re: forest for the trees

There is a difference between calling the bailouts a mistake and calling them one example of socialism.  I did both.  I started out by saying that I disagreed with all the bailouts, and also that I was opposed to government taking over private industry.  Not sure how I could be any more clear than I was with that.   I wasn’t excusing the Bush administration by saying that I didn’t completely understand why certain private industries got government assistance and others did not.   The bailouts are still what I said they were.   I’m just saying that it’s above my pay grade to figure out what the fallout would be from letting these businesses fail.  We have already discussed the failure of the Bush administration to limit government, and I think you know that we are in agreement that he has expanded government during his 8 years.

What are the objectives of foreign aid?  Is it to promote goodwill or to give a financial incentive to other nations to side with us in disputes at the UN?  If so, how’s that working for us?  The nations who hate us will still hate us even when we have done all we can to win their favor.  Private charities have always been able to provide financial assistance to countries who have suffered natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, and they are usually more effective in the distribution of aid  than the US government is. Maybe a freeze isn’t the way to attack this, but Obama’s going to need all the domestic funds he can get to finance all the spending he’s proposing.

Iraq and Afghanistan are necessary expenditures, and ending world poverty shouldn’t be quite as high on our priority list.   A destabilized Iraq would be a national security risk.   Leaving now could mean that at some point, we would have to go back in and fix the chaos.  We have a national security interest in Afghanistan.  Even some of your Democratic friends agree on that point.  Doesn’t Barack want to send more troops there?  So he doesn’t seem to have a problem spending money on that project.  He also appears to have some interest in delaying the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, if that New York Post story is accurate.  

Let’s review– Barack wants to spend money on some domestic programs, ending world poverty, AND continuing to leave troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Explain why his plans are so different from those of the Bush administration.  (Well…other than the raising taxes on “rich” people part of Barack’s agenda.)

We wouldn’t have to raise taxes if the federal government would use the money it has more effectively, but since this hasn’t happened during the Bush administration, it’s even less likely under an Obama administration.  We have forgotten the part of fiscal responsibility that includes cutting programs that don’t work and allocating resources where they are most needed.  If Obama or McCain have something like this in their economic plan, I haven’t seen it.  Raising taxes on anybody is not a desirable option, especially because it enables wasteful spending, and raising taxes on corporations affects everybody, not just the fat cat CEOs.