From the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday, October 17,


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Making the case for John McCain

By Jim Wooten | Friday, October 17, 2008, 09:05 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ultimately, the question in this election for president is which of the two candidates is best prepared to lead America in a perilous world where indecision conveys weakness and false signals can have catastrophic consequences.

What voters must decide is which candidate makes us feel more secure, both in terms of our family’s financial outlook and in our ability to enjoy life unmolested by the evil that terrorists brought, and can bring, to our shores.

Unfortunately, presidential campaigns trade in deception. In this election, partisans have locked down. Trying to penetrate closed minds within three weeks of an election is futile.Advocating on John McCain’s behalf then is not an effort aimed at committed Republicans or Democrats. It’s to those who are genuinely in doubt and to those receptive to another view.

And it is, finally, a question of whether you are so enamored with the agendas Barack Obama and Democrats will pursue in Congress that you are willing to forgo any effective checks and balances on their power.A prospect exists that Democrats could build a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to go with the dictatorial majority in the House.In that event, the angry rhetoric of the left becomes the public policies that govern our lives and our paychecks.

There is no question that the nation and families would be more secure with John McCain in the White House. And just as clearly, a check on the excesses of Washington partisans represents another form of security, a protection against radicalism and agendas that are destructive to the economy and to our relationship to government.

Bernie Marcus, one of the founders of Home Depot, expressed depression about the economy and projected it will get worse if a bill called the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law.It’s Big Labor’s top push in Congress. It would allow companies to be unionized without a secret ballot, guaranteeing that the fate of the auto industry in America will befall other industries. “Every businessman says it’s going to kill the economy of this country,” he said.

Troubling, too, is thetenor of the populist rhetoric coming from both candidates. Great care is needed to avoid creating law and regulation on the basis of anger and a retributive desire topunish corporations, especially those in the financial sector, for obscenely compensating some CEOs. Angry law and misguided regulation could be ruinous. Of concern, too, is that while it is necessary to stabilize the financial markets, government is on the verge of a dangerous “partnership” with banks that could open the door to unhealthy involvement in other industries.

Liberals and conservatives disagree on the cause of the debacle that has just befallen the financial industry. In my view, the effort by Congress to create social policies — “affordable housing” — without appearing to grow government caused Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy riskier and riskier mortgages, which were then packaged and sold to others. A symbiotic relationship between politicians and the two corporations planted the seeds of this debacle. Yes, greed was a factor from Main Street to Wall Street.

Unchecked power in Washington can be extraordinarily consequential to this economy. That is even before one considers the impact of Obama’s tax proposals and promised new spending. A Heritage Foundation analysis of his tax proposals and McCain’s finds job growth over 10 years would be twice as high under McCain’s and that McCain’s would lead to more vigorous growth. A family of four would, likewise, have more disposable income under McCain’s proposals, Heritage finds.

Obama is more clever than most when he promises that he’ll cut taxes for all but the top 5 percent of earners. Meanwhile, he has proposed new spending amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. This is an instance where the good common sense of ordinary Americans should kick in.We have heard promises before.Costs always trickle down. Just as Democrats tried to mask new social programs by passing them off to business Obama tries to mask the cost of them by passing them off as “tax credits.”

Because the credits go to individuals regardless of tax liability, they amount to a transfer from taxpayers to those who pay no income tax.”Mr. Obama’s genius is to call it a tax cut,” writes the Wall Street Journal. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were efforts to hide and shift government programs to the private sector. This is an effort to disguise more spending as tax cuts. It’s an approach that can be passed off as tax cuts for the middle class, but there’s not enough of the rich in America to finance the spending Obama proposes. You are the rich. This is a partisan debate.

If, however, the undecideds are yearning for a post-partisanship era in Washington, the clear choice — again, not even close — is John McCain. His record is replete with examples of efforts to join with Democrats to pass legislation. On any day of the week, with any utterance, he’s just as liable to take on his party’s right wing as he is to strike a partisan chord.Obama rarely, if ever, reflects that quality.

The world is dangerous still. No potential adversary will misread John McCain. He’s a serious, experienced leader who on national security concerns does not send false signals. The economy is regaining its footing, but a vengeful congressional majority without checks and balances from the White House can wreak havoc.

John McCain is the change America wants. He’s different and sometimes confounding to his supporters, but he’s the steady hand the nation needs in a high-risk world.