Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Hope for the Future

The midterm elections are fast approaching, and in the time between now and November 2nd I will be doing a series of posts about which individual candidates I support. Most or all of these posts will be about New York elections in which I can vote. I wish to wait until the primaries are finished before I begin that series of posts, however, so today's entry will outline the direction in which I hope the midterms take our nation.

There are four issues which I think will be important after the midterms: the economy, climate control, immigration, and healthcare (if the Republics win one or both houses). While both parties will attempt to solve these problems, they will likely have very different approaches. I expect the Democrats to take fiscally liberal approaches to fixing the economy and climate control, with measures such as increasing unemployment benefits, tax cuts for the middle class, further stimulus measures (although I'm sure they won't call it that), and subsidies for green technology. I think the Democrats will attempt to solve immigration issues by making borders more open and by creating an easy path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in America. I expect the Republics to take more fiscally conservative measures to fix the economy, such as more extensive tax and spending cuts and attempts to reduce the budget deficit. I expect them to resolve the immigration issue by increasing border security and attempting to root out illegal immigrants. I am uncertain of the path they will likely pursue on climate control.

While my opinions are scattered between the two parties, the majority of them align with the Republican position. I think the fiscally conservative approach to solving the economy is more responsible and will be more effective in the long run. I think spending needs to be cut and that the deficit needs to be reduced, and I simply don't trust Democrats to do that. As I have previously written, however, I support a very open immigration system. I think that with a Democratic president and a Republican congress (which certainly won't have a 2/3 majority), this is still achievable. I am wary of the Republican response to healthcare, however. I in no way support the current Democratic solution, but I feel that a Republican congress frantically removing whatever pieces of the legislation they can could complicate the system further. Fortunately, Obama won't allow that to happen. Instead, I think that a full overhaul of the healthcare system is needed. Unfortunately, Obama won't allow that to happen either.

I think that smart environmental reform comes in the form of correcting market failures, not through expensive subsidies. For example, a gas tax would go a long way towards reducing emissions and would make that market far more efficient. I don't believe that Democrats will follow that approach. However, I fear that Republicans will simply try to protect the interests of big business instead of finding smart market-based solutions (oil companies obviously won't want a gas tax, for instance). My hope is that a Republican congress bent on cutting spending and a Democratic president committed to improving the environment will construct a compromise that consists of market reforms.

Overall, I am hoping for Republicans to take control of both houses of congress, however unlikely that is. I am not universally endorsing the positions of the Republican party, but, lame duck issues aside, I think the combination of a Republican congress and a Democratic president is the most beneficial situation for our nation.