McCain Delivers Remarks at a Hershey, Pa. Rally

CQ Transcript Wire

Tuesday, October 28, 2008; 11:48 AM

MCCAIN: It’s great to be back in Pennsylvania. We need to win Pennsylvania on November 4th, and with your help we’re going to win here, and bring real change to Washington, DC. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: hoping for our luck to change at home and abroad. We have to act. We need a new direction, and we have to fight for it.

I’ve been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I’m elected President, I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I’m not afraid of the fight, I’m ready for it.

I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. We’re going to double the child deduction for working families. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy.

If I’m elected President, I won’t spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Senator Obama will. And he can’t do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I’m going to make government live on a budget just like you do.

I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren’t working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes.

I’m not going to spend $750 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I’m going to make sure we take care of the working people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington.

I have a plan to fix our housing market, so that your home value doesn’t go down when your neighbor defaults, and so that people in danger of defaulting have a path to pay off their loan.

If I’m elected President, we’re going to stop spending $700 billion to buy oil from countries that don’t like us very much. Senator Obama will argue to delay drilling for more oil and gas and against building new nuclear power plants in America. If I am president, we will start new drilling now. We will invest in all energy alternatives — nuclear, wind, solar, and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will invest in clean coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy within months, and we will create millions of new jobs.

We’ve learned more about Senator Obama’s real goals for our country over the last two weeks than we learned over the past two years, and that only because Joe the plumber asked him a question in Ohio. That’s when Senator Obama revealed he wants to quote “spread the wealth around.”

Now, Joe didn’t ask for Senator Obama to come to his house, and he didn’t ask to be famous. He certainly didn’t ask for the political attacks on him from the Obama campaign. Joe’s dream is to own a small business that will create jobs, and the attacks on him are an attack on small businesses all over the country. Small businesses employ 84 percent of Americans, and we need to support small businesses, not tax them.

After months of campaign trail eloquence, we’ve finally learned what Senator Obama’s economic goal is: to spread the wealth. In a radio interview revealed this week, he said the same thing — that one of the quote, “tragedies” of the civil rights movement is that it didn’t bring about “redistributive change.”

You see, Senator Obama believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. He said that even though lower taxes on investment help our economy, he favors higher taxes on investment for quote “fairness.” There’s nothing “fair” about driving our economy into the ground. We all suffer when that happens, and that is the problem with Senator Obama’s approach to our economy. He is more interested in controlling wealth than in creating it … in redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity. I am going to create wealth for all Americans, by creating opportunity for all Americans.

Senator Obama is running to be Redistributionist in Chief. I’m running to be Commander in Chief. Senator Obama is running to spread the wealth. I’m running to create more wealth. Senator Obama is running to punish the successful. I’m running to make everyone successful.

Senator Obama has made a lot of promises. First he said people making less than 250,000 dollars would benefit from his plan, then this weekend he announced in an ad that if you’re a family making less than 200,000 dollars you’ll benefit — but yesterday, right here in Pennsylvania, Senator Biden said tax relief should only go to “middle class people — people making under 150,000 dollars a year.” It’s interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down. At this rate, it won’t be long before Senator Obama is right back to his vote that Americans making just 42,000 dollars a year should get a tax increase. We can’t let that happen.

My opponent’s massive new tax increase is exactly the wrong approach in an economic slowdown. The answer to a slowing economy is not higher taxes, but that is exactly what is going to happen when the Democrats have total control of Washington. We can’t let that happen. We need pro-growth and pro-jobs economic policies, not pro-government spending programs paid for with higher taxes.

This is the fundamental difference between Senator Obama and me. We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy. The difference is that he thinks taxes have been too low, and I think that spending has been too high.

If we are going to change Washington, we need a President who has actually fought for change and made it happen. The next President won’t have time to get used to the office. We face many challenges here at home, and many enemies abroad in this dangerous world. Senator Biden warned that Senator Obama would be tested with an international crisis. I have been tested. Senator Obama hasn’t. Senator Biden referred to how Jack Kennedy was tested in the Cuban Missile Crisis and I have a little personal experience in that. I was on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, and I sat in a jet cockpit on the flight deck waiting to take off. We had a target. I know how close we came to a nuclear war and I will not be a president that needs to be tested.

We know Senator Obama won’t have the right response to that test, because we’ve seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign. He opposed the surge strategy that is bringing us victory in Iraq and will bring us victory in Afghanistan. He said he would sit down unconditionally with the world’s worst dictators. When Russia invaded Georgia, Sen. Obama said the invaded country should show restraint. He’s been wrong on all of these. When I am president, we are going to win in Iraq and win in Afghanistan, and our troops will come home in victory and honor.

Let me give you the state of the race today. There’s one week to go. We’re a few points down. The pundits have written us off, just like they’ve done before. My opponent is working out the details with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid of their plans to raise your taxes, increase spending, and concede defeat in Iraq. He’s measuring the drapes, and he’s planned his first address to the nation for before the election. I guess I’m old fashioned about these things I prefer to let the voters weigh in before presuming the outcome.

What America needs now is someone who will finish the race before the starting the victory lap … someone who will fight to the end, and not for himself but for his country.

I have fought for you most of my life, and in places where defeat meant more than returning to the Senate. There are other ways to love this country, but I’ve never been the kind to back down when the stakes are high.

I know you’re worried. America is a great country, but we are at a moment of national crisis that will determine our future.

Will we continue to lead the world’s economies or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren’s future be brighter than ours?

My answer to you is yes. Yes, we will lead. Yes, we will prosper. Yes, we will be safer. Yes, we will pass on to our children a stronger, better country. But we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage and wisdom.

I’m an American. And I choose to fight. Don’t give up hope. Be strong. Have courage. And fight. Fight for a new direction for our country. Fight for what’s right for America.

Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting and selfishness in Washington. Fight to get our economy out of the ditch and back in the lead.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children’s future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. America is worth fighting for. Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history. Now, let’s go win this election and get this country moving again.

Original article can be found at www.washingtonpost.com

 

 

 

 

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The Myth of Obamanomics

Barack Obama continues to state he will only tax incomes over $250,000 and that 95% of taxpayers will get a tax cut. Does it make sense to you that Obama will increase spending by more than a trillion dollars? Increase taxes on business? Will those ideas be good for the economy? If you think about it for just a minute you will agree that it does not pass the common sense, the smell test.

The following data comes from the IRS for the year 2003 and reveals the number of businesses with revenue over $ 250,000 in 2003. From IRS statistics in 2003:

Revenue Range

Number of businesses

$250,000 – $500,000

1,331,692

$500,000 – $1,000,000

932,914

$1,000,000 – $2,500,000

686,257

$2,500,000 -$5,000,000

263,211

$5,000,000 – $10,000,000

143,693

$10,000,000 – $50,000,000

124,568

$50,000,000 – Above

32,040

 

Many of you work for a company that falls into one of the above categories. Let’s take a little time to examine the practical consequences of Obama raising taxes on these companies: Obama states that he will raise taxes on incomes above $ 250,000. Now look at the number of businesses affected above. Now keep in mind that when businesses pay more taxes, they must make up for their losses somehow, traditionally they resort to one or more of the following ways of offsetting their losses:

·        Increase the price of their products or services, thus affecting consumers.

·        Cut other costs such as salaries, jobs or investment in new technologies such as energy.

·        Move to a country with less tax.

·        Some companies will go out of business due to profits declining, increased taxes and lower sales, when prices increase.

Corporations are primarily taxed three ways. They are taxed on corporate income, on dividends, and on the sale of stock. If you are a retiree and own stock, you will have less money because the corporation will have less profit and if you sell the stock you will pay more tax on the sale.

Government is extremely inefficient. $ 1,000 taken from a business will remove money that drives the economy, creates more jobs and ultimately brings more revenue for the government. That $ 1,000 will be wasted in government bureaucracy and overhead.

Obama is using this old lie to appeal to his core support that is promised everything by politicians that use them to win elections.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took part in a debate several months ago hosted by Charlie Gibson. Gibson asked Obama about his plan to raise the capital gains tax. Then Gibson pointed out that studies have shown that lowering the capital gains tax increases government revenues and is good for the economy. Obama began stammering and stuttering and in one of the most revealing moments of the election, Obama’s lack of understanding of the economy and taxes was made clear. Obama was unable to rely on a canned teleprompter response.

Obama is just another modern day snake oil salesman. If you let him steal this election, Obama and the out of control Democrat congress, will ruin this economy and this country.

Does Obama scare you? http://obamaimpeachment.org

Eric Zorn: 8 Reasons Why Obama Will Lose

8 Reasons Why Obama Will Lose

Imagine my surprise to find this outline in a blog by Eric Zorn, the plumber hater, in the Chicago Tribune. I thought it impossible for him, or the CT, to speak evil of their” Messiah.” He did stray from the path on numerous occasions though and as always, like in number 4, on the table he left talking points which are easily argued. For a guy who claims to be a professional journalist, he never makes a solid argument. Either way, it’s all good clean fun for me, because I get to call him out on his inconsistencies. Too bad though, like Obama his lack of a spine will not allow him to defend himself.

1. “Bittergate.” Obama has been remarkably disciplined in his campaign, but his one “oh, no, he didn’t!?” moment was a doozy—his unscripted comment in April that “it’s not surprising [that residents of small-town America] get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

2. He’s played too much defense. Though Obama’s campaign has run bazillions of ads criticizing McCain, they’ve stayed away from trying to raise questions about McCain’s character and his judgment—questions the McCain campaign has been raising relentlessly about Obama and that Obama has had to answer. [Obama doesn’t even come close to matching McCain’s character; that is why he did not go there, in fact, he was invited to, but declined the offer . . . he knew better. C’mon Zorn, there are still many mysteries that are left unsolved where Obama is concerned . . . don’t get me started!]

It’s absurd, for instance, that more ink has been spilled about the judgment Obama showed in the 1990s when working on education reform with former Vietnam-era radical Bill Ayers than about McCain’s judgment in 2002 and 2003 to cheerlead for the invasion of Iraq. [Really, how about the recent rectal examination “Joe the plumber” has gotten over a justifiable question to Obama? An incident you had no problem writing a column about . . . an incident you tried to denounce by smearing all plumbers. An article I will personally haunt you for, for trhe rest of your life. Zorn, when will you ever report something with out your sanctimonious and priggish ideals clouding your judgment?]

3. He was more dismissive than responsive to festering issues. When questions came up about Obama’s real estate dealings with crooked fundraiser Tony Rezko, he tried to brush them off with curt denials rather than bury them with documents and comprehensive answers.

Ditto his lackluster and in places inaccurate responses to concerns about his votes on “born-alive infant” legislation when he was in the Illinois Senate and demands that he give a full accounting of his personal and professional interactions with Ayers. [Zorn, you better get your ditto machine out for that statement. Curt denials have been Obama’s whole campaign . . . no substance . . . just Kool Aid pushing Jimmy Jones and Johnstown Guyana-like promises of “hope and change. When you’re guilty or wrong, it is better to ignore an issue, rather than get caught trying to cover it up. As Lao Tzu would advise, some times the best action is inaction!]

4. He left points on the table. Most of you know about Obama’s sleazy associate Tony Rezko. But how many of you know about McCain’s sleazy associate Rick Renzi? McCain named Renzi, a retiring Republican congressman, a co-chair of his Arizona campaign in January, even though the Wall Street Journal and other publications had reported he was the subject of a federal corruption probe.

Renzi was indicted in February and is facing trial. Yet the Obama campaign, apparently content to try to sit on this lead, hasn’t made an issue of him or of McCain’s friendship with convicted Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy, who once urged his radio listeners to “go for a head shot” if federal agents came to take their guns away. [Wow! After just denouncing guilt by association in this article, you didn’t just . . . nah! You’re not a hypocrite . . . Are you? How is McCain embroiled in Rick Renzi’s wrongdoings? He has no involvement whatsoever. It is kind of hard not to be associated with a congressman from your own state. Following your ideology, it would be safe to say Obama is queer because Barney Frank is; it’s nonsense. Rezno, on the other hand, is legitimately tied to Obama as he sold land to Obama and brokered a sweetheart deal, not to mention the campaign finance rigamarole. Along those same lines, Senator Ted Stevens is being hung out to dry for receiving gifts; will Obama be held accountable for receiving a chunk of land and a house at a price not concurrent with market values or the low interest loan his credit rating may not have decreed? I somehow doubt it! As for Gordon Libby, McCain has been upfront about knowing him, there is nothing to hide, other than completely legal campaign contributions there have been no financial ties; and unlike Rezno, Libby hasn’t recently received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Lebanon. Libby is not currently under investigation, Libby served his time, and Libby never bombed the capitol or government buildings either.]

5. Biden’s blunder. Yes, foreign evildoers tend to test new presidents. But when Obama’s veepmate, Sen. Joe Biden, blathered on recently about an inevitable crisis in the first months of an Obama administration, it gave McCain a fat opening to highlight security concerns, one of his few winning issues, and play the fear card. [like jack Nicholas said . . . “you can’t handle the truth” . . . although I don’t condone any associated ideas that may be inferred by the following statement . . . as Hillary pointed out . . . it seems we are going to need a bigger budget for Casa de Blanco should “that one” end up as the “chosen one.”]

6. The economy now looks more like a chronic woe than an urgent crisis. This has allowed McCain to settle into an anti-tax, anti-spend, anti-liberal campaign groove that often works for Republicans. [Without doubt, especially in this election cycle  . . . as the left wing loon  in the democratic running shoes [spelled democratic nominee] has apparently been taught to drive on the left shoulder, forget the left lane, of the road while crunching numbers with his calculator . . . the “anti-spend, anti-tax groove” is more warranted in this election than any other time in history, if you haven’t caught my drift.]

7. Smoke. I’ve never seen a candidate subject to as many nutty rumors and guilt-by-association smears as those about Obama that land in my in-box every day. If enough voters decide in the end that there must be fire somewhere in all that noxious smoke, Obama’s apparent lead will vanish. [No need for smears Zorny, the proof is in the pudding if you can read and add 2 + 2 . . . in his book, “Dreams from My Father,” Obama tells us that, “It was into my father’s image . . . that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself.”  He goes on to say, “I did feel that there was something to prove . . . to my father” in his efforts at political organizing. All one needs to do is read the senior thesis, “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” of Barak H. Obama Sr, to grasp the ideology that has been instilled in Barack Obama Jr. Some of the ideologies allowed for in Barak H. Obama Sr.’s senior thesis from UCLA are the nationalization and outright confiscation of foreign owned enterprises, the abolishment of free enterprise, the redistribution of wealth, price regulations for those businesses tied to the service industry, and 100% taxation of income as long as the people get benefits from the government. If that is not a radical approach to socialism then what is? It’s not hard to identify that Obama had socialistic tendencies long before he met the likes of Khalid al-Mansour and William Ayers.]

8. He’s African-American. Let’s be honest. In this rotten year for the Republican brand, if a white Democrat were sitting in the polls where Obama now sits, this “how he might lose” talk would be absurd. [As I recall, several white democrats were sitting in the polls during the primaries, so you and your buddy, Andrew Greeley, need to sell your racism elsewhere. Of course, unless you are actually stating that Obama was not really the people’s choice during the primaries, yet he somehow managed to be elected the democratic nominee?]

 

DEMS’ CAMPAIGN-FINANCE HYPOCRISY

By BOB KERREY

 

On the question of public funding of presidential campaigns, we Democrats who strongly support Sen. Barack Obama‘s candidacy and who previously supported limits on campaign spending and who haven’t objected to Obama’s opting out of the presidential funding system face an awkward fact: Either we are hypocrites, or we were wrong to support such limitations in the first place.

The next time we speak of the virtue of level playing fields or state our strong belief that democracy can’t survive in the modern age unless big money is taken out of campaigns, we’ll be counting on our audience’s forgetting our silence this year, when the free market was flowing in our direction.

A hypocrite is a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue – who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings. And that, it seems to me, is what we’re doing now.

Former Sen. Wendell Ford once gave me good advice about public issues and votes: “If it takes you more than 10 minutes to explain why you voted a particular way, you probably voted wrong.” It would take me a lot longer than those 10 minutes to explain why I’m not outraged by Obama’s decision to opt out of funding – which has given him a decisive spending advantage over Sen. John McCain.

Actually, I could keep my answer under 10 minutes if I were willing to answer that it’s now to my advantage to act in contradiction to my previously stated beliefs. All I would need to say is that, on the issue of public funding in 2008, I was a hyprocrite.

Of course, there’s another option: Admit I was wrong on such limitations in the first place. And that’s exactly what I’m likely to do.

For the facts in evidence seem to make the case that this presidential campaign is the most exciting, most closely watched and most expensive in my lifetime. That is, there seems to be no correlation between the amount of money spent and disillusionment among the voters. Indeed, the contrary appears to be true.

The argument that money is corrupting our democratic system is as old as our first election. And it is an argument usually made by liberals, who have proposed various interventions in the marketplace of political ideas.

The bedrock federal law here was enacted in 1971 and has been challenged time and again by individuals and groups who view such limits as a violation of the First Amendment. On each of the several occasions when the Supreme Court has ruled against the law, Congress came back with further modifications to the statute.

The most recent effort was in 2002, when Sen. McCain led a bipartisan effort to “clean up the system.” Last year, the high court overturned the key provision of that law, which restricted individuals and groups from engaging in issue campaigns.

There is great irony here, since the key vote in that 5-4 decision was Justice Sam Alito – just the kind of “nonactivist” judge that Sen. McCain has promised to nominate.

So maybe I was simply wrong about placing limits on spending and providing public monies in exchange for adhering to these limits. Of course, it’s possible that I’m making a virtue out of a necessity – since my candidate is now winning in part because, by opting out of the system, he has more money to spend.

In the short term, I’m sad to report that hypocrite is a more accurate label. In the long term, perhaps this will be the moment that causes me to change my views. It certainly feels better than remaining a hypocrite forever.

Bob Kerrey, president of the New School, served as a US senator and governor of Nebraska.

Original article can be found at www.nypost.com

Will Obama’s Collection Plate Come Back Empty: Fearful Investors May Seek Shelter

I found this post in a comments section . . . hope I don’t get sued for using it, but I hope even more that those better off in our society don’t resort to using this strategy, as it would crush us. Even so, the guy has a valid point and you can’t blame him for looking out for number one. So without further ado . . .  

“I don’t think there’s too many people in this country that want to continue this downward spiral of greater debt, more corporate and bank bailouts, more borrowing from China, more foreclosures, more unemployment and layoffs, and more war. I believe that both Obama and McCain know that if they are elected and keep us on the current compass heading, they’ll be looking for a job in 4 years. They may argue about the best METHOD to get us back on track,”

Well, there you go. Analyze the economics involved and you will discover that Obama’s answer is more government spending, bigger bureaucracy, and higher taxes on the golden geese who make the economy work. As I said some time ago, in a post far, far away, the problem with Obama’s plan to tax the rich is that the rich are the people who ALREADY pay the majority share, per capita, of actual tax revenues collected. I saw a chart in the paper two days ago that said it all.

The top one percent of income earners, those who make more than $336,550 per year pay a 35% tax rate and actually pay 33% of the collected revenues the government gets. The top 50% of earners, those who earn more than $123,700 per year, pay 54% of the taxes collected. However, that top 50% comprises only SEVEN PERCENT of all tax returns filed.

Thus, we have seven percent of the taxpaying public paying 54% of the taxes, and 93 percent of taxpayers paying only 46 percent of revenues collected. How is that fair? Obama’s idea of fairness is “because they have money, and the middle class doesn’t.” Pure Socialist rhetoric.

On the other hand, 47% of the tax returns filed are filed by people who make between $15,100 and $61,300, and pay at a 15% tax rate, but they pay ONLY 20% of the revenue collected. That 47% of the taxpaying public consumes the lion’s share of public resources, so why do they only have to pay for 20% of the costs involved?

Twenty-four percent of taxpayers, who make less than $15,100, pay at 10% rate and pay 1 percent of the tax revenues collected.

To complete the list, four percent of taxpayers make $123,700 to $188,450, pay at 28%, and pay 11 percent of revenues, and two percent of taxpayers make $188,450 to $336,550, pay at 33% and pay 10 percent of the revenues.

So, under Obama, if you make less than $250,000 per year, which is somewhere in the middle of the 33% tax bracket, you’ll pay less taxes. This means that the upper third or so of taxpayers will be paying MORE than 54% of the tax burden, perhaps a LOT more, while the “middle class” will be getting a free ride. And all of this ignores the other, unstated percentage of citizens who don’t pay any taxes at all, who will be getting “free money” from the upper third of income earners. And the lower 75% of taxpayers will be consuming 99 percent of the public resources while paying less than their fair share.

Now, this is a lovely Socialist wealth-redistribution scheme perfect fitting Obama’s Socialist tendencies, but it ignores a major unintended consequence.

The top tier of income earners, those who pay ONE-THIRD of all the tax revenues collected, are wealthy enough to stuff their capital under their mattress (metaphorically speaking), stop earning ANYTHING for four years, and cause Obama’s utopia to collapse when ONE-THIRD (or 50% or more under Obama’s plan) of the money he’s counting on to hand out to the welfare statists among us simply disappears into thin air.

They can do this because the revenues collected are based not on how much cash some “rich” person has in the bank, but on how much they *earn* from their cash. I.e.: how much interest or return on their INVESTMENT they realize.

So, first, recognize that the amount of cash that this top-tier has is enough that they are not *required* to invest, they will only invest if it suits them and they will make a profit. Second, recognize that they already pay 33 percent of taxes collected from the INTEREST ON THEIR INVESTMENTS. Not the principle, the INTEREST.

Guess what happens to government income if they stop investing for four years, something they can easily do?

Guess how much new tax Obama can collect if the top-tier doesn’t make any income that can be taxed? You do the math.

Worse yet, it is the top-tier of income earners that ALSO employ everybody else, either directly through businesses and “evil corporations” they own, or indirectly through investment in those companies.

If you think the mortgage meltdown was bad, just wait till nervous investors (not just the top-tier, but at least the top 50%, and arguably the top 75% of taxpayers) dump their investments and stick their money in non-interest bearing bank accounts because they don’t want to be subject to confiscatory ObamaTax.

That’s certainly what I’m going to do (I HAVE savings because I’m smarter than Wall Street), because I’d rather spend my savings supporting myself for four years than give it to Obama to give to welfare slugs. This means that if Obama wins, I won’t be paying ANY taxes at all, because I won’t be earning any money at all, I’ll just be spending my savings to try to survive Obama’s reign. Heck, I won’t even have to file a return.

There’s no reason “the rich” can’t do exactly the same thing, in which case, his whole agenda collapses like the house of cards that it is. And I sincerely hope that the “rich” do exactly that, so that the Proletariat can experience “democracy” good and hard. That will guarantee a Conservative comeback big time in 2012.

On the other hand, if McCain wins, there is at least the *chance* that the economy will recover, because obviously, when tax rates on the “rich” are lowered, people are stimulated to invest because they see a potential for return on their investment that they don’t have to immediately turn over to the government. The more investment in the economy, and in small businesses, medium businesses and even “evil corporations” (you know who owns “Big Oil?” Ma and Pa, Grandma and Grandpa, Sister and Brother) the faster the economy grows. The faster the economy grows, the greater the tax revenues collected, even at lower marginal rates.

To make the analogy simple, what McCain wants to do is bake a much, much bigger pie by inducing investors to invest in the baking goods by giving government a smaller piece of that bigger pie, which actually results in a net increase in the amount of money government collects, because 15% of one pound is greater than 60% of nothing.

Obama wants to make the pie smaller and take 99% of it to give to the lower 50% of the people, while trying to charge the top 1% for all the baking supplies. Problems occur when the top 1% refuse to pay.

Obama’s plan simply will not and cannot work. He knows this, because he’s anything but stupid, but he will promise the Proletariat ANYTHING to get elected. Since he knows his plan will destroy the economy if he implements it, it therefore follows that he INTENDS to destroy our economy. We already know that he INTENDS to destroy our national sovereignty. So, destroy the economy and our national sovereignty and what do we end up with: The New World Order, where the UN runs the US, draining it of equity to enrich the “underdeveloped” nations of the world, because the US is evil and deserves to be chastised.

“but I don’t believe that Obama has some not-so-secret agenda to imprison all of us, make abortion mandatory, give America away to terrorists, part out our children to demons, kick our dogs and rape our wives.”

The fact is that Obama is a tax-and-spend, hard-left-wing Democrat who has absolutely no compunctions about imposing confiscatory taxes on people who make more than $250,000 per year NOT because it’s the “right thing to do”, but because it’s a populist tactic intended to win the election. He knows full well that he CANNOT do what he says he’s going to do, because he doesn’t set tax policy, and he knows (or he’ll find out) that the economy will tank even worse if he tries to punish the “rich” in order to enrich the middle-class. That’s not creation of wealth, that’s just redistribution, and it’s a temporary fix at best, because once the golden goose figures out it’s safer to sit on her eggs for four years than to invest it, only to have Obamastiltskin steal it away, the goose will fly the coop.

The original author stated that he/she was “(sorry about the mixed metaphors )” Perplexing? Yes! Do I care? No! After all they’re not mine! Fact is, I got it, and just maybe you need to revisit your nursery rhymes . . .

Shooting with Both Barrels

 

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By Andrew Busch

 

At this point, the prognosis for John McCain’s campaign is uncertain at best. Several polls show a marked tightening in the race, some with McCain even within three or four percentage points, while a slew of others show Obama with a six, nine, ten, or even fourteen-percentage-point lead. McCain has caught some big breaks recently, including the emergence of Joe the Plumber’s pointed question and Joe the vice-presidential nominee’s mouth. Obama has more cash to finish out the race, however, and has the benefit of the major media generally working for him as well.

One can stipulate that McCain might still win, but that, at this moment, the odds are against him. This situation calls for a double-barreled approach by McCain. On one hand, he must continue to doggedly pursue victory up to the last possible moment. On the other hand, he has an obligation to structure the last week of his campaign in such a way that he lays the best possible groundwork for a Republican resurgence in the event that he loses. He should concentrate on themes that serve both purposes.The tax-and-income-redistribution theme on which McCain is hammering is one example of a theme that meets both criteria. It advances McCain’s electoral prospects in the short term, and it boxes Obama in and sets the Republicans up for a counterattack if Obama becomes president. Having been forced to defend his tax increases as limited to a small number of super-rich taxpayers, he will now be under enormous pressure to keep them limited—and, if he doesn’t, Republicans will be able to say “we told you so.”There are at least two other obvious messages that could serve as McCain ammunition in both barrels.

First, McCain would emphasize what makes America special: limited government, entrepreneurialism, a uniquely American understanding of human dignity rooted in liberty and responsibility. We love our European friends, he might say, and we have deep respect for the common roots of our civilization. But we do not want to be just another European social democracy. Most of our ancestors willingly gave up Europe for America. Why would we want to give up America for Europe? Then McCain can tick off the particulars of Obama’s tax plan, his views on redistributionism and social welfare and health care, his views on regulation, his very European contempt for the values of the American middle and working classes. The alternative — McCain’s alternative — is an approach that tries to solve America’s problems without sacrificing America’s values. This election will decide if America remains a unique land of freedom and opportunity. If we lose that America, we will likely never get it back.

Such a message would serve two purposes. It would tie together a number of disparate strands of McCain’s argument, setting the context for the last leg of the campaign and the vote itself. If the stakes are really this big, someone should make sure Americans know it before they vote — not piecemeal, but in broad brushstrokes. And if Obama wins, it will be easier to rally Americans if they have heard this argument before and can put the pieces of President Obama’s program into the proper frame.

A second line of argument also suggests itself as a solution to McCain’s continuing problem of being tied by voters to President Bush. With Bush’s approval rating below 30 percent, McCain needs to make a stronger separation from the incumbent, akin to Hubert Humphrey’s famous 1968 Vietnam bombing speech, but in doing so he must be careful not to alienate conservative voters. This might be accomplished best not by McCain emphasizing how he deviates from Bush’s policies (though he can safely distance himself from some of those policies), but by McCain implicitly separating himself from Bush’s presidential style by way of attacking Obama. After all, presidents can influence the economy, but they cannot control it. They can influence foreign affairs even more, but they still must ride events. The one thing presidents really control is how they use the office of the presidency.

McCain can say: We need a president who talks with the American people, not another president who talks at them. We need a president who has confidence tempered with some humility, not another president who cannot admit when he is wrong — let alone one with a messiah complex. We need a president who will use his veto pen to check the excesses of Congress, whether Congress is controlled by the other party or by his own. We need a president who will control the spending of taxpayer dollars, not another president who works to blow up the federal budget. We do not need the third president in a row whose fame is derived from setting fundraising records. But we do need a president who gives Americans confidence that he will safeguard the rule of law and their civil liberties. Already, Obama’s campaign and his supporters in ACORN have benefited from campaign finance violations and have organized voter registration fraud; Obama’s campaign has threatened legal action against television stations that run ads that he doesn’t like; Obama has promised to take away the right to a secret ballot in union elections; congressional Democrats have signaled that they intend to shut down talk radio because they do not like its message; Obama himself has basked in the development of a cult of personality, replete with the mindless chanting and glassy-eyed children’s chorales touting the glories of The One, as if Obama were Kim Jong Il. What will Obama and his allies be like if they actually obtain unchecked power?

Here McCain would return to one of Obama’s greatest vulnerabilities, the well-deserved public perception that he thinks too highly of himself, but with a twist. It is Obama, not McCain, who would represent an extension (and aggravation) of what many voters see as the most problematic elements of the Bush presidency. (Indeed, Obama seems inclined to go well beyond all but the most outlandish caricatures of Bush on these grounds.) At the same time, McCain would be laying the groundwork for resisting the misuses and, more important, abuses of executive authority that may well come in an Obama presidency. Voters will have been given a framework within which to assess such abuses as they arise. They will have been forewarned and put on alert. A new narrative will have been put into play that could come to define Obama’s administration, if one takes office, should his presidency parallel his campaign. The argument, made now, may help save this election. If it doesn’t, it could help win the next one. 

 

— Andrew E. Busch is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

It Is All About The Money

Obama vs. McCain: It’s About the Money

As the financial crisis has worsened and the economy has deteriorated, basic pocketbook issues — taxes, jobs, retirement — have taken center stage in the presidential race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

When the new president “comes to town in January, he’ll have to work on the short-term stimulus to the economy, and the longer-term plans may get deferred,” says Clint Stretch, managing principal of tax policy at Deloitte Tax. “But the issue isn’t the economic-recovery package and what the budget looks like in 2009, but what it will look like come 2012.”

With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, Sunday Journal takes a look at the candidates’ positions on the issues that will most affect your family’s finances. We culled information from party position papers on Web sites, speeches and nonpartisan third-party reports.

Short-Term Economic Relief

To respond to voters who want immediate economic help, both candidates have proposed specific plans on how to jump-start the economy in 2008 and 2009.

Sen. Obama proposes a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to families ($500 for individuals) and penalty-free withdrawals of 15% from 401(k)s and IRAs up to $10,000. He also wants to temporarily suspend minimum distribution requirements for retirement accounts.

Sen. McCain proposes cutting the capital-gains rate on stock held for more than a year to 7.5%. He also would increase the amount of stock loss that is deductible against ordinary income from $3,000 to $15,000, and would tax withdrawals by seniors from IRAs and 401(k)s no more than 10%.

Income Taxes

Both candidates pledge to lower taxes overall, but the key point to the debate is who will be paying the bills.

Sen. Obama favors tax cuts for middle-class workers and tax increases for top earners — families that make more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 a year. He wants to extend most of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, but raise the top two marginal rates to 36% and 39.6%.

Sen. Obama wants to eliminate taxes on seniors making less than $50,000 a year and to provide a “Making Work Pay” tax credit of 6.2% of the first $8,100 in wages (about $500) for individuals earning less than $75,000 a year. Outside analysts estimate that the top 1% of wage earners would see an average tax increase of $19,000.

Sen. McCain wants to permanently extend all 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, raise the personal exemption for each dependent from $3,500 gradually over several years to $7,000 and keep the top tax rate at 35%, leaving “upper-income taxpayers” with “the most to gain under McCain’s plan,” according to a report by Deloitte Tax. The nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that the top 1% would see a tax cut of more than $125,000.

Estate Taxes and AMT

Both candidates support extending the Alternative Minimum Tax’s 2007 “patch” exemption levels and index for inflation, and changing the federal estate-tax law to make the $2 million per-person exemption ($3.5 million next year) portable or transferable from one spouse to another.

Sen. Obama wants to freeze the 2009 estate-tax structure, which taxes roughly 0.3% of estates — those valued above $3.5 million per person — at a top rate of 45%. According to Deloitte Tax, a $5 million estate would pay a tax of $675,000 under this plan.

Sen. McCain has proposed a 15% estate tax (down from the current 45%) on roughly 0.2% of estates, those valued at more than $5 million per person. A $5 million estate would pay nothing under this plan, Deloitte Tax notes.

Health Care

According to a report by the nonpartisan health-policy analysis and consulting firm Lewin Group, a unit of insurer UnitedHealth Group, average spending on health care in 2010 will be $4,407 per family. Both candidates want to expand access to affordable health care.

Sen. Obama proposes income-related subsidies for health insurance through a new national exchange, along with expanded access to Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and mandatory care for children. He would require employers that don’t offer health coverage to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the national plan, with small businesses being exempt (and eligible for refundable tax credits on 50% of premiums).

Under this plan, premium payments for families would fall by about $185 and direct payments for health services by $253. The Lewin Group projects the Obama plan would reduce the number of uninsured by 26.6 million people in 2010, from 48.9 million.

Sen. McCain wants to replace the current income-tax exemption for health-insurance premiums paid by employers with a refundable tax credit of $5,000 per family ($2,500 for individuals). Any unused credit could be deposited into a Health Savings Account. His Guaranteed Access Plan (GAP) would allow people denied coverage to obtain insurance through state-run high-risk pools administered by private insurers, according to a report issued by the Joint Center for Political Economic Studies. Sen. McCain wants to allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, which could reduce the effectiveness of state regulations.

Under this plan, premium payments for families would increase by about $379 and direct payments for health services by about $105. “This would be more than offset by a net increase in tax subsidies of $1,570” and wage gains resulting from employer savings, the Lewin Group says.

The Lewin Group projects that the McCain plan would reduce the number of uninsured by 21.1 million people.

Investments

Both candidates offer plans to support small businesses, but they offer different strategies for capital gains, dividends and retirement savings that will affect investors.

Sen. Obama wants to eliminate all capital-gains taxes on start-ups and small businesses but raise the top long-term capital-gains rate on securities and qualified dividends from 15% to 20% for families making more than $250,000 a year ($200,000 for individuals). He wants to tax carried interest as ordinary income.

Sen. McCain calls for maintaining the 15% top tax rate on dividends and long-term capital gains.

Retirement & Social Security

Both candidates have moved to temporarily suspend the requirement that people over age 70½ tap their retirement accounts, but neither candidate has offered a substantial long-term plan to overhaul the way Americans save for retirement.

Sen. Obama wants to institute a 2% to 4% payroll tax on incomes above $250,000, split between employer and employee. It would take effect in 10 years or more. He also proposes a retirement-security plan to automatically enroll workers in a workplace pension plan.

Employers that don’t offer a retirement plan would be required to enroll employees in a direct-deposit individual retirement account. Sen. Obama also proposes a saver’s credit to match 50% of the first $1,000 of savings for families earning less than $75,000.

Sen. McCain favors privatizing Social Security in programs that allow younger workers to place a portion of their payroll taxes into personal accounts invested in the market.