Wednesday, April 23, 2008

National Debt At All-Time High, McCain Promises War On Poverty II


Almost 44 years ago to this day, swaggering Lyndon Baines Johnson made "his pledge to wipe out poverty and unemployment in the land," as it described by a newspaper the day after. Johnson made his grand pronouncement from the front porch of Thomas Fletcher's house in Inez, the seat of Martin county in eastern Kentucky.

Forty four years and $10 trillion dollars later, eastern Kentucky is still poor, and just as on the day LBJ came to town, Thomas Fletcher is still struggling to make a living.

Now, the current Republican nominee John McCain has traveled back to Inex, Kentucky this week and vowed a new war on poverty from the very place where Lyndon Johnson started the first one, 44 years ago. This time, however, there is new, cure-all solution: tax cuts.

Now, there is nothing wrong with tax cuts, except, of course, with one exception. Like George W. Bush, John McCain is proposing massive tax cuts, but will not cut spending at all. Instead of solving the fiscal problem, this feel-good approach will only further it.

By planning to cut taxes and increase spending, McCain is cutting revenue while increasing output, a combination which proved disastrous under President Bush, under whose massive spending increases, the national debt has increased from $5.7 to $9.3 trillion, a more than 90% percent increase.

This has placed an immense burden on the citizens of the United States. If the national debt was distributed evenly, each American would owe more than $30,000. This year, almost 10 percent of our budget was spent just on the interest associated with our national debt, a figure expected to be higher in the coming years, if John McCain were to be elected.

Naturally, President McCain would continue the occupation of Iraq, in an effort to reach "success," which his ally George W. Bush now defines as a "comfortable level of violence," a far cry from his previous definition of success, which was the laughable notion, "a free and democratic Iraq."

Nobel prize winners Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz have given a conservative estimate of what our presence in Iraq will cost, and have put the figure at $3 trillion. This a conservative estimate of course, considering that the original White House estimate of $100-$200 billion in 2003 was poo-pooed by then-Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld as "baloney," whose top deputy put a high ceiling of $30 billion for Iraq costs during testimony before Congress in February, 2003.

If John McCain is elected president, he has pledged to pursue an occupation which now eats up $3+ billion a week, which would naturally preclude him from cutting spending.

This would not matter anyway, though, for aside from his plan to eliminate earmarks (less than 1 percent of the budget), McCain has no other plans to cut spending, let alone reduce the Federal budget, which his occupation and new entitlement plan would drastically increase.

A far cry from cutting spending, McCain spoke this week of his dream for a "government partnership" which would bring high-speed internet to every community in rural America, courtesy of you, the taxpayer.

The GOP of Ronald Reagan used to speak out against "big government," even though reducing the size of it was not yet feasible. Now, under John McCain, the GOP has become the party of big government, trying to buy our support of it with minimal tax cuts that barely make a dent.

As he advocates for LBJ-style government fixes to try and distract the attention of voters away from his other disastrous policies, John McCain preaches to us about the "audacity" of the Democrats, and is helped along in his plans for spending increases by the former conservative magazine National Review, who claims that McCain is swell enough to have fiscal conservatives "doing cartwheels."

McCain's plan to decrease revenue while subsequently increasing spending, only validates his statement in January that "economics is not something I've understood." No worries, however, as he added, "I've got Greenspan's book."


Anonymous said...

Yet McCain's plan PALES compared to what Obama plans for your wallet. I'd hate to think what this good ol' US of A will look like as a socialist society. There won't be anybody left to pay the taxes that everybody's spending! It would be time to turn out the lights on this once great nation. McCain's 100 times better than Obama or Hillary.

liamascorcaigh said...

the capital expenditure involved in spreadin high speed internet access is hardly a sinple social expenditure. It will create an infrastructure that will encourage the establishment and growth of small-time, family-run, home-based businesses that can thrive on the market reach only the internet can give to remote communities.

This is a positive, business friendly policy which only the Government can pursue and should be supported by all conservatives as an example of capitalist vision.

Peter said...

Capitalist vision? Why not cut spending and give people their money back to buy internet service for themselves?

The GOP says that universal healthcare is bad because government can't be trusted to do it right. Why would it be any different for McCain's pledge for universal internet?

The GOP platform has been so reduced that Republican voters are not urged to vote for McCain because he is a conservative, but rather because he is "not Hillary or Obama," as Sean Hannity said.

Thankfully there is an actual conservative running in Bob Barr, who offers a much better hope for conservatives than the watered-down socialist McCain.

I don't want any more magic government fixes. They don't work.

mike volpe said...

Where do you get the idea that McCain won't cut spending? He voted against the initial tax cuts because they didn't come with spending cuts.

Peter said...

McCain wants to cut earmarks and freeze spending, not cut it. Read his website.

Anonymous said...

While it is true that in terms of actual numbers our national debt in at an all time high, in has been worse on a per GDP basis. Furthermore, on a per GDP basis, our debt is not as bad as Canada and many European countries. While our country has problems, I prefer to an optimist. I prefer to her the POPE say "GOD Bless America" instead of "No, no, no @ % #."

We need to be reminded that on balance, not only is American still the best country in the world, it is for the most part structurally stronger economically. Unemployment, inflation, and interest rates to name a few factors are all lower now then in the Carter years. Mr. McCain is not perfect and I could not bring myself to support him in the primaries, but he is much better than Mr. Carter and as Republicans, it is Mr. McCain that we should promote.

I must confess I was never in Eastern Kentucky, but I was in Kentucky a few times and it certainly did not look like a third world country. Yes their are poor people in every American state, but there is no need to fear that the world is ending. The Bush tax cuts have been working and Mr. Volpe is probably correct that Mr. McCain would try to cut some needless spending. We thus just need to get are act together and support Conservatives in Congress as well as volunteer in charitable groups in our community and the economy will for the most part take care of itself as long as the government does not fool too much.


Peter said...

The national debt won't just go away because McCain's not a Democrat. We're going to have to pay it and prolonging the problem by increasing it, as McCain will do, is no way to solve.

That "the Bush tax cuts are working" line is told to you by talk radio to distract your attention by Bush's dismal record of wasteful spending and bloated deficits. After all, if you were wasting someone's money, would you want to talk about it to the world?

Remember the 7th and 10th commandments also, tax cuts are no excuse for immoral management of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

If the Bush tax cuts are not working, perhaps we should pay more taxes and if Mr. McCain is a poor manager of money, perhaps, Mr. Obama will do a better job. Better yet, maybe we should elected more Democrats to Congress and see if they will produce a balance budget and see what gas prices will be like.

Maybe I should re-read history and I'll find out not a penny of federal money was wasted or mis-spent prior to the year 2000. C'mon who are you trying to kid. The biggest government program is Social Security. I suppose I should trust Mr. Obama to fix it.

Frankly, I am waiting to find out which President had a less dismal record than Mr. Bush in recent history. Do you expect me to believe that the federal government was well fiscally managed in the 1980s and that deficits did not exist?

I am glad to admit that this country is not perfect, but I doubt you will convince me that we are headed in the wrong direction. Despite disagreements, I do not doubt your love for our great country, I only fear that you are unknownly convincing many of our fellow-countrymen that this country is not so great.


Gambit said...

All John McCain is doing right now is PANDERING. He's pandering to Huckabee and Romney supporters. Currently, he's become a populist in hopes of getting the votes of the "little people," people who don't have much money nor influence, but has 1 very important thing John McCain wants and needs: their vote.

It's fun to watch so many Huckabee and Romney supporters being tricked by John McCain. Actually, it's not all that fun or funny... it's rather sad. It's sad that they've forgotten all about McCain's 25 years worth of immoral and borderline liberal record.