Sunday, October 19, 2008

McCain's Last Stand - Campaign of Fear

And now the final chapter of this election campaign - all out fear! Obama is a socialist! Obama will tax every citizen back to the Stone Age, just he will tax 'Joe the plumber' and ruin the American dream! (Anyone else sick of hearing that phrase, 'Joe the plumber' or is just me?) Obama is a terrorist! Obama kills babies! Obama is bringing down democracy itself! Obama is bringing back the black power era! Obama cares more about his campaign than a war! These, of course, are already out there and have all been statements of McCain himself or Palin, his running mate. (Interesting to note about Palin - when is the last time her campaign watchers allowed her to speak with the media on her own? She will be on the stump only, since her handlers are fearful of how she will be able to answer policy questions. Is this telling about her readiness to take over should something happen to McCain, who will still be the oldest person to take the office should he win? Her own campaign doesn't have confidence in her to handle the job, but still some flock to her)

And I am just waiting for this phrase to be uttered by McCain or Palin - We will be attacked by the evil-doers if Obama is in charge! Just wait, it will be said at some point if McCain is still down in the polls the last week of the campaign.

McCain and Palin's stump speeches are filled with these comments, and now the robocalls are out with completely deceitful and literally made-up charges against Obama. And McCain is still using charges he has brought up in all three debates that are blatantly not true, as confirmed by looking at Obama's campaign platform and countless checks by the media and even other Republicans (in fact, a number of high profile Republicans, including members of Congress such as Sen. Collins from Maine) who are in close races are asking for an end of the completely negative campaign of the person who once said something like, "mark my words, I will never go that rout, even if behind", because of the nonsense the Bush campaign laid on him in South Carolina in the 2000 primary race. McCain, time and time again, goes back on his word, back on his honor, and is simply a pure politician who will do anything and everything to be elected. But a good number of people buy into it.

Looking back from when the primaries began in both parties, who has been the most consistent candidate? I think it is clearly Sen. Obama. His message has not changed. His speeches and policies have not changed. All his opponents have ended up using his campaign slogans and philosophy, and have tried to mimic his unprecedented use of technology to build his vast grassroots foundation. He has tried to stay away entirely from negative ads, but has had to throw in some, which are based on policy differences or actual things his opponents have said, in the face of constant attacks by the other side. This is because the other sides have always been behind, and that is what trailing campaigns resort to.

I cannot help but reach the conclusion that McCain, who likes to think of himself as an honorable man, has lost that honor. He is beyond where he said he would ever go. Fact Check (on taxes for now, due to lack of time at the moment):

McCain's claims of raising taxes on everyone ("Watch your wallets" is his phrase nowadays) is utterly false, and anyone who has analyzed the tax plans will agree it is a made up charge, but that does not prevent McCain from scaring everyone in his ads and speeches and robocalls. It just ain't so.

- taxes: Obama gives a larger tax cut to 95% of working Americans than McCain. Only if net income is over $250000 will taxes go up. Why this policy? First, let's not forget that both candidates say they will raise spending because of the unprecedented number of major problems the nation faces. We are likely to have a deficit of between $800 billion and $1 trillion just this year. McCain wants to cut taxes on the wealthiest (he has never denied this) because his philosophy is trickle-down economics. That is where the difference lies between the two. The reason I support Obama's plan is that, with conditions as they stand right now, the middle class is in terrible economic shape. Personal debt is at historic highs on average, and savings rates are at historic lows on average. The average wages and take home income have been flat at best, and some studies show have declined when adjusted for inflation (largely due to gas and food price increases) over the past decade or so. With the additional economic collapse of global banking and lending systems, as well as the drop in personal wealth as home prices have declined sharply, everyone expects a terrible retail holiday season, more job cuts, and so on, as all this is linked together. The middle class, which is the engine that drives our economy with its spending, is not in a position to spend. If they do not spend, what business is going to be able to expand and create more jobs, as revenue and sales drop? By taking an approach to boost up the middle class, this will ultimately be good for everyone. Now the rich will still be rich, even after modest tax increases. That is simply a fact. But in order to offer tax cuts to help the rich become richer in the long-run (via higher middle class spending and purchasing), there is a good chance the super wealthy will do better long-term, even though they take a short-term hit. This is not without example, as it happened during the Clinton era. The history behind lowering taxes across the board, with increased spending, is record deficits and a hit on the economy long-term, as happened with Reagan and now Bush, and perhaps McCain if he wins.

By the way, Joe the plumber would do much better under Obama's tax plan than under McCain's. He makes far less than $250000. And Joe said the business would cost about $270000 to buy...but guess what, that would not be his take home pay if he were ever to make the purchase of the business. After expenses, payrolls, benefits for employees, and all the rest businesses are allowed to deduct on their tax returns, his take home pay would certainly be well under a quarter million dollars. He would not see one cent of a tax increase! He would likely see a tax break! This is why something like 98% of small businesses are not going to be affected by the Obama plan, and actually helped!! And with Obama's health care plan, there are further cost reductions and tax incentives for small businesses, which will likely be the biggest source of new jobs. Question for someone who knows: Is the definition of 'small business' one with less than one hundred employees?

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