Wednesday, October 8, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Michael Scherer at Times‘s Swampland (“That One” Debate. One More To Go.) makes a key point that occurred to me as well when I watched last night:

Neither candidate has the courage to speak straight with the American people about our nation’s fiscal problems. Asked about the financial crisis, McCain talked about energy independence, hitting the same talking points he used in July. Obama talked about the need to give tax cuts to the middle class, and expand spending programs, a proposal he put forward last year. Both men have proposed policies that will lead to an increase in the deficit, according to independent analysts, even without a dramatic economic downturn, which looks increasingly inevitable. Neither man has shown any clear intention to tell Americans to face head on the hard economic times that await us. This is politics. The candidates are playing it safe, not telling voters anything they don’t want to hear. They choose to demagogue Wall Street instead. Let’s just pray that after the election, the winner drops this politicking and becomes the bold, honest leader both men claim to be. The nation will need it.


It is always difficult for a new president to actually enact all of the promises made on the campaign trail. Quite simply, there is never enough money to do all the things promised. If that is a truism during normal times, then it might as well be a command from the heavenlies written in marble by the finger of God Himself this year.

There is also little doubt that we are far from finished with the current financial crisis. It would be nice for the candidates to fess up a bit more to this, but as Scherer notes, that’s politics. Further, the voters would likely punish whichever of the candidates chose to be the honest route first (which is an irony, as the one who was most willing to be honest is probably the one most deserving of the job).

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5 Responses to “Honesty and the Economy (or the Lack Thereof)”

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    1. CowboyGP Says:

      So true! Everyone is always quick to label all politicians as crooks and liars, yet most will only vote for the one who paints the rosiest picture.

      We the People have created the politicians and the government we’re saddled with right now, by rewarding their behavior over and over again.

      And when somebody DOES stand up and tell the truth, they’re laughed out of the race.

      I am reminded of a talk radio guy I listened to back in the late ’80s. The company vehicle I drove for my job had only AM radio, and being in my late teens – I wasn’t all that interested in politics at the time. I don’t remember his name at the moment, and don’t think I ever knew his political affiliation. But he had a theory that he called DRIP. Don’t Return Incumbent Politicians.

      His theory was that if we as voters made a point to have a “changing of the guard” every election cylce – the politicians would stand up and take notice.

    2. mbailey Says:

      i thought it was interesting that when obama was asked in the debate whether he thought the economy would get worse before it got better, he said, “no.” more or less emphatically. and here’s the guy who’s been criticizing mccain for saying that the fundamentals of the economy are sound. if not a contradiction, a tension.

      1984 more or less destroyed honesty in politics. mondale said tax increases would be necessary to erase the deficit. boy, that did not pay off for him.

    3. Phil Lieurance Says:

      I agree with the information that is posted in the article above concerning what occurred in this last debate. As a Democrat, I am going to vote my party ticket because I believe Obama will lead to a change. Will it get worse before it gets better….”you betcha” but “daw gonnit….wink” we are going to make it through this mess.
      What I am hoping will happen is that the next 20+ days will fly by so I am not subjected to the negative garbage that Sarah Palin is spewing forth and ever more amazing finding so many eating up. My personal opinion is it keeps the question of “Who is the real Barack Obama?” being turned to “Who is the real Sarah Palin?” Yes she is pretty, she has the capability to speak in an open forum, she has charisma but those who almost seem to see her as the second coming fail to see her as a women who does not have the Homeland Political/Security/Foreign Policy nor knowledge to lead us if put in the position as Commander in Chief. A run in 2024 against Hillary would be a better arena allowing her the time to gain the tools she needs to be our leader.

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