Final Debate - Clear Choice - No Clear Choice!

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This debate was largely a draw. If the intent by either candidate was to overwhelmingly win over swing voters, they failed. Largely, this debate was a success for both candidates in regards to playing to their base. For swing voters however, they were left with a clear choice. Senator John Kerry was more effective in driving home his commitment to domestic issues and continued to stress women and children as priorities on his agenda in terms of health care, wages, jobs, and education.

President Bush was more effective driving home the argument that being tough in the world and spreading freedom and democracy in the world is the only way to make America safe from terrorist attacks. So, for swing voters, it comes down to whether they value domestic issues as more important, or an unsafe world and our commitment to spend our resources overseas fighting terrorists and nation building. For those swing voters who can only keep one issue in focus at a time, if they fear the terrorist threat, they will likely go for President Bush. If their focus is on improvements here at home economically and socially, they will likely go with Sen. Kerry.

But, the debates are not going to be the only influence upon swing voters, nor the only determining factor as to who wins on November 2. With less than 3 weeks to go, the ground game, that effort by each candidate and party to get out the vote, especially in the swing states will be a huge determinant as to who becomes President. Third Party candidates such as Ralph Nader and Michael Badnarik could also be influential in a race that may depend upon less than 1% of the vote in a key swing state. And finally, and sadly, voter fraud and intimidation may actually affect who becomes President in January of 2005. With a race this close, fraudulent voter registrations which are making news this week, and tactics that will confuse or make more difficult actual poll attendance to vote, such as in Florida after the hurricanes, could make the difference.

It is clear from the news coverage that voter turnout this election will exceed that of the 2000 race between VP Gore, and Governor Bush. With transitions taking place between the Republican and Democratic Parties' constituencies, it is not possible to say whether greater voter turnout will favor one candidate over another. Historically, higher turnout favored the Democrats. That may not be the case this year as we see more working class citizens moving and certain ethnic groups moving to the Republican tent, and more upper class Americans moving to the Democratic tent.

A couple things are clear from the debates. President Bush has not vetoed a single spending bill and each year as President our deficits have grown creating an almost 7.5 trillion dollar national debt. President Bush's intent to nation build and spread freedom and democracy throughout the world as well as his domestic spending agenda will not permit him to keep his promise to cut the deficit in half in 4 years if he follows through with those agendas.

Similarly, Sen. Kerry's spending proposals outweigh all his estimates for increasing revenues. And this is a fundamental dilemma for American voters. Regardless of whether Bush or Kerry wins, our nation will be stepping closer and closer to unsustainable national debt. But, long before the U.S. files bankruptcy and defaults on loans, and sees deep recession, even depression, and spiraling inflation, the United States will see a steady decline in decision options. The rising national debt will continue to preclude Congress increasing spending on programs or actions that may seem necessary, even mandatory, but, unaffordable in the face of tipping the economy into bankruptcy.

As a family that gets into a cycle of borrowing to pay off previous borrowing, and their debt load approaches a level where one false move could send it into defaulting on monthly bills, that family is forced to forego elective spending and opportunities. If the family is offered a better paying job 1000 miles away, they would have to turn it down, because the cost of moving would send them into defaulting on their monthly loans.

In this very same way, the United States is ever increasingly losing its options to improve or fend off adverse situations looming in our future due to the fact that our national debt is headed toward unsustainable levels. Think tanks, economists, and Federal Reserve Chairman all agree, the fiscal situation being mismanaged by Congress and the President must be corrected immediately. If we do not, we may pass the point of no return without even realizing it until it is long ago too late to change it.

Voters can make a conscience vote for Ralph Nader or the Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik, but, except for relieving their conscience such a vote will do nothing to improve America's financial future. The Presidential election is a choice between a President who has not chosen to veto spending and has elected and is committed to reduce government's revenue, or a challenger who may or may not, upon becoming President, decide to make fiscal management a number one priority.

It seems to be a no win choice by this criterion. What good comes from installing democracy in Iraq if the United States bankrupts into depression lasting a decade or more? What good comes from guaranteeing health insurance for all, if bankrupting the nation results in 1/3 or more of the work force being laid off in an economic depression that hits in 2012? On some issues there is a clear choice. On one of the most important issues, the solvency of the United States government, a clear choice can only be found among third party candidates who have no chance of winning at all.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on October 14, 2004 12:44 AM.

The Enemy Bush Fails To Understand was the previous entry in this blog.

Korbach: A Commendable Agenda is the next entry in this blog.

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