First in a series on the final presidential debate
It was a comical moment many may have missed in the final presidential debate, and for Sen. John McCain it was a slip of the tongue. But it made a telling point because it spoke to Sen. Barack Obama’s core belief—that government is the solution to everything. If you filter through the rhetoric from both candidates, you emerge with a sharp contrast. McCain wants to reduce spending and Obama wants to increase it. And what about the hatchet vs. scalpel back and forth?
McCain basically wants to take a hatchet to the federal budget first he said, “and then get out a scalpel.” If he could do that as president, it would be the greatest contribution he could make to the American people. We are so close to the fire of socialism you can feel the heat here in Florida even though we’re quite a distance from Washington, D.C., pork capital of the world. Obama’s scalpel will not make a dent, I can promise you that. We definitely need to start with a hatchet. Try cutting down a diseased tree with a butter knife and you'll see what I mean.
McCain’s vow to freeze spending would spur immediate interest from the business sector—the sector that creates jobs that actually contribute to the economy in sharp contrast to jobs created by government. Government jobs cancel their contribution because they cost the taxpayer. This is a concept Obama and his economic advisors just don’t get, and he’s got some of the same advisors President Bill Clinton had. We all know what that team did for the economy and for our taxes, including the Alternative Minimum Tax stagnation and devotion to the marriage penalty. George W. Bush took office after the dot com meltdown as a recession began. Then, partly due to soft policy on terrorism under Clinton, 9/11 happened. Does anyone think that didn’t cost us? Read the 9/11 Commission Report we wouldn't have if it weren't for McCain and others who pushed it.
McCain’s record backs up his claims
McCain stands on a record of refusing earmarks, but Obama dismisses that as a small fraction of the budget. Since when are billions a small fraction? That is precisely the problem with Obama’s mindset—he cannot conceive how a business should run because he has never run one. He has run government sponsored budgets. It’s like a person who runs his household finances irresponsibly, not realizing that yes, Virginia, nickels and dimes count in the long run. The billions in earmarks are very significant and it is deceptive to claim they aren't because they're deceptive in the first place. They're not even entirely trackable.
McCain also called Obama’s hand on the Democratic strategy based on an absolute lie—that McCain is like Bush. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and McCain said, “If you wanted to run against Bush you should’ve done so 8 years ago.”
Obama’s same-old same-old on his judgment
Obama came back with a clever quip, saying McCain and Bush are “indistinguishable”—a flagrant lie easily recognized by anyone who’s followed politics. And Obama once again dodged questions about his judgment on associations—a long list of troublesomes including 21st century socialist/educator and former Weather Undergrounder Bill Ayers, felon Tony Rezko who worked a sweetheart deal with Obama on his home, Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger and if recent news accounts are accurate, Prime Minister Rail Odinga of Kenya. I’ve basically dubbed Obama ‘Teflon Barry’ because nothing seems to stick, and that will cost this country dearly in the long run in my opinion.
Obama offered the same-old-same-old on ACORN. Democrats, who wish all these associations would go away, and who are comforted by mass media’s refusal to ask hard questions, say the GOP is trying to ‘suppress the vote.’ That’s ridiculous. Right now there are 200,000 voting records discrepancies in Ohio and countless examples in other states—registrations for Mickey Mouse and the entire Dallas Cowboys football team. That isn’t a GOP issue, that issue goes to the core of the integrity of the U.S. vote.
I didn’t see a clear winner tonight, but I did see McCain appeal directly to ‘Joe, the Plumber,’ a real person we identify with. Joe is the guy who will make a job for another guy and he is Main Street. Joe is me and he is you.
Let’s face facts for a minute, though. Very few presidents come close to doing what they pledge to do. Once the winner’s in the Oval Office, it’s a whole new ballgame. The most liberal Democrats in history control our current Congress. If there’s a Democrat in The White House, the only benefactors will be tax recipients at the lowest end of the income rung. Those of us who pay taxes—and I guarantee you an increase will not just go to those who make more than $250,000 a year—will continue to see our common-sense bank accounts and savings depleted. Obama says he’s going to create 5 million new jobs. McCain’s plan can easily create that many with one difference. Those jobs will grow from the private sector as opposed to coming from a socialist platform where government is the only thing growing.
Tonight on CNN, Anderson Cooper mentioned McCain didn’t use the term ‘middle class.’ This is a faux criticism borne of a lazy, uninquisitive media. Economists do not use that term at all. It’s a sophistic term used solely for political and social purposes. McCain views every American as equal and he isn’t pandering to single interest groups. Joe the Plumber would call himself middle class, but you can bet your 1040 long form Joe's taxes will go up so, as Obama said, he can "spread the wealth." That one even sticks to teflon.
As McCain and Obama jousted on NAFTA and health insurance, McCain slipped and called Obama, “Senator Government.” It was a moment of pure truth.