I hate to harp on a topic that is boring to some people, so instead today, I’m going to harp on 2 topics that are boring to some people.
The first is the debate from last night. In general, analysts thought that “W’s” content was better, but that Kerry had better delivery. Honestly, I think the reason many people thought that Kerry did well, was that it was the first time he’d ever stated anything clearly and concisely.
Let me sum up some things I noticed:
1. Kerry accused Bush of moving ahead into Iraq without first building a coalition. Granted, Bush had 4 other countries with him when he went in, and now has 30, but Kerry wanted more. BUT THEN, minutes later, he accused Bush of forming a coalition to deal with North Korea instead of having bilateral communication with Kim Jong. It seems that Bush is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.
2. Kerry accused Bush of not providing the armor, supplies, etc. that the troops in Iraq need. First of all, Bush doesn’t get to allocate funds, congress does. Second, Kerry voted down the funding for troop supplies. He tried to change the subject when Bush called him on it, by saying, “Hey, I may have spoken about it, but Bush actually did something.” Ok, how do you figure, Ivan? You have a vote in congress, and Bush doesn’t? It seems to me that makes you more accountable for the troop supplies than Bush.
3. Kerry accused Bush of doing less to stop nuclear proliferation. Bush said, actually he spent MORE money on that threat than Clinton, and additionally, was worried specifically about terrorists having nukes. He isn’t concerned with responsible countries having nukes, which in fact generally keep the peace. He talked about missile defense, which would safeguard against rogue countries like North Korea or Pakistan, but he is more focused on stopping the terrorists, and that’s where most of the effort has been expended.
4. Kerry made reference to the fact that we shouldn’t be taking 90% of the casualties in our war on terror, but in the next breath said that Bush should have used our troops to go into the caves in Afghanistan to root out Osama Bin Laden, because our troops are the best trained troops in the world. He said Bush was wrong to send Afghani coalition troops in. Well, should we use our troops, or should we use coalition troops? You can’t have it both ways. Does Kerry think we’re too dumb to connect the dots between the two issues… oh yeah, most of the American public WON’T make that connection. That’s scary, because they still are allowed to vote even though they are spoon-fed propaganda and buy into it.
5. Kerry said Bush isn’t doing enough for homeland security. Well, it’s never enough, and Bush even said that. But he is spending 100% more than any other president has ever spent. Sure, it’s a response to 9/11, but do we really think a democrat would have gone after anyone? Of course not, because that would detract from plans to socialize everything. Bush asked Kerry, “Where are you gonna get the money to implement you plan?” which Kerry artfully (yeah right) dodged. And the answer is, he’s going to get it from the pockets of the American people. Don’t believe it for a second when he says it’s “People like him and W” that will be paying the higher taxes. Kerry married into his fortune… it’s not income! He’s not going to pay income taxes on one red cent of it! Get a grip!
I though Kerry and Bush both had strong delivery, but I couldn’t help thinking that Kerry was trying to divert every topic back to “Bush is a liar, and he’s dumb.” That horse is dead. Let’s move on to something that matters.
That’s enough about the debate. Now on to something I really care about: Economics.
I had some comments about the deficit yesterday, and I thought I should make a few points.
First of all, deficit spending is only bad if people, American and abroad, decide that the US government is going to default on their treasury bills. That’s not going to happen, for several reasons. One, it would most certainly cause economic panic and chaos worldwide. Two, it would require that the US GDP drop into the toilet. In 2003, our GDP was about twice the national debt.
What people don’t realize for some reason, is that the way you reduce the deficit, is to either spend less (which no Democrat will ever do) or to tax more. (The choice of discriminating socialists everywhere.)
If you look at Keynes theories on the economy, you find that counter-cyclical fiscal policy is the most effective way to have a stable economy and avoid depression. That means when the economy is bad, the government deficit spends to soak up the excess production, and when the economy is good, the government does less spending and gives tax breaks. Some years you will have a deficit, some years you will have a surplus. Every president since the depression has followed some form of Keynesian economic policy, with the exception of Ronald Reagan. Reagan came into a very special time economically. Something happened in the late 70’s that Keynes said was theoretically impossible; inflation and high interest rates at the same time, termed “Stagflation.” The technical term is “Cost Push Inflation” and it was the first time it had ever happened. Most inflation is “Demand Pull” inflation, meaning that too many dollars are chasing too few goods.
Reagan was in a bind, because the only way to control inflation was to raise interest rates, higher than anyone had experience before. This slowed down the overheating economy and threw millions out of work, but it brought the inflation under control. Keynes believed you could only have high inflation rates when interest rates were low. But people forget the special situation created by the oil shock, and only remember that Reagan threw people out of work, not that he saved the country from out-of-control inflation.
Reagan also believed that putting money back into the hands of business would have a multiplier effect (trickle down) that would end up creating new jobs and increase quality of life. There has been plenty of debate about whether it was a good idea, but the fact is, Reagan faced different economic conditions than any president before or since.
But this isn’t about Reagan. This is about Kerry and Bush, both of which follow counter-cyclical Keynesian economics. The only difference is that Kerry is a socialist and wants control in the government, and Bush believes in putting the control into the hands of Americans, giving them the freedom to do what is best for their own family. It is afterall, the land of the free.