Archive for August 28th, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain’s and Obama’s Policies

“Dating to Ronald Reagan, low taxes, free trade and domestic competition through deregulation have been hallmarks of an economy that has grown rapidly,” says Holtz-Eakin, John top economic adviser. And according to the same source, Bloomberg of June 22, plans to address global warming, and help low-income households to buy health insurance. Both goals are laudable, but both hard to quantify.

Both Clinton and Obama, on the other hand, seem to be focused on the issue of health insurance, and the economy in general.

Sometimes I’m wondering if Americans take their own economic situation into account when voting in presidential elections. The Clinton years apparently did the average American more good than the Reagan years, or the terms of both Bush senior and junior. Is Iran a higher priority for average Americans, than economic decisions and fiscal rules?

And if so: why do they believe that Republicans have better foreign policies than Democrats? They would probably have valid points to make for that if every Democratic president had been a president like James Carter. But president Carter was a long time ago.

And what about Obama’s “inexperience”? Do people think that any newly-elected president (with the possible exception of Bush senior) didn’t lean – or should have leaned – heavily on the experience of his administration’s bureaucracy? And don’t they think that in case of a doubt, most newly-elected president listened to the State Department? The only president who blatantly didn’t do that, and lent his ear to stovepipes from dubious think-tanks instead was the incumbent president – we have seen the results of that.

I’m not an American, and not eligible to vote. But if I was, I have little doubts that I would vote for Barack Obama. My gut feeling is this: if Americans have trust in the future and their own potentials, they will take the calculated risk and vote the relative political newbie into the White House. If they are scared, they will vote for John McCain. Nothing personal, and just my personal view.

I feel respect for McCain – both for his military career (and the way he reportedly survived his time as a POW in Vietnam), and for his political ideas on Iraq (particularly the “surge”).

But elections are about the future, not the past. And the core decisions for America’s future are about what will happen inside America. It is about the economy, about education, about individual judgment, and, to sum all that down, about America’s global competitiveness. That competitiveness depends on what America has to offer on the world’s markets – not on the sophistication of its military weapons.

Last but not least: only a sound economy can bear the costs of effecient defense.

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