Fiscal Irresponsibility and Voting Decisions

We are bound to hear criticism of the Democratic candidate over the fact that the plans either advocates cannot be paid for with the limited tax increases they support. The criticism is valid. As I noted yesterday, even Congressional Democrats realize this.

What must be kept in mind is that John McCain’s proposed tax cuts present even greater problems. The Washington Post looks at the proposals from all the candidates and finds that they don’t add up–with John McCain being the worst offender. They conclude:

While both Democratic candidates would spend far more on new programs than Mr. McCain would, the Republican’s proposals for new tax cuts dwarf the Democrats’ plans. The Democrats are clearer than Mr. McCain — though that’s a relative term — about how they would foot the bill. Still, no one’s winning any awards this campaign season for fiscal responsibility.

This is one reason I vote largely based upon values issues as opposed to the fine print of each candidate’s economic proposals. We can never be certain as to what a candidate will do in office. We saw George Bush morph from a compassionate conservative who opposed nation building to a far right wing ideologue who has devoted his presidency to an attempt at nation building.

Despite the difficulties in predicting what a president will do, there is strong reason to believe that the values held by Barack Obama will lead to a president doing less that I object to than social conservatives such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Obama’s experience in Constitutional law and his stronger support for civil liberties should make a difference. There is also a far less chance that Obama would support a blunder like Iraq as both Clinton and McCain did. As for economic policy, it is very difficult to predict which proposals and which tax cuts will actually make it thorough Congress. I’m far less likely to vote based upon this great unknown.

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