Archive for the ‘Tax Cuts’ Category

Sarah Palin is Anti-American

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

I am fed up with the nonsense about Barack Obama’s character.

The incessant question, “Who is Barack Obama?” The over use of his middle name and inferences to terrorists and the “unknown”, pathetic attempts to manipulate xenophobia and racial fears in the less educated. These are dangerous and irresponsible tactics which are failing to help John McCain, while putting Obama in harm’s way. The accusations brought against Obama by the McCain camp seem to be some strange new form of political projection. Not only are these outrageous accusations ridiculous and offensive, they are more accurately applicable to Senator McCain and Governor Palin.

Is their official campaign strategy to accuse Obama of anything they could LEGITIMATELY be accused of themselves?

“Obama is inexperienced” has Palin written all over it.

“Obama pals around with terrorists” Oh…look, Palin again. See above (Anti-American Alaskan secessionists)

“Obama wants to raise taxes” despite the repeated attempts to explain that 95% of American households and small businesses WILL NOT SEE A TAX RAISE but rather TAX CUTS under Obama’s economic plan!!!

John Sidney McCain is still using this as a talking point because he has NOTHING except lies and racial fear to use in a sad attempt to scare people into voting for him. Nobody really supports McCain. Most of his supporters support the Anti-Women, Anti-intellectual, Anti-reality Palin or are simply anti-Obama voters. An anti-vote may go in his pocket but it is not a vote of confidence in McCain’s ability to run the country or popularity.

The irony is that McCain’s own economic plan would not give relief to the majority of people and even the parts that resemble relief (tax cuts, etc.) for the majority of people are not well-defined or well explained. Funny, the only part that is laid out in a clear and concise manner is his tax-relief plans for the uber-rich, professional stock traders and corporate fat-cats shuffling money off-shore to avoid paying taxes. Furthermore, the minute cuts he proposes for the Joe population all have loopholes which will end up costing “Joe” even more (i.e. education with no funding, promised support for special needs children, veterans, elderly, etc. which are all contradicted by his “spending freeze”, $2500 for each family for health care rebates but then taxing employer provided health care, in essence discouraging employers from providing health care in the first place and despite the average family cost of $1200 for health care a year.)

BOTTOM LINE ON TAXES: McCain’s tax cuts will help the obnoxiously wealthy and I am not referring to Joe Sixpack, Joe the Plumber, Joe Blow, Sloppy Joes or Joe vs. the Volcano or any Joe that has a small business. Obama’s tax cuts will POSITIVELY effect the economy by putting money in American’s pockets… if we have money, we’ll spend it… and 95 (NINETY FIVE) 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 95 (do you get it yet?) 95% of people in our country will benefit. What part of this is so difficult? Just because McCain says something, doesn’t make it true. It actually, statistically, probably makes it untrue. Read for yourself his plan, read it thoroughly. Read them both.

Under Mr. Obama’s plan, the middle of the middle class, or those earning $37,595 to $66,354, would see taxes cut by $1,042 a year. Under Mr. McCain’s plan, taxes for people in that category would also fall, but by $319; the largest chunk of the benefits would go to those making $2.8 million a year or more.
Larry Rohter, Will the Real Tax-and-Spender Please ‘Fess Up, NY Times, Jun. 13, 2008.

McCain’s strategy has always been see what is working for Barack, steal it… change it only slightly, repeat Barack’s stance on it verbatim and claim it as his own under the mighty (and flimsy) shield of Maverick-ism. This is ridiculous. It is clear to see McCain does not have the best interest of any Joe at heart. And don’t even get me started on his policies for Jane.

BOTTOM LINE ON PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND DANGEROUS PALS: This, too, seems to be more a Palin thing than a Obama thing. He was 8 when this Ayers fellow engaged in horrific acts. I don’t think they were “palling” around. But who exactly is Palin’ around with anti-governmental Alaskan secessionists who believe that violence is acceptable to win the “war” they are waging against the U.S.? Shouldn’t you be more concerned with this woman and her shady ties or at least as equally concerned?

Who is Barack Obama? There is so much information out about him. Information-filled biographies; his website where he states clearly his stance on every issue and it has been consistent ALL ALONG. Stop being ridiculous. If you have doubts about who Obama is, um… then you either you are a closet racist or you are simply lazy. The information is a google search away or at your local book store. The same cannot be said about Mrs. Palin who avoids interviews, questions, etc and dodges answering anything directly even when she is cornered (i.e. the VP debate). She is a trained monkey keeping secrets while giving lip service to campaign words like “maverick” “change” “transparency”.

You cannot reasonably question whether you know Barack enough but believe you truly know Sarah Palin. We have had ten times the exposure into Barack’s life as we have into Palin’s. SO when you ask “Who is Barack Obama?” are you really asking because you can’t find out what you want to know? Or are you asking because it is your polite mavericky way of saying, ‘but he’s blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacccccccccccccck’.

For all of you questioning who is Barack Obama but not who are Sarah Palin and John McCain (because I am quite certain you didn’t know much about him before this and maybe the last Presidential campaign and I would even venture to say you still don’t), I encourage you to look up the following:

Troopergate.

The Keating 5 Scandal.

John McCain’s original 2008 Presidential Platform concerns. Note: His now adamant concern with the energy crisis is an extremely recent stance for McCain. It was just a few short months ago that he was making fun of Obama for his focus on energy reform.

All of the candidate’s voting records on a UNBIASED source. Pay particular attention to McCain’s voting record with regards to veterans, oil companies, deregulation, financial institutions and tax cuts.

And please use some common sense, think. Money must go into the pot before going out of the pot. If John McCain allows the multi-billion dollar corporations to skate past the post… well, there will be less money in it to spend, even for his conflicting promises to support veterans (not supported in his record) and special needs children. It is a sneaky way of spending folks and he has it down to an art.

So, ask if you must but then also ask, “Who is John McCain?” and “Who is Sarah Palin?” and why did he pick her anyways?

Fundamentals and Economics by Magpie

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Make, sell and buy products. Starring in the Economy are consumers, manufacturers, corporations (often the latter two are one in the same) and, in today’s world, a whole mess of middle-men. You must make products (companies who hire workers to produce products) to sell (requiring stores, businesses etc. and workers) and then people (consumers) to buy these products. There are many theories on how to best manage an economy. We keep hearing about the fundamentals of our economy being strong or weak, depending on who you listen to…sadly enough. Let me tell you my thoughts on the real economic fundamentals politicians should be focused on right now.

Before people will shop or spend their money, they need the following things:

1. A roof over their head
2. Food on their plates
3. Electricity (yes, most of us have grown accustomed to that in this country)
4. Good health (which requires sufficient healthcare)
5. Gas/energy to get to and from work
6. Employment to provide the money necessary for the above

And finally…

7. Extras (these come after the fundamentals are procured).

However, if people cannot pay their mortgages (because they are victims of predatory lending born of the current Regime’s deregulation polices or because they have less money from the price-gouging of corporations on groceries, gas, electricity etc. or because they cannot find a job or are laid off or because corporate responsibility has flown out the window) and if they can’t buy enough groceries to feed their children or to pay for gas to get to and from work, or they fall ill and cannot get the proper care necessary for themselves, their children or their aging parents…then they will not be able to buy other stuff. Get it? If they cannot buy the “other stuff” then businesses suffer. Then businesses must cut jobs and/or employee benefits. And thus we spin towards a depression. You need only to examine the current financial situation to see this vicious cycle in action.

The fundamentals of economy are housing, groceries, gas/energy, and healthcare. This is true for the average American. Perhaps because the rich do not have the same concerns and they may think the fundamentals are different. However, if you ask the everyday American what is important to them, when they say economy, this is to what they are referring. They want their family’s basic needs met and to have a little extra money at the end of the day to buy bright and shiny things; to save a little extra for retirement and college funds; and to leave their children a little better off than they were left themselves. These are the fundamentals with which politicians should be concerned.

McCain, at best, gives lip service to these areas of the economy. He believes the fundamentals are strong. Oh, he is changing his tune the past week but if you didn’t know last week, we were in trouble… and it took a 500 point drop in the market and a ten point drop in your campaign lead to get it, you probably are not the most economically-savvy person for the Presidency. He does not truly understand what is fundamental for most of us. Simple enough mistake but simply too costly for everyday people to support his very different economic fundamentals by voting for him.

His idea of helping to immediately reduce the price of oil and groceries is to “send a strong message1 to the oil producing countries, as well as the oil companies, that prices are too high. Um, I think they already know this. They know they have us by the energy-throat and they are taking advantage of that. We need their services and they know it. Hrmmm… isn’t that the deregulated-corporate way McCain is in favor of? Doesn’t anyone else find it ironic that US oil companies are making windfall profits2 while the rest of us head into a economic (and quite possibly an emotional) depression? And yet, there is nothing in McCain’s plan to stop this corporate tomfoolery. No regulations? No consumer-assistance? No way! He is all about Corporate-welfare and idle threats. Neither will bring the prices down for us. Businesses want to make money. If they know you need a product, they will demand your first born, if they are allowed (READ DEREGULATION). But I will not even get started on how deregulation brings about corporate monopolies, resulting in the necessity to bail corporations with federal funds, ahem…AIG, which negates those greedy mongrels every argument about “welfare”. The difference between Republican spending and Democrat spending is who gets helped and why. Republicans wish to ensure the good “welfare” of corporations. Democrats wish to ensure the good “welfare” of people. Which category do you fall under? Which is more important to you?

McCain also plans to increase the value of the dollar (no mention of HOW he will do this btw, simple a pretty promise with no intellectual support) and theoretically this is supposed to reduce the price of oil. The idea that the value of the dollar directly affects the cost of oil is not that straightforward nor is it accurate.3 I understand it is easier to just believe what they are saying because it is frightening to think they may not have our best interest at heart after all, but WAKE UP AND THINK FOR A CHANGE!

What about McCain’s HOME PLAN? He plans on helping 200,000 to 400,000 homeowners facing foreclosure. That is nice, isn’t it? What about the other 1.8 to 1.6 MILLION homeowners facing foreclosure? Oh and his HOME plan EXCLUDES those who were victims of the predatory lending he advocated through deregulation, in the first place. How will this help the housing crisis?

And how will John McCain pay for his proposed tax cuts? His plan is to halt all discretionary spending for an entire year. Let’s see what falls under discretionary funding. The following programs (and this is not the majority, just some I found)…

Office for Victims of Crime
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Mental Health Facilities/Services
Drug and Alcohol Facilities
K-12 Education Budgets
Health Research
Housing
AmeriCorps (Full-time Community Service program)
HeadStart/ECEAP (Pre-school)
Rural Housing Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

So, as far as I can tell he plans on cutting programs, such as mental health, educational funding (K-12 people), crime victims assistance, etc. It seems this is not going to benefit the American people. No, no, he plans on cutting these programs rather than corporate taxes. Hrm, which will benefit you or harm you? Oops sorry Sally Victim, that guy who tortured you and your daughter… yea, he got out of prison today but you won’t know about it because that program was cut for a year. Oh, yea those pesky science labs in your 7th grade class… oops, those are gone too.

Perhaps the Obama campaign should start asking how McCain plans on funding his wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran…etc.) Or his corporate welfare… including the 3trillion dollars of debt for bailing out AIG. It was the deregulation policies that he (and others like him–like Bush) emphatically endorse which got us into this mess in the first place.

In theory, it sounds like a perfect plan to deregulate corporations. Theoretically, they will begin to flourish without extra costs and this will have a trickle down effect. The wealth they are making hand-over-fist, theoretically, will spill down to the rest of us, leaving lots of wealth for us to pick up at their feet. Now, this is quite possibly accurate in some respects. For example, it is true the deregulation policies have helped a lot of big corporations make a lot of money. However, these same corporations will step on anyone and everyone ensuring no one does take any of the trickled-down wealth. They hire middlemen to collect and return as much of that as possible. The middlemen’s reward for doing so? He too can keep a little of the trickled-down wealth but rest assured he’s not getting rich, he’s in foreclosure so he reallyneeds that extra money. And he’ll do just about anything to ensure he gets, including voting against his own best interest. This is where the majority of McCain voters are… at the feet of corporate America, groveling, begging, complaining, screaming, hoping they will survive financially. But are they?

When the corporations start to shove the excess money into their pockets, the windfall, record profits (as are seen with the oil companies for example, even while we are amidst an energy and economic crisis), where are the majority of the rest of us in this wealth-blizzard they are experiencing? Are we reallyseeing a trickle down effect? Or are they simply kicking us to bankruptcy, while lining their offshore bank accounts to ensure they do not have to pay taxes on their wealth?

And while we hear so much about pork-barrel spending… does anyone even really know what the helinski that means? They assume it is liberal spending on personal welfare, a concept attached to some deceptive, lazy person milking the system while everyone else works so hard. This is a fallacy. Look, liberals don’t want to reward lazy people. They simply believe the government should help people, citizens, not corporations. What is it you want to see your tax dollars spent on? The Republicans try to make it sound like liberals or Democrats waste your money. What in tarnation are they doing themselves with the money? Did the government bail us out, did it spend our tax money ensuring our children had a good education or that our homes were saved? Or did it get us into 3trillion dollars worth of additional debt to save us or a corporation? The Republicans do not save us money, they simply twist the facts to make it look as if the spending of money on people is somehow ludicrous and wasteful. How is spending tax money on taxpayers wasteful? But they will use an isolated account of one system-moocher to invoke the irritation you feel each time you pay a significant amount of your check towards taxes to throw you into a blind flurry about the excessive use of government funds used by the Democrats. This is nonsense. Do a little research. I dare you. Go look up the annual amount of corporate fraud.

The results of deregulation are a battered economy, a mortgage crisis, disproportionate wealth distribution; and disgruntled, disenfranchised customers left with no recourse…forced to deal with companies who couldn’t care less about them as individual consumers or even as groups of consumers. These corporations have fewer and fewer laws to bind them to the consumer, to stop them from taking advantage of the American people when we can least afford it. Smaller companies run by everyday people are gobbled up by the bigger companies and consumers are forced to do business with those 1 or 2 corrupt, multi-national conglomerates. And the corporations know this, anticipate their level of service being less than par and raise their prices accordingly. They know we are in need of oil, energy, communications, health care services, medicines, etc.

So you tell me…who has been and continues to prosper financially while the rest of us suffer? Drug companies, military industrial complexes, communication services, oil companies, electric companies, health-care insurance providers…etc. Saving money, second only to making money, motivates companies to outsource customer service, not only to other countries but simply to other companies or departments of their own corporation who do not care at all about consumers. Consumers get aggravated, but with no where to turn, are stuck getting their needs met by these corporate vampires. Diversity in the marketplace should buffer this, in theory, but in reality, with the deregulation of the big guys, the diversity in the marketplace is dwindling or simply not a realistic, viable option anymore.

Deregulation is not the answer. McCain supports deregulation emphatically. McCain is NOT the answer. We’ve seen what these policies have done for the people. We’ve seen what it has done for the business market. NOTHING good. NOTHING GOOD HAS COME FROM THE PAST EIGHT YEARS, unless you own an oil, telecommunications, financial or pharamceutical company. Since most of us do not, the tangible realities of their theoretical trickle-down effect are staring us in the face in the form of a mortgage crisis or a 500 point drop in the stock market, in the disappearance of our life’s savings, in the bill sitting on the table of the woman who worked every day since she graduated college only to lose her health care insurance a month after being diagnosed with cancer.

Enough is enough. Stop asking how Obama will pay for his economic plan when his includes helping improve the every day lives of the people funding the Federal Budget. Start asking how and why John McCain would rather focus on corporate welfare and illegitimate, unnecessary wars to the detriment of the everyday people, with our tax dollars. If he and Bush and the other billionaires want to rescue corporations or wage wars all over the world…let them do it with their own money. Our tax dollars should help US have a better life. Where was the referendum on bailing out these corporations? Where is the trickle-down effect from the deregulation policies?

Think people, think.

  1. http://www.johnmccain.com/Images/Issues/JobsforAmerica/briefing.pdf []
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/01/exxon-posts-record-profit_n_84463.html []
  3. http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2007/10/does_dollar_wea_1.html []

NUMBERS ANYONE?

Friday, September 19th, 2008

I have read my fair share of ranting asking how Obama will pay for his expansive budget plan. In particular the following parts are controversial to the Anti-Obama voters:

• A $65 billion-a-year health plan
• $15 billion in green energy spending
• $85 billion in tax cuts and credits
• A $25 billion-a-year increase in foreign aid
• $18 billion a year in education spending
• $3.5 billion for a national service plan

Oh the avaricious right would have you believe Obama is planning on spending, spending, spending…with no means to pay for it. This is a silly accusation. We, lefties, think in terms of people but we are not stupid. Some prefer numbers, even if they distort information to get them. But for the sake of prosperity, let’s discuss Obama’s economic plan on terms they can comprehend, figures. I was digging around in the federal budget for 2008 today, searching through hidden drawers, finding little tidbits to see what numbers I could use that would be fair and accurate. I found some.

In 2008, Bush requested a sum of $141,700,000,0001 (yes, folks BILLIONs) in appropriated (discretionary) funds to be allocated for Department of Defense emergency operations in the Global War on Terror. This is not base funding, it is not the mandatory funding allocated for defense…it is in addition to it, it is extra emergency SUPPLEMENTAL funding allocated for the “War on Terror”. This money is even above and beyond the $70,000,000,000 ($70.0 BILLION) allocated in the 2007 Defense Appropriations Act for such purposes. This is $388,219,178.10 per day in ADDITIONAL emergency supplemental funds (back-up to the back-up emergency funds) allocated to a war that should have never been started and will not continue, if Obama becomes President.

This is a good number to begin with, don’t you think? It is not the regular budget. It is not the defense budget (which can be argued and skewed in every direction). This is simply surplus-surplus funds (not as in extra money we have to spend frivolously but simply extra money allocated frivolously) sent over to this illegitimate war, a war Obama never wanted us to get into and fully intends on pulling us out of as soon as safely possible, upon election. A war McCain supported from the beginning and has no solid intention or concrete plan on ending.

That money alone would pay for the majority of “spending” Obama has planned. Let’s look at the remaining amount. $211.5 Billion dollars was the original amount of the “offensive suggestions”, right? Subtract the $141.7 billion (just one year’s supplemental back-up emergency funding for the war that will end under Obama) and this leaves a balance of $69.8 billion.

Let’s not forget Obama’s budget will provide a comprehensive health care plan for everyone, green energy spending (READ: LEGITIMATE MEANS TO END DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL AND GET US OUT OF THE ENERGY CRISIS WE ARE IN), $85 billion in tax cuts and credits for 95% of American households (immediate and long-term financial relief), more foreign aid (which will help improve foreign relations, which…um, will, uh, help reinforce the allies we have not alienated in the past eight years through our excessive use of military might, ignoring our own international agreements and throwing diplomacy out the proverbial window), a better educational system (paying teachers more, focusing on math and science to ensure our future generation is competitive in the technology of tomorrow, helping families afford college etc.) and expands our national service plan (helping people to work within their own communities to improve their own lives and the lives of others, to improve the community and the country as a whole).

However, I digress, back to the $69.8 billion dollars that needs a home in the budget.

Let’s eliminate the tax cuts for the richest 10% of Americans (who hold over 70% of the nation’s wealth)2 GASP! Or we can simply deny the additional $70 billion Bush requested for the 2009 version of the $70 billion extra supplemental funds asked for this year, to fund his War on Terror. Looks like the rich don’t even have to help. Simply ending the excessive spending on a war that Obama does not support will pay for all of his proposed spending with some left over ($200,000!).

But, now that I have done all this research, let’s play with the numbers a little, shall we?.

Pretend for a moment, not that we steal from the rich, but that we make them pay the taxes they should already be paying. After all, our taxing system is progressive. It was introduced as progressive, accepted as such and should remain as such. Translation: each person pays as per their income. The rich will pay more than the poor, but such is the progressive tax system in the United States.

The rich can afford more, so they should pay more…period.

If Richie Rich earns a billion dollars, he should have to pay the appropriate amount of taxes. Lisa Lackey is underemployed, she still pays her fair share even if she can’t afford them. Joe Average, gets a promotion and doesn’t see it all reflected on his next paycheck but he continues to pay his taxes as well. Lisa and Joe continue working hard to get promotions, hoping someday they can retire without financial worries. And both still pay their fair share year after year because neither can afford the same accountant who ensures Richie Rich receives fat and unnecessary tax-breaks.

Let’s for fun (hypothetically) take away the $116.6 billion in tax cuts for the richest 10% in FY 2009 and see what sort of fun we can have…

We could provide:3
34,365,274 People with Health Care for One Year OR
120,711,046 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR
2,518,359 Public Safety Officers for One year OR
1,999,571 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR
18,027,211 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
907,020 Affordable Housing Units OR
51,391,674 Children with Health Care for One Year OR
16,001,098 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR
1,915,400 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
1,684,667 Port Container Inspectors for One year

Healthy, smart fun for everyone! Why don’t we discuss the realistic trickle down effects of this kind of spending rather than the non-existent theoretical trickle-down effects of laissez-faire type of economy the right-wing philistines prefer? Those who consistently bark about the unnecessary governmental spending by the Liberals, conveniently forget or justify their own spending (unnecessary wars, big corporations, corporate welfare due to excessive to excessive de-regulations, tax cuts for the rich…etc.)

Make no mistake about it, we are not talking about our everyday budgets here. We are talking about the country’s budget. Numbers look larger, more frightening, perhaps even irritating when we, the citizens, are struggling to make ends meet but Obama’s numbers are no bigger than McCain’s or any other President in the past for that matter. And Obama does have a plan on how to come up with the money. Numbers, such as these, seem astronomical to the average American but every national budget plan is more or less the allocation of our tax dollars to different priorities. So, ask yourself, do you want to take care of the economy with the same policies that got us here? Or do you want to try a sensible way?

  1. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy08/pdf/budget/defense.pdf []
  2. http://solutions.powersimsolutions.com/Ranking/HistoricalPerspective.aspx []
  3. http://www.nationalpriorities.org/tradeoffs?location_type=1&state=888&program=276&tradeoff_item_item=999&submit_tradeoffs=Get+Trade+Off []