I would laugh at the candidates, except the agony is too great

Published 7:37 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I wonder when reality will catch up with the two men running for president.

Yes, I know, there are candidates other than the two nominated by the Democrats and Republicans, but those others, at least for now, appear to be permanently in the “also ran” column.

If you’ve been listening to Barack Obama and John McCain, you have heard one say that only the wealthy will have their taxes increased and the other promises everyone a tax cut.

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Obama says that only those making more than $250,000 a year will have their taxes raised if he is elected. The rest of us, at least those of us making less than $150,000 a year, will see a decrease in taxes.

McCain promises no tax increases and says we will all see a tax decrease.

Taxes will be raised regardless of who is elected and it won’t be to fund any new programs. Expect each party to try to blame the other.

Whoever is elected ultimately will be the fall guy. That person will have to plumb the economic abyss into which the current administration has plunged us. Once the next administration takes office, that administration becomes responsible for paying for the road that hopefully will take us out of that abyss.

The current administration says it will take $700 million to bail us out of the economic mess that it has gotten us into, money we don’t have, money the nation — that’s us taxpayers — is going to have to go out and borrow. That has to be paid back and the only place to get the money is through taxes — additional taxes.

Regardless of all the campaign promises, there will be no new programs such as the one John Kennedy started to take us to the moon.

Forget all these promises now being made about health care, be the promises Democratic or Republican. Either would need some government assistance, economic assistance, to succeed and that economic assistance has now been foreclosed.

Look for our military weapons, many of which are decades old, to get only older and become out of date, incapable of meeting any military threats we might face in the future. The weapons with which we are now fighting two wars are likely to be the weapons with which we have to face future threats. Don’t expect the rest of the militaries in the world to stand still as our military looks hopelessly to Congress for the money to develop new weapons to face new threats and to replace old, out-of-date weapons.

Not only will taxes be raised on the national level, look for them to be raised at every other level as well.

The economic mismanagement by the current administration has been so bad that inflation, which has been slowly trickling in to the economy at large with escalating fuel prices, is about to start flooding in. Local government can’t run a deficit the way the federal government can, local and state governments must meet the costs of inflation as it jacks up the cost of everything from paving roads and streets to collecting garbage to running water and sewer facilities.

Even the federal government may be about to learn that there are limits to how high that deficit can go because we are borrowing from people who are not very friendly to us — China, Venezuela, the Arabs, among others.

We are in a terrible situation right now. All the money the government is having to spend to prop up the economy means the next few decades are going to have to be spent paying it back.

Unfortunately, we do need to do whatever is necessary to prop up the economy. As bad as is the rescue, allowing the economy to collapse would be even worse. Only a few people living today remember the Great Depression, especially the early days, which were the worst, and I expect that those who do remember that earlier economic cataclysm are shuddering right now.

The Great Depression was immediately succeeded by an even greater cataclysm, World War II, which has driven the Great Depression into the background for all of us, except those who went through it.

I just wish there were some way to hold accountable those who have gotten us into this mess, both in the administration and those congressmen and senators who voted to dismantle all the checks and balances on the economy and oversight of the economic institutions, as well as those who ran the companies that got us into this mess.

Unfortunately, as we all know, the wealthy and powerful always protect the wealthy and powerful so there will be little if any accountability by those responsible.