Thursday, October 23, 2008

...so, then what?

We are under two weeks before we elect either Sen. Obama or Sen. McCain. The polls look good and are trending to Obama it seems. There are a few polls that show the race closer, so no one should be secure yet. Of course, we will all think our hair is on fire if McCain does pull a win. For the sake of argument, however, let's assume Sen. Obama becomes President-Elect. So, then what?
In the future, Obama may well look back and wonder whether the 2008 election was such a good one to win. The new president will inherit not merely the debilitating US military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan but also a stock market bruised and battered, a weak dollar, a banking system in ruins and a domestic economy in the doldrums - and that is just the optimistic scenario. If Obama does indeed find himself the occupant of the White House, much of his administration probably will be devoted to rebuilding the banking system. With the economy in recession, house prices in free fall and homeowners struggling, there will be little scope or appetite for the ambitious programmes that liberals expect from their candidate.

Worse, it is hard to imagine that the economy will have recovered much by 2012, when he will face re-election. (True, it is equally hard to imagine the Republicans getting their act together and reawakening enthusiasm for hands-off conservatism in just four years, though stranger things have happened.) [New Statesman]
Nevertheless, even though FDR did not end the Great Depression after his first term, many people were doing better and things were not as bad as they had been. FDR, rightly or wrongly, got a lot of credit for that. A President Obama would get some credit for any upturn in the economy, regardless whether the credit was earned.

Better to be "in the game" than not in such a situation is how I view it. Now think of other gains for us middle class folks. Finally we will get some solution to the high cost of 47 million Americans without health insurance. We will get tax relief. By my calculation, I would get zero increase in tax relief under McCain's plan. Under Obama's plan, I would save about $900. Obama will stimulate job creation in the US by rewarding companies that create jobs here instead of running to another country, such as Halliburton. Congress and Obama will make it easier for American workers to join unions, if they want to do so.

We will also have a President who believes in science and will work toward a global solution to climate change. We will also move toward greener technologies for energy and conservation, which will benefit us all and make our nation more secure. We will make progress on stem cell research to cure diseases.

We will move forward on equal federal benefits for LGBT couples. We will at least not increase the number of conservative jurists on the Supreme Court and will increase the number of more progressive jurists on the lower courts. We will close Guantanamo. We will end our war in Iraq. We will rejoin the community of nations.

Okay, I've missed some things, so help me out. Imagine this beginning in less than two weeks.