Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Economy -- Who will take the lead?

The past few days have been unnerving to say the least. The size and number government bailouts that have happened over the last few months is incredible. One of the largest and once most stable investment banks has filed bankruptcy, AIG has become a US Government subsidiary, and other once rock solid financial institutions are teetering on the brink of collapse and to be honest I'm quite worried that a depression (I admit I'm being over dramatic) may be on the horizon. For me and many Americans this election is quickly becoming about one issue, which party will (if possible) avert economic catastrophe.

Our federal government has been feverishly trying to prop up failing financial institutions, and these bailouts have helped stabilize the disastrous effects of the subprime mortgage market collapse. However, with the latest 85 billion dollar bailout the question needs to be asked how much more can the nation expend on bailouts? It is an ominous sign that the Treasury Department is having to insert itself into the market on a regular basis just to keep the banking industry afloat. It appears that if the invisible hand was allowed to work without government interference, our economy would be in shambles.

Unfortunately, neither candidate for chief executive appears to have or be talking about how they will turn this around. Obama seems to get the severity of the situation better than McCain, while McCain has proposed a commission to solve the financial crisis while claiming that the fundamentals of the economy are strong (I don't blame McCain -- while his career background scores high on the bravery and heroism scale, his scholastic record isn't exactly stellar regarding subjects like economics or even mathematics)

I'm leaning towards Obama on ability to lead our nation out of imminent economic disaster. While the Republican mantra of tax cuts are good and great, they don't combine well with a federal government that is swimming in debt, fighting wars on two fronts, and (seemingly) propping up the entire nation's financial system. McCain's unsettling continued use of the "strong economic fundamentals"line isn't helping ease my concerns that he isn't the sharpest tack on the economy.

While in 2004 I was concerned about the best leader in the war on terror and Iraq, in 2008 staying the course is the least of my concerns.

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