Monday, November 8, 2010

Obama Versus McCain 2008

This was an analysis of the presidential race I did in October 2008. It was significant to a few people I had some very interesting, and heated, discussions with at the time. I still think the questions are relevant to what Obama is doing right now. I tried to be objective and unbiased, pointing out the good and bad in both candidates.

In the presidential race between Barack Obama (D) and John McCain (R) the subject of restructuring and/or saving the American Economy has been a much heated debate. The American people seem to be at wits end. Both candidates blame the other’s party for the failure. The best thing to do now is stop blaming each other and start figuring out a way to fix the problem. Both candidates have plans for the rebirth of the economy both at home here in America and globally as a whole.

Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois, has a large plan in which he attacks ten different planes of the economy. The basic forefront of the plan is to cut taxes for families earning less than $250,000 per year. “Obama and Biden will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 95 percent of working Americans the tax relief they need. They will create a new "Making Work Pay" tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family.” (, n.d., ¶ 1). The second main factor is tax relief for small businesses and start ups to drive them to spend the money in new developments and creating jobs (, ¶ 2). The third and final main point is to instill fair trade and to “fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support good American jobs. They will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world” (, ¶ 3). These all are great ideas and putting them into actual use will help millions of families and businesses cope with the downturn in the economy.
The problem is these ideas cost money and the economy in this country is already strapped for cash. Where is this money going to come from? The money paid in taxes is what runs this country, just like a business selling a product, the money has to be made to continue the cycle. Struggling states and municipalities are closing down some areas to conserve money because the deficits are so great. Cutting taxes is going to help a few people but where is the country’s money to function going to come from? The top five percent of wealth in this country pays 90% of the taxes in the U.S. already; cutting taxes for the lower 95% is going to put more strain on the upper 5%. Not that they cannot afford the extra burden, but that just proves that becoming wealthy is a punishment not a pleasure.

Barack has great plans to kick start the economy by delving into the mess with a strong back wind with such plans as eliminating taxes for seniors who earn less than $50,000 or for adding a rebate for over 10 million families by instituting a new “Make Work Pay” tax rebate. The plan to create better trade plans and amend old plans like NAFTA and CAFTA to make the agreements more fair for the U.S. side of the equation will take time and maybe a long term fix, but something short term is needed to get it off on the right foot.

Senator McCain also has a very detailed plan to get the country out of recession and help an ailing global economy right itself. John’s plan involves cutting taxes for corporate America in hopes prices will fall and more people will spend money to bring cash back into the economy. The problem with this idea is companies want to make a profit, the money being put back into the businesses as profit will, in some cases, merely see its way into the pockets of the officers of the company. How does this help the economy? Jobs are still threatened because costs are high, and profits are not being spread around to get the economy rolling. Plus if the prices do not drop people will still cut back on luxuries and only spend enough to buy necessities. The one idea John continues to press forward and has the best chance of winning is his energy plan. His plan to expand domestic oil exploration and drilling to decrease the U.S. dependency on foreign oil and to leap forward to create better green fuels like nuclear and solar power stations and plants will give the American people greater savings and cut costs by billions in the near future. His ideas to increase clean coal technologies have been some the most aggressive of any administration to date. The concept of bring the technology to bear on the problem of energy production in the U.S. will also create hundreds of thousands of new jobs to design, build, and operate these facilities needed to make the plan a success.

McCain’s ideas do not stop just on energy production, but his plans to help companies build more fuel efficient transportation options such as hybrids, fuel-cell, and full electric cars and trucks will reduce even farther the dependency on fossil fuels. The plan is to help America “break its strategic dependence on foreign oil” and “change how we power our automobiles and rejuvenate our automotive industry” (, 2008, ¶ 12). By requiring companies to build more fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles, with penalties for failure to follow the guidelines, the McCain administration is leaping forward on the Obama administration.

Many of the ideas both candidates have will give the economy a fighting chance to recover and once again lead the world as the global powerhouse it once was. The question is who is the best choice? This is a hard decision because no one knows the truth until one of them steps into the oval office and assumes command. The plans include money from an unknown source or a source that is already burdened by low funds. The candidates talk and debate and campaign on hundreds of issues with the bottom line of making the country better from the ideas each one brings to the table. Factors of Congress and Lobbyists, the Supreme Court and the Justices, and every American who goes to work to earn a living for his/her family will put the winner to the test. Four years is a very short time to try and implement hundreds of ideas and concepts to bring about change. But is change for change’s sake good or bad? Will one man be able to right a sinking ship and limp it back to shore for repairs? Where is the money coming from to fund these radical plans? These are the questions Americans should be asking and the candidates should be answering when the senators are at the microphone.

No comments: