This election does not present Americans with a straight-up choice between conservatism and liberalism. This is not so much because John McCain is a moderate, although he is, as because liberals are likely to have effective majorities in both houses of Congress. Thus the choice we face is, in most respects, between a liberalism that is checked and one that is not.Thomas Sowell - "Obama, Powell, & Popularity":
We have no doubt that if McCain is president we will find much to criticize. But we will be confident that we have the right commander-in-chief and that liberals do not have a free hand to remake our country. In this election we support Senator McCain and urge all conservatives to do so as well.
Among the reasons given by Secretary Powell for supporting Barack Obama is that Obama can restore America’s standing with foreign countries.Needless to say, I don't buy this argument about "rehabilitating America's image abroad." They don't hate us any more now than the "Peace Movement" of the 1980s hated Ronald Reagan. These are the fruits of playing policeman of the world.
The idea that the United States must somehow rehabilitate itself in the eyes of the United Nations or NATO or “world opinion” is staggering, even though it is an idea very popular in the mainstream media.
The first duty of a President of the United States is to protect American interests — of which survival is number one — regardless of what others may say.
Despite the media hype that we need to rehabilitate ourselves in the eyes of the world, the United States of America remains the number one destination of immigrants from around the world, some of whom take desperate chances with their lives to get here, whether across the waters of the Caribbean or by crossing our dangerous southwest desert.
Even when dozens of governments around the world join the United States in coordinated efforts to fight international terrorism, the media will call our actions “unilateral” if some demagogues in France or Germany spout off against us.
The American nuclear umbrella has enabled Western European nations to escape responsibility for their own military survival for more than half a century.
Lack of responsibility has bred irresponsibility, one sign of which are unionized troops in NATO and NATO bomber pilots who have office hours when they will and will not fly, not to mention NATO troops letting American troops handle the really dangerous fighting in Afghanistan.
Maybe the time is overdue for NATO to try to rehabilitate itself and for Americans to stop trying to be “citizens of the world.”
Charles Krauthammer - "Further Left than LBJ":
McCain is just the kind of moderate conservative that the Washington/media establishment once loved — the champion of myriad conservative heresies that made him a burr in the side of congressional Republicans and George W. Bush. But now that he is standing in the way of an audacity-of-hope Democratic restoration, erstwhile friends recoil from McCain on the pretense that he has suddenly become right wing.I have a lot of so-called "moderate" friends. They have always complained about the supposed extreme right-wing nature of Republican politics. Alright, guys, you got what you asked for. John McCain is the most moderate candidate since Bill Clinton. He's the Republican party's equivalent of Bill Clinton, minus the womanizing.
Self-serving rubbish. McCain is who he always was. Generally speaking, he sees government as a Rooseveltian counterweight (Teddy with a touch of Franklin) to the various malefactors of wealth and power. He wants government to tackle large looming liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare. He wants to free up health insurance by beginning to sever its debilitating connection to employment — a ruinous accident of history (arising from World War II wage and price controls) that increases the terror of job loss, inhibits labor mobility and saddles American industry with costs that are driving it (see: Detroit) into insolvency. And he supports lower corporate and marginal tax rates to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.
An eclectic, moderate, generally centrist agenda in a guy almost congenitally given to bipartisanship.
Will you vote for him?
Rich Lowry - "Redistribution You Can Believe In":
Obama proposes a dog’s breakfast of tax credits, including a $500 refundable work credit that applies even to people who owe no income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service would cut them a $500 check every year. This essentially is a government payment dressed up as a tax cut. It will be partly funded by new taxes on the top 5 percent. So Obama is redistributing wealth, but in an eminently salable way. Call it “redistributive change we can believe in.”Robbing the rich to bribe the poor. This is Obama's idea of "social justice." Social justice is a joke.
Obama’s plan wouldn’t, like cuts in marginal tax rates, increase the incentive to work, invest or save. In fact, the opposite. As tax credits phase out, they increase marginal tax rates. But for Obama, his plan is a matter of justice rather than economics.
When in a Democratic primary debate Charlie Gibson of ABC News pointed out to Obama that increasing the capital-gains rate in the past has initially reduced revenue, Obama replied that he wanted the increase “for purposes of fairness.”
But how unfair is the American tax system? It’s already steeply progressive. IRS data show that the top 1 percent of filers paid 40 percent of federal income taxes in 2006. The top 5 percent paid 60 percent. The top half paid 97 percent.
True justice is not taking money from those who earned it and giving it to those who did not.
Thomas Sowell - "A Perfect Storm":
Policies that he proposes under the banner of “change” are almost all policies that have been tried repeatedly in other countries — and failed repeatedly in other countries.Open your eyes, folks.
Politicians telling businesses how to operate? That’s been tried in countries around the world, especially during the second half of the 20th century. It has failed so often and so badly that even socialist and communist governments were freeing up their markets by the end of the century.
The economies of China and India began their take-off into high rates of growth when they got rid of precisely the kinds of policies that Obama is advocating for the United States under the magic mantra of “change.”
Putting restrictions on international trade in order to save jobs at home? That was tried here with the Hawley-Smoot tariff during the Great Depression.
Unemployment was 9 percent when that tariff was passed to save jobs, but unemployment went up instead of down, and reached 25 percent before the decade was over.
Higher taxes to “spread the wealth around,” as Obama puts it? The idea of redistributing wealth has turned into the reality of redistributing poverty, in countries where wealth has fled and the production of new wealth has been stifled by a lack of incentives.
If you think you've got it bad now under Bush, just wait until you see the craptastic future Obama has in store for you.
If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.