Thursday, October 16, 2008

Down to Two Points

McCain had his best debate performance last night and the polls are moving. Gallup has Obama up 49% to McCain's 47% among likely voters, within the margin of error. However, I felt like McCain could have done much better.

On the abortion question, McCain failed to articulate why we need originalist judges on the Supreme Court instead of activist judges. The point is not whether or not the judges are personally pro-life or pro-abortion, but whether they believe in interpreting the Constitution based on its original intent. Roe v. Wade is an example of judicial activism, where judges somehow found a "right" to abortion in the Constitution where there is none. Their ruling usurped the right of the states to decide this issue. An originalist judge would overrule Roe v. Wade regardless of their personal views on abortion and then each state would pass legislation regarding abortion. And the bill that Obama opposed that would force hospitals to care for babies born after botched abortions? It did not infringe upon a woman's "right" to an abortion at all. It is understandable that Obama would lie about this, given how reprehensible his position on the issue is.

On the economy, McCain didn't explain how the Democrats have screwed our economy through their meddling in the housing industry. McCain and Republicans attempted to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and were opposed by Democrats. The bad loans encouraged by Democratic policies are what have caused this meltdown. Does Obama still want to increase capital gains taxes? That would really help my 401k come back.

On taxes, McCain didn't ask Obama to explain how he can cut taxes for 95% of Americans when only about 65% of Americans pay income taxes. McCain did make the case forcefully that raising anyone's taxes during times like these is a recipe for disaster. Obama maintains that it's only "fair" to raise taxes on businesses. As McCain noted, American corporations already pay the second highest tax rates in the developed world. Obama doesn't seem to understand that this country doesn't have some special right to the trillions in capital around the world. If investors can get a better return somewhere else, the money will go there, taking the jobs with it. Also, if we increase corporate taxes, who do you think pays for the increase? They are passed down to you and I through higher prices, in effect taxing us instead.

This Gallup poll is encouraging. The undecided voters are often people that don't pay much attention to politics until the end. They also tend to blame the incumbent for a weak economy. Hopefully McCain can keep making the case for his plan for the economy.


Rudi said...

Joe the Plumber came around at just the right time. I've never heard a more socialistic comment than, "It's good to spread the wealth around."

What is interesting to me is that the post-debate news was all raving about Obama's performance on every channel...

Jon Vander Plas said...

The best way to tell how the debate went is to check the polls. Who knows what's going through these undecided voters heads?

Tom said...

Just a quick note-the race is not at 2 points, as much as Drudge might like it to be. Check out Real Clear Politics-they have Obama up 6.8. And Obama is dominant in the electoral college, which is why McCain's chances are now around 5%.

Also, the Wall Street Journal today is pretty harsh on the Palin pick and what that says about McCain's judgement. That's what I've been saying all along.

Kyle Hommes said...

I just don't buy that Democrats urging for loans to low-income home buyers caused the crisis, and if you look at the surveys of public opinion, neither does the rest of America. If regulation was so important to the Republicans why didn't they do it when they controlled the congress.

Jon Vander Plas said...

To Tom's point about polls, they are all over the place. A few days ago an AP/Yahoo poll had McCain only trailing by 2 points as well, even though only 26% of those polled were Republicans. I think that the Bradley effect will likely take Obama down a few points as well. Obama is in the lead, but this race is closer than the media wants us to believe.

Kyle, do you think most Americans have any understanding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, let alone the effect of Democrat meddling in the mortgage market (and it's not like the media has been any help here)? So you are arguing that it's the Republicans' fault for not fighting the Democrats hard enough on this issue? Yes, I regret that they didn't fight harder, but the fact is that Bush and McCain were on the right side of this issue and Frank, Dodd and Obama were on the wrong side. If Obama and other Dems had supported proper regulation for Fannie and Freddie I'm willing to bet my 401k would be worth a lot more right now.

So what caused Fannie and Freddie to collapse and require a mammoth bailout? They wouldn't have made all those risky loans that brought them down without the implicit guarantee from the government of a bailout.

Kyle Hommes said...

I'm not saying the republicans should have fought harder, I am saying that it wasn't the priority for them that they are now making it out to be.

I just don't believe the government is that involved in this, besides the lack of oversight and non-implementation of already existing regulations. I also don't think the mortgage crisis would have been nearly as bad if those sub-prime loans were not sold off as mortgage backed securities.

In my opinion, the pressure from the Democrats is being trumped up by Republicans who are now seeing the results of laissez-faire capitalism, and the mess it really creates. I do believe that Fannie and Freddie knew that they would get a bailout, which is why they never said anything about the risks that they were taking, while at the same time, hauling in the money. And, I think that regulations would have been the prudent thing to do, but we don't even know what regulations the Republicans were proposing or why the Democrats opposed them.

Jon Vander Plas said...

I'm sorry Kyle, you're entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts. Fannie and Freddie were not free market enterprises. They were "Government Sponsored Entities." Not involved? What about "Government Sponsored Entities" makes you think the government wasn't involved?

McCain and other Republicans recognized that Fannie and Freddie were taking on too much risk. The reason they were making so many risky loans is because they knew the government would bail them out. The Democrats opposed their efforts to reform Fannie and Freddie. That is a fact. Without Fannie and Freddie we don't have this debacle. How exactly is this a failure of the free market?

I'll tell you why the Democrats opposed the regulations: because they knew regulation would prevent some poor people from getting loans. They blinded themselves to the dangers because they thought it would advance a social goal. The millions in campaign contributions probably didn't hurt either.

Kyle Hommes said...

what about the other 10 banks that were making tons of sub-prime loans, the fact is, it is not the democrats fault.

Jon Vander Plas said...

The other banks follow the lead of Fannie and Freddie. In fact, they sell most of their mortgages to Fannie and Freddie. Ask any loan officer at any bank. They write almost all their loans with every intention to turn around and sell it to Fannie and Freddie. They then will use the criteria passed down by Fannie and Freddie when evaluating loan applicants. If Fannie and Freddie are willing to buy a $500,000 mortgage to an illegal immigrant, they'll write the loan because they know they won't be left holding the bag.

Fannie and Freddie drove the market for these terrible loans. Different banks sliced and diced these loans, trying to make a buck and spread their risk. When the housing market started to fall, defaults went up and banks were left with big losses. It is all traced back to Fannie and Freddie and the Democratic policies that encouraged it.

Kyle Hommes said...

And those damn poor people who used all of their power and influence to sucker the banks out of their money. How devilish of them.