Beamer votes McCain - and wins

Long time OSO reader and occasional commenter BLBeamer has chosen to vote for McCain:
I apologize for the length of this post. Even if you end up disagreeing with my choice, I hope you will see that I took my franchise seriously.

I voted today. I agonized - genuinely - over my presidential vote. Up until 6:00 am this morning, abstention was under serious consideration. Both major candidates are - not to put too fine a point on it - less than ideal candidates. Both have some pluses and both have major negatives.

I had very little difficulty deciding for my state, local and Congressional races. I ended up voting for 4 Dems and 5 Repubs. One of the Repubs is a neighbor and I would have voted for him regardless of his party affiliation, so you can see I can't be accused of being overly partisan. I believe I voted for the person who will do the best job in their respective office, and I tried to take into consideration as much info as I could. I even consulted our three local daily newspapers to see how each candidate responded to the editorial boards.

I believe the highest priority issue facing the nation at this time is the economy . I re-read my long post from last week where I laid out my case for "undecided." This past week, I have also been reading some history on the Great Depression and how the government caused/responded to it. This was prompted by my vacation last month, during which I spent 3-4 hours in the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum in West Branch, Iowa. Due to the current economic events, I paid particular attention to Hoover’s actions in 1929-1932. Hoover had several chances to alleviate the downturn and he blew it each time. He has earned his ranking among our five worst presidents, in my opinion. I decided that any candidate who endorses policies similar to what Hoover did, would lose my vote. Complicating my choice is that each of the candidates has endorsed such policies, to one extent or another. Some of it is normal political pandering, I think, and not to be taken seriously, but I tried to parse where each candidate stood to get at least a dim view of their likely economic policies.

In my opinion, the four biggest mistakes Hoover made (it was hard to pick just four!) were:

1) Despite a severe credit crunch and deflation, Hoover worked with Congress to increase taxes, thereby pulling even more money out of the economy and reducing the profits available for economic growth. He signed the Revenue Act of 1932, which more than doubled marginal tax rates on highest income earners; estate taxes were doubled, and corporate taxes were increased by 15%. In addition, there was a two cent (30 cents in 2008 dollars) tax on all bank checks, which acted to further reduce economic activity.

2) Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. This protectionist law not only almost eliminated cheaper imports, but harmed exports because our trading partners reciprocated and penalized US goods.

3) Despite significant real price decreases in nearly all inputs across the economy, Hoover fought to maintain inflated wage rates, guaranteeing that unemployment would jump. When he left office it was over 24%.

I kind of agree with Roland that this election is not so much about the candidates – they are both mediocre – but about which party should lead. I believe the GOP has demonstrated they are too inept and corrupt to lead. However, I disagree with Roland that the Democrats are therefore worthy.

1) Despite Obama’s campaign promises, the Democratic leadership has made little effort to hide the fact they want to raise taxes.

2) The current Democratic party is generally opposed to free trade, unlike Bill Clinton’s party. For those who are concerned about the US’s moral standing in the world, think about the impact erecting trade barriers to poor countries would have in a declining world economy. Forcing countries to remain poverty-stricken is hardly the moral position.

3) Both parties have indicated they have no stomach for allowing wages to fall in order to avoid unemployment among the least skilled members of society. I fear we are in for deepening unemployment unless Congress reduces or eliminates barriers to hiring and firing. In France, for example, it is very, very difficult to fire someone even for incompetence. Subsequently, companies are reluctant to commit to hiring young or unproven workers (my niece’s husband is French and assures me this is true). Today’s Democrats want to strengthen union power by eliminating the secret ballot in union elections. How likely is a company to hire workers knowing this?

Because of these issues, and because the Democrats will clearly have a majority, if not a supermajority in Congress next session, I reluctantly voted for John McCain for the simple reason that I would hope he would make good on some of his promises to use the veto.

Furthermore, I know my vote was wasted because my state is not only blue, it is indigo. There is no way my vote will make a difference. If Obama doesn’t carry my state by ten points I’ll be very surprised.

But at least I did what I could do.
I don't agree with Beamer's analysis here but I'm not going to dissect it. Instead I just want to point out just how reasonable such a response is. Beamer didn't mention anything about socialism, birth certificates or associations with terrorists. Instead, he looked at how both candidates would possibly address the problem of a severe economic downturn. On balance, he chooses McCain.

I wanted to produce Beamer's comments (which I copied and pasted directly from the comments section of another blog site) to give an example of how political discourse should be handled - not with rumour or innuendo, but with an attempt to be objective and reasonable.

Again, let me point out that I think he's come to the wrong conclusion, but at least he can prove to himself (and others) that he uses his head when he votes.

Meanwhile, vote Obama.

1 comment:

BLBeamer said...

Don't waste too much time critiquing my analysis because there's precious little to go on. My vote was primarily an anti-Congress vote. That's what tipped me the way I did. If the GOP had such a large majority, I would have voted for Obama.