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If McCain were president he would have inherited a mess, too. His economic team would look like Obama's. He would have promised to create jobs -- stimulus by any other name. He would have extended 26 weeks of unemployment to 99.

Under McCain, too, the states would have to pay the federal government back hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars that financed employment security, public sector paychecks and many ongoing entitlement programs. Republicans will tell you they are selling you a new product. They want to pay down the debt by ending subsidies for big oil -- something Obama and the Democrats want to do.

Google the news around the country. Municipalities and states are dumping 10 to 20 percent of public sector employees for fear of losing their credit worthiness. In this recession, private sector workers have seen their 401Ks cut in half. Public sector workers have seen pension funds plummet with the real estate market. McCain would have put trillions of dollars of real estate on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, too.

Under both McCain and Obama, municipalities, states and the federal government budget only for the interest on trillions of dollars of new bond debt, kicking the principal down the road 5, 10, and 30 years. Now, it is looking like Republicans are not going to fight Obamacare in debt negotiations. So, what's the difference between the two parties?

John Patrick Earl, Bloomington

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