There’s more than one election in November
With all of the hype over the presidential election (I’m as guilty as anyone), I think that a lot of people forget about all of the other elections that are going on. Most people that go into the booth only make a decision about the president and either vote by party or don’t vote for congressional seats. We all have to remember that the President doesn’t operate with absolute power. If Barack Obama says that he’s going to lower taxes for 95% of Americans (*cough* doubtful *cough*), then he has to work with Congress to pass that legislation. The President doesn’t make laws. If he has a Congress that is opposed to his views, nothing is going to get done.
When I look at the election, I consider all of the possible outcomes. In all likelihood, there will be a Democratically controlled Congress. That means that if Barack Obama is elected, he will probably have an easier time moving his proposed legislation through the Congress into law. On the flip side, Democrats tend to be heavier spenders in order to support the social programs that are central to their party’s platform. This means that either our federal debt will increase or your taxes will. Either way, it’ll be money out of your pocket. If, by chance, the Congress remains split or goes to Republicans, I wouldn’t look for much to get done over the next four years. Obama is a politically polarizing figure and there will be a lot of resistance to his legislation by Republicans. It might force him to compromise on issues to get these ideas into law.
If McCain takes the election he’ll, again, most likely get a Democratic Congress. McCain has a history of reaching across the aisle to get things done. He’s worked with Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, and Joe Lieberman, all hardcore Democrats (sans Lieberman as of late). Regardless of what you see in the media, McCain is a moderate Republican. He won’t have to move his ideas too much to get them through. If he has a Republican Congress, it’ll be even easier.
It’s important for you to consider, as we get closer to November, who is going to win the Presidential election. I expect it’ll be a little more obvious by then. Your biggest decision that day in the booth is who you want to represent you in the actual law making process.
I know that most people don’t even know who their Senators or Congressmen are. Here’s a resource that will tell you a little about your current Congressmen and those that are running in November so that you can make an informed decision about these people: