I’ve seen a number of suggestions/laments on what John McCain should be hitting Barack Obama with on the fiscal/domestic policy front. I’d like to suggest some non-traditional responses to some expected avenues of attack to help throw Obama off his game …
On the Business Tax
“Sending $4 billion to the oil companies” – I suppose you could claim that not taking money from the oil companies in the first place is “sending them money”, but let’s not argue semantics too much. Leaving the oil companies more of their money results in more oil exploration and thus more oil and gasoline supply, as well as more alternate energy research. Taking the money from them leads to expansions in programs such as “low-cost housing” that not only failed, but brought down Wall Street in the process. Which sounds like the better option?
“Closing Tax Loopholes” – You say you’d like to close the tax loopholes, effectively increasing the business tax. Inevitably, large companies are going to look for more concessions in the form of tax breaks or co-development funds when locating jobs within the US. How will this not shift the overall tax burden from large corporations on to small businesses?
On Green Issues
You’ve made the claim that you’ll direct us to oil independence in 10 years, and create ~5 million jobs in the process. If one assumes that the cost to hire one worker for one year (including unemployment, payroll taxes, benefits, and other costs) is $120,000, then this oil independence plan has a net yearly cost of 600 billion dollars, or about $6000 per household in the US. Do you not expect an increase in energy costs equal to 13% of the median household income to have a direct impact on the working class?
On Profit and Progress
Many in your party disparage “profit”, and view “government-run” as a positive change. You have previously mentioned the Chinese spacewalk, and our need to remain competitive in the space program. If we look to the past, we see that private, profit-driven enterprise brought us from the wright flyer and the Model-T to the 707 and the Corvette in about 40 years. The government-run space program went from moon landings 240,000 miles from earth to shuttle flights 250 miles from earth. Cost per launch decreased from ~2.4 billion for an Apollo launch to $500 million per shuttle launch. In contrast, one giga-FLOP of computing power at the time of the Apollo program would have cost about 1 trillion dollars, whereas the same amount of computing power today costs about 20 cents. Why do you believe that getting government involved in running major industries will make anything cheaper or more efficient?
(Enough for tonight … but more likely to come)