Saturday, November 3, 2012

The UC Endorses a Presidential Candidate

Before the endorsement, a few words about the campaign.

It's frustrating to hear the distorting and outrageous rhetoric from supporters on both sides during the last few months. To suggest that a candidate has a forged birth certificate and is not a US citizen, or a candidate only wants to line the pockets of the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor is just silly. Let's once and for all recognize that both candidates are good men who sincerely want the country and all its people to succeed. The difference is that each candidate has his own ideas about the appropriate route to success.

In thinking about your vote, shouldn't you first identify the biggest problem we face as a country, and then vote based on the candidate who has the best plan and/or past history? We face lots of issues and challenges as a country, but do all these issues and challenges really carry the same weight? Shouldn't we separate those few issues that really matter from those that 'pull people offsides' emotionally? Stuff like same sex marriages or abortion tend to ignite people's passions, but if we're prioritizing our issues, isn't the slow economy public enemy #1?

As a country, we're on an untenable fiscal path which looms over our economy like a bad storm. Looking into the future, government spending will greatly exceed our revenues. Plot the curves out a few years, and no amount of tax hikes will cover the tab.

Both candidates have talked about our fiscal situation and sketched out high level plans, but neither side has produced a lot of details. With details thin, we're left to look at each candidate's past record.

The President inherited a very bad economy for which he obviously cannot be blamed. As President, his first major policy initiative was to champion the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). Healthcare is a problem that does need attention. Did we need this overhaul and did we need it now? In the midst of the weakest economy since the Great Depression, to push for such a government heavy plan just doesn't make sense. At a time when Europe is struggling economically and is actively looking for ways to scale back the size of the state, adding another huge obligation to the scope of our Federal government just doesn't make sense.

I mention the new nationalized healthcare plan championed by Obama, not necessary because I disagree with it, but because its timing demonstrates misplaced priorities. To foist such a huge and unpopular change on our country (polls suggest the public is 50% for, 50% against) when that plan involves so much government spending at a time when the economy is already reeling doesn't seem like sound economic management.

In fairness, Mitt Romney championed his own government heavy healthcare reform while he was governor of Massachusetts, but his timing relative to the prevailing economic conditions was very different. Hopefully he's learned from his dalliance with Socialism. As his running mate, he's chosen one of his party's rising stars who has consistently warned us of the need to reform our government finances and has offered real reform plans. You may or may not agree with his plans, but he's forcing a public discussion of this very important topicThe Obama camp thinks so much of their VP candidate that his name rarely appears on campaign posters or bumper stickers.

From my mostly Libertarian vantage point, both candidates appear to have Socialist leanings. One candidate's leanings are a bit stronger than the others so, in the words of my 6 year old daughter, Obama had his turn, now it's Romney turn to be President.

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