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Discuss the US Presidential Election & the Economy

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the stuff-that-matters dept.

United States 2369

A number of folks have been submitting topics that indicate that they want to have a serious discussion on the issues surrounding this election. Since we're under a week now, I've decided to run a series of discussion stories to give you guys a place to discuss the issue. So here's the first one: The Economy. It's the biggest topic these days, eclipsing even war as the most important issue to most Americans. But how will that affect your choice next week? And why?

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Oh, Is there an election going on? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25553795)

I hadn't noticed

Re:Oh, Is there an election going on? (1, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553985)

I hadn't noticed

So I take it you are going to write-in Cowboyneal? ;)

Re:Oh, Is there an election going on? (0, Offtopic)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554115)

I think Taco is hoping to confine the discussion to one thread per day. In related news, the first batch of porcine fighter pilots receive their wings today.

Thank you, Taco (4, Insightful)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553799)

We need more posts like this, ones for open discussion. Maybe once every couple weeks for feedback on the site.

Re:Thank you, Taco (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553853)

Well, maybe, but in this case we can expect little more than a flame fest.

Not that it matters that much; we don't have to read it, or we can read at mod level 3.

I wonder if there's a more effective way to automatically limit what's shown to the more thoughtful and/or informative (and/or funny) messages. Nah; probably not.

Re: More thoughtful... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554039)

There is. Anything over 5 sentences.

Trolls are lazy. Only a certain ten troll posts are long. 70% of long posts are honest efforts even if you think the viewpoint is skewed.

Re:Thank you, Taco (5, Funny)

yali (209015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554093)

CmdrTaco: "have a serious discussion on the issues surrounding this election"

You must be new here.

Re:Thank you, Taco (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553867)

Agreed. Now we just need someone to act as a mediator over all the comments. That way we won't have to sift through all sorts of useless drivel. Any volunteers?

Re:Thank you, Taco (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554003)

Agreed. Now we just need someone to act as a mediator over all the comments. That way we won't have to sift through all sorts of useless drivel. Any volunteers?

Isn't that what the moderation system is for?

Re:Thank you, Taco (5, Funny)

bepe86 (945139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554107)

Whoooosh

any evidence (5, Insightful)

iocat (572367) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553807)

Has there been any evidence shown that either guy running for president has any idea how the economy works? All I've seen is platitudes and empty stateents from both of them.

Re:any evidence (5, Funny)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553863)

Anyone that has a clue how the economy works is smart enough to not be in politics.

Re:any evidence (5, Insightful)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553873)

It'd probably be more effective if we knew the credentials of the economists they're talking to... assuming their decisions are being run by competent people in the field.

Re:any evidence (4, Funny)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554163)

It'd probably be more effective if we knew the credentials of the economists they're talking to

Well, in the case of McCain it seems to be (among others) Kevin Hassett, author of "Dow 36000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market", published in 1999. http://econ4obama.blogspot.com/2008/06/other-list-mccains-economists.html [blogspot.com]

Re:any evidence (4, Insightful)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553895)

Has there been any evidence to show that ANYONE knows how the economy works? The world economy is based on emotions and speculation, which are faaar from exact sciences. Find me anyone who can predict the market and knows how it works and I will find you a billionaire keeping a secret. No one knows how it works exactly, there are some that just read it better than others.

No one knows how to bend the economy in certain directions, they just take stabs in the dark and hope for the best.

Re:any evidence (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554211)

The Canadians seem to know something: during the Great Depression not a single Canadian bank failed. This time around, at least so far, the same thing.

Re:any evidence (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553931)

No one understands how the economy really works. Economists call that the Efficient Market Hypothesis [wikipedia.org] .

Short answer (5, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553941)

Has there been any evidence shown that either guy running for president has any idea how the economy works?

Nope. One says "we'll just give people money, that'll fix it!" and the other says "we'll just cut taxes on businesses, that'll fix it!"

I just hope that whichever candidate wins realizes that he does not have a "mandate" from the people to implement every policy idea, and swing far to the extreme positions of his party. This is going to be a very close race, and he will have wound up being elected by just a slight majority of the fraction of the eligible voting population that bothered to actually vote. Almost nobody who votes for a candidate agrees with him on every single point; it's quite possible they disagree on everything but one or two issues.

Point is, winning by a tiny fraction does not mean everyone wants radical "change". 90% might indicate that, but 50.7% doesn't.

Re:Short answer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554059)

Point is, winning by a tiny fraction does not mean everyone wants radical "change".

Well, why on earth didn't someone tell Dubyah that eight years ago? He has radically changed the whole country without having a clue. I just hope that the little village in Texas is glad to have him back.

Re:Short answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554079)

More like 80% for Obama and his policies vs 20% for McCain and his. I'd actually call that a clear pretty mandate.

Re:any evidence (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553949)

This [economist.com] seems like a reasonable place to start.

Re:any evidence (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554169)

Looks pretty similar, numerically, to the poll Scott Adams commissioned [slashdot.org] .

For my money, I'd rather have the guy from the party that doesn't disdain education as "elitist"; economists may not be right all the time, but they're more right than the average Joe the Plumber. I'd rather someone who was more fiscally conservative, but since there is no (electable) fiscal conservative in the race, that doesn't matter.

Re:any evidence (5, Insightful)

bentcd (690786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554023)

Has there been any evidence shown that either guy running for president has any idea how the economy works? All I've seen is platitudes and empty stateents from both of them.

Like most politicians, the leading contenders don't have personal expertise in the field of finance so, no, they don't know a whole lot about how the economy works.

Nor should they need to. It is not necessary that the president has personal expertise in all areas relating to the running of the state. What /is/ important is that he surrounds himself with competent advisors.

What you need to watch out for is a candidate who /presumes/ to know /exactly/ how to resolve the situation and who justifies this with a reference to some ideology or other. Chances are such a candidate is much more interested in carrying through his ideology rather than in actually solving any problems. Candidates that devolve into generalities, however, are much more likely to enlist actual competent aid when it comes down to actually getting something useful done.

In this case, then, the question generally boils down to "does my candidate accept that there is a problem and that action is necessary?" and both top candidates seem to fit the bill.

Re:any evidence (5, Funny)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554053)

Saw this on a bumper sticker:

We're screwed: 2008.

I couldn't summarize my feelings any better.

Re:any evidence (4, Insightful)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554127)

Our CEO cannot program for shit. But he makes a great product happen. I would worry less about how much the President knows about the inner working of the Economy and more about whether that person has the skills to make decisions based on intelligence taken from the advisers they employ. Fingers crossed.

As far as the empty statements go. Well, that's politicking. Yes it sucks. But each of the two main candidates in this election have clearly polarized strategies for our Economy. Promisises aside, we can assume that each will pursue the general direction of their part. Let's hope whoever wins will follow their strategy in earnest (i mean assuming it's the person we voted for :) ) with their sights on straightening out this mess.

none of the above (4, Insightful)

viridari (1138635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553815)

None of the three candidates on the ballot here have demonstrated that they have solutions that fit within the limitations of federal government dictated within the US Constitution.

As such, I'm writing in "none of the above". The state board of elections has affirmed that they are going to disregard write-in votes for any of the people that I would like to write in, in spite of the state constitution's demand that all votes be counted.

... and I feel fine. (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553817)

Lots of money moving around. If you're quick you can catch some of it - or lose everything.

Me, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing - go to work and pay my bills and tough it out.

The election? I'll be glad when it's over and everybody can shut up about it. Whoever wins is in for a lot of stress.

Ridiculous (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553823)

Well, for those of you that might think to argue in favor of "conservative" liberals or Reaganomics, check out this interesting graph [cedarcomm.com] that illustrates National Debt by president. While it's not always true that the president can control spending (it's mostly congress & senate proposing them), it sure does nullify any idea that Republican presidents spend less than Obama.

They're both going to spend the hell out of our money. The only difference might be whether it comes from us or gets put on our nation's maxed out credit card.

Neither of them are going to solve the economic problem. This economic downturn is too deep and complicated for it to be put down as Bush's fault or for either of them to solve. So it's not going to affect my vote, what's done is done. How they propose to handle it sounds fairly similar--more preventative regulation. And I'm pretty much all for that. Who's the dumbshit that was allowing institutions to hand out loans to people without even checking their income level? Yeah, laissez faire is great and all but in its purest form idiots will ruin things. Need a happy middle ground.

Re:Ridiculous (0, Troll)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553883)

Adjust it for inflation and see what it looks like.

Re:Ridiculous (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554075)

If you look at the graphs and the comments, you should it *is* adjusted for inflation.

Re:Ridiculous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554157)

From TFA:

"For the mathematically inclined, if you take the first derivative of the data presented to find the slope of each President's debt increase, you will find that the Republican slopes are consistently more positive than the Democratic slopes. For everyone else, this just means that unbiased mathematical proof exists to support the claim that since 1945, Republican presidents have borrowed more than Democratic presidents regardless of the inflation rate[4]."

And later:

"4. The only time we have seen national debt reduction in the past 60 years was when Democrats were totally in charge of our government or when one party was in the White House and another ran Congress."

Re:Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553937)

"Under President Clinton the growth in debt ceased, but note the radical change in direction since George W. Bush entered office"

I notice that the radical change in direction started while Clinton was still in office.

Should we also mention that Congress, not the President, makes the budget.

Re:Ridiculous (0, Troll)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554025)

Was is not the Clinton administration that relaxed the lending laws and started this mess.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554035)

Should we also mention that Congress, not the President, makes the budget.

True, but POTUS has the bully pulpit and the veto pen.....

Re:Ridiculous (5, Informative)

Strawser (22927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554063)

Should we also mention that Congress, not the President, makes the budget.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget [wikipedia.org]

The President writes & submits the budget, Congress votes on it, amends it, votes some more, etc., then sends it back. Then the President signs it into law.

Re:Ridiculous (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554213)

That's not entirely true. The POTUS proposes the budget and congress passes it or not. One of the reasons we had such a fiscally conservative government in the 90's is because Clinton couldn't get past congress a liberal budget, they forced him to balance it.

Re:Ridiculous (2, Informative)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554221)

Clinton also presided over the internet revolution. The country went through a huge upswing in growth and productivity. This also included a huge bubble that finished popping while Bush was in control. Did Clinton actually do anything to make the internet revolution happen or was he lucky to be in the right place at the right time (the same way Bush was unlucky to be in charge when the internet bubble really collapsed and 9/11 happened)?

Re:Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554001)

it sure does nullify any idea that Republican presidents spend less than Obama.

Please. Let's wait for him to take office before making such proclamations. If you really think what he's saying today is what he's going to offer up tomorrow it shows that P.T. Barnum was right. BTW: Which minute were you born?

Seriously, he hasn't even won yet and the numbers of his "less taxation for the middle class" threshold are already dropping. Not to even mention that it's going to take us years to get out of Iraq in a "responsible" manner. Nixing the Iraq war spending is a big part of his budget and that spending is not going to change 01/20/09 either way. And every president faces the unforeseen that normally bites them in the ass.

I'm not trying to say the guy is an outright liar but he does not have the power to do what he says he will do and I think his optimism is just a bit over the top. No matter what the outcome of the election is there is going to be a political and social rift in this nation that the next president will have to deal with and that will likely hold up most of their plans for the nation if not stop them dead in their tracks.

I doubt either one will get more than 2 of their top 5 goals for the nation very far in their first term and I doubt that either one will have a real chance at a second. That's assuming that the economic sky really is falling. I'm still skeptical on that too.

Troll Wars Begun This Has (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25553827)

Man.. It looks like slashdot just loves these political stories these days..
Nothing like a getting good flamewars to drive the pagehits.

BTW, I love how the moderators mod according to their political viewpoints, which is an obvious abuse of power. That's why politics don't belong here.

Why not just have a forum section? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553837)

Instead of general interest topics like this a forum would probably work better.

In any case... Bob Barr 2008!

I'm just so sick of dumb and dumber and altho he won't win I'll be voting my values instead of who I decide that I can tolerate. Too bad more people didn't do that and maybe there wouldn't be a stranglehold on the American people.

Re:Why not just have a forum section? (2, Interesting)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553909)

It constantly surprises me how a third party can't put up a palatable candidate. If the libertarians could drag up their version of Obama, they may actually have a seat at the table. Instead they keep coming up with old white guys.

Too many Americans wind up settling for the "lesser of two evils," and this is the ultimate election for that, I think.

Re:Why not just have a forum section? (2, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554081)

Seriously, I see the trouble with third parties right now that we don't attack on the ground, so to speak. I find it odd how many people will banter on about McCain this and Obama that but couldn't tell you who their state and federal senators and representatives are or if they're even up for election. These soft targets is where the third parties need to make some headway. Third party supporters would do much better to throw a few bucks to the local and state candidates than they would be to throw it at the presidential candidate but I don't think most supporters do that.

Re:Why not just have a forum section? (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554175)

That's the truth - if they could get behind a handful of US Representatives and one or two senators, and maybe not even run nationally for the Presidency, they could make some headway - particularly in a state that may be more open to their ideas (a pro-life libertarian may do well in the West or New Hampshire).

Re:Why not just have a forum section? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554041)

I'll be voting my values instead of who I decide that I can tolerate. Too bad more people didn't do that ...

Or maybe the problem was that too many people did. After all, one of the major deciding issues in both 2000 and 2004 was "Who would you rather have a beer with?" You can't get much more values-oriented than that.

Last Sunday's Doonesbury [washingtonpost.com] was a good comment on the topic, tying in the "Joe the Plumber" campaign meme. Google for it if that link doesn't work for you.

Re:Why not just have a forum section? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554131)

Or maybe the problem was that too many people did.

Can you back this up with anything more than a political cartoon? Otherwise you're acting like we may as well be voting on whatever the headlines are in the daily papers on election day. It just doesn't hold water with me.

Re:Why not just have a forum section? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554199)

In any case... Bob Barr 2008!

I'm a libertarian and was ready to vote for Barr before his snubbing of Ron Paul's 3rd party forum, but since that point he's made a few other blunders, which coupled with his past voting history has made me decide not to. Although I'm a Christian, I do not feel entirely comfortable with Chuck Baldwin and the Constitution Party, as they're too theocratic for me. Nader & other leftists candidates are out for obvious reasons. Right now I'm heavily leaning toward NONE OF THE ABOVE. I still plan to vote since there are some important ballot initiatives, and I will vote for other Libertarians on the ballot as well, since many of them are friends of mine.

I just wish Ron Paul had pursued a Constitution/Libertarian Party fusion ticket, he would have had a HUGE impact on this election.

is obama a marxist? (5, Funny)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553849)

I read in a very important email that Obama may be a crypto-marxist and may have converted to judaism during his teenage years :~( When this is revealed it will blow the lid off of civilization.

Re:is obama a marxist? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553899)

"Crypto-marxist" is actually kinda cool sounding. Doesn't roll of the tongue as easily as something like "quasi-fascist," but it'll do.

Re:is obama a marxist? (1)

Anivair (921745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553903)

I love how they say that as if it's the 80's. IS anyone scared of marxists? Also, what's so wrong with lifting some of the better ideas from the marxist playbook. Marx didn't single handedly turn communism into a bad form of government. Marx was a fine guy.

Re:is obama a marxist? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554103)

Marx was a fine guy.

Wasn't his Mother quoted as saying something along the lines of "If Marx had spent more time making capital instead of talking about it we would have been better off"?

Small Government (5, Interesting)

dethndrek (870145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553857)

I'm a small government person. At least that's what I would prefer. However, we haven't seen anything like that with this Republican administration and I see no reason to believe that we would see it with another one. In addition to that, we've just effectively taken ownership of several incredibly large entities and in effect, nationalized them. Because of these reasons, I see no prospects of smaller government from either party. This removes my one philosophical reservation about voting for a democrat. Therefore, Obama.

Nutshell (2, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553859)

The party who cheats the most will win. Elections are only interesting when both parties cheat because only then is it a close call, with 1,000,000,000,000,000 votes going to one side and 1,000,000,000,000,001 going to the other... you never know how close to the edge to cut it, so it's always a thrill ride.

who do you like more (1)

residue (462525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553861)

It comes down to the fact that it's very hard to tell how the differences in the candidates' actions as president will actually affect our lives.

As a result, you end up voting based on personal preference - who do you like more? Who seems to reflect your attitude better? Who do you trust to see the bigger picture, to prioritize responsibly, to ignore personal interests/comforts?

None of this is important. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25553865)

Stop fooling yourselves. Nothing will change, no matter which way anyone votes.

It takes courage and conviction to resist the "vote or die" crowd, but it MUST BE DONE. Nobody's vote counts, and as soon as we realize that we can start actually fixing problems.

Re:None of this is important. (2, Insightful)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553955)

...start actually fixing problems.

Or do you mean continue rolling over for other people's interests, since you effectively said, "I don't care"?

Re:None of this is important. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25553981)

Would be we in a war Iraq that has coincidentally cost the same as our bailout plan if Al Gore had won? It definitely matters who wins. I really don't get how you can't see the difference between the two major candidates.

Re:None of this is important. (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554129)

Nobody's vote counts, and as soon as we realize that we can start actually fixing problems.

So your purposed method of fixing the problems is to allow the same asshats to keep getting re-elected year after year because you don't bother to vote or get involved?

It takes courage and conviction to resist the "vote or die" crowd, but it MUST BE DONE.

Yeah, it takes a lot of courage and conviction to sit on your ass watching American Idol instead of taking 15 minutes to go to the polling place and vote.

Only one question to ask yourself (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25553887)

Are you going to vote for Barack Obama or are you a racist?

hahaha (-1, Troll)

methuselah (31331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553891)

what a joke this will turn out to be.
Here I will summarize before it starts.
Liberal good = MOD 5
Conservative bad = Mod 5
Liberal bad = Mod 0 troll
Conservative good Mod 0 troll.

this is what passes for discussion here....

Re:hahaha (1)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554187)

I swear, the first thing that popped into my head was the personality alignment system of Dungeons & Dragons. I always played a Neutral-Good Elf Psionic...

Maybe we could put together a Politics RPG - I wouldn't mind being a Liberal-Good Socialist or perhaps a Conservative-Neutral Carpetbagger.

Re:hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554203)

Except that is just a ploy to get your own psotws modded up, as is every single other post claiming bias and all other posts down. The claim of bias ends up being its own bias.

The real issue: voter suppression (4, Insightful)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553897)

I don't care a whole lot who wins, if it is a fair election. That said, from what I have been reading, the republicans have pulled out all the stops in suppressing voters in groups that are polling strongly pro-Obama (e.g., active duty military, students, minorities.)

Who ever does win will not be able to keep election promises since the economy is probably going to keep getting worse.

Speaking of the economy, I think that the only real money that the government should spend is on critical infrastructure (education, roads, defend our borders in the least expensive way possible, support local agriculture and in general push local sustainable business and infrastructure,...) Notice that I did not include government sponsored health care (would be nice if we could afford it though.)

I think that it is obvious that the "being an empire" thing is not worth the money that it costs.

Re:The real issue: voter suppression (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554219)

I think that it is obvious that the "being an empire" thing is not worth the money that it costs.

The problem with withdrawing from the World is that nature abhors a vacuum. If the United States isn't the global interventionist superpower then who is? I doubt you'll see another Democracy step forward and assume the role -- and given the choice between the US or Russia/China I'll take the US any day of the week.

I already voted... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25553913)

... so this week's shenanigans won't change my vote.

That said, from 2002-2006, the Republicans were in charge of every branch of government, and for most of the Clinton years controlled congress. Their achievements are a matter of public record.

While they'd like to blame the current economic meltdown on Democrats from the '70s, it's obvious to me that the current mess springs directly from the spate of deregulation that's taken place over the last 14 years. The Republican party is responsible for that.

A troll's dream (1, Funny)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553925)

Where no question is too loaded, and where every comment is on topic.
Except for this one.

Blame the Guilty (1, Flamebait)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553933)

From Orson Scott Card,

>>>>

An open letter to the local daily paper -- almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor -- which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house -- along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com essay entitled "Do Facts Matter?" ( http://snipurl.com/457townhall_com%5D [snipurl.com] ): "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Franklin Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign -- because that campaign had sought his advice -- you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension -- so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time -- and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter -- while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That's where you are right now.

It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe -- and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper in our city.

-1 Offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25553939)

This is news for nerds how exactly, and aren't at least a hundred sites with a much more America centric (and equally geeky) audience already having this debate?

Enjoy your trolls

my sig (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553945)

My sig is reason enough to not talk politics on Slashdot.

The economy is a very important thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25553953)

Some may argue, as paramount to our way of life as liberty, oil, or freedom.

To those who think we'd be better off without an economy, I say think again. How would you buy stuff -- let alone, sell stuff -- without an economy? Barter system? I think not. The entire e-commerce sector would collapse overnight, and that'd just be the start of our problems.

No, I say we keep the economy right where it is, so . That way, we can keep an eye on it. Any candidate who says otherwise has lost my vote.

flint knapping (4, Funny)

plopez (54068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553957)

I'm learning to flint knap so that I will have the skills I need to make it in the new economy. I am also working on learning how to build an atlatl.

This is what the world seems to think anyway (1)

Vulcann (752521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553991)

According to a BBC article here [bbc.co.uk] , Obama seems to be the more popular one (not that I'm implying this is a popularity contest - even if it does end up being one).

The thing I particular don't like about McCain is his propensity to being nasty. As if that's not enough, he continues to be nasty even though there's ample evidence to suggest it isn't working [talkingpointsmemo.com] the way he intended it to. If he doesn't listen to whats happening around him, or deliberately chooses to ignore him, he's already exposed a possibly critical weakness.

Serious? (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553993)

A number of folks have been submitting topics that indicate that they want to have a serious discussion on the issues surrounding this election.

A serious discussion about politics? On Slashdot? Heck, on the internet? Good luck with that. Let me know how that works out...

I would vote.... (1)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553995)

However as a foreign born I only get the taxation, not the representation... hmmm I seem to remember that not ending too well last time.

The economy? Pfft (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25553997)

The economy is low on my list. My personal convictions with respect to wealth distribution, taxation, gun rights, abortion, freedom of speech, supreme court appointments, etc. These are the things that make my decision over a candidate, and as a result, these things will sculpt the economy and other issues in the next election cycle.

Single issue voters looking at a single transient issue is pointless. Pick the man, woman or hermaphrodite ("Chicks with dicks that put mine to shame" - Randal Graves, Clerks) who you think is best to serve the whole of the country and the transients will eventually fall in line.

As much as the economy comes up on a geek news site, it's like you whippersnappers have never seen a dip in the market before ... now's the time to buy, it's all on sale.

Beyond the current crisis (4, Insightful)

Robyrt (1305217) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554005)

The most illuminating moment on this issue for me came during the first presidential debate. The moderator essentially asked, "What would you give up from your fairy tale budget, since we are going to have a staggering deficit in 2009?" McCain, a fiscal conservative at heart but with near-zero knowledge of economics, offered to freeze spending, except for defense (his specialty). Politically impossible with a Democratic Congress, but at least he realized the magnitude of the problem. Obama, a fiscal liberal who paid attention when Cheney said "Deficits don't matter," wouldn't really cut anything. I got the impression that he knew 2009 would be rough, but he just didn't care, because if he cut spending somewhere fewer people would vote for him. Honestly, there isn't that much the President can do about the economy in the short term. It's their unwillingness to talk about anything beyond November 5 that has me troubled.

Incentives (2, Interesting)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554013)

If you are going to tax the hell out of anyone making a certain amount of money, then what would be the incentive to be productive and innovative, other than just being able to say "Hey everyone, look what I did!" ? On top of that, giving tax rebates to people who don't pay taxes is socialist, and if you are being given money that has been taken from someone else, because they make too much, why would you ever want to make a lot? Rich people are rich because they have made themselves that way. Sure, there are some who live off of family fortunes, but if you made yourself a millionaire, wouldn't you want your kids to be taken care of after you are gone? Ever since the New Deal, we have been creating a group of people that is reliant on the government, and pretty much is a permanent voting block for the Democrats. Taking away incentives by punishing those who create wealth is simply un-American and anti-capitalistic. That is my economic argument on why to choose McCain over Obama.

National Debt!!! (5, Insightful)

kalpol (714519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554019)

Neither major party candidate has mentioned addressing the crushing national debt or deficit spending. If I'm going to listen to platitudes, I want to hear about reducing spending and paying down the debt, not battles over who gets tax cuts.

Re:National Debt!!! (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554149)

Don't you know anything? You can't win an election without handing out free cash. I mean congress even got a head start this year.

Re:National Debt!!! (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554215)

Re-watch the third debate - McCain at least talks about attacking spending with a hatchet, and has rarely supported earmarks (admittedly a small portion of the overall deal, but it does, in a sense, follow Goldwater's footsteps).

There are more than two candidates running (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554029)

The media will have us believe that we can only choose between Coke and Pepsi. What BS!!!!

Please consider voting for an Independent. Take a serious look at the issues and while you'll no difference between the Corporate democrats and Corporate Republicans, you might just find what you're looking for in the alternative candidates.

No matter what you do though - make sure you get out there and vote!!!

Re:There are more than two candidates running (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554077)

The media will have us believe that we can only choose between Coke and Pepsi. What BS!!!!

Amen, brother. Vote for Dr. Pepper and Sprite on November 4th!

Economy: a no brainer (5, Insightful)

Anivair (921745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554043)

The economy is a no brainer for me, and I'm not going to duplicate long posts I've already made elsewhere, but it works like this: Bush broke the economy, plain and simple. There were probably other factors, but everything he did only made it worse. McCain voted with him 90% of the time, especially on the economy. People are under some delusion that under a republican president they'll pay less taxes. Not true. Unless you're rich (and if you're not sure, you're not) you'll pay less taxes under a democratic president. But also, paying less taxes doesn't make you richer. if you pay less in taxes, but more in property taxes, mortgages, and gas prices, then where is the savings? And if gas prices rise, then so does transport and your dollar is worth less. And that makes you poor as well. Hell, i'd vote for obama even if he were raising my taxes. I might shell out a hundred extra bucks in taxes, but if I make it up in savings spread out over the year, then good for me.

Re:Economy: a no brainer (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554141)

Obama will tax those savings. He's wanting to remove the lowered taxes on dividends and capital gains - items which encourage investment and enable better retirement.

Here's the other side of things - large corporations don't pay taxes, either - they do one of two things - get out through loopholes and add the taxes to the cost of the product the regular joe buys.

Obama promises a lot of things to his own definition of "wealthy," but I honestly don't see it working.

Re:Economy: a no brainer (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554229)

Its a no brainer for me too. Both parties have screwed the economy with their agendas. Each side is afraid to attack the other's sacred cows when they come into office because of how the other side will paint them during elections. So you get a hodgepodge of bad policy on bad policy. It is too bad that even when it is obvious that they are being taken by both sides won't drop the party bandwagon and at least open the door for more parties. We hate the crooks in Washington, as long as it isn't our crook.

STFU SLASHDOT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554047)

We don't need this!

Election fatigue (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554071)

Like Craig Ferguson, for me, it's gone from "Election Fever" to "Election Infection" and now "Election Fatigue".

One-party system (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554085)

In my view, if Obama is elected president and the Democrats have a larger majority in Congress, our economy is going to suffer. It may not suffer now - it might be 6-10 years down the road (since that is usually how long it takes for many economic effects to kick in). This is sure to happen unless many of the democrats turn into fiscal conservatives. We don't fix economic problems by throwing more money at the problem. I'm not attacking Obama or Democrats, I just don't think it would be a good idea for them to have control of the White House, the Capitol, and to be able to nominate and confirm new Supreme Court justices.

Additionally, it was mainly Democrats in the late 90s who pushed for banks to give more risky loans, which is one of the major causes of the economic turmoil today (it's certainly not the only cause).

Now, I don't think that many of the Republicans are any better but more of them than Democrats are true fiscal conservatives. We especially need fiscal conservatism in times of economic turmoil.

Re:One-party system (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554209)

In my view, if Obama is elected president and the Democrats have a larger majority in Congress, our economy is going to suffer. It may not suffer now - it might be 6-10 years down the road (since that is usually how long it takes for many economic effects to kick in). This is sure to happen unless many of the democrats turn into fiscal conservatives. We don't fix economic problems by throwing more money at the problem. I'm not attacking Obama or Democrats, I just don't think it would be a good idea for them to have control of the White House, the Capitol, and to be able to nominate and confirm new Supreme Court justices.

Indeed. And it's true for the Republicans, too; one of the scaries possibilities is for any party to have (a) the White House, and (B) an overwhelming filibuster-proof majority in Congress. Were that to happen, kiss your rights goodbye.

Redistributing the Wealth (0)

DrLudicrous (607375) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554089)

Hasn't the government been redistributing the wealth since Reagan took office? They've been taking it from the middle class and poor (in the form of services) and giving it to the superrich, giving us one of the largest income disparities in our nation's history.

Re:Redistributing the Wealth (1)

whozit (1396279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554121)

and vice versa. Nobody doesn't like welfare, unless it is their own.

The real story is the media (5, Interesting)

Orgasmatron (8103) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554109)

The media have been at best negligent in reporting on the economic issues at hand. At worst, they have been complicit.

The causes of the housing bubble and meltdown aren't a secret. The identities of the people that have been calling for investigation and oversight aren't secret. The names of the people that have blocked every attempt to address the problem for the last 5 or 6 years aren't secret.

Why does the news media consistently accept the bald lies of the people responsible? Why don't they bother telling people the truth?

Does anyone really believe that if the roles of the parties were reversed there wouldn't be serious investigation?

Commercials(!) (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554123)

I (almost) don't care who wins at this point. I am so, SO, sick of the commercials. Do people really base their votes on the crap that is being flung on TV? I'm not just talking the Presidential race- the commercials for local races and ballot issues at least in my state are completely ridiculous. Most of them have almost no truth or backing.

I wish my PVR had time-travel capabilities, so I could jump past "live" political commercials.

Basically we're choosing how best to go bankrupt (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554125)

McCain would like to open up a third front in Iran or Syria, and Obama is going full steam ahead with social spending even though we're technically insolvent.

Just a matter of time before the rest of the world depegs from the dollar cutting off America's credit line in the process. That's when the fun begins.

Electoral College determines national votes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554143)

The notion that "every vote counts" in the national election is a load of bull. It doesn't really matter who I vote for in the Presidential election because the state I live in (Indiana) will vote McCain and he'll get Indiana's electoral points. I think they both suck and since my votes doesn't count anyway, I'll write someone else in. P.S. Posting AC because I don't want negative Karma as a result of posting in a top that is sure to be a flame war. A forum really would be better for this sort of topic.

quite simple. (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554153)

McCain will promote deregulation, which allows all sorts of financial tomfoolery and promotes the building of monopolies.

Obama will promote regulation to prevent industry from acting against the interest of the American people.

I honestly would have become a republican if Ron Paul had won the primary. He didn't so I'm still npa and voting for Obama.

Unfortunately, they want to try to fix it.. (2, Informative)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554159)

Both of the major party candidates have the problem that they view the problems of the economy as something that can be fixed by spending money they don't have. The more the government intervenes, the worse for the economy in the long term. Both candidates supported the bailout boondoggle. McCain's main virtue as a candidate is that he's a different party than the one that will control congress, so that he's less likely to actually spend his money- but that didn't stop the Democrats & Bush from getting together to ram the bailout plan down our throats so it only goes so far. Obama's main virtue is that maybe if we get a few years of unified government it will be so clear to everybody that his fiscal policies suck that we'll get an actual fiscal conservative (whether it be Republican, Libertarian, or other) electing in four years. It was putting forward a fiscal "moderate" like Bush instead of someone who actually cared about spending and then presenting him as conservative that helped us reach the insane spending we have today- we haven't had a good choice on fiscal matters in a long time. Sane fiscal policy isn't cutting taxes and raising spending, it's cutting spending to the point that things are at least balanced, then trading off more cuts with the economic benefits of paying down the debt or cutting taxes.

Simple (4, Informative)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554171)

I will vote for McCain.
I don't trust the Dems not to raise taxes on everyone. Obama already said Social Security was going up, that's a tax increase on all working people. Every time the Dems have said they were going to raise taxes on the "rich" in the last 36 years (my working life), my taxes have gone up. I have yet to make $50K in a year. The last thing this country needs is having the top 3 spots in the hands of Obama, Reed, and Pelosi, I have trouble imagining anything worse.

Why do you hate America? (5, Funny)

JoeFromPhilly (792856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554177)

Your favorite candidate is absolutely terrible and will completely destroy our country. If they are elected we'll all end up subsistence farming and living in tent cities. I can't believe you would vote for them. Why do you hate America?

Socalist (5, Insightful)

speroni (1258316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25554179)

I find it somewhere between hilarious and deeply disturbing that People can get up there and call Obama a socialist for wanting to tax rich people, while at the same time supporting the buying of banks by the federal government, which actually is socialist.

How is taxing rich people any more socialist than taxing the middle class? Were trillions of dollars in debt, this money is going to come from somewhere.

Also can anyone actually explain why we should be bailing out these banks in the first place? If we want to pretend to be capitalists we have to let businesses fail from time to time, especially when they bring it upon themselves with poor business practices like risky lending, and aggressive mortgages. Now GM is looking for a handout because they can't make a car that anyone wants and somehow thats the tax payers fault. (Meanwhile there's more Honda and Toyota manufacturing in the US than there is US manufacturing.)

It seems our whole economic system is unsound. Its all based on retail sales of mostly useless crap that is designed to fail or has planned obsolesence so you have to buy more. We hardly manufacture anything stateside anymore.

I suggest that we actually start focusing on high tech manufacturing. The stuff that can't be done on the cheap by unskilled labor.

what would it take for you to change your mind? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25554195)

thats the question.
Ask yourself or your spouse.
For me, I like John McCain.

For me to vote for obama, it would require:
1. That he offer one idea like John McCains Battery-prize.

2. That he was a little more American. 300 years of America can be solved by Americans, not half-Americans or whatever.

3. That he promised to remove the NAACP funding.

-cellurl

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