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Colin Powell Holds Back Second Obama Endorsement

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 22, 2012

Four years ago former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a member the Republican Party, endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain for the presidency.  During an interview on NBC’s Today show on May 22, Powell declined to endorse Barack Obama for a second term at this time.

It is likely that four years ago Powell got caught up in a strong emotional environment that surrounded the possibility of the first African-American president.  Powell may now be suffering from buyer’s remorse like many others who cast their vote based on emotion and the promise of hope and change.

In making his comments, Powell seem to offer justification for his previous support of Obama pointing out three of the President’s accomplishments; stabilizing the financial system, repairing the auto industry and putting America on the path to ending the Afghanistan War.  This Blog respectfully disagrees with Colin Powell on these supposedly accomplishments:

Stabilizing the Financial System – The economic policies of the Obama Administration that included bailouts, stimulus spending, and low interest rates have not stabilized financial system. These policies took a problem of excess private sector debt, mainly the banks, and placed the debt plus the excessive government spending on the balance sheet of the United States federal government.  In addition, the economy’s growth is anemic and unemployment remains high.  Similar Leftist policies implemented in Europe had once again brought the world to a financial precipice with the sovereign debt crisis.

Repairing the Auto Industry – While Obama’s bailout of Chrysler and General Motors allowed these to failed companies to continue to operate, Powell and to many others had ignored the costs.  Missing from Powell’s conclusion is any semblance of a cost-benefit analysis.  In addition, there will be unintended consequences of this governmental intervention.  For example, the government intervened and changed the preferential positions of the bondholders.  This will negatively impact future bondholders chase in the rule of law that will ultimately increase the cost of corporate borrowing in the future leading to slower growth.

Ending the War in Afghanistan – The Bush Administration correctly decided that the war in Afghanistan could not be won via conventional military tactics and never committed substantial number of troops to that effort.  Obama significantly increased the troop commitment, which greatly increased American casualties and did not result in an improved military situation.  To now credit Obama with removing our troops from the war defies logic.

Colin Powell is a great American who has served his country with distinction.  He was, however, in error when he endorsed Barack Obama for president four years ago.  He should now be man enough to admit that error.

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