A Fundamental Choice Every American Voter Must Make

Against a backdrop of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, American voters will, again, exercise their right to elect the next President. This inalienable right is perceived to be especially significant, if not historic, when viewed in the context of the current disintegrating trust in the U. S economy.

As Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama declare their absolute readiness to lead, the onus is now on the voters to select which candidate offers better economic plans that will lower gasoline prices, eliminate high unemployment, rein in out-of-control spending, solve the mortgage crisis, cut back the gigantic trade deficit and national debt, and resuscitate the manufacturing sectors among other issues; and who also offers the best policies with regards to the nation’s wealth.

The task of electing the next President of the United States in these troubled times seems quite daunting. Nevertheless, every voter must take this task to heart: vote not for the candidate or the party he represents, but vote for the one who will fight for The American Dream. DISCUSSION: One of the most striking differences between the presidential candidates rests on their respective plans in achieving energy independence.

While Senator McCain wants to build 45 nuclear power plants “right away” and start offshore drilling as soon as possible, not only to stop sending $700 billion overseas annually and “eliminate our dependence on the places in the world that harm our national security” but to also create millions of new jobs (“Final Debate” 25), Senator Obama thinks “that we should look at offshore drilling and implement it in a way that allows us to get some additional oil” (26).

Another stark contrast between the two presidential candidates is on tax policies they would implement which will either benefit or punish, depending upon one’s view, some of the wealthiest corporations in the United States. On the one hand, Senator McCain proposes to provide $200 billion in additional tax breaks to those mentioned previously, and Exxon Mobil and other oil companies would get an additional $4 billion in tax breaks (5). Senator McCain has rationalized this particular tax policy by saying:

The fact is that businesses in America today are paying the second highest tax rate anywhere in the world. Our tax rate for business in America is 35 percent. Ireland, it’s 11 percent… We need to encourage business, create jobs… (7). On the other hand, Senator Obama wants to impose a so-called windfall profits tax to oil companies who are perceived to be awash in large profits. This kind of taxation would set an arbitrary limit to the profits the oil companies can make, and add some more tax if they go beyond the limit (Strom par. 2).

The windfall profits tax is a clear disincentive to American oil companies. The likely consequence of this taxation scheme is a reduction of their production. Meanwhile, the rest of the United States’ non-American oil suppliers, about 90 percent, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela, would not have to pay that windfall profits tax (par. 8). They would, instead, reap windfall profit as they supply the deficiency, a result of the punitive tax policy that Senator Obama wants to impose on the American oil producers. The two candidates, however, are not always at variance with their economic plans.

Both of them are committed to giving tax breaks to working class Americans even if millions are already exempted from paying personal income tax (Hodge par. 1). The chart below estimates that with the McCain proposals, the number of non-payers would increase by about 15 million, bringing the total number of taxpayers who pay no personal income taxes to 62 million, or about 43 percent of all tax filers (par 8). With the Obama proposals, around 16 million people more would bring the total number of taxpayers who pay no personal income taxes to 63 million or about 44 percent of all tax filers (par. 9).