It’s almost impossible to ignore the fact that the US election is just one day away (Sydney time). The need for change of any sort is more apparent than ever and the change is needed for both domestic and international reasons.

I have many friends and colleagues in the United States and they are some of the most genuine and hospitable people I have ever met. In the last few weeks I have travelled through New Zealand, Australia, USA, Britain and Ireland and the sentiment for change is unmistakable. It’s amazing how many people have negative comments to make about the American people – I always defend them and I have always enjoyed the company of my American friends.

I have never met George Bush or even spent time with John McCain or Sarah Palin (she was busy looking at Russia from her kitchen). However the CNN truth-o-meter has been a good guide on what we are to believe or forget.

In the last couple of days I have heard Barack Obama described as a socialist and someone wanting to “spread the wealth” around. This has been put forward by the Republicans and repeated again and again which just makes no sense. The US is in massive debt – how do they propose to pay if off?

The income tax system which operates currently in the United States is progressive (similar to that in Australia) – which means that the more you earn the higher the tax rate on your income. Without going into great deal this system has been approved by the Republicans for years – thus spreading the wealth around. Does that make them socialist too?

George W Bush reduced the income tax rates paid by the rich, however, the income tax system has still remained progressive and even though the Republicans have called “Dubya” many things, they have yet to call him a Socialist.

In short Obama wants to reinstate the income tax rates for high income earners to the same levels as they were when Bill Clinton was President , the US was in good shape and had a budget surplus. What could possibly be wrong with that?

There are so many more things we could discuss but in an effort to keep this piece short I will end by saying that the President has a greater responsibility than simply being the Commander-in-Chief. He or she also has to ensure that safety nets are in place for the less fortunate and I wholeheartedly endorse Barack Obama as the Democratic President of the United States.

Michael Marquette

FYI: Read more articles on the US Election, Obama and the Credit Crunch

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