McCain and Romney on Economic Policy

Today’s Wall Street Journal has articles from the McCain and Romney campaigns outlining the candidates’ policies. (Available without subscription: McCain article, Romney article.)  I don’t have a dog in this fight (well, I do, but it’s neither McCain nor Romney), but I’m struck by the differences in style between the two columns.

The McCain column is a list of actionable steps: McCain will propose these tax changes, McCain will veto pork-laden bills, McCain wants to engage in further trade negotiations.  These are actions that a president can take.  Whether good policy or bad, we can see if he’s doing what he said he would do.

The Romney column promises much more: "Mr. Romney will strengthen families in America."  "… he will make sure that our children have great schools …."  Although the article specifically endorses tax cuts, it’s mostly generalities.

When a candidate promises grandiose results, I get nervous.  I wonder: is he so stupid that he thinks he can deliver on those promises, or is he intentionally lying for political gain?  In short, is he George W. Bush or Richard M. Nixon?  I think I’ll vote for Tricky Dick this time round.