Friday, September 12, 2008

Talk to Me

I'm curious...

1. What do you consider to be the most important issues our country is facing?

2. What is it that concerns you about each of the candidates?

17 comments:

Two Dogs said...

I'll keep this one short.

1. The overwhelming redistribution of wealth in our country, there is no other issue. My wealth and your wealth goes to folks that do not get off the couch to go to work. And I am forced to pay for their laziness at the point of a gun. No, that is NOT an exaggeration. Try to skip paying your taxes and find out if I am kidding.

2. That a major political party embraces tenets that are polar opposite of our Constitution and people vote for that party. We have abolished the concept of sedition and Barry Obama would be in jail if there was a minimum understanding of what he believes. Yes, people that believe as he does are criminals according to our basic founding document. Live with it, Barry hates the philosophy of our country. He is a fascist and readily admits it with everything that he says.

And the person that heads up the sane party's ticket is a middle of the road wishy-washy guy. Yes, McCain is a "moderate" and even Kerry wanted him to be the nominee for VP when Kerry was running for President. Deal with that, too.

Roland Hulme said...

1: I think America's got to look very long and hard about our position in the world and how we act in it. America is the foremost political and economic power on Earth and as such, we have a responsibility not just TO act but also to NOT act when it comes to global issues.

For example, was invading Iraq the best course of action? Sure, toppling Saddam and giving freedom to the Iraqis was a wonderful thing - but was it worth the life of thousands of brave American soldiers?

America has to remember than it's like the superhero Superman. Superman could have taken over the world because he's so powerful and indestructible. Instead, he decided to maintain truth, justice and the 'American way.' That's what America's got to do, so we can't afford to recklessly destroy the environment, make hypocritical foriegn policy decisions or bypass our own rules, laws and ideals with things like the Patriot Act and Guantanemo Bay.

America is an example to the rest of the world and we need a president who acts like it.

2: I am concerned by both parties willful disregard of the constitution. Obama wants to swipe money from business and the economy and redistribute it, which is the road to ruin in any society. The Republicans have pressured McCain into accepting more radical right positions, like appointing right wing supreme court justices who will legislate from the bench and deeply stupid and troubling social decisions like abstinence only sex education.

McCain appeals to me because he doesn't act like he knows better than we, the people. Obama seems to suggest that he'll make decisions for our good because he things we're too dumb. The Republicans seem to want to turn America into a twee, homogonized Christian Disneyland and let a repressed minority make decisions about what's 'moral' and what's not.

America is about freedom. Freedom to succeed and freedom to make our own decisions about how to live our lives. Both candidates have forgotton that somewhat.

minnesotamom said...

1. Agreed with "two dogs," but including over-taxation.

2. Obama is who 80% of the rest of the world wants to be our president. That should tell us to run HARD and FAST in the opposite direction. They want him to be president because they know it would severely weaken the United States. He wants to spread every penny I make out to help those "in need" (read: too lazy or not legally in this country), when I am perfectly capable of making that decision myself. Also, he thinks he is Jesus.

McCain is about as liberal as they come for Republicans (just behind Huckabee), which makes him not a good choice for those of us who consider ourselves conservative.

There is no good answer for this election. I'm still stumped. Ron Paul, please come back!!!

BLBeamer said...

1. I believe there are three issues which are the most challenging for Americans to address/overcome. They are inter-related.

i. The common belief that all or most of your problems are somebody else's fault.

ii. Our disgraceful, and worsening, public education system.

iii. The too-common and growing adherence to the Marxian (not Marxist) idea that people can be grouped into classes (not limited to economic class but including religious, ethnic, racial, age, sex, grievance, etc.) and all members of a class can and should be treated as a monolith.

2. My biggest concern is that they differ in very little, really. Their biggest difference is one of scope, not philosophy. They offer a distinction without a whole lot of difference. They both believe that the Constitution means what they want it to mean if it suits their ends. But then, most Christians feel the same way about the Scriptures, so I guess we got what we deserve, good and hard.

Roland Hulme said...

"They both believe that the Constitution means what they want it to mean if it suits their ends. But then, most Christians feel the same way about the Scriptures, so I guess we got what we deserve, good and hard."

Ooooh. I LIKE BLbeamer. She definitely deserved that Starbucks voucher.

One Salient Oversight said...

1. There are a lot of things that are affecting the US at the moment but perhaps the most important is the state of the economy. Unemployment is spiking up, annualised GDP is shrinking and inflation remains too high. The popping of the housing bubble has led to increasing foreclosures and a reduction in the value of people's houses. America is now facing a deadly financial situation that was caused by irresponsible monetary policy by the Fed under both Greenspan and Bernanke (interest rates have been too low since 2003) as well as irresponsible fiscal policy enacted by George W. Bush and the Republican congresses that have served alongside him. The situation is so serious that Bear Stearns and Fannie and Freddie have been bailed out, while Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual are about to collapse. It is also likely that one or two of Detroit's automakers will go bankrupt. A massive financial catastrophe is now hitting the US.

2. Because of 1) above, I have absolutely zero confidence in the ability of either a Republican president or Republican controlled congress to enact legislation that will help mitigate the pain that ordinary Americans are about to suffer. The dalliance with "Supply side economics" by the Republican Party since Reagan has resulted in unsustainable levels of public debt. Add to this the cost of bailing out Fannie and Freddie and the inevitable drop in tax revenue that a recession brings and America's public debt situation reaches frightening levels. I have already heard comments by respected market analysts that national bankruptcy is a real possibility. The word "Depression" is now being used.

And who is responsible for this situation? The Federal Reserve, George W. Bush and the Republican congresses that served alongside him.

Neither McCain nor Obama can stop this from happening. Moreover, neither a Republican nor a Democrat controlled congress will stop it from happening.

What is needed in the years ahead will be intelligent and courageous policies that will help limit the inevitable damage. What is NOT needed are policies that have short-term gain but which end up damaging America even more in the long run.

The first thing for the new president to do is to fire Ben Bernanke. In his place must be a more circumspect, more judicious individual who will fight to keep inflation low. Replacing members of the Federal Open Market Committee will also be needed.

The second thing for the new president to do is to lead the way in balancing the federal budget. The budget must not just be balanced, it must go into surplus to ensure that its massive debt burden (now saddled with Fannie and Freddie's bailout) be paid off and, over time, be paid off completely. Nothing less than a complete eventual retirement of Federal government debt will do.

But in order to do this, the new president and congress must either raise taxes substantially or make substantial cuts in government spending (such as military expenditure, one of the largest components of the current budget) or combine spending cuts with tax rises.

Given the fact that the federal government's fiscal irresponsibility was created and grown by various Republican presidents and congresses since 1981, I have grave doubts whether a McCain/Palin White House will have the courage to fire Ben Bernanke or support any potential budget-balancing bills handed to him from a Democratic congress. All that I have read so far about McCain's tax plan indicates that he will be happy to run even bigger deficits.

Obama and a Democratic Congress do not, however, have much of my confidence either. It's hard to know what Obama will do once in office. He may make stupid decisions as well. What Obama has going for him, however, is that he is not a Republican. This means that the Supply side economics which has led to these massive public deficits is less likely to be adhered to by Obama.

This is why I support Obama. This is also why so many people from overseas support him too. Contrary to what minnesotamom has said, the majority of the world actually does want an economically stable United States. Since the world is so linked to America's economy, any collapse in the US will lead to collapse for all. It is in our interests to have an economically strong US.

BLBeamer said...

Roland - Mrs. Beamer will be very surprised to find out I am a "she" after 30 years of marriage!

BLBeamer said...

The dalliance with "Supply side economics" by the Republican Party since Reagan has resulted in unsustainable levels of public debt.

OSO, how do you feel about the proposition that, if one factually described the Reagan era policies to any group of economists without using the term "supply side economics" and without providing the important detail they occurred in the 1980's, 90% of them would say you had described a nearly textbook Keynesian policy?

I happen to believe it was a hyper-Keynesian policy, but my point is to caution against placing the form (namely, "supply side economics") over the substance of a policy.

Tom said...

1. We are in the middle of a generation-long war against people who would like nothing more than to kill us. That is the #1 issue, and it's a testament to the success of the brave men and women that keep us safe from that enemy, be they in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, the US, or around the world that we can worry about increasing our wealth.

2. While I worry about a bunch of things with Obama, I worry most that he does not know the first thing about being commander-in-chief, the most important responsibility of the president.

Each of the presidents since FDR has had to lead the country in war. They've had to order people killed because their deaths are in the national interest. I'm not sure Obama is ready for such a responsibility.

My concern about McCain is that he doesn't really have a coherent political philosophy. He has some reasonable policy ideas, and I think he'll do a good job running the country... but I can't always tell where he'll fall on a particular issue.

One Salient Oversight said...

Keynesian policy does not legitimise or prescribe continual, growing deficits.

Keynes developed the use of fiscal policy in response to the Depression. It was his assertion that governments during that period should have increased spending and run deficits in order to stimulate the economy.

The corollary to this was that governments should balance these deficits out with fiscal surpluses when the going got good.

Both Reagan and George W. Bush created large, continual deficits. They did not balance out deficits with surpluses.

The only time in recent history that deficits were actively reduced was during the Clinton years. The Gingrich Republican Congress, despite doing silly things (shutting down the government, impeaching Clinton) did actually work well with Clinton to reduce the deficit.

Keynsian economics, or even "hyper-Kenysian" economics, does not in any way support the idea that governments should just run massive and growing public debt levels.

Supply-side economics doesn't either. But Supply-siders argue that cutting taxes will increase economic activity and thus bring in more tax revenue. If this actually happened, it certainly didn't cover the deficits by the Reagan and Bush tax cuts.

BLBeamer said...

Thanks. I'm not sure how far back you consider recent history, but in my lifetime, the Nixon administration was the last time the deficit was reduced to a balanced budget. If memory serves it was in 1971.

I'm not endorsing the policy or defending the presidents involved, but it is unfair to ignore Congress's role in the spending since by law all spending bills originate in the House.

If "supply side economics" doesn't endorse perpetual deficits, and neither does Keynesianism, then how does one tell the difference between a Keynesian policy and a supply side policy?

I have not noticed that either of the candidates has proposed doing anything realistic about reducing the deficit. Why, therefore, do you say that the GOP will continue the failed supply side economics policies? How would we be able to tell if they didn't and how would we tell the difference from the Democrats' policies?

One Salient Oversight said...

If "supply side economics" doesn't endorse perpetual deficits, and neither does Keynesianism, then how does one tell the difference between a Keynesian policy and a supply side policy?

It's the result. Keynsian policies result in a balanced budget over the course of the business cycle. Supply side economics results in deficits because it just doesn't work the way those who invented it said it would.

I have not noticed that either of the candidates has proposed doing anything realistic about reducing the deficit. Why, therefore, do you say that the GOP will continue the failed supply side economics policies? How would we be able to tell if they didn't and how would we tell the difference from the Democrats' policies?

Policies based upon Supply-side economics were explicitly followed by two Republican administrations (Reagan and GW Bush). Non-SSE policies were followed by Clinton.

Essentially it can be argued that the only politicians who support supply side economics are Republicans. Some Republicans don't, but no Democrat does.

McCain has promised large tax cuts. Obama's tax plan involve tax cuts on low and middle income earners and tax rises for high income earners, the effect being neutral.

The fact that McCain isn't talking about the deficit and is willing to give big tax cuts indicates a supply-side direction.

One Salient Oversight said...

Greenspan Says McCain Tax Cuts Need Similar Budget Reductions.

It's Greenspan... but I agree with him on this.

Becky said...

1) Redistribution of wealth and overtaxation of all classes.

2) Loss of religious freedom.

3) Appointment of new Supreme Court Justices that won't legislate from the bench.

Becky said...

Sorry, forgot the second half of your question...

what is it that concerns me about each of the candidates?

Well, there is so much to be concerned about with Barrack, in my opinion.

1) How he pretends to relate to the lower social classes and the oppressed. He is a friend to celebrities and has basically been hand selected by the elite and money has gotten him where he is.

2) His position on redistribution.

3) His double-mindedness. Just watch the Saddleback interviews where he struggled to give answers to questions because he wanted to tell people what they wanted to hear, rather than answer from a place of conviction.

4) His lack of experience in gingerly dealing with global threats.


McCain, well, while I support his party, was never my favorite person.

1) Poor judgement in the past.

2) Shrewd choice of VP, but best choice? I don't know.

3) His age.

4) His Washington connections are many and go back many years...so can he really serve the interests of the people?

**Oh, and I am sorry about the nasty comment you received recently. The trouble with blogworld is that ANYONE can get a blog or a blogid. Even elitist ivy league surgeons...who suffer from not only a God complex, but from their own stupidity. LOL

BLBeamer said...

Policies based upon Supply-side economics were explicitly followed by two Republican administrations (Reagan and GW Bush). Non-SSE policies were followed by Clinton.

Clinton implied he was in favor of middle income tax cuts to counter GHW Bush's tax increase. Almost immediately upon being inaugurated, he said the country couldn't afford the tax cut.

So, he did run on SSE policies, but did not follow SSE policies.

How do we know that either Obama or McCain aren't likewise just pandering?

McCain has promised large tax cuts. Obama's tax plan involve tax cuts on low and middle income earners and tax rises for high income earners, the effect being neutral.

Also, re: Greenspan's comments. What spending cuts are Obama (or McCain) proposing?

Two Dogs said...

To reply to OSO's comment about unemployment rising in our country. The Democrats passed a minimum wage increase when the regained control of the Congress, the rise of unemployment was only unexpected by morons.

Yes, the major news networks were surprised but again, the only people surprised were morons.