Sunday, August 24, 2008

Should Be a No-Brainer, Again.

I set my Mom up with her own blog, though I'll only link to it, if she starts posting. Meantime, I'm reclaiming this space.

So, on the Presidential race (duh), here are my homestretch thoughts. Fair warning - I thought both Gore and Kerry would win big.

Barring some unexpected major event, this election will turn on the economy as the leading indicator of how much change we need.

Both nominees acknowledge that the economy is in very bad shape.

McCain, like his Republican predecessors beginning with Reagan in 1980, says the economy will come around because that's what economies do. The worst thing we should do is look to Federal Government to intervene, because at best it's a waste of time, and at worst it'll delay the inevitable recovery and dampen the growth rate once the recovery does start. McCain may call for a freeze on federal spending while he tries to make cuts and privatize. McCain will be under great pressure to extend the expiring tax cuts that he argued against in 2001.

Obama, like his Democratic predecessors probably going back to FDR in 1932, says proper leadership demands the Federal Government step in. Doing nothing would be practically immoral, especially given how inequitable things have become. Obama may renege on any promised middle class tax cuts once in office, the way Bill Clinton did at the start of his first term. Obama may, however, be able to take back Bush's tax cuts, the ones that are set to expire anyway. Obama will be under great pressure to use the savings from those tax cuts to fulfill other promises, like expanding health care.

I think both nominees will be able to unify their parties and get their bases to turn out. Once again, I think it'll be a close election (popular vote) decided by the self-declared independents who, as they've done before, will mysteriously all break the same way late in the process, leading to a deceptively large electoral vote victory.

It's so hard for me to see Obama not be that victor. I agree with what Bill Clinton said early in the primary season that voting for Obama is a gamble. I can see how present circumstances would make voters not want to gamble. Because, however, McCain won't be able to make the case that he represents a safer alternative, and because there are only two choices, I think voters will decide that not voting for Obama is a bigger gamble.

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