You know how its fun to play the “what if” game; what if something different had happened what would the outcome be today. There is a big what if that I have thought about that I have never heard anyone mention. What if Al Gore was president on September 11th? How would he have reacted and what would his decisions as POTUS mean to us today. Every decision made by George W. Bush has a direct impact on our lives today; as do all previous presidents. But what really interests me is Bush v Gore, GOP v Dem; how decisions are made, what impact those decisions have and for our upcoming election who is more likely to make good decisions for the Country.
Back to that September morning and lets say Al Gore was the president. Now its obviously very difficult to know what someone else would have done in this kind of situation, and the Dems always get criticized for being soft on war. First, according to Clintonians they warned the incoming Bush administration that our biggest threat was from terrorism. If this is true would Al Gore have done more to prevent 9/11? That would be nice if it never happened but for this scenario it did happen. I think Gore would have gone full force into Afghanistan to root out the terrorists and try to find bin Laden and topple the Taliban regime. The major difference I think is that Gore would have kept his focus on Afghanistan until the job was done. Also, Gore might have used the Powell Doctrine, which is go in with overwhelming force; which Bush did not do. The US barely had any troops on the ground.
The main difference with the war would have been not going into Iraq. I think its a sure bet that Gore would not have invaded Iraq; this has huge consequences. One, it would have kept the focus on the terrorists in Afghanistan, we might have found bin Laden back then. We could have possibly left in 2003 or 04. In addition to the colossal waste of money and human life the United States could have kept its reputation as the sole military superpower that has complete competence. The Iraq war made our country look weak, unfocused and unable to get the job done. Thats still going on in Iraq today. Also Iraq was an excellent counter weight to Iran.
Another huge issue that Gore would not have done is the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. These tax cuts are one of the largest parts of our National Debt. They were unnecessary at the time and now have us so far in debt that we are on the verge of bankruptcy. This is also a huge issue. The tax cuts were promised to promote growth and create jobs; they did neither. We are in such dire straits with our economy today that we cant get rid of them. But the bigger question is, what would our economy be like if they were never enacted? How much stronger would we be financially today and throughout the 2000s if there were no tax cuts? I dont know enough about the financial crisis to know how much of the blame for that goes to W. and how much goes to others; I dont completely understand the credit default swaps, no matter how many times I have seen them explained with illustrations.
Think before you vote. Which party is more likely to go to war, cut taxes and increase the debt? Which party is more responsible, has been the only party to run surpluses and is less reckless. If Al Gore had been president our debt would be about 2/3 less than it is now; the prestige of our country and military might would still be in tact; we could have been war free since 2004. If you really think about who, the person and the party, has the right rationale for making decisions and you carefully weigh Mitt Romney against Barack Obama, the clear winner is President Obama.