Monday, November 03, 2008

Too Close to Call

T-minus 23-hours and 55-minutes before the Polls officially open in our corner of the world for Election Day. It’s been an interesting campaign, and this morning, depending upon which source you believe, both presidential candidates are separated by the slimmest of margins, and the category of undecided voters has both camps pretty nervous on election day eve.

Investor's Business Daily (IBD) and the TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics (TIPP) have been watching the race since mid-October, issuing weekly updates on their polling of the electorate. According to their latest responses, the race has tightened over the weekend, as independents who'd been leaning to Sen. Barack Obama shifted to Sen. John McCain to leave that key group a toss-up. McCain also pulled even in the Midwest, moved back into the lead with men, padded his gains among Protestants and Catholics, and is favored for the first time by high school graduates.

Here's the question the survey posed: "If the 2008 election for U.S. president were held today and the following were candidates, for whom would you vote? Would you say Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain?" Pretty simple.

What is the clincher-issue for you this election?
What is the one thing that will determine your vote, depending upon how the candidates stand?
Economic Crisis Relief or Energy?
Taxes or Health Insurance?
Education or Abortion?
Social Security or the War in the Middle East?

Interestingly, Immigration and NAFTA aren't even showing up on most voters' radar screens. Those were the hot-button issues when the campaigns were still young.

Might your decision be made based upon which Vice-Presidential candidate you’re most comfortable having “one heart-beat away” from the Presidency?

Whomever wins the election on Tuesday, your life will be changed.
It must.

Our nation cannot continue on its present course: Both candidates voted for the recent Wall Street Bailout. Barack Obama would impose more government controls; John McCain would promote market-based solutions. Obama’s plan would cost $60-billion to start, and $175-billion over time. McCain’s solutions would total nearly $60-billion.

Neither candidate has a clear solution for Social Security. Obama has made noises about nationalizing retirement 401-K’s, while McCain would push for privatization retirement funding.

Health Insurance would be given the party treatment by the candidates, with McCain relying upon market competition, and Obama boosting payroll taxes. Neither candidate has a good plan, in my opinion.

Neither man has a credible plan for solving our energy crisis. Obama has relented on offshore drilling, and McCain has become more amenable to alternative sources of energy, and funding their development. Obama foolishly wants to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to control prices (that's not what it's for)…while you and I have proven over the past 60-days that they best way to control prices at the pump is by throttling back our usage and demand.

I’m not going to get into the Abortion issue here—I am pro life, and believe that only in the most dire emergencies would such a procedure be called for. That one is, however, a litmus test for vote casting for some.

The abortion issue is joined at the hip with our Education crisis. McCain wants more accountability for the dollars spent on education; Obama just wants to throw more money at the problem. The bottom line is the United States is falling behind as a competitive power, because we’re falling behind in the classroom, and it is going to cost all of us more money to fund teachers and curriculums that are competitive with the rest of the world.

That takes taxes—which is another talking-point that’s been over-engineered on the campaign trail, and it is very clear that under a Obama Presidency, there would be significant changes in the way the business of government is funded: He would raise taxes on those of you making over $250,000 and provide a tax break to the middle class—which he has failed to define. McCain would cut taxes across the board, which would benefit all income classes, including the rich, who pay an inordinately larger share of the tax burden. Here is a truth that neither party can afford to ignore: No republic ever taxed its way into prosperity.

So those are your choices:
You want more government intervention and higher taxes, Vote for the man who is promising to impose both. You want a market-based solution to many of our challenges, and less money being taken out of your paycheck by the government, vote for the man who is promising that scenario. The choice is yours.

There are no necessarily wrong answers…save one—and that is not participating in the election. Vote Tomorrow.

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