I watched a little of the debate last night and paid some attention to what Barack Obama said. I figure if McCain gets elected, we will have a divided government and things will coast on more or less as they are right now. Come mid-2009, the credit crisis will have eased and life will get back to normal. The last 8 years have been pretty good and the coming debt tsunami is not yet upon us.
Obama came across to me as a mixture of Jimmy Carter and an Ivy League academic. He was ready with the checkbook for all voters. A tax cut for 95% of the population at a time when the deficit is $400B doesn't even begin to make sense. Couple that with his plans for lots more government spending and you get the Carter years all over again. 8-10% unemployment, interest rates in double digits and so forth. Obama was selling the notion that socialism works, it just hasn't been done correctly yet.
Obama was also all for punishing corporations and closing tax loopholes and blah blah blah. Down with businessmen, up with the proles! Punish Wall Street, reward Main Street! That the two streets are inextricably linked doesn't seem to have occurred to him. Whatever.
Four years from now the debt crisis might be close enough to see. We might have some cautionary examples of desperately debt-ridden countries struggling to avoid bankruptcy in Europe to draw lessons from. If Obama should win, the combination of another failed attempt to get socialism right and frightening images of the French or Italians in the middle of societal upheaval might lead to a massive return to fiscal sanity here at home.