Dear Senator Obama:

“… how about if you stop accusing Senator McCain of “flip-flopping” just because he has the intelligence and experience to have a less than simple-minded, formulaic approach to resolving our many national problems?”
Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hello. Because I know you are sincerely committed to quality and continuing education, I would like to make the following two points about your campaign’s interpretation of Senator McCain’s recent statements about the economy. Here goes…

1. It is entirely possible and often the case that the fundamentals of our economy would be strong, even while the economy itself is dealing with serious problems. You, for example, are working hard to become President of the United States. In the process, you have had a number of problems, such as the mess with Reverend Wright, and yet, throughout it all, I’m sure you never doubted that the fundamentals of your person and your campaign remained strong – strong enough to recover with a major taxpayer subsidy. See how easy that was?

By the way, on this first point, if the fundamentals of our economy were not strong, how do you explain the way the difficulties at Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Constellation Energy and others are resolving themselves – and doing so without government assistance? How do you explain the way our banking system continues to function – albeit a bit skittishly, which is to be expected in light of the profoundly negative prognosis we keep hearing from Washington? There is and will continue to be less credit available, at higher costs to more accurately reflect risk, but then the problem we’re trying to correct is that there was too much credit available at rates which were too low. Tightening the availability of credit is the whole idea of “The Big Fix” our Congress is about to debate. If the fundamentals of our economy are not strong, how is it that economy is moving so quickly to repair itself?

2. It is also entirely possible to be generally opposed to government intervention in the economy, while at the same time being in favor of some specific regulatory programs. I am, for example, adamantly opposed to our buying the bad debt these various financial institutions are carrying on their books, in favor of allowing the economy to handle that problem on its own, while at the same time being in favor of limited regulations designed to prevent the continued origination of such paper and its derivatives. What’s wrong with that?

I suspect that both you and especially Senator McCain agree that we need to leave our economy alone, within limits designed to prevent adverse practices which tend to escape the natural self-correcting tendencies of our capitalist system. The only debate between you and Senator McCain is the extent of those limits, Senator McCain being less restrictive than you seem to be.

Certainly, Senator Obama, you’re not suggesting that your approach to economic, social and national security policies is “all or nothing,” that we should do everything one way or another according to some rigid doctrine without the common sense flexibility to make adjustments depending upon circumstances. Of course not. So, how about if you stop accusing Senator McCain of “flip-flopping” just because he has the intelligence and experience to have a less than simple-minded, formulaic approach to resolving our many national problems? …and I’ll ask him and his campaign to do the same for you.

Thank you.


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