to me you have not talked to a banker lately. I needed a loan to buy my business this year and could only get half of what I needed. You know what my banker told me??? That 2 years ago he could have loaned me DOUBLE what I needed no problem but thanks to Obama’s tight as a frog’s ass regulations they can barely lend any money at all. I had to collateralize dollar for dollar as well. WTH??? Soooo, I didn’t get the extra money I needed to expand the business or hire the 2 new employees I would have had I got that extra funds.

Also if you had tried to buy or sell a home like I did this year you would also have seen first hand just how incredibly ridiculously next to impossible hard it is to get a mortgage. Guess what my mortgage broker told me?? He said thanks to Obamas new lending regulations passed in December last year he can only lend me $400,000 where as one year ago based on my stellar credit rating he easily could have loaned me a million. Just these 2 personal experiences of mine are a small reason of why people are not investing money and 2 trillion dollars are sitting idle on the sidelines waiting for a real leader who will have the balls to pass legislation that will open these flood gates for investors to once again invest. The way he has handled the Fannyy Mae/Mac issue is another huge reason this housing market is still in the tank. His lethargic approach to such a huge problem in our country is why this economy is still bottomed out and frankly much worse than when Oabama took office. He can no longer point the finger back at Bush for our current crisis and the one main reason he should not get a second chance at screwing this country even more.

comity's avatar

@Cruiser I had a relative forclosed on his home because he was given a mortgage that he really couldn’t afford and loans were given out too freely to him. A double disaster. You went for a loan to buy a business and you spoke to a mortgage broker regarding a loan to buy a home? Wow!

Cruiser's avatar

@comity I have very little sympathy for anyone taking on more debt than THEY can afford. Had your relative had a gun pointed at their head and was forced to take that loan then I would be at your side protesting this gross injustice.

zenvelo's avatar

@Cruiser That is an effect of the credit crunch of ‘07/‘08. There is no way your banker could have given you a larger loan in ‘09; the only reason he could give you a loan NOW is because the Fed has added liquidity to help the credit markets. Your anecdote flies in the face of what has been happening since Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros failed.

Those double size loans, by the way, had nothing to do with your ability to pay. Countrywide Financial, WaMu, and Wells Fargo would give out loans to anyone who could put an “x” on the signature line.

jerv's avatar

@Cruiser I see. You don’t think that anything that the Conservatives have done anything wrong, like deregulating enough to allow shady deals that brought about this mess in the first place. Sure, there is plenty of blame to go around, but since you are blaming Obama for things that happened before he was inaugurated, trying to make sure they don’t happen again, and can’t get a workable solution instantly with a wave of his magic wand, I cannot take you too seriously. And that is before we even get into the actual facts of the case.

I am no Liberal, but thinking like yours is pushing me that way.

Cruiser's avatar

@jerv I am NOT blaming Obama for anything that happened before he took office. What I AM holding him responsible for was all the phony campaign promises he made where he convinced an unwitting public that he was the anointed one who would make all these problems better and he has only made them worse. And what is Obama now doing in the 11th hour?? Finally pushing forward with all the conservative solutions to these issues….go figure! Too little too late IMO.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Cruiser . . . The voters kind of did it to themselves in regards to the whole Obama/pedestal thing. As I’ve said before, Obama’s supporters are the biggest reason for how his failures have been perceived. They are the group that touted him as the magic genie that would cross his arms, nod his head, and eye blink our country out of the red and in to the black.

He just did what any political candidate would do and rode it to the White House.

comity's avatar

I helped with President Obamas campaign, made about 250 get out the vote calls for him, set up meet ups, etc. I didn’t think he was a magic genie, or holier then thou, but I admired his intelligence and fortitude. I have been disappointed in his “can’t we all just get along attitude” as it stood out as weakness to me. I wanted him to be tougher, to exercise his presidential powers, but he’s coming around now and has learned his lesson well. I don’t see anyone out there that I’d prefer or anyone who can beat him even with all the hate talk by the tea partiers, etc. I tell that to my hubby but he won’t listen and puts his fingers in his ears ; ).

Ron_C's avatar

Whenever I feel disappointed with Obama, I consider what the world would be like if McCain and Palin won. There is no doubt that there would be several more fronts opened in the middle east including Iran, and Syria. I expect that there would be thousands more soldiers dead and wounded. That in addition to hundreds of thousands newly dead middle easterners.

The economy would be in the toilet but Wall street and the big banks would be doing well. Bushes tax cuts would be permanent, unions would essentially be outlawed, the poverty rate would be even greater but not reported. Hundreds of thousands of kids would go to bed hungry with probably a good number dying from starvation. Of course the parents would be blamed and jailed. Private prisons would be the new enterprise replacing the Internet enterprises. There would be many more laws for which the only penalty would be jail time. Once in jail, any infraction would increase the sentence. After all that’s good business.

Blondesjon's avatar

If McCain/Palin had won and tried even a quarter of the apocalyptic scenarios that everyone is suggesting then the Democrats would have cleaned up and taken control of Congress in the mid term elections instead of the Tea Party/Republican mess we have right now, McCain would be as powerless as Obama currently is and Palin would go down in history as Dan Quayle with tits.

Americans are angry and they demonstrated in 2010 that they don’t give a fuck which party is in power. They just want somebody in power that will fix the economy. They don’t care how it’s done or who gets the credit for doing it. They just want it done now.

Ron_C's avatar

@Blondesjon Great answer! but I doubt that Americas are smart enough to bounce the Tea Party and other idiotic members of congress out of office. The prevailing thought seems to pt the blame on other members of Congress, “my congressman is o.k” Hence incumbents win reelection at about an 85% rate.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ron_C . . . A great deal of incumbents were bounced out in 2010. That’s why it was such big news.

The point politicians and the talking heads are missing is that voter intelligence doesn’t mean shit anymore. It’s voter ire. Everybody on the losing side in 2010 cried that it was “stupid” voters that brought about the shift in power. This shows just how far out of touch most of them have become. Not only are they insulting voters’ intelligence, they are refusing to even consider that maybe they themselves are to blame. The candidate that truly realizes and addresses the average American’s anger and fear is the one that’s going to get elected, plain and simple.

And woe to any newly elected officials that don’t back up their economic promises to the average American. Just ask former President Obama.

GracieT's avatar

@mattbrowne, I don’t believe it was an exaggeration at all! I know at least 10 people (including me!) that were set to put their houses on the market and move to Canada- sorry Canada! Ok, maybe I exaggerate also, but I did think about it, as did several of my friends!

Ron_C's avatar

@Blondesjon John Boehner, for instance, was up for election last cycle. My daughter lives a few doors down from him and he didn’t even run a campaign. He was automatically voted in, strangely, my daughter doesn’t know anyone who voted fro him.

I submit, that there were probably more incumbents winning additional terms than there ones that lost. I predict the same for all subsequent elections unless term limits are forced on congress.

ETpro's avatar

@Ron_C I don’t wish to Google it, but I suspect you are right.

jerv's avatar

@Ron_C I strongly suspected that for a long time. People fear change. They prefer to stick with the evil they know than take a chance.

That sort of thinking is also how dictatorships get popular support; better to deal with a government that you know will strip you of your rights than to deal with the alternative which nobody knows what will happen.

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