I was going through various votes for big-subsidy bills such as Energy bills, Farm bills, etc. -- yes, I have a life, why do you ask? -- and I discovered an interesting pattern.
On many of the most disgusting giveaways in recent years to Big Farm, Big Oil, and Big Pharmaceutical, Bush and Obama were perfectly in alignment, whereas McCain was among the few lonely votes against these budget-busting giveaways!
Consider the giveaway to big oil that was the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which Obama voted for and McCain voted against. This was championed by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and "McCain opposed the bill on grounds it included billions in unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry."
Or let's consider the giveaway to seniors and Big Pharmaceutical companies that was the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, which Bush passed in 2003 and McCain bravely voted against on grounds that it was adding a new budget-busting entitlement. Obama was not yet in the Senate at that time, but he has since made it clear he supports this law, and regards it as insufficient. This despite the following from Wikipedia:
The MMA was signed by President George W. Bush on December 8, 2003, after passing in Congress by a close margin.Read that again -- this new entitlement's cost is nearly three times its initial estimated cost -- and that's just over its first ten-year period!
One month later, the ten-year cost estimate was boosted to $534 billion, up more than $100 billion over the figure presented by the Bush administration during Congressional debate. The inaccurate figure helped secure support from fiscally conservative Republicans who had promised to vote against the bill if it cost more than $400 billion. It was reported that an administration official, Thomas A. Scully, had concealed the higher estimate and threatened to fire Medicare Chief Actuary Richard Foster if he revealed it. By early 2005, the White House Budget had increased the 10-year estimate to $1.2 trillion.
In fairness, there was a recent proposal to means-test Medicare drug recipients. In a radical move, the proposal was to lessen Medicare drug subsidies for those making over $165,000 a year. $165k a year, in retirement! It is very telling that Obama voted No on this common-sense reform, and McCain voted for it.
Lastly, there is this year's Farm Bill, the most bloated giveaway of all. Obama supported this $300 billion giveaway as a way of appealing to farmers just before the critical Iowa primary, McCain said, and I'm paraphrasing, it's wrong and I don't care if opposing it hurts my political chances. See more here at Donklephant. Oh wait, Obama didn't actually vote for the bill, he just supported it. Isn't that special? Even Bush, who threatened to veto the bill, signed the darn thing when he saw the numbers were against him.
So, if big government giveaways along the lines of Big Spender Bush are your thing, kids, then Obama is your guy! He's willing to come through for every special interest there is, because he's a new and different kind of politician. Meanwhile, poor old tired white guy McCain, the epitome of the evil establishment, is against these ridiculous pork-fests on the basis of the quaint notion that we might not want to bequeath a bankrupt nation to our grandchildren. How benighted of him.
This is yet another example of why McCain is a leader, and Obama is just another iteration of the same old, same old political hack, notwithstanding all his stirring rhetoric.