The second presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain was, for the most part, uninformative and boring. McCain came off as physically awkward, lacking in agility, and, as Colbert King said, looking like Fred Sanford from the 70s sitcom.
There’s not much new that I can add to the analysis of the debate that is not already out there, but one thing struck as particularly annoying. McCain started off with his latest Hail Mary: he proposed a massive U.S. government buyout of troubled mortgages (apparently he didn’t know that the power to do this already existed in the present bailout/rescue plan). Then a few minutes later he proposed a freeze on government spending to help save the economy. First of all, how can you freeze spending when you are buying out troubled mortgages? And second, as I have mentioned before, why would you proscribe a spending freeze during an economic crisis? That’s how Hoover dug us into a whole during the Great Depression.
Finally, on the subject of government spending, taxes, and Sarah Palin’s lines against Biden for saying that paying taxes was patriotic, Thomas Friedman today writes,
“Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.