May 2008

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I would have to disagree with you on this one.
If you are looking at initial and then flow on effects would Education not be the single biggest issue?
Increasing the standard level of education and providing a larger % of the population with both the want and ability to learn, to question, and to progress would answer energy, campaign finance, drugs, civil liberties, crime... just about all issues.
It is not a slow fix, but I do not think that anything could be. Problems as big as these should be addressed at the root, anything else is just a stop-gap fix.


Pardon me, a man LIKE Tesla.


Where is a man Tesla with free energy now? Bastards they were for stopping him.


I'm gainfully employed with a family, so I didn't have the time to read more than a few comments. So, in spite of possibly being redundant, here goes:

I'd have to go with complete campaign finance reform. Too many otherwise honest men (and women), formerly of integrity, and to many good ideas, get cast aside due to financial pressure from lobbyists. Too much money involved in the political process.

I honestly believe that if the only pressures on congress critters was that from the electorate, and from themselves, much of the process would be made better.

FWIW, I could be wrong, etc. NAH!!!


Education... Prepare leaders to handle everything else. The best thing anyone can do is make something better than himself. (Am I making any sense?)


All, Education is a big topic. Befriend someone from Japan. Ask them about their education system, culture, and family life. It will open your eyes.


Finding alternative fuels has been difficult. Corn is not the answer. When I do eat corn it's always left on the cob, or heated until popped. Tuesday lunch is always mexican food. Those hard shell tacos are the best.
I suppose there's more indirect-corn in my belly. The chicken biscuit I had for breakfast, the coca-cola I drank for lunch, and the steak I had for dinner.
I know the farmers are making a lot of money on corn. Don't tell any politician from the midwest that corn is bad for American. It's great for their state. Never mind that you can't transport bio fuels in underground pipelines (moisture destroys the fuel), and that fertilizer, and coal or nuclear is consumed to produce bio fules. (robbing Peter to pay Paul)
We use petroleum because it's very cheap, easy to transport, there's a LOT of energy stored in a single gallon of the stuff, and there's a HUGE supply of it. We'll switch to an alternative when it makes economic sense to do so. Politicians should not artificially inflate the cost of petroleum to switch us to an alternative fuel. That would make America less completive in the world economy. Any fuel saved would simply be consumed by developing nations, like China. Benefit the environment? I see none. It's far better to burn those fuels in 1st world economies where we have pollution standards.
Maybe Steven Spielberg had it right. We should begin cloning dinosaurs now!... that or build 21st century nuclear power plants... ask France how it's done.

Scott Alan Miller

Civil Liberties (i.e. I am looking for a president willing to admit that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional, totalitarian and not in anyway in the interest of the American population and certainly not in the interest of their safety.)

Basically I want a president who actually likes America and isn't a bitter Texan who is still upset that they lost in the Civil War and wants to take it out on everyone now.


(Note: This opinion was formed before reading your final answer -- good job?)

My vote would go to a U.S. presidential candidate that ran on a platform of seeking a mandate to create Energy INDEPENDENCE for America.

And then, every class-envy challenged enviro-worshiper that fears change would be called into jihad to rage against the improved technology, profits, anything visually different, personal wealth, progress, and America -- oh, it might turn out just like now.

Still, I agree with you. We need an energy policy for America that honesty moves away from consuming -- as quickly as possible -- all the finite oil (dead dinosaurs) in the surface of the earth.

Great Genius of the 21st Century

Do you really want clean, cheap, safe energy sources? Then put your money where your mouth is.

If everybody who ever complained about the energy supply would buy a superior form of energy, instead of relying on the government to fix the problem, the energy needs would be met.

Drive a hybrid. Install solar energy in your house. Use compact fluorescent lamps. ("Looks funny. Saves money!") Install insulated windows. Put in sunroofs. Have a geothermal heat pump installed. Invest in alternative energy. Drink Silk soymilk, which is manufactured with 100% wind energy.


A a surplus in the budget would be nice. A pipe dream but nice.

Joshua Zambrano

I like your cartoons, but again I must present a dissenting opinion. Personally, I don't think you really can point to any one issue, since it can just become a stance taken by anyone just to get elected. Even if they solve the issue they can still abuse the people they are supposed to serve in other ways.

To address the topic on an economic level, however, which I think is what you're focusing on anyway, I would have to say it's a combination of military spending and taxes. We got our trillion+ federal deficit as a direct result of our Middle East wars. We are stationing troops all over the world in places there is no real need to have them at. If we'd withdraw all those troops and resources and just protect our own border, the economic impact would be TREMENDOUS.

However, there's another side to it. We are allowing our jobs and industries to leave the country on a very rapid scale. Free trade pacts like NAFTA and CAFTA allow American companies to move their factories and industries to places like Mexico where the labor is much cheaper and still get away with selling the goods here in the U.S. for much better profits. Our steel industry is one example of an industry leaving the country, and the automobile manufacturing industry is almost gone too. Not only does this hurt our job market but it also affects our independent sustainability as a nation, as we become dependent upon other nations for our goods and resources.

I believe we need to do as the Constitution Party says, and start exiting these free trade pacts, enact a tariff system possibly based on the minimum wage of countries thus also creating incentive for said countries to pay their workers better, and create penalties for major companies which skirt tax laws such as is done by Microsoft. Microsoft moved their tax headquarters to Ireland where the taxes are very cheap and cheats the U.S. economy out of enormous amounts of money that way.

If we were to do those two things, scale back our military to only protect our own borders, and protect U.S. jobs, we would have WELL MORE than enough money to create much better services for the American people such as a national healthcare system. I believe a country shows its greatness in how it takes care of its weakest citizens. What is more, if we stopped acting as a global watchdog, we would not only have the extra military resources needed to stop atrocities like those happening in Darfour, but would also have the global respect and influence needed for our actions in doing so to be supported by the global community.


It's not on the list, but as someone living in a border state AND married to a LEGAL immigrant, I would say fix illegal immigration. Enforce existing laws, and ramp up border enforcement. Just because someone wants to work on our side of the imaginary line dosen't give them the right.

Stephen W. Stanton

A lot of assumptions went into this post, and some of them are questionable or just plain wrong. A partial list:

1. Make-work bias. (Prosperity comes from productivity, not "jobs".)

2. There are big downsides to biofuels.

3. Profits don't necessarily increase when input costs go down. In fact, lower barriers to entry may invite more entrants, lowering aggregate profits via competition.

4. Wars are fought even among/within nations that have cheap energy. Indeed, abundant energy may even reduce opportunity cost of maintaining large armed forces, leading to more wars.

5. Most other problems listed stem from scarce labor, not energy. Cheap energy won't help much to create more teachers, doctors... Nor will it reduce the time wasted silly tax laws, lawsuits, lobbying, etc.

As for my answer....
Tax and regulatory transparency. I'd make it mandatory to show people the amount of money the government directly or indirectly costs us.

For example, if you get paid "$50,000 a year", your employer probably spends closer to $70,000 or more after all taxes, required insurances, and regulatory obligations. You probably take home closer to $35,000 after all the deductions. A good chunk of that $35k is lost to sales taxes, real estate taxes, tolls, etc.

Rather than an annual 1040 tax return, there should be an annual accounting... Value created minus amount paid to all levels of government, fully itemized.

My hope is that people will start to better understand the limitations of government and think a little more rationally about economics. That rational thinking will, in turn, help solve all these other problems.

Jagadeesh Venugopal

Ah, that's where the mistake lies. When choosing a president, choosing a single-issue president does not work in a world where there are a number of complicated, intertwined issues to resolve.

You can't choose between energy policy, security, education and the like. You need to have a president that has a view on all of them. Hopefully one that is consistent with yours.


Education is the silver bullet.


Why should we be energy independent. And what eactly do you mean by that?


Wow...I mean, f'ing amazing wow. What a bunch of morons. Scott, we're fucked, just give it up. Knobs writing in about idiotic and frivolous issues like abortion, god, and a whole range of other nonsense whenever you try to make a point.

Fellow Americans, you're all too stupid to have a cohesive policy about anything. This country, great though it might have had the potential to be, is doomed. I predict a collapse into civil war and anarchy in the next decade.

The first five minutes of the movie Idiocracy hit the nail on this particular head, spot on. You're all nearly incoherent inbred doofuses without a damn clue. Ass, hole in the ground, progressive politics, all the same to you knobs.

I've got to stop reading the comments section, my blood pressure won't take it much longer.


I would go with the one who can do something significant to curb the terrorism. To all the other problems that are present, we have a solution or at least a vision as to how to go about it. But the violence and terrorism seem to be spreading like an epidemic with no cure in sight. Once the destruction is stopped construction will happen mightily.


Basicly, I would like to see a presidential candidate run on the platform of introducing a bill to congress that would name the Dallas Cowboy's as America's official football team.

Also, we need a fence between us and Canada. Its not America's fault if all the Canadians are crossing the border to escape Socialized medicine.


Astronaut ice cream that doesn't suck.


I'd go with education. Make sure that Washington DC inner city schools and PS235 in Toothless Joe, Alabama are as good as the schools in the small town with a strong tax base that I went to. No dropping out. Most of the rest of the problems would be solved within 50 years.
Fixing energy would be a faster fix to many problems but we'd still have a country filled with people who don't understand the cause of summer and winter, struggle to read at a second grade level, and believe in the giant, invisible, sky pixie. That is, the problems would be harder to implement and wouldn't stick as long as there's stupid people.


I know I'm late to the party here, and I didn't read all 300 or whatever comments, so someone probably already mentioned this; but none of the issues on your list can be resolved with any kind of efficacy until we get money out of politics. Real campaign finance reform that makes sure this country is no longer a nation of corporate interest, by corporate interest and for coporate interest is the only way to ensure all other issues get a fair shake. It doesn't matter what party the president or Congress belong to: all politicians have the same corporate and special interest masters. Until we the people become their masters again, the rest of it is a moot point.


With that wonderful list I just realized how much I like being canadian!
Healthcare isn't perfect but it is free
Crime... no opinion I guess
Currently the gov is really trying to go green (energy and otherwise)
Homeland secruity.. well we haven't pissed anyone off lately (which is why some americans pretend to be canadian when traveling)
Education- they are always trying to make it better (if they are managing it is a matter of opinion)
Balanced Budget it happens every once and a while

The issue I'd like looked at is the increasing gap between the wealthy and not wealth (esp look at the welfare trap).

Canadian Cousin

For Budda sake will you get off the Global warming kick.

Check the satellite data, These records show that there has been no increase in temperature since we have been taking them, using satellites. Read up on the Urban island effect. Did you also know that the software they use to model the effects of "global warming" can not accurately our current temperatures. Why is that from 1940-1975 there was a decrease in Global temperatures. During this period in history the greatest about of unfiltered CO2 would have been pumped into our environment From 1940 - 1945 every nation in the world was working their factories over time. An no one was concerned about limiting the CO2 yet temperatures Dropped. I say it again, It was cold this morning, it will get warmer during the day and then colder at night - There is your climate change.

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