Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Indecision 2008

I probably won't make many friends with this post, if anyone actually reads this. But since the election is coming up and it's the biggest election of our generation blah blah blah, I figured that I have to write a entry on the candidates. I wasn't going to post anything up on here either, but I saw an alarming article today that has me extremely worried about the future of this country.

First off, you should know that I am a Republican. No, I did not vote for Bush in 2004. I actually abstained from voting because I was in college and just didn't follow politics as closely as I should have. For the past 6-8 months, I have been very closely following the election coverage, on both liberal and conservative media outlets. I know the issues, and I have a pretty good idea what each candidate's stances are on those issues.

The thing with elections is, everyone has their pet issue that they are voting for. One person might vote for a candidate based on their stance on education, while others may vote for a candidate based on their military strategy. Others, including myself, favor voting for the candidate that would best be suited to get this country out of the economic mess it's in.

That being said, I will refer back to the article that I read today. The headline showed up on my Google Reader rss feed from Drudge Report and the article title was interesting, so I clicked it. The title was "OBAMA FIRES 'ROBIN HOOD' WARNING SHOT" from the New York Post. What I read was alarming. Last Sunday, Obama spoke in a town outside of Toledo. A small business owner whose company makes more than $250,000 per year approached Barack and asked him about his new tax plan. He asked if the plan would raise taxes for his small business. After Obama responded that it would, the man told him that he works hard, sometimes 10 to 12 hours a day and asks why he should be taxed higher to fulfill the American dream. Obama's response was (and I quote) "It's not that I want to punish your success. I want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success, too." He continued, "my attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

This comment should create concern with every American citizen. What Obama is basically saying here is that he wants to redistribute the wealth of this great country. He wants to tax the rich and give that money to the poor. The Robin Hood warning shot. For those of you who know something about government and politics, Obama's "trickle-up" economic theory is the main pillar of a Socialist economy. Redistribution of wealth. Now, I will say that I am not one of those radical right-wing conservatives that thinks all Democrats are the anti-Christ and the reason for all the world's problems. However, this is an alarming statement. Here is a breakdown of Obama's economic plan:

First off, he says he plans to cut taxes for 95% of all working Americans. This is a flat-out lie, because nearly half of all tax filers pay no income tax at all. So how can he cut their taxes if they don't pay any in the first place? His answer is "tax credits". Here is a list of tax credits that Obama will offer:

* A $1,000 "make work pay" credit.
* A $4,000 college-tuition credit.
* A $6,000 child-care credit.
* A $1,100 bump in the earned-income tax credit

These aren't to become income-tax deductions, which would be worthless to tax filers paying no income tax. Instead, they are checks straight from the government, with the subsidies set to grow to $1 trillion within 10 years. That's a pretty big transfer of wealth. Obama says that it's fair. But that's an interesting definition of the word "fair." Despite many of the wealthiest people in this country paying a lower tax rate than most middle-class workers due to a majority of their income coming from capital gains, the top 20% of earners still pay 69% of our country's federal taxes, and 88% of income taxes.

Obama wants to raise the capital gains tax, which means that these people will be shouldering an even heavier load of tax burden. Now, don't get me wrong; I don't feel sorry for these CEOs and corporate execs getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. But in terms of doing your fair deed to this country, I believe they have. It's funny how all these Hollywood stars are coming out in support of Obama. Don't they realize they will be taxed to high heaven if he gains office?

On Monday, Obama promised a tax policy that would restore "a sense of fairness and balance that will give every American a fair shot at the American dream." But to the man he spoke with on Sunday, his American is going to become that much harder.

Let me take an aside here to say that I am also not a HUGE McCain supporter, but I do believe that his plans are more reasonable and fair to the majority of citizens in this country. That said, in contrast to Obama's plan, McCain calls for for real tax cuts - halving the capital-gains levy and scrapping taxes on unemployment benefits altogether.

What we have to realize here is that the economic situation cannot be solved in a day, or a year, or maybe even in the next four years. It's going to get worse before it gets better. We are suffering from policies put in place over 8 years ago (yes, I do mean Clinton) and it has put us in a hole. While Obama is so set on radical change for this country, McCain is proposing the level-headed policies that we need for these tough times. You may get roped in with Obama's rhetoric and his call for change, but when was the last time a radical change in this country made anything better?

However, this is where the McCain campaign is dropping the ball. I give Mr. McCain a lot of credit for resurrecting a dead campaign early in the primary season and winning the nomination. However, since then, his campaign team has not done a good job of breaking down Obama's policies and getting the facts out there. The numbers I wrote above are numbers you probably won't see anywhere else. McCain will probably not mention this in the debate tonight and probably will not be aggressive enough in defending his own policies, while pointing out the specifics that everyone is overlooking in Obama's. This is why McCain will lose and Obama will win the 2008 election.

I'll finish up with this. For those of you who were old enough to remember back to 1992 (I wasn't so I had to read about this on the Internet), remember Clinton's pre-election promises. He promised to lower taxes on the middle-class and raise taxes on those earning more than $200,000 per year (sound familiar?). Actually, that is the main thing that won him the election in '92.

After the election and as his inauguration drew nearer, he backed off of that stance. At a Jan. 14, 1993, press conference in New Hampshire, he claimed that it was the media that had played up a middle-class tax cut, not him. A month later, he announced his actual plan before a joint session of Congress. The plan called for increasing taxes of families making as little as $20,000/year. It wasn't until 1994, when a Republican-controlled Congress came into power, that he embraced welfare reform, signed a cut in the capital gains tax, and declared that the "era of Big Government is over." The economy was jump-started thereafter. Funny how McCain's economic plans are in line with those that helped stimulate the economy during the Clinton years. Makes you think, huh?

Mr. Obama is making the same promises that Clinton did, and I'll be interested to see how long it takes him to back down from those promises. To be fair, if he did raise taxes on the middle-class, it would be better than his "trickle-up" (aka redistribution of wealth) theory. At least this country would remain a Democracy and not fall into Socialism.


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