Which Presidential Candidate is best for stocks?
As we rapidly approach this year's Presidential election in November, I have been debating with myself which candidate is the best for the stock market. I figured that I'd share my thoughts on the subject with everyone and see what others think.
Let's start off with some background on my views to give you some perspective of where I'm coming from. I am a registered Republican who voted for Bush in the first election, but who subsequently saw the error of his ways and abstained from voting in the last election, not being able to bring himself to vote for either candidate. I don't think that my vote for Bush in the first election was as much as a vote for him as it was a vote against having to listen to the smug, condescending "I'm smarter than you. Don't worry, I'll do the thinking for all of you ignorant fools" Al Gore (for a great piece on him check out Glen Beck's recent article - I'm not really a fan of Beck's but his observations on Gore are spot on). I think that what the current administration has done with the war in Iraq and the economy over the past eight years is absolutely disgusting and borders on being criminal. I am fiscally conservative, but very disenchanted with the current neocon ways of the Republican party.
Well, that's enough on my political background. Here are my thoughts on the current election and who will be best for stocks. I won't cop out and say none off the above because in truth I don't like any of the candidates or say Ron Paul, who has no chance in heck of winning. Someone is going to win so I have to pick the lesser of the evils. Hillary is out. She is way to shady for my taste. She keeps pointing to her time as first lady and saying how much experience she has. Does anyone actually remember how the Clintons sold pardons to everyone and their brother and stole all of the silverware on the way out the door last time? Give me a break. Her recent lying about snipers just reinforces how shady she is. Besides I don't think that there is any way that she can get the Democratic nomination over Obama.
So this brings us to Obama. He is extremely charismatic. I often find myself falling under his spell. A big plus for Obama in my book is that he voted against the war and he would likely be the quickest of all of the candidates to stop the hemorrhaging of cash from our country in support of it. If we are going to run a huge budget deficit, let's at least spend the money at home where we derive benefit from it and it can stimulate the economy. My two main problems with Obama are taxes and the protectionist rhetoric that he was spewing during the Ohio primary. Both of the Democratic candidates were talking about how NAFTA has to change and that we need to take a close look at future trade agreements with other countries. My goodness, protectionism is exactly what this country doesn't need right now. The only good thing about the bottom falling out from under the U.S. dollar is that it makes the goods that we produce here more attractive to other countries. We should focus our efforts on building more things that other countries want and opening up trade with them so that we can help to reduce our country's disgusting trade deficit. I suspect that neither Democratic really believes any of the things that they said in Ohio though because if they do and one of them gets elected it would be disastrous.
As I mentioned, the other thing that I don't like about Obama is his stated tax policy, specifically taxes on capital gains and dividends. Anyone who is here in CAPS is obviously interested in investing so I don't see how any of us would like it if the long term capital gains and dividend taxes increased significantly. I believe that I heard that Obama wants to raise the tax rate on both of these items to 25%. Is this correct? If so, I imagine that this might have a significantly negative impact upon the markets in the form of a massive sell-off right before the new rates went into effect.
The last realistic candidate is John McCain. I absolutely hate his warmonger ways and how he's nuzzling up to the conservative right who tried to leave him for dead only a few months ago, but at least he plans to keep the capital gains and dividend rates at 15%. When that's probably the best thing that you can say about someone, you know that they aren't great. He probably would be more for free trade than the Dems, which is a good thing for a country with a weak currency. But that's it. At this point I think that I am leaning towards saying that McCain is the best candidate for the stock market, but I am still very much up in the air. Who do you think would be best for stocks and why? I need someone to help me make up my mind.