Nov 032008
Authors: Ian Bezek

This presidential election has been thoroughly exciting from the heated Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama primary right up through the “Joe the Plumber” incident.

However, most people have overlooked one fact: the outcome is not terribly important.

While the overarching theme of the campaign has been change, the potential candidates look a lot like the stale old politics we already have.

I don’t think I have to say much about Republican candidate John McCain as he is, in effect, running for Bush’s third term and is sure to carry on many of Bush’s foolish policies.

However, Obama sadly has not lived up to the message of change he has so prominently touted. Obama’s associations with his racist and anti-American pastor Jeremiah Wright are well known, as are Obama’s ties to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

Beyond the shady characters with whom Obama associated, his dealings with scandal-ridden financial institutions also raise questions.

Why would a man promoting change have such close ties with the corrupt and immoral Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac corporations?

If Obama truly represents change, why does he vote for every one of Bush’s failed bailouts? Obama sure feels like more of the same old.

Regardless of the candidates’ backgrounds and plans, they are both going to be rendered impotent by the times we face. The national deficit has grown by almost $500 billion over the past month due to wasteful bailouts. McCain, Obama and the rest of the spineless Congress already blew our taxpayer dollars bailing out Wall Street’s elites.

The result is that there just isn’t any more money left for either candidate’s spending plans. President Bush’s Medicare drug program was rightly criticized as being too costly back when economic times were good, so how can Obama possibly hope to fund his health care proposal now?

One particularly offensive area is the proposal agreed upon by both Obama and McCain to pass legislation regulating and taxing carbon emissions.

In a time such as this, with jobs in short supply, why, according to the Washington Post, is Obama making statements like this one: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

Obama seems intent on promoting feel-good environmentalism while destroying American jobs and industries. With reckless comments like this, it is clear that neither of these candidates has any idea how to fix the economy; judging by their proposals, I expect that either of them will further harm the economy.

As the economy slows, unemployment will further rise, the tax base will shrink and the government’s deficit will grow larger. We can’t borrow an infinite amount of money; we will have to again raise taxes and cut spending and services, slowing the economy further.

This all amounts to us heading for a repeat of the Great Depression. Remember, after the supposed savior Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected, the economy remained in the depression for another nine years until the start of World War II. FDR’s New Deal almost entirely failed to fix the economy.

Despite its failure to achieve results, the New Deal was a far more bold and calculated proposal than either of these senator’s plans. Both McCain’s more-of-the-same-as-Bush plan, and Obama’s tax-everything-and-spend-like-a-drunken-sailor approach will fail horribly.

Both Obama and McCain will see the economy crumble on their watches. I don’t know why either of them wants to win this election.

They can’t fix the economy, and they will go down in history as the next Herbert Hoover — though Bush and his cronies destroyed the economy, either McCain or Obama will get the blame. The winner of today’s election is the loser. Tonight’s victor gets to take the blame for America’s second Great Depression.

Ian Bezek is a junior economics major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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