Friday, August 29, 2008

Where Have I been?

I watched Obama's acceptance speech last night, and I learned a few things:

1) I'm becoming more like my dad all the time. I found myself arguing out loud with the television. That used to bother me when my dad did it. *sigh*

2) I am the "Golden Child". To hear Obama tell it, everyone else in this country has had to wade through eight years of absolute misery as George "Chimpy McBushitler" Bush repeatedly kicked them in the head with spike-toed boots. I somehow avoided all that. While everyone else was being marched off to the gulag, I:
- Significantly increased my income
- Bought a larger home, which is still worth more than I paid for it
- Went back to college and got a second degree
- Lost a job, but got another, better-paying one
- Had three kids, and have two of them in a public school I consider quite good
- Added a second vehicle to the family
- Do feel safer now than after 9/11

Now, I'll be the first to say that I HAVE been very fortunate/blessed. Things have really worked out well for us, more likely in spite of rather than because of anything I've done. That said, the government was there to help when I needed it, and has not gotten in my way the rest of the time (sure, we'd all love to avoid paying taxes if we could, but I don't begrudge paying them, either).

In short, the situation Obama presented last night bears very little resemblance to my life. I know, he was playing to his base. He wasn't talking to me. I'm the enemy.I'm one of those fathers he talked about who need to take responsibility for their families (I thought I was--silly me). I'm one of those horrible people who believes we can do more WITHOUT the government's interfere-- I mean, help.

All I heard from him last night was a lot of vague promises and lofty goals. I can't argue with many of them. I'd like to see all that too. Where we disagree is what we need to do to get there. He wants to raise taxes and make the government take over doing all that for us. I believe that will just bring us more of those government programs that aren't working that he intends to cut (and won't be able to, as his own party will scream bloody murder if he touches most of them).

Now, I have to give the guy a break. He's a constitutional law professor, not trained in business or economics. But I DO have an MBA, thank you very much, and I can tell you that if you raise taxes on businesses, force them to pay higher benefits for less work, put up barriers for off-shoring, throw up trade barriers (he doesn't think the other countries will respond in kind?), and tax the owners of those companies for making too much, the result will NOT be more, higher-paying jobs.

Those companies will cut costs further, which likely means fewer jobs, which puts less money into consumption, which cycles around and around and sinks our economy even faster. He may be able to deliver all those new jobs from alternative energy he spoke of. But it won't be fast enough to avoid at least three more years of economic hardship. Until they can get the infrastructure in place to generate and deliver the energy the only sector that will benefit is construction--not bad jobs, but not the good-paying jobs he promises.

Instead we'll get even higher taxes as he pours more money on the problem through unemployment benefits. Nope, sorry. I don't see that working.

I won't go so far as to say that if Obama wins we'll see all the misery and horror he attributes to the Bush Administration. But I am pretty sure if he gets his way we'll NOT be better off in four years than we are today.

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