We have two candidates for president that have really different ideas on how to make the economy grow.
Bush believes in the entrepreneurial approach. People should be allowed to invest in themselves. He even wants to let people have some of the 15% that now goes to the Social Security "trust fund". Folks, there ain't no such thing. All the money the government takes out of your paycheck goes into the general fund and the pols spend it as they choose for "your best interest" provided it coincides with theirs. Am I being too cynical?
Gore believes the government should take care everything and everyone. The more dependency of the people on the government the better because the dependents will look to him for what they need and keep him in office. Forty percent of the people in this country pay no taxes at all.
But what is the important thing that will make the stock market continue to go up? Is Bush better than Gore for the market? Or visa versa? Is a Democrat better than a Republican for the stock market? Or visa versa?
Historically the market finishes the year up 14% when the incumbent party prevails. The Dow goes down 3% when the parties change in the White House. It would seem Mr. Gore would be a better bet. But little George has proposed a plan that would give wage earners the right to put 16% of their payroll taxes into a private investment account. This would certainly fuel the stock market.
Who takes care of those who do a poor job of investing and lose all their money? We are already taking care of them. Did you know the return on investment for Social Security is about 2 1/2%? A money market fund earns twice that. Yes, there will be some who do lose that small personal investment account; however, there will be many more who do well and will have a better lifestyle for their personal efforts. There will be another bear market and all the sheep will be sheared.
Right now the economy is so strong that Mr. Greenspan is doing his best to slow it down. And we are in a strong world economy. Even Germany and France have finally learned that the way to stimulate their country's growth is to lower taxes. It has been an expensive lesson for them. Lower taxes mean more money for people to spend and invest, both of which stimulate the economy. Democrats needn't worry that there will be less spending if they should lose the White House as the Republicans know how to spend as well as they do. Cynical again, huh?
When it comes right down to which man will do better or worse for the stock market it is a toss-up. The difference is made in Congress, not in the White House. The president tries to steer the Congress to act on his beliefs. One of the things few people remember - it is best to have opposing views between the executive and legislative branches of government. A Democratic president is balanced off by a Republican Congress. And visa versa.
We'll just have to wait to see what this next election brings.