I've been real torn on this election. On the one hand, I like Obama personally and his deliberative style, especially as it relates to foreign affairs. Although I do want him to take a tougher line on Syria and Iran, I also respect that he has avoided engaging our troops in a ground war. He got the Libya intervention just right, and he has used drones quite well.
I do agree with the Republicans as it relates to a smaller government, both in spending and in regulation. I want more trade with China and Mexico and everyone else. I want better regulation and my experience is that the Democrats are not conscious enough of unintended consequences. I also think that the Republicans can be too bending to corporate interests on really important stuff such as clean air, water, and safety.
On economics, I defintely am on the right, but on social policy I am definitely on the left. I favor more immigration, particularly of skilled and well educated people. I think that marijuana should be legalized and that gay marriage is a huge positive force in our society. I also live in a Democratic cultural millieu, here in Massachusetts. My friends and family tend to be left of center. They are good and smart people.
All that being said, my biggest concern is the deficit. I think that our Republic hinges on it. I think it is the most important issue that will impact the lives of my children. The only way out of our deficits is economic growth and a reduction of federal spending, primarily on health care.
I decided to base my decision on whether Obama's new 20 page plan is serious about the deficit, or just window dressing. Does he share my concerns? He is just a little younger than I am. His kids are just a little older than my own. Is his thinking about this the same way I am?
From what I can tell, the 20 page plan is sorely lacking. Here's it's web page on deficit reduction. http://secure.assets.bostatic.com/resou ... nfo_v4.png
It shows $4 trillion of net deficit reduction which is $400 billion per year. How much of that is real? Well, as far as I can tell, very little. When I add up the components, of the $6 trillion in listed savings, over $2 trillion of that is spent on "investments" which may or may not work, but do not have a good track record. The components of that $6 trillion include $1.9 trillion of higher taxes and $2.7 trillion of cuts already made, much of it from ending the Afghani and Iraq wars. There's only $600 billion of new cuts (versus $2 trillion of new spending). In other words, there's no recognition that we have a fiscal crisis and no effort to deal with it. Am i reading this wrong? If not, I don't see how I can vote for Obama.