The undecided voter

For Your Consideration

Alan CheahAugust 23, 2012 

The election for president is near. It has been suggested that those who have not made up their minds follow this guide. Identify what your philosophy is and vote for the party that most represents your philosophy. That seems strange. When we vote for a candidate, we are effectively hiring them to work for us. Having been an employer, I've always required job applicants to submit a résumé. In it, I expect to see their education, work experience and what they have done, not their philosophy. The best predictor of what someone will do for you is what they have done. So let's examine what they have done and see if it consistent with their professed philosophy.

One party's philosophy is less spending, fiscal conservatism, small government and balanced budgets. But what actually happened? Under Reagan the national debt tripled. Under H.W. Bush it doubled. Under Clinton it went down and we got a budget surplus. Under George W. Bush, Clinton's $250 billion surplus was squandered and the national debt doubled. And under Obama it increased by about 50%.

As a side note, one has to ask, if Obama was handed Clinton's economy instead of Bush's, would he be presiding over a deficit, debt and economic crisis? I think we know the answer to that one. Does claiming one thing and doing the opposite coincide with your principles?

One party sees the government as the problem but they are the first to use the government for handouts to the rich -- TARP initiated Bush and Hank Paulsen; for continued subsidies to big oil companies; for executing Cheney's energy policy and regulatory containment allowing energy companies to scam Americans on electricity rates in 2001; for perpetuating speculation in oil markets accounting for 30% of the cost of gas; and for imposing three unaffordable tax cuts which are the primary contributor to our current debt.

Government is not the problem when it is used to promote the welfare of the many, but it is when it is used to promote the welfare of the privileged few.

One party claims concern for the environment but rejects and works against legislation that saves the environment.

One party claims concern for global safety but continues to perpetuate global warming as a hoax while wildfires rage, massive drought devastates farm crops and drive up the cost of food, hurricanes and tornados are destroying our towns and cities, water shortages are increasing, ice shelves are breaking away and melting, and some countries are submerged under water.

The top brass in our military says that the biggest threat to national security is global warming.

One party claims to save Medicare by giving future recipients vouchers tied to the cost of living index (Ryan plan) but medical costs increase at a much faster rate. According to CBO (Congressional Budget Office), this shifts the excess costs to seniors personally. Now that party has a great talking point. The government's Medicare cost does go down but only because out-of-pocket medical cost for future seniors will skyrocket. What a plan. Yes this plan doesn't affect today's seniors but if your philosophy is, "I've got mine and the heck with my children and grandchildren," then you're aligned with their philosophy.

One party believes Social Security should be privatized. If you rely on Social Security for your retirement today, imagine if that party privatized Social Security in 1990.

That party says you can do better investing or your own retirement. Most people are ill-equipped to invest their own money. Even savvy investors lost their shirts in the dot.com bust and the subprime mortgage real estate meltdown. If we had implemented Social Security privatization then, you would not only have lost the money you invested but you wouldn't have your Social Security benefits either. The majority of seniors would be hungry and homeless today.

One party talks about jobs, jobs, jobs but has not proposed anything other than more tax cutting and more deregulation. This has always been that party's one-size-fits-all solution for prosperity. You would think that if it works, the recent 12 years of Bush tax cuts and 32 years of deregulation would have resulted in a new Mercedes in every garage.

Do these actions represent your philosophy? If it does, then you know which candidate to vote for. If it doesn't, then you also know which candidate to vote for. Either way, you are well on your way to becoming decided.

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