In my opinion there are a few critical questions and answers necessary to make the proper selection for a President.
First: What is the fundamental belief in Government?
There are two fundamental views of the role of Government, the first is the point of view where the Government has all the power and it must be involved in every aspect of the populace life. The other point of view is that Government has some very specifically delineated responsibilities and those are defined in the Constitution.
Once Government steps outside of the Constitution then it begins to grow and to cost money. For example, the government is responsible for the safety of the citizenry. To accomplish that, the government collects taxes to pay for a standing Army, and further by supporting the development of weapon systems that not only support the standing army but also the National Guard and Coast Guard.
Additionally, government has the responsibility to ensure all businesses and all citizens have a leveled playing field. The laws that govern acceptable behavior for citizens must be applied fairly and equitably throughout the country. The same thing applies to business law. All businesses need to know that, in general, the rules are not going to change month to month and that they can plan for growth and fuel their own profit driven goals.
A president has to support the reining in of Government if for no other reason that the cost of intervention and bureaucracy is too high for the tax payers to support.
Second: What is their social view of Government?
How far should the government, in the view of the president, be involved in social issues? As you look for a president, think about how much do you want government intervening in the lives of each citizen. The one comment that comes to mind is an old speech by Hillary Clinton where she made the point that “…it takes a village to raise a child…”. Can you honestly think that you want the government telling you exactly how to raise your children? How about the colleges they can go to? Or, how about what type of a career should the follow?
The previous may be a little far fetched in your mind, but it is truly not that crazy. Let me paint a possible set of circumstances. Let’s take it for granted that government needs to provide college education for all (and let’s not get into the mess our public school system is in right now). If the government is going to pay for college, is it not reasonable to think that there would be pressure from the tax payers to not waste the money on people who start on a given career track and then don’t finish, or are not very good at it. From there, it is not hard to build the argument that if people are going to accept Government support for college then they have to take placement tests, and career selection tests. Now it is not hard to go to the next step and see that the government – in paying for the education of all – will then determine what you can and cannot study.
Social intervention by government is not just limited to college, which was just a simple example; the true test is health care. I know that it is very expensive, but I also have been to Europe and seen their national health care system and I put our health care up against theirs any day of the week. One of the many problems in the US with our insurance system is that everyone, eventually, will need medical care and therefore it is nothing more than a centralized payment system but the payment pools are limited. Let insurance companies pool across state lines and regions and then you can see some savings.
Additionally, work on the FDA approval process and the crazy related costs and then the cost of drugs would go down. The entire drug patent system needs to be evaluated and find a way to compensate Drug companies for their development costs, but make the generic drugs available much sooner and thus reduce the overall cost of drugs. Those are the things that need some government intervention, but the government which cannot balance a budget nor can they run a successful company, should not run the healthcare system in the US, or any other country for that matter.
Select a president that does not believe in the intrusive participation of government in the social issues.
Third: What is their fiscal view of Government?
The key question here is how much money the government will collect from the tax payers to pay for the government policies. The more money the government takes from the public to run itself is less money there is out there for investment.
What makes the United States so different from all other countries and why is it so successful? The first thing is that the entrepreneurial spirit is supported from the early stages all the way through to fruition or to failure. The entrepreneur has the ability to protect an idea and with hard work capitalize the business, hire employees, make the product, sell the product and make money. That profit from the idea is then re-invested to grow the company and as it grows in employs more people who pay taxes and the country benefits.
However, if government puts new taxes on corporate profit such as higher income tax and then further tax capital gains then the money available to reinvest in the company goes down. If there’s less money to reinvest then the company has less money to hire new people, less money to react to opportunities in the market and it begins to choke off the potential benefit to the entire community.
The fiscal policy of a president will define how much money businesses will have to invest on growth. If we are in a recession at this point, even though the definition is not yet met, then the most important thing government has to do is to promote new jobs. The only way to encourage companies to invest in people and opportunities and to grow is to leave them as much money as possible for investment. When the company has money to invest in inventory and in people then more money enters the consumer markets and fosters more growth.
The opposite is also true. If we raise taxes then it chokes off the potential growth of small businesses, the true engine of our economy, and then they hire less people and that puts more people on the unemployment lines. People on the unemployment line tend to spend less simply because they have less to spend. If the consumer is pulled out of the market forces then there is less demand and that drives the recession deeper and deeper till you can’t tell the difference between a recession and a depression.
Select a president that has the right fiscal policy that will promote job growth and leave more money for the small businesses to fuel our exit from the recession. Any increase in taxes is bad, no matter what the reasons are.
Fourth: How will they react to a crisis and how will they leave the presidency at the end of their term?
Joe Biden had a very interesting statement last weekend (October 21, 2008); he said
“Mark my words,” Biden told donors at a Seattle fund-raiser Sunday night.
“It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama
like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a
brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.
“Watch. We’re going to have an international crisis, a generated
crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.
“And he’s going to need
help . . . to stand with him. Because it’s not going to be apparent initially;
it’s not going to be apparent that we’re right.”
Now, on its own this is not a major issue because candidates say things that they don’t mean. But the key is how the campaign is reacting. Read the comment again and tell me this, who is Biden talking about? Is there any doubt that the exact words used are referring to Obama? Let’s take an example, where he says, “…It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.” Lets take a further look, “…We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States.” Is there any doubt that Joe Biden is speaking specifically about Senator Barrack Obama?
Have you seen the number of times when Obama and Biden have tried to change the statement to, “…He [Biden] was pointing out the both McCain and Obama are going to be tested…” Look at the CNSNews.com report on how the campaign is trying to soften the impact of Joe Biden’s statement in an article entitled, Obama Campaign Tried to Soften Biden’s Warning – about Obama.
To me it seems very revealing that the reaction to a simple crisis has sent people out to spin it and to re-write history. It smacks of Argentina and not the United States of America. If that’s how Obama handles a simple crisis like this, how will he actually handle when Russia decides to test him, or Iran decides to take direct action against Israel, or when Iran decides that it wants to take full control of Iraq, or Pakistan devolves into a Taliban controlled ex-ally?
Select a president that you can trust to react in a way that will leave no question as to where he stands.