The Undecideds: Five Mahoning Valley Residents discuss their uncertainties about Barack Obama and John McCain.
I hope I might very humbly offer one thought to these and any other undecided voters, and I hope some of you find it useful. I think the reason Senator McCain's campaign has been so given to abstractions, and especially fear-mongering ones that invoke terrorism, is that he doesn't really want to address the economic crisis. (Senator McCain publicly said last week that he wants to "turn the page" on that discussion.) Here, I think, is why: A particular core of the GOP had virtually unchallenged control of the White House, both houses of Congress, the US federal judiciary and most state governorships for the first 6 years of Bush administration, and even after 2006 the same leadership was able to filibuster or veto virtually every significant substantive piece of legislation that Congress took up. It's hard to say that the party and its economic perspective have not been given a chance to work. There is also very little reason to believe that a McCain administration would be different; McCain can claim to be a "Maverick," but at least with respect to economic and regulatory policy the very long record of his congressional service is to the contrary. And look where we are now. We are looking at what many fear will be the next Great Depression.
Here is one other point: When Senator McCain and Governor Palin do address specific points in either their own or Senator Obama's economic programs, almost all they talk about is what they claim will be higher taxes. But Obama has explained that he won't raise taxes on the middle and working classes, and independent fact checkers agree that he is telling the truth about that. (See http://www.factcheck.org/elections-20... or http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-c... for example.)
As for Senator McCain, he's been asked directly how and why his policies might be different than Bush's policies, and he hasn't given any explanation or even really an argument to suggest that his policies will be different. (He repeats often that he is a "Maverick" and says "the American people know that," but he doesn't deny that his votes concur with Bush policies about 90% of the time.) The problem with Bush's economic policy has been that he has spent hugely. McCain would too, despite his claim for an "across the board spending freeze," for two reasons: he intends to continue the war indefinitely, and, much more importantly he will face a democratically controlled Congress that will not go along with cutting entitlements. But McCain absolutely cannot continue spending as he inevitably will without either raising taxes--which I expect he won't do--or continuing the second worst economic catastrophe of our time, which is the current administration's increase in the national debt. In other words, there is little likelihood that Senator McCain would spend all that much less than any other President would under the circumstances, and he'll have to either tax or borrow.
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