Leadership or Pandering? Kerry or Warner?
Cross posted from Liberal Values:
During the 2004 campaign, John Kerry called for an elimination of the Bush tax reductions for those making over $200,000 per year in order to reduce the deficit and pay for his proposals. The Des Moines Register quotes John Warner as opposing this position:
“I think the Kerry campaign missed something,” Warner, who is weighing a 2008 presidential campaign, told about 50 local business leaders.
“Even though the Bush tax cuts only applied to the top 2 percent of Americans, what I think the Kerry campaign missed was that the other 98 percent of Americans still aspired to get to the point in their life where they could qualify for the tax cuts.”
From a pure political point of view, Warner is right. The candidate who promises the most for free will always have an advantage. Republicans have done great with this strategy. Warner is also right that even those who are not affected by the tax cuts hope to one day earn enough where this impacts them.
If we want a candidate in 2008 who will say anything to get elected, nominate John Warner, not John Kerry. My previous post at Liberal Values on the increase in number of uninsured shows why we need a leader who does not pander in this matter. If we are going to solve problems such as making health care affordable, we need to also be able to say how these solutions are to be financed.
It might be easier to ignore such problems, as well as the deficit, but we already have the Republicans for that. We need leadership to explain to the voters why they come out ahead financially if they pay a little more in taxes (assuming they make over $200,000) but in return will have affordable health care, and will not see the value of their retirement funds eroded by inflation due to the deficit. This might increase the chances of losing, as in 2004, but getting this country back on track is a mission for more than one election cycle. We need people like John Kerry who will tell the voters the way it is, and over time an increasing number of people may be receptive to their message.