Out of Change

To: Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, candidates for president of the United States

Gentlemen: Both of you—in fact, almost the entire country—agree that we must “change.” For people who have spent their entire careers in the government, and have been nominated by the political elites, this is indeed a strange consensus. But as one citizen sitting in the bleachers, let me suggest what real change would look like.

The Budget. The average American has borrowed too much money, saved too little, and purchased a house for which he or she has no way of paying. But it’s no wonder Americans have spent themselves into oblivion individually; they have done so collectively under your leadership. For example, it is a lie to say that the 2007 fiscal budget deficit was a mere $162.8 billion. It would be a criminal offense for publicly traded companies to book interest payments not actually paid, and record those amounts as surplus without regard to any increase in liabilities. Yet, that is exactly what is done (and both of you voted for it) when the government “unifies” the federal budget with phony surplus numbers from the Social Security and Medicare “trust funds.”

Fannie and Freddie. The government was forced to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the demand of our Chinese and other foreign creditors. At least since 2003, the Ponzi scheme that we called Fannie and Freddie has moved our country closer to financial meltdown. Together, Fannie and Freddie were the second-largest global issuers of debt (only after the United States government) and the third-largest employer of lobbyists. Not coincidentally, favors, perks, and campaign contributions flowed to members of both of your parties. Silence and lack of regulatory oversight were the rewards.

This government’s nationalization of 48 percent of the U.S. housing stock should result in an additional $5 trillion being added to the federal books, bringing our total current deficit to approximately $15 trillion. Honest talk with the American public would have averted much of this problem. Honest talk is needed now.

Energy. Neither of you can improve on the observations and proposals of Texas right-wing billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Check out his ads at pickensplan.com. You could run them as your energy plan.

Structural Change. If you are truly intent on driving special interests out of Washington, let me suggest two ways to do that. First, adopt a voluntary flat tax. If there are no more loopholes in our tax code, companies and other special interests with their hands out will disappear.

Related Stories