...and the question is not "Should Obama win?"
It all depends on the press. Obama's plans, should he actually carry them out if elected, are the worst possible ones you could choose for the nation. The nation is moving towards a time of significant financial change as the aging population moves us from a positive to negative cash flow. That is, we are at the tail end of the time when our taxpayer-to-benficiary ratio is sufficient to pay our beneficiaries out of tax receipts. Very soon, we will need to tap into savings to pay them, savings that we don't have.
Putting this at the personal level, if you knew ahead of time that you were about to retire and see your income cut substantially, would you take out a large home equity loan, something you would have to pay off far into the future? In essence, that is Obama's plan for domestic programs. His health care and education plans represent huge new obligations far into the future at a time when existing obligations are rising substantially.
So what does the press have to do with this? Well, for one thing, they don't seem to have wondered about any of this at all. I might have missed it, but the stories I read about him are all about the crowds, the speeches and the campaign. Even the normally sane David Broder seems to be more worried about the statistical breakdown of the votes than the empty wallet facing us.
Here in California and closer still in San Diego, we are in the middle of a huge financial crisis brought about by wild spending increases.
The press let the Democrats get away with this, too. Now that the crisis is upon us, the only thing they report on are the consequences of budget cuts, in particular, how teachers might have to be laid off. There is no accountability for the politicians who spent, spent, spent. Here's a good source for information on state and local debts.
It is well-known that the federal government is amassing large amounts of debt, but state and local governments are piling up debt as well. Figure 1 shows that total state and local debt was stable during the 1990s but soared from $1.19 trillion in 2000 to $1.85 trillion by 2005, an increase of 55 percent.Anyone want to take bets on whether or not Barack Obama gets questioned about this?
Going back to the original question, I would suggest that if the general public knew about the size of our financial problems, Barack Obama would lose in a McGovern-sized landslide blowout. Informed, sane people don't go in for wild spending sprees when their debt load is increasing like this.
H/T: the chart above came from Dr. Housing Bubble. His post is worth reading if you want to know more about the California budget crisis.