McCain’s economic conservatism is the cure |

McCain’s economic conservatism is the cure

I recently have read many opinions regarding how wicked and inferior conservatism is and articles that compare conservatism to Republicans.

One strongly opinionated piece even called conservatism a “poison pill.” Most of these voices fail to portray conservatism in a fair light and support their opinions based on what certain Republicans or Democrats have done in the past.

Just to point out to the readers, Republican and Democrat are political parties; conservative and liberal are philosophies. Throwing around alleged facts about political parties in order to attack a philosophy shows a fundamental misunderstanding of both.

Fiscal conservatism is the economic philosophy of prudence in government spending and debt.

For the past 30 years Republicans have run for office as fiscal conservatives. That being said, though we thought we were getting fiscal conservatives, we were not. President Bush presided over the largest expansion of government since “The Great Society.”

It is safe to say that Bush has not been a fiscal conservative. Liberals hate Bush for a multitude of reasons.

Conservatives are extremely disheartened that Bush was given a Republican Congress, and government grew substantially. Conservatives hoped the Republicans in Congress would be fiscally responsible and such hope was misplaced.

No wonder why 80 percent of Americans agree that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

The penchant of the current presidential election is undoubtedly change. Liberals and conservatives alike want change, but what kind of change do we want? That my friends is where the proverbial rubber meets the road, and undoubtedly, the No. 1, big-ticket item in this election is the economy.

One thing we all agree upon is that $5 for a gallon of gas is ridiculous. Assuming that the presidential candidates actually deliver on their economic promises (a big assumption), a fair airing of such economic promises delivers to us a look into the crystal ball.

John McCain offers a conservative solution of ending federal incentives to produce ethanol. Ethanol is primarily made from corn. Basic economics shows that if corn is used to fuel our cars, demand for corn goes up and food prices consequently go up too.

As we all know, grocery stores are loaded with products made from corn. Ending ethanol incentives will cause food prices to decrease. Barack Obama promises to increase ethanol incentives, which will consequently and inevitably increase the cost of food.

McCain offers another conservative solution to high gas prices. He offers to reduce the federal taxes on gasoline paid by the end consumer. Reduction of such taxes directly reduces the price per gallon of gasoline.

Obama offers to create a windfall profits tax on the American oil companies and give the money back to the people. The problem with Obama’s position is that corporations do not pay taxes. We, the end consumer, pay corporations’ taxes when we purchase corporate goods.

Corporations include the taxes, which would include Obama’s new windfall profits tax, in their cost of production. It is estimated that raising taxes on American oil companies will actually raise the price of gasoline to $8 a gallon.

Our government cannot cut federal taxes without severely cutting federal spending. McCain conservatively offers to veto every spending bill, which contains earmarks, and to “make the authors famous.”

Obama only favors cutting earmarks to their 2001 levels. McCain vows to fight wasteful government spending. Obama promises to create or expand 111 federal programs at a cost of more than $5 trillion. From where will $5 trillion come when Obama promises to completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans?

The type of change we need is clear – conservative change that decreases the size of government, reduces government spending and reduces taxes.

Obama’s economic policy is not change – it is more of the same that we have received from both Republicans and Democrats alike for decades.

If McCain follows through on his conservative economic promises, the average American’s life will be positively impacted and enhanced. Obama’s liberal positions will increase the costs of our most basic needs, food and gasoline.

Our economy is sick. Raising food and gasoline prices are not going to help. Conservative fiscal policy is the answer. If fiscal conservatism is a “poison pill,” it may be just the pill the doctor ordered.

Barry Pruett lives in Grass Valley.

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