This November, as the fall temperatures drop, Americans will head to the polls in as critical an election as has been seen in recent memory. The two candidates, I believe, are honorable men and I do not for a moment accept the partisan rancor that members of political parties seem to hold for the opposing candidate. As a member of neither party, I have examined the records and promises of both candidates in determining which I will support this coming November.
Both candidates will bring to Washington different policies than that of the Bush administration. However, I believe Senator John McCain will bring appropriate changes to the District of Columbia and set our nation on the correct course.
The economic crisis in this country is the primary concern of most voters, and justifiably so. Both candidates agree that Wall Street needs more oversight and both parties have been guilty of deregulating Wall Street over the past fifteen years. The last time regulations were stiffened followed the Savings and Loan fiasco of the late eighties and early nineties. Under Clinton in 1999 and under Bush, the regulations on Wall Street have been loosened considerably. Since both candidates have pledged to attack the Wall Street issue in much the same manner, the biggest points of difference will come in the form of taxes.
It is both justifiable and equitable that the wealthier pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than do the poor. However, this is already the case – today, those earning more than $250,000 pay much more in taxes than most people earn in a year – and raising their taxes even more will not increase tax revenue. By raising their taxes, the biggest losers will be small businesses owners, who are taxed on their business’s profits as their own income decreases under Senator Barack Obama’s proposed tax increases. This has a proven and noticeably negative effect on the creation of new jobs and economic growth, and any tax plan that would check growth even a little bit – as Obama’s would – is something the U.S. cannot afford at this time. There is also much I disagree with in Obama’s proposed tax credits for lower income Americans. When the Obama campaign says tax credit, what they really mean is a handout, because the plan makes these ‘tax credits’ ‘refundable’ meaning you can get one even if you have ZERO income tax liability in the first place. That is to say, you can pay zero dollars in taxes and still receive theses ‘credits.’ Here are a few proposed by Obama (Source: Wall Street Journal, Review and Outlook 10/13/08): a $500 dollar tax credit for those making less than $75000 dollars. A ‘savings’ tax credit of up to $1000 or 50%. A $555 ‘earned income tax credit’ for single workers. A child care credit of up to $6000. The problem with this, according to the Wall Street Journal, is that under Obama’s plan, 63,000,000 Americans (44% of all taxpayers), would pay NOTHING in income taxes and the vast majority of these would receive the afore mentioned credits, the cost of which would be more than $1.05 Trillion dollars over the next ten years. (Source: WSJ, Review and Outlook, 10/13/08). In a time of exploding debt and economic difficulties, taxing the people who drive economic growth more and then handing their money to people who pay no taxes would place severe hardship on the economy, stunt economic growth and borders on socialism, rather than the free market capitalism that created America’s wealth in the first place.
McCain also has a clear edge on Obama in the area of foreign policy. The Bush Administration made their latest foreign policy “whoopsie” – State Department lingo for a major screwup – by removing North Korea from the state sponsor of terror list without demanding access to possible nuclear sites that have been reactivated in the last few weeks – essentially reaching an agreement to delist North Korea in exchange for permission to stroll the countryside near Pyongyang where there are no weapons. In the coming years, the U.S. is sure to face challenges from Iran, Russia and probably Venezuela. Kowtowing to North Korean demands in exchange for nothing makes the tasks to come that much more difficult. McCain has shown resolve in foreign affairs while taking a firm stand on the use of force being a last resort. His extensive foreign experience is necessary as new threats to world peace emerge (Venezuela, Iran)and old ones resurface (Russia).
Obama has no military experience, no foreign policy experience and has repeatedly hedged and fudged on his positions. He gave two separate speeches containing conflicting stances when traveling between the Israelis and Palestinians and waited a significant period of time before finally deciding that it was, in fact, not acceptable for Russia to invade Georgia. This approach to foreign policy creates an inability for other nations to understand what the US stands for and encourages others to test the limits of U.S. power.
Ever since the dubious vote, approved by the majority of both parties, to invade Iraq in 2003, McCain has been consistently right in his criticism of the Bush Administration. Obama voted against the surge that has worked ‘beyond his wildest dreams’ and has advocated pulling out all U.S. combat troops in 16 months. Obama’s claim to foreign policy expertise is that he was against the war in 2003, but in 2003 Obama was an Illinois state senator who saw no intelligence briefings, received no counsel from the U.S. military and, in short, knew as much as you and I did. Those who actually were in the know were overwhelmingly in favor of the war. Since then, McCain has advocated what the Bush administration has, finally, come to do: use the successful strategies of Generals Petraeus and Mattis to put more troops on the ground. That having finally been done, the U.S. is closer than ever to achieving its mission, and will likely be able to withdraw in a few short years for good, leaving behind a functioning Iraq.
Another major advantage to a McCain administration would be health care. The U.S. has the best health care system in the world. Other countries, such as Great Britain and France, that have followed proposals similar to Obama’s now face multi-month waits to get surgeries and are advocating a return to private medicine. McCain’s plan, to use tax incentives of up to $5000 to insurance companies, would create a huge increase in the number of insured, improving health care’s availability while avoiding the pitfalls of socialized medicine.
There are dozens of other pressing issues facing the candidates in this election. McCain presents a legacy of resolve, courage and experience, as well as a rejection of the status quo partisanship in Washington. Partisanship is a good thing; it ensures the minority opinion is not trampled. As a lifelong holder of some minority opinions, I am grateful, but partisanship should never impede productivity as it has the last ten years. McCain has vowed to place Democrats and Republicans alike in his cabinet, and has worked in D.C. with both sides successfully. Sending McCain to Washington will set America on a positive track, correcting recent mistakes, encouraging economic growth and, God willing, will help keep America in its position as a beacon of freedom.
No matter which candidate you support, take a moment to make an informed decision and then use your hard won freedom to vote for whichever candidate you see fit. Happy Voting!