Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Politics take 2

So I'm a bit confused and I'm hoping someone can help me out here. I must be misunderstanding something big as far as politics/economics go, because I don't understand why George Bush is getting such a bad rap as far as the economy goes. Now I can understand someone being upset about the war or possibly some other issues, but why is all the economic blame falling on him? (Historically, a country going to war creates jobs) I thought we were a capitalist society, not socialist? Have things changed?

Another note. The economic report generated by the economists in Bush's administration shows an increase in wealth up to 2007, and in 2007 the energy price went through the roof, so the expected economic increase in families was less because of the energy costs ... then of course got worse in 2008. But unemployment was at or below 5% (in 2007). So I'm confused about the last 8 years being a complete economic failure. Someone please explain it. I'm serious when I say I must be missing something because literally everyone I know has expressed the same thing about Bush's economic policies causing these problems. Oh, and the U.S. is still #1 in exports. #1 in services and #2 in goods (behind Germany). We just import more than we export, which isn't a government problem, that is a consumer problem.

If this is a capitalist society (government pretty much stays out of business), the only way a government could effect businesses is in taxes, promoting or discouraging certain business based on whether they get tax breaks or not. Now one policy I know of that did have an effect on our current economic situation goes back to Bill Clinton. He pushed through some legislation that required banks/lenders to provide lending to folks who in the past have not been able to get them. Now I believe it was targeted specifically to minority groups that were not able to get loans, but is seems to have opened the doors for loans being made to a large population that in the past would have been denied based on economic potential.

I also take issue with the idea of heavily taxing the really rich and tax cuts for those who are not. Now that may sound weird since I and not one of the really rich, but I am a realist, not an idealist. Rich folks only stay rich if they know how to hold onto and grow their money. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of high paid accountants ready to figure out how to keep their employers money from going to taxes. Also, heavily taxing companies like oil companies sounds nice as well, but wait a second, what will they do .... pass it on to us. In my opinion, the only way we will ever see any of the money from the wealthy going to programs for those who are not, is if they do so on their own terms. I thought Bush's idea to give tax breaks on charitable giving was a fabulous way to accomplish that (though that is in concept, I'm not sure how well it actually worked).

Now I'm not a great Bush defender, but I do think things should be looked at in the right light. So somebody please enlighten me. If you don't want to post to the blog, you can just email me, because I am genuinely interested to know where I am wrong, and my basic assumption is that I am wrong, but I can't see it yet. I would like to know how things really work. I'm an engineer, and inherently skeptical, so please use reason and facts, cause there are a lot of things that both Obama and McCain have said that are nice in concept, but realistically I don't think it will play out like they have said.

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