And yet … still I am voting Obama.
I wrote a piece the other day about the need for paying attention to the national debt, deficits, and paring expenses while balancing the budget.
Someone challenged me: how can I be concerned about these things ‘and yet’ vote Obama?
It is simple really.
I don’t see Obama as a great master of change. And no, I don’t believe that he has any grand plan for 2012-2016. He has disappointed me at times over the last four years — but I started out with lowered expectations since I’m a traditional Republican voter (70-80% of the time, maybe higher at local level).
So what do I see in Obama? Obama has lived up to his reputation of being ‘no drama Obama’ … which is good considering that the GOP has been after his ass since almost Day One with no intent of cooperating and working together for meaningful change and reform in any way on almost any issue. Obama has been a voice of stability working to bring most things to the center for resolution.
As for the incredible debt etc., every president develops each year a five year outlook into the future as to where budgets and debt are probably going. President Bush’s prediction for growth of our national debt has been Obama’s reality. Debt under Obama has barely differed from Bush’s prediction by 10% or less during his first two years in office.
—- As for Year 3 (2011) and Year 4 (2012), President Bush’s budget projection assumed that the war would be over in Afghanistan by 2011 and so no funds were programmed. Add the war expenses back in and accrued debt during Obama’s entire term is almost a straight line from where it was on Day One of his presidency, and in line with Bush FY2009′s Five Year Presidential Budget projection.
As for Obama’s legacy of debt to programs that started under his presidency: less new debt created by any president since Truman.
If you are a social conservative sure there are lots of reasons not to like Obama. If you are a fiscal conservative that understands basic math and understands the difference between ‘incurred obligated debt’ and debt due to new programs then Obama has been pretty good with a dollar.
My second reason for supporting Obama and essentially defecting from my GOP roots of almost 30 years: I really don’t think that the GOP gets it. They are not really so pissed off about Obama’s policies as they are that they lost in 2008. All this talk about ‘taking our country back’ is usually just empty, angry rhetoric that translates to ‘sure the country melted down on our watch but that was just a fluke. We like things the way they were’.
And so with just days to go until the election I do remain very concerned about America’s future, that damned fiscal cliff will be a much deeper drop than many suspect, and runaway debt seems endless. And yet … and yet I am voting for someone that I believe really has no plan, or any objective, that is any bigger or more grandiose than keeping America’s economy stable and just buying time to heal on its own. That is a classical conservative approach.
My choice may not be a brilliant choice. But for me it is a far better choice than voting for a return to what got us here to begin with.