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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Doesn't the US have poor people too?

I must admit I am somewhat befuddled by Senator McCain's strategy. He is now using the word "socialist" in reference to Senator Obama's plan (which it is not). Here's one article in the Wall Street Journal McCain Suggests Obama Plan is Socialist

""That's the key to Barack Obama's whole plan," Sen. McCain said. "Since you can't reduce taxes on those who pay zero, the government will write them all checks called a tax credit. And the Treasury will have to cover those checks by taxing other people, including a lot of folks just like Joe. In other words, Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes on some in order to give checks to others it isn't a tax cut; it's just another government giveaway.""

I do not understand this. I must be missing something. Yes, the Government must facilitate the private sector, but the markets are dysfunctional. What happens to the people when the markets and the free market system do not work? And even if markets and the free market system did work, they do not work for everyone. What happens to those people? Senator McCain has already said more than once he believes in freezing spending. So I was wondering how the US Government was going to do some of the things it had an obligation to do - you know, the welfare and protection of people. How is it going to pay for those things? Governments use taxes, and when taxes are insufficient they borrow. Is Senator McCain saying he prefers to borrow? Or is he planning to just not do some of the things the US government is obligated to do - such as protect the people - because now, he seems to be opposed to helping people who are poor.

So I looked up poverty on the US Census bureau website. Here are the highlights:
  • "The official poverty rate in 2007 was 12.5 percent..." In other words, that's a lot of people - 12.5% of the population
  • "In 2007, 37.3 million people were in poverty, up from 36.5 million in 2006." In other words, not only are there a lot of poor people, that number is growing
Now, is there an expectation of a sharp increase in poverty? But of course if the US is headed for a recession, and worse for a depression and even worse for an extended period of either of these two scenarios.

Now, here's what I want to know:
  • When the US Constitution says "We the People", the word "people" does not include the poor? Because if I listen to Senator McCain, it appears that it does not. Not only is that wrong, it is uncaring. Governments have a responsibility to ALL people, especially the most vulnerable.
  • As much as Senator McCain does have international national security credentials having valiantly fought overseas for his country, does Senator McCain have domestic national security expertise? Does he have advisers who may have some experience with how people who are starving and without state assistance have to find means to survive? There are lots of countries around the world with internal strife. Lacking the basic necessities of life contributes significantly to this problem. Governments have a responsibility to keep the order and need resources to do it.
  • Is there anyone on the McCain campaign with public health experience? When people live in poverty, they focus on the basics for survival. Those basics do not always include the best hygienic measures which are somewhat luxurious because of cost. They also cannot afford basic medication. So does the McCain campaign have a way to recognize potential public health problems and quarantine them because public health threats do not respect words or artificial borders. These travel by air and water. Governments have a responsibility to mitigate risks and need resources to do so.
Can Senator McCain clarify whether or not he has a problem helping the poor in the US?

Can someone ask Senator McCain if he understands the difference between "government giveaway" and "finding necessary resources for the survival of the American people and the American Way".

Can someone ask Senator McCain what he expects to happen to the people who traditionally have not, or now temporarily because of the dire economic circumstance do not have the means to provide for themselves? Does he believe that they do not need assistance from the state? Does he believe that a stable country can exist without concern and spending of resources for the most vulnerable? Because if anyone - whether Senator McCain or any of his supporters - believes the poor are not his or her concern, they are sadly mistaken.

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Reasoning The Reasons by Deika Morrison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.