Presidential Candidate's Fiscal Irresponsibility

(See here) an MSNBC piece written by Andrew Taylor that discusses the fiscally irresponsible campaign promises being made by all three remaining serious candidates for the office of President.

To me, fiscal responsibility is a large issue in choosing who I would like to see become President of the United States. Let me state that out of the starting gate, I still think the candidates that I favor, John McCain on the Republican side and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, offer the most promise of fiscal responsibility.

The piece points out that all three, through their campaign promises, are writing checks they can not cash. However Barack Obama seems to be the most flagrant offender in this category. I have heard how some describe that Obama seems to be offering a little bit of something to just about everybody. "If elected President I promise change. One of the changes will be free beer for everybody!"

I will also note that Andrew points out that Hillary is the most successful in showing how she would pay for some of her proposals:
Clinton's campaign generally succeeds more than the others at providing offsets — revenue increases or spending cuts — to finance programs such as her plan to provide health care for all.
However I think that those who fear fiscal irresponsibility can also take some reassurance that if John McCain were to be elected President, one need not worry that he would be able to deliver on his minimal proposals. He'd extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? With a Democratic majority in Congress it ain't gonna happen. Perhaps he would be successful in permanently eliminating the Alternative Minimum tax, however that is being done each year by Congress anyway (with almost unanimous support - only Blue Dog Democrats sticking to their guns and voting against this latest year's "fix").

As for Barack Obama, he does have some interesting ideas. I am particularly fond of his idea to address looming shortfalls in Social Security funding by raising the cap that limits the Social Security payroll tax to the first $102,000 of income. In my opinion it took great courage for him to even suggest such a step. However for every good idea he comes up with, he has (in my opinion) a handful of ideas that would break the bank. Barack seems to be running a campaign based on some of the worst attributes of recent members of Congress from BOTH parties. He's both "tax and spend" AND "borrow and spend" at the same time.

So here's my summary on how a successful campaign would be should any of the three remaining candidates get into office:

- John McCain: He would be unsuccessful in achieving most of the fiscally irresponsible proposals he is making as long as the Democrats continue to dominate in either branch of Congress. Most of his proposals would be Dead On Arrival from the moment he took the Oath of Office.

- Hillary Clinton: She promises some expensive changes to our society however she seems to have put some effort into thinking about how to begin to pay for some of them. While she would benefit in getting some of her proposals through Congress due to Democratic majorities in both branches of Congress, these majorities are only due to some of the new majority being Blue Dog Democrats. Blue Dogs will ensure fiscal responsibility in everything she achieves.

- Barack Obama: He is the most fiscally irresponsible candidate remaining. His proposals are so outrageous that it hard to fathom how he is going to end up with anything but an extremely disappointed electorate when he ends up being unable to fulfill nearly any of the promises he has made. If he managed to accomplish everything that he has promised, we'd end up facing record deficits that will make some of us long for the "good ole days" of the not quite as irresponsible George Dubyah Bush Presidency. My guess is that he is going to have such a long list of promises that can't be met that he will have extreme difficulty in getting anything done.


Post a Comment

<< Home