Just sixteen days from today I have to make a major decision. The outcome of my decision may not amount to much and I know that but I still want to make the right decision. I don’t want to be wrong. At the least I want to be able to say I told you so. The trouble is I haven’t got a clue. The bigger trouble is neither does anyone else.
That is why sixteen days away from the Presidential Election I still don’t know who I will vote for.
The debates have not provided anything new. Both candidates look happy if not smug when the other is speaking as if to imply that the other is so full of bullshit that it’s laughable. I would laugh too were it not for the fact that I don’t think I will be able to move out of the country to find a better place to live.
Neither candidate inspires the confidence that leads me to believe that we will be in a better position in four years. Neither has a plan, or has outlined a plan, that you can even pick apart and attack. All I keep saying at the end of their speeches is Just Gimme Some Truth.
My nephew Chip and my niece Marybeth posted a video on Facebook last week that may have been the most depressing thing I have ever seen. The upshot of the video was that Congress cannot possibly balance the budget without excruciatingly high taxes. The point was made that even if you eliminate all discretionary federal spending, including Homeland Security, all Defense spending, everything but entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, you cannot balance the budget. The reason being that when you add those costs to the interest due on the national debt you already exceed all tax revenues collected.
Let me state that again. The government could shut down except for those entitlement programs and we are still in the red.
Is this the truth? If it is, we are cooked. If it is, there is no way that we can continue as a nation without significantly raising taxes and significantly cutting entitlement programs. Yet, neither candidate is saying this.
One of the things that I have stated time and time again is that, while we have waged two wars that have cost trillions of dollars and that may or may not have secured our safety, there has been no equivalent economic pain at home. Sure, we have had the financial collapse but that had nothing to do directly with the wars. The economy itself was allowed to self-destruct. If you talk to people who were around during World War II, that was not the case back then.
I remember hearing stories about rationing and manufacturers switching over their production lines to war time necessities. Consumer products were for the most part put on hold while companies made items related to waging war. Even civilians had a role in the war. Today, no such effect has been felt by those of us at home.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been the singular responsibility of our servicepeople. Men and women in the military are the sole combatants and have been the only ones, along with their families and friends, who have felt the impact of war.
While these wars were waged, millions went to baseball and football games. Millions went to college, although the cost has really skyrocketed. Millions went to Disney and complained about the long lines. And yes, gasoline and home heating oil prices have gone through the roof. But there were no paper drives; no tire drives; no War Bond sales; what we did have was a lot of finger pointing and bellyaching. Now all I have to say is, Just Gimme Some Truth.
Which candidate will tell me that he has an energy plan like T Boone Pickens who claims that America has twice the barrel equivalent of Saudi Oil in natural gas resources? Which candidate is going to tell me that we all have to feel the pain in order to bring our nation back? Which candidate will tell me that parents have to bear the responsibility to raise their children and to prepare them for school? Which candidate is going to tell me that the prospect of retiring when I am sixty six is a complete and utter fantasy? Which candidate will cut entitlements and raise taxes on all of us?
Just Gimme Some Truth!