Can I Have My Vote Back?

No, I know that I can’t.

And I can’t say that it would make any difference if I could: New York is not a swing state, so even if I could change my vote, and get all my friends to change their vote, it wouldn’t make any difference.

And furthermore, even if McCain had won the election, I’m not sure he would be able to do anything different.

But I found President-elect Obama to be thoroughly distressing when he discussed the economy earlier this week and told us that we would be running trillion-dollar deficits for ‘years to come.’

Yes, the economy is in bad shape: the official unemployment rate in December went up to 7.2%.  I’ve written about various aspects of our bad economy in these pages before.

But Our New Fearless Leader looks like a kid in a candy store.  It’s not just an effort to stimulate the economy: he wants to remake the country in his own image.  We’ll have solar energy and computerized medical records and better education and broadband access for all and no rainy days on weekends.

Unfortunately, the government has tried to remake the country, or some facet of it, and failed miserably.  Alternate energy is an admirable goal, but after three decades (at least) of government meddling, we still import more than half of the petroleum that we use.  The Clinton administration tried to implement a national health care system.  It failed miserably.  For my part, I couldn’t understand how it was supposed to work: something about ‘alliances’ with ‘clout’ to get the lowest prices.

And a look back to our recent events is more troubling: in September, we allocated ~$700 billion to ‘unfreeze the credit markets’ by ‘buying troubled assets.’  Since then, about half of the money has been spent: none of it went to buy troubled assets, and the credit markets are still frozen.  (I’ve stopped getting pre-approved credit card notices, so I’m sure there’s something wrong.)

So I’m not convinced that the answer to our problem whose origins are in too much debt is to take out yet more debt, and to do it RIGHT NOW.  Let’s take the time to think things through: if we’re going to spend trillions, we need to make sure that we get it right, as we won’t get another chance.

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