Other Voices: Gauging the issues to determine your vote
If each individual would ignore all the emotions surrounding the presidential campaign, and instead of voting on personalities, past inconsistencies, worthless appeals for “change” and opposing party/ media spin, they voted strictly on the issues, then the best candidate for this country might win. So let’s break down the two candidates in a relatively simple way to determine who gets your vote.
On Abortion and Gun Control, they basically take opposite positions. If these were high-priority issues, then the decision would be easy regardless of your leaning. But since neither candidate is likely to be able to push his extreme positions through Congress or the courts, these issues should not determine your vote.
On Immigration, they are both vague and without sound plans; so that should not be a factor.
The remaining significant issues are Foreign Policy, Security, Energy, Health Care and the Economy.
On Foreign Policy, separate Iraq from the broader war against terrorism – against Totalitarian Islam. McCain is likely to keep us in Iraq a little longer than necessary, and Obama a little less than necessary. So determine what is more important: Higher cost (McCain) vs. higher risk (Obama).
Regarding Iran and other Middle East threats, McCain demonstrates greater understanding of, and willingness to fight harder, to win the broader war; i.e. to protect our freedom and individual rights. However, he is soft on terrorists and may not accomplish his goals in an efficient manner. Again, it’s higher cost with potentially greater protection vs. higher risk of potentially escalating terrorist activity.
On Energy, both are environmentalists – but McCain seems more willing to allow oil drilling and consider short-term solutions to energy prob- lems while pursuing long-term goals. He also supports private industry more in pursuit of those goals.
On Health Care, McCain wants greater flexibility in offering alternative plans and methods of payment; he wants a tax credit to enable insurance affordability. Obama wants the government to implement a national plan – Socialized Medicine in some form, Medi-care for everyone – with less flexibility.
On the Economy, McCain wants to cut government spending in order to hold down, or cut, taxes, encouraging business and the overall economy to grow. Obama wants to redistribute income further in order to cut taxes for the low-middle classes; his proposals would increase spending.
Note that the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay 37 percent of all taxes, the top 5 percent pay 57 percent, the top 10 percent pay 68 percent, the bottom 50 percent pay less than 4 percent, and the bottom 32 percent pay none! Given that the wealthy are more productive and job creating, how much are you willing to risk with greater redistribution? For Obama’s plan to make sense (95 percent having reduced taxes – or money back), he would have to significantly hurt the wealthy and ultimately the economy.
The housing/financial crisis must be eliminated. It has clearly been demonstrated that it was caused primarily by Carter’s Community Reinvest-ment Act (CRA – 1977) and Clinton’s reinterpretation of it (’90s), as credit standards were greatly reduced and banks were forced to make bad loans. It is government, including Fannie and Freddie (that were encouraged to buy up and protect those loans), that is at fault. The motivation was to make loans available to those who could not afford them – affirmative action applied to housing. McCain fought this trend multiple times; Obama contributed to it (e.g. support of Fannie and Freddie, and work with Acorn – one of the organizations that grew out of CRA to force bad loans).
If you believe that each individual bears responsibility for his own actions and choices (where capable); that government should maximize pro- tection of our rights and protection against evil, and mini- mize interference in our lives; that we should enable private industry to solve significant issues affecting our lives; and that the productive and successful segment of the population should not be forced to contribute yet more to those un- willing to contribute to our economy, then your vote should go to McCain.
If you don’t believe most or all of those things, prefer government growth to solve such problems for you, and believe it is only the wealthy who have the responsibility to pay for same, then your vote should go to Obama.
Realize, however, that this implies a growing trend toward Socialism, a political system incompatible with the principles on which our country was founded.
Tom DeChaine lives in Penn Valley.
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