Welcome to my blog where I discuss money, investing, politics, and anything else import in the world. I find it surprising that most people in their 30s have very little knowledge or interest in these areas. Of course everyone is interested in money, but very few take the time or have the discipline to properly save and invest it for the future or short term. For those who at least have the interest, I'll write about my experiences and methods of investing, and hopefully give you a head start in investing.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

My Super Tuesday Vote

I live in New Jersey and we will be voting February 5 as part of Super Tuesday. I have been waiting to let the dust clear before making a decision, but now that the field has been narrowed, it is time to choose. I will be voting in the Republican Primary, which has become a two horse race. For me, it comes down to a few issues that I base my decision on: taxes, energy, spending, the war, and illegal immigration. On most of these topics, I feel the Republicans pretty much agree, although their implementation may differ somewhat.
I'll give you the bottom line upfront and say that I will be voting for Mitt Romney. Although I may have been voting for Guilliani if he was still running. Now let's look at each of the issues:
  • Taxes. They all agree to keep income taxes low, eliminate or fix the AMT, and make the current "Bush" tax cuts pernament. McCain and Romey propose to do this by keeping the current rates. Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul want to do this by completely changing the tax system. Huckabee with the completely unfair FairTax, and Paul by eliminating all taxes. Neither solution would ever be supported by Congress, and thus are not realistic. Romney also would like to reduce corporate taxes. I believe these changes are necessary to keep the American economy strong and make America companies competitive, where we currently have one of the highest corporate tax rates.
  • Energy. Everyone agrees we need to lower our dependence on imported oil. The best solution is massively and rapidly increasing our production of nuclear energy for electricity. Aggressively drilling for oil where it currently exists in North America (e.g., ANWR). At the same time, increasing our reasearch and use of alternative energies in our cars. However, this has to be balanced with our food supplies. Tapping into our food supply to be used as fuel causes inflation in all our food prices and may not be the best solution. All the candidates favor a strong, bold energy plan. However, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee seem to align best with my views. Ron Paul believes in free market forces to guide energy, but because of the enormous initial expense of building new plants and bringing new solutions from research to the mass market, I believe you need Government incentives. Allowing the best and cheapest solution to merely win out, means the dirtiest coal solutions may be in our future.
  • Spending. The theme is low. From the extreme low preached by Ron Paul that is supported by his no income tax plan, to the more moderate levels of the other candidates. John McCain has long been working to end earmarks and proposes the line item veto. However, simply eliminating earmarks will not do it alone. In addition, no new programs should be formed and existing programs need to be scaled back. This is the root cause of where Democrats and Republicans really differ, Democrats want to help America by increasing services and spending, Republicans want to lower costs by minimizing services.
  • The War. All candidates except Ron Paul want to finish the fight and come home victorious. Whether you were originally in favor of the war or not, the fact is that we are in it and need to now complete the mission. Paul may like to argue the premise of the war, but we need a President who is going to complete the job decisively and as quickly as possible. This is where John McCain has the advantage in my mind, with his experience and service. The other candidates are talking the right strategy, but are still unproven.
  • Illegal Immigration. This is John McCain's weakness, having supported amnesty for illegal immigrants. The other candidates all support strong physical borders, strong screening, and an increase in agents. We need to stop providing support for illegal aliens and instead provide a more controlled immigration process and increasing the speed of the process will encourage immigrants to come in the proper way.

In addition, I like what Mitt Romney accomplished in Massachusetts on health care. To me, the religious views of the candidates are unimportant, unless those views would negatively influence the issues listed above. Remember, there still are the Congress and Courts to keep the President in check. The criticisms of "flip-flopping" have been used on both Romney and McCain so I look at that as a wash. McCain will probably win the majority of votes on Super Tuesday, however it will be interesting to see if Romney can keep it close.

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