I would proudly vote for the first candidate to promise to vigorously investigate and prosecute banks and bankers for mortgage fraud, fee gouging and market manipulation. (You'd have thought the Obama administration would have made this a priority -- but, so far, nothing.)
I would proudly vote for the first candidate who admits that President of the United States has only limited influence on, and no control over, the American economy. I'll even donate a few lines for the speech:
Look, Stalin thought he could totally control the old Soviet economy. Stalin really tried. Every year a new five year plan. How well did that work out?Of course I don't know if a candidate reading such a speech would even be allowed to finish it. If the candidate wasn't stoned off the stage by his or her one-time supporters, the candidate's family would probably rush the stage and cart him or her off to a sanitarium.
Tax laws are passed by Congress and must originate in the House of Representatives. That's Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution for those of you who never actually read the Constitution in your high school civics class. Or in law school. The President can propose tax policies and if he or she can get those tax policies enacted into law, these can have an influence on the economy, for good or ill. But influence is not control.
And the President can set spending priorities which may have an influence on the economy -- again, if Congress cooperates. Buying roads and bridges and rockets and planes and guns probably stimulates the overall economy a lot more than income transfers -- but it's political heresy to say so.
And gasoline prices? The President can release oil from the strategic reserves which should, in theory, suppress prices for a brief period. But, with that limited, temporary exception, the President has no control over gas prices. Even when they go down. Unless there is illegal manipulation of gas prices; then the President can turn loose the Department of Justice.
But, speaking of gasoline prices, I would proudly vote for the candidate who promises to vigorously investigate and prosecute illegal manipulation of gasoline prices. Some mullah in Iran gets cranky and gasoline already in the pipeline goes up in price? Gasoline prices rose a nickel a gallon across the nation yesterday. Because it's raining in New Orleans? Really? Are we supposed be stupid enough to believe that?
We subsidize oil and gas production -- which might be defensible if these were marginal businesses and not making billions and billions every quarter. You want to encourage domestic production and end subsidies? Tax imports. But, of course, that would set off howls from consumers and environmentalists alike. But we are addicted to oil in this country and we need to get into rehab. Screaming will be involved. I would proudly vote for a candidate who promises Manhattan Project-type priority funding for an alternative energy program that actually works. Whatever happened to fusion research anyway? Wasn't the 21st Century supposed to be about fusion? (And jetpacks, of course.)
But forget about jetpacks for a minute (if you can). I would proudly vote for the candidate who comes out for a complete ban on political robocalling.