Judgement Day: John McCain

Theodore Ho, Emmanuel College 30 October 2008

Many of you are probably sceptical about the ability of a Republican government to fix our economy since it was Republican deregulatory policies that got us to where we are today. While I agree that the American banking system needs to be reformed and better regulated, a decision supported by both candidates, Obama is the only one who wants to exacerbate the problem by significantly increasing the size of government services. How will he pay for the huge sums required to fund his welfare programs and his new healthcare plan? He can’t; our country will go further into debt. This, along with his promise to try and balance the budget within his first term are nothing but myths.

Many seem to be enchanted by Obama’s message of “Change and Hope.” What they fail to realise is that this slogan has been used since the beginning of time. In an election the candidate that promises change and promises to fix the system has a much higher chance of winning because people see him as part of the solution, regardless of how unrealistic his proposals are. He wants to give 95% of Americans a tax break, but also wants to increase spending. This means that he will have to increase taxes for the top 5% of taxpayers by a ridiculously high amount. Although this “redistribution” of wealth may seem like a noble cause to some, the top 5% of American taxpayers are large corporations that provide up to 80% of the goods, services and jobs in the US. These corporation are the bedrock of the economy and by significantly increasing costs not only will the prices of goods and services increase making it harder for American families to make ends meet but many jobs will be cut or outsourced inorder for these corporations to stay afloat. Also, the Democrats’ plans to tax capital gains will discourage investments, which right now are critical for the recovery of the economy. This will drive investments abroad and gradually investors will lose faith in the American economy to rebuild itself. The only President to implement economic policies like these was Jimmy Carter, arguably one of the least successful Presidents of the 20th century. McCain’s policies of low tax cuts, on the other hand, would help jump-start the economy at a time when economic growth is severely lagging.

But what about the other issues? How would McCain address problems of terrorism, homeland security and most importantly foreign relations? McCain has significant foreign policy and military experience that he can bring to the table, which unfortunately the one-term Senator from Illinois just does not have. Some critics will point to his support for the Iraq war as evidence that he is far from sound on foreign policy, but while he initially supported Bush’s war in Iraq (alongside many Democrats), he also did more than just pointing fingers. The surge in troops that he proposed to Congress is now working. We’re hearing a lot less about our soldiers dying on the streets of Baghdad, which is now a much safer city thanks to his support. There are many other policy areas that we could cover, such as abortion, gay rights and gun rights but to me foreign policy and the economy are what the American people need to focus on now. Only John McCain can provide us with the leadership that we need to succeed in the next four years.

Theodore Ho, Emmanuel College