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Let's boil the presidential selection down to one issue, the biggest issue going - the economy. We teeter on the edge of economic disaster. Forget about party affiliations for a minute. Forget about Republicans and Democrats. Forget about political ideology. Forget about Bush. Forget about Congress. Let's just focus on which candidate's policies will do the most to get us out of this mess, and back to prosperity. We only have a choice between these two men to lead us.
First, let's set the grim economic scene. Our government is trying to pass a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry at the taxpayer's expense. Our country is approaching a $10 trillion national debt, soon to be $11 trillion. We have $53 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities, with Social Security and Medicare about to overwhelm us financially. We owe $500 billion to the Chinese. The government passed a $150 billion stimulus package this year. We are fighting two wars, which will probably end up costing $1 trillion. We are sending $700 billion per year overseas to meet our energy needs, to countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Our budget deficits are ballooning to their highest levels ever. In the financial crisis, we have already spent $29 billion to buy the bad paper from Bear Stearns. We paid $85 billion for 80 percent of the insurance company, AIG. We're paying $200-300 billion to bail out and nationalize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is proposing a second stimulus package, with a price tag of $65 billion. The House Of Representatives just passed a spending bill for $630 billion that contains $25 billion in loans to the automakers, along with 2,322 earmarks that total $8.8 billion. We are spending money at a staggering and unprecedented rate, and we don't really have any assurances that all the spent money will reverse our financial problems. Fiscal insanity has run rampant. This is big government on steroids, and it's scaring the heck out of me. It should scare you too. I've never witnessed anything like this in my lifetime. It HAS to stop.
And we have two presidential candidates debating last night, John McCain and Barack Obama (here is a transcript of the debate). The first series of questions asked of these two candidates by moderator Jim Lehrer (excellent job, Jim) were about the financial crisis.
The first candidate, John McCain, proposed to cut spending, cut earmarks, reduce defense spending, freeze all spending other than essentials, scrub every government department for waste, cut business taxes to make our businesses more competitive and stimulate job growth, and provide tax credits to help people buy their own health insurance.
The other candidate, Barack Obama, is proposing $800 billion in new spending. Obama couldn't identify even one area in which he would reduce spending, despite being asked several times by Lehrer. He just gave a vague response about maybe reducing an unspecified something. When asked repeatedly what he would cut, Obama instead went off on a litany of all his new spending INCREASES (pre-school, health care, energy, infrastructure, etc). Obama said all his new spending is paid for, which means he has to raise taxes by $800 billion. He wants to give the middle class a tax cut. He railed against business tax breaks. Every one of Obama's proposals increases the size of an already enormous and bloated government bureaucracy, and will take money out of the private sector. Those are anti-growth policies. Obama did mention savings from ending the Iraq War over a 16 month period, but that war is pulling down anyway, so I don't see a substantive economic advantage in choosing Obama over McCain there. Besides, Obama wants to ramp up the Afghanistan War. I call the war issue a push at this point.
So, we have one candidate, McCain, who is promising to scale back all the big government spending in light of all our economic problems, and another, Obama, who is only promsing more and more big government spending that has us all about to choke to death. If you didn't like the big spending policies of George W. Bush, you sure aren't going to like the big spending policies of Barack Obama. McCain's path is the saner path.
Seriously, folks, how can you vote for Barack Obama, especially at a time like this ? If we don't stop this crazy spending train we're on, we are screwed, and so are our children. There's no other way to put it. Barack Obama not only doesn't want to stop the crazy train, he wants to stoke the engine and speed it up. Obama's path is the insane path.
Vote for John McCain. Please. One thing I will agree with Obama about. This is a defining moment. We can't afford to get this election wrong.
McCain knows a lot more about foreign policy too, which should have been made clear to all last night.