The 2012 Presidential Election is nearly upon us, and here’s a thought offered…
No one reading this site will be surprised that I am voting for Barack Obama on Tuesday, despite his clear flaws and failures of the past four years (more a failure of assertive leadership and savvy negotiation skills than the failure of intellect, effort, and ethics we experienced during the Bush II years).
While our emotions often override our rational intelligence during campaigns and we come to a conclusion that is quite facile and against our better interests, I still think the “issues” matter… and that candidates’ positions and plans matter.
Actually, on so very many issues, President Obama is clearly better for the United States than Mitt Romney — better for legal, economic, and health freedoms. Still, given our current Bush-induced economic climate, one of the more important matters is fiscal policy.
On this issue, solid economics makes the case, aside from my liberal leanings. It’s clear to most rational economists, and one need only look to the conservative British publication The Economist to grasp the important difference between candidates on the topic:
“… far from being the voice of fiscal prudence, Mr Romney wants to start with huge tax cuts (which will disproportionately favour the wealthy), while dramatically increasing defence spending. Together those measures would add $7 trillion to the ten-year deficit. He would balance the books through eliminating loopholes (a good idea, but he will not specify which ones) and through savage cuts to programmes that help America’s poor (a bad idea, which will increase inequality still further). At least Mr Obama, although he distanced himself from Bowles-Simpson, has made it clear that any long-term solution has to involve both entitlement reform and tax rises. Mr Romney is still in the cloud-cuckoo-land of thinking you can do it entirely through spending cuts: the Republican even rejected a ratio of ten parts spending cuts to one part tax rises.”