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But the key decisive factor on the experience question has been overlooked. Palin is running for Vice President. Obama is running for President. Before Palin ever becomes President, she will have served as Vice President of the United States for quite some time. At that point, she will have far superior experience than Obama has today.
Conservatives now cannot stand by and watch the establishment Democrat party controlled media try to destroy Palin before she gets off the ground. Eleanor Clift has already attacked Palin as a ditzy female version of Dan Quayle. But at age 44, Palin as a Governor and longtime elected official has a far more distinguished record than the much older Clift. Clift’s pedestrian journalism career consists mostly of reciting Democrat party issued talking points in braindead prose.
MAKE NO MISTAKE about it. Conservatives suddenly have a huge stake in the election of the McCain/Palin ticket. In addition to the exciting prospects for Palin, McCain has been running a strong campaign on the issues, for which he has not yet received enough credit from conservatives.
McCain has been darn good on taxes. Because America today suffers from the second highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, McCain has promised to cut the federal rate from 35% to 25%, restoring America’s international competitiveness. McCain also proposes what has been a high priority among supply side economists for years, precisely because it would be so strong in restoring economic growth. That is to allow immediate expensing for capital investment, which means that capital investment expenses could be deducted in the year they are incurred, rather than strung out over many years under arbitrary depreciation schedules. This would eliminate an enormous bias against investment in America.
McCain has promised to phase out the badly mistaken Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) outright. He proposes to increase the dependent’s exemption for children from $3,500 to $7,000, which would further slash income taxes for the middle class. He pledges to keep the Internet tax free, a cause he has long championed, and opposes taxes on cell phones. McCain would also make the Bush tax cuts permanent, again contrary to Obama, which would leave the top individual income tax rate at 35%, and the top tax rate for capital gains and dividends at 15%, while maintaining the phase out of the death tax.
McCain is even better on spending. He promises to go after wasteful and unnecessary federal spending with even more zeal than Reagan, an issue on which Palin lends strong support. McCain proposes to freeze all federal discretionary spending outside of defense and veterans benefits for one year, and to limit overall federal spending growth to 2.4%, about one-third the annual increases since 2000. He promises to reclaim the money committed to earmarks, eliminate broken, ineffective government programs, reform procurement policies to cut wasteful defense spending, and “veto every pork-laden spending bill and make their authors famous.” Through these policies, he promises a balanced budget during his first term.
McCAIN ALSO HAS a sound program for increasing energy production. He proposes to increase oil and natural gas exploration and production, in part by eliminating the ban on offshore drilling. Palin as the VP creates a teachable moment for McCain on drilling and production from ANWR and the rest of Alaska. McCain also promises to bring back the nuclear power industry by eliminating unnecessary regulatory barriers that have stopped the construction of any new plants for over 30 years. He has set a goal of 45 new nuclear plants by 2030, with an eventual goal of 100 new plants. He also favors the rapid development of clean coal technology, so that America can continue to use its vast reserves of coal, which produce the majority of electricity in the U.S. today.
By increasing supply, these policies would bring down the price of energy, oil, gasoline, and natural gas, which would also provide a further boost to our economy across the board. By contrast, Obama has no program to bring the price of gasoline and other energy down, and hasn’t even embraced that as a desirable goal.
Yet, McCain’s energy program is balanced. Like Obama, he also proposes federal support for the development of alternative technologies such as wind and solar power, and for flex-fuel vehicles, clean car technology, and electric cars. The key difference is that McCain is going to keep up, rather than move to shut down, production of oil, gas, and other established energy sources, while these futuristic technologies are still in development.
As critical for conservatives as anything else is the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, and other judges, which will also be discussed in detail in a future column. Here McCain has pledged unambiguously to appoint Justices like the recent Court additions of John Roberts and Sam Alito, and he voted as well to confirm Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Obama has said just the opposite, that he would appoint Justices like former ACLU General Counsel Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the ultraliberal David Souter, while opposing appointments like Alito, whom he voted against. Again, the stakes for conservatives could not be higher.
With these positions as their platform, the sharp contrast with Obama’s left-wing extremism, and the broad excitement generated by the addition of Palin to the ticket, the potential now exists for a McCain/Palin landslide. You heard it here first. I expect accolades when it happens.
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