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US Muslims and the Economy

By Masood Rab, AMPEC

AMPEC – American Muslim Political Education Committee

The Muslim community issues that need to be presented to the political candidates for 2008 elections, after the issues of War in Iraq and Foreign Policy are – Economy, Healthcare, and Environment that cover the breadth and depth of the American spectrum of life. This article presents presidential candidate positions on economy.

When asked in the AMPEC survey, “People who are unemployed are generally that way because they are lazy”, the response was: Strongly Agree: 2%: Agree: 8%; No Opinion: 11%; Disagree: 46%; Strongly Disagree: 33%; with 2% no input (with a small error in rounding off to nearest whole number).

Seventy nine percent (79%) of the American Muslim community members surveyed consider the current unemployment is not due to people not seeking gainful employment with 10% agreeing, while 13% had no opinion. This indicates the poor economic opportunities thrust on the nation by draining the treasury into the most un-popular wars started by the current US government. The infrastructure, education, healthcare and other employment markets are going dry while the military contractors and suppliers and oil companies are reaping huge intakes.

Until the Michigan Primary, the debates around the country between the presidential candidates were mainly engaging the hopefuls on issues other than economy. The State of Michigan and its voters have injected the economy issue for the first time into the political debate – and the voters lost. Both national parties, Democrat and Republican, decided to punish the state for moving the primary election ahead – Democrats loosing all convention delegates while Republicans lost half.

The candidate positions are briefly outlined as bullet items. Readers interested in complete details may check on line at www.ontheissues.org. Surprisingly none of the candidates dared to mention the possible sources that may be eliminated, saving billions for US infrastructure reinforcements. First source is obviously the US wars, saving trillions of dollars. The other source that every presidential candidate is afraid of mentioning is the cutting or reducing of US foreign aid to countries in the Middle East.

Next AMPEC column – American Muslim Community and Environment

Hillary Clinton

• Help people facing foreclosure; don’t just bail-out banks. (Aug 2007)
• Balanced budget replaced with rising costs & falling wages. (Jun 2007)
• Co-sponsored bills totaling $502B in spending thru 2005. (Oct 2006)
• Voted NO on paying down federal debt by rating programs’ effectiveness. (Mar 2007)

John Edwards

• Need home rescue fund for those worried about losing homes. (Aug 2007)
• Asset gap: Poorest 25% of Americans have negative net worth. (Apr 2007)

Rudi Giuliani

• Fundamentals: low taxes; few regulations; control spending. (Oct 2007)
• I took over NYC in fiscal crisis; then reduced taxes 23 times. (Sep 2007)
• Establish accountability in Washington, like in NYC. (Jun 2007)
• Taught NYC how to use principles of fiscal conservatism. (May 2007)

Mike Huckabee

• Rein in out-of-control spending and balance the budget. (Sep 2007)
• Created state surplus in AR; cut spending to do same for US. (Sep 2007)

John McCain

• Congress spends money like a drunken sailor. (May 2007)
• Veto all pork-barrel bills and announce pork spenders. (May 2007)

Barack Obama

• Regulate financial instruments to protect home mortgages. (Aug 2007)
• Voted NO on paying down federal debt by rating programs’ effectiveness. (Mar 2007)

Ron Paul

• Maintain the value of the dollar, unlike Federal Reserve. (Oct 2007)
• Currency inflation counterfeits prosperity & destroys poor. (Oct 2007)
• Can’t legislate economic fairness; so make government small. (Sep 2007)
• Prioritize spending based on Constitution–and lower it too. (Sep 2007)

Mitt Romney

• Disagrees with reported negative study of MA economy. (Aug 2007)
• Washington is broken; needs fundamental change. (May 2007)


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