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.

stop the madness

I think it’s only fair to call a mistake a mistake, and yes, I would consider the AIG bailout a mistake.  I would also question the wisdom of bailing out Fannie and Freddie, but there would have been far deeper financial chaos had the Bush administration decided not to make that move.  These are steps in the wrong direction, because we cannot keep sticking the taxpayers with the bills for the corporate mismanagement of these companies.  It’s fair and reasonable to call this socialism — this would be the perfect example of such,  with the government taking over private industry like this.  That said, it would take someone much smarter than myself in the ways of the financial markets to completely understand the reasons behind handing out some government checks and not others.

The Bush administration is not, and has never been, a proponent of small government.  Compassionate conservatism and limited government have absolutely nothing in common. That’s not what got him elected.  Most conservatives have been consistent in calling out the President and Republicans for spending too much taxpayer money, and they are currently questioning these government bailouts as well  — so we do not need to apologize for our criticism of Obama’s spending proposals.

If Barack Obama is so worried about spending all that money in Iraq, then maybe he should consider taking that 0.7% of GDP he wants to spend on the Global Poverty Act and use that money for domestic programs.  Shouldn’t the Democrats, who are so concerned about the working man here in America, consider a freeze on foreign aid until all these domestic problems are solved?  One thing Democrats and Republicans should recognize is that throwing money at problems doesn’t guarantee positive results.  This goes double for any money ending up in the hands of UN bureaucrats.

Both Senator Obama and Senator McCain should be more frugal with their spending proposals, because it’s fiscally irresponsible to create new programs and finance new services when the feds are flat broke.  Maybe someone smarter than me can explain how it’s possible that Barack will cut taxes for 95% of the American people, and still give us all these new exciting government programs and services.  That doesn’t sound right to me.

Even if he only raises taxes on the “rich”,  those tax hikes would trickle down to the middle class.  Corporations pass on increased costs to the consumer by charging higher prices.   These higher tax rates would also mean they couldn’t hire as many people to produce their products, and it might even mean that some of the company’s workers would lose their jobs.  None of these things would increase productivity or have a positive impact on our struggling economy, so I would hope that Barack would consider the implications of any tax hike on the rich before he makes them a permanent part of his economic policy.  After all, he has been known to change his mind when presented with conflicting facts.