With Barrack Obama now the Democratic Nominee, who should be his VP?
Obviously I am not American but the next POTUS will have some impact on non Americans. If this were the 2000 John McCain running for POTUS, I could lend my support, but the 2008 John McCain scares the hell out of me!! A lot of politicians flip flop on issues but lately McCain has flipped and flopped more often than pancakes at an IHop! One day he states that the economy is sound and on the next day he says if he was POTUS he would fire the SEC. Sorry John, but the President can't fire the SEC.Sen. Clinton on the ticket would be political and personal suicide. Could you imagine listening to Bill saying, "Well, this is what I would do" for the next 4 years? It would be some sort of whacky love triangle in the oval office. Gross. :y
Like what? What has he flipped flopped on? He used to support amnesty, but after the people wanted it nixed, he abandoned that position and now supports the securing of the borders.Obviously I am not American but the next POTUS will have some impact on non Americans. If this were the 2000 John McCain running for POTUS, I could lend my support, but the 2008 John McCain scares the hell out of me!! A lot of politicians flip flop on issues but lately McCain has flipped and flopped more often than pancakes at an IHop!
No, that's not what he said. He never said he'd eliminate or fire the SEC. He said he would fire the chairman Christopher Cox.One day he states that the economy is sound and on the next day he says if he was POTUS he would fire the SEC. Sorry John, but the President can't fire the SEC.
Again, you're more scared of a woman like Palin than a guy like Joe Biden who is a complete moron?Then there is the selection of his VP. Sarah Palin scares me more then McCain.
That's more than a stretch.This is a person who would let gods will dictate the countries policies.
I disagree with her on that, but I'd rather have her position than Obama's position of denying healthcare to babies who are born alive after botched/failed abortions. I support the anti-abortion policy for all cases more than I would even consider allowing partial birth abortions like Obama.This is a person who does not support abortion for women who concieved through rape and or incest.
She knows it's not great experience, but it's more than Obama has. She's actually met with foreign dignitaries and actually made decisions in her job and taken tough positions on various issues - something Obama has not.This is a person who believes because they governed a State that just happens to reside next to Russia, or has dispatched the Alaskan National Guard to fight a forest fire is considered foreign policy experience.
And how do you feel about Obama being that heart beat running for commander in chief? What about Biden being a heart beat away from POTUS? Biden is completely incompetent.This is a person who is a heat beat away from being POTUS!
I agree.I don't care that a person running for elected office is male or female, IMHO any person who has this view should not be anywhere near the White House.
The problem for democrats is she has a better resume and more experience than Obama does. She has more hands on, real world experience as a leader than Obama does. A large percentage of Americans believe Palin is more qualified to be President now than Obama is. Obama has literally done nothing outside of writing two books about himself.I'll go one further, anyone who is attacking her because of her gender is making it easier for McCain and Palin to win. Don't attack her gender, you don't need to, just attack her record and her ideals. Listen to what she says on record, and then check the facts.
What BS are you hearing/seeing?I don't know if Obama is up to the task to be POTUS, but I have an easier time believing his and Bidens brand of BS then I do McCain and Palin's.
SourceAs we watch balance sheets fall to pieces on Wall Street, now is probably a good time to examine the fiscal agenda of the man who promises change: Barack Obama. The next President will deal with some difficult fiscal issues, and Obama wants us to believe that he is somehow different than your typical politician, but he is not.
Barack Obama has made some big promises over the past year, but none is more astonishing than his pledge to cut taxes, balance budgets and increase government spending.
While he is surely capable of fulfilling any of one of his fiscal pledges, Obama cannot do all three at the same time. This is probably why Obama has started breaking these promises before Election Day and will continue to break these promises should he find himself elected.
One the more underreported stories this cycle is the effect Obama’s tax plan will have on the deficit. His tax plan will raise taxes on the wealthiest 5% of families. He also proposes a variety of new tax credits and enhancements. The estimated cost according to the Tax Policy Center is $2.9 trillion over 10 years.
Unfortunately, the Obama plan will widen the projected deficit. According to the Tax Policy Center (TPC), Obama’s tax plan “would substantially increase the deficit compared with current law and would add nearly $3.3 trillion to the national debt over ten years”
Obama’s deficit presents a big problem, because it runs contrary to his promise to balance the budget. Obama’s Web site writes that he supports pay-go budgeting, which to most Democrats, means that he must offset the costs of his tax plan with new revenue (e.g. taxes), or additional spending cuts. In this case, Obama’s tax plan, would require $2.9 trillion tax increase, or a $2.9 trillion cut in spending.
Given that Obama has already laid out his tax plan, and that it does not appear to include an additional $2.9 trillion tax increase, he must be planning to cut spending. He is not.
Obama wants to increase spending, by at least a trillion dollars over ten years. Because Obama has been speaking guilefully for so long, estimates vary widely on the exact costs of his spending. A Republican analysis puts his total spending at $1.4 trillion over five years (that’s roughly $2.8 trillion over ten). Two reasonable analyses, one by the TPC and another by the National Taxpayer’s Union Foundation (NTUF) put his new spending estimates at between $1.6 trillion and $3.4 trillion over 10 years respectively. The TPC analysis is significant because it appears to be limited to the costs of Obama’s health care plan. Even the liberal Paul Krugman doubts that the Obama tax plan will deliver enough revenue to pay for universal health.
Depending on the math you choose to believe, Obama will need to cough up at least $4.5 trillion and as much as $6.3 trillion to pay for the costs of his spending and tax cuts.
Given that Obama has yet to identify $4 -6 trillion in unnecessary government spending, he will be forced by standard Democratic pay-go rules to break his promise to provide tax cuts for 95% of families.
According to one Republican analysis, Obama will need to raise taxes 61% on those earning over $62,000 if he expects to balance the budget while keeping his promise to increase spending.
Clearly, Obama cannot keep his fiscal promises because he cannot cut taxes, increase spending and balance the budget. To cut taxes, he will have to abandon either his plans to increase spending and/or balance the budget. To provide universal health care, he will need to break his promise to provide middle class tax cuts and/or balance the budget. To balance the budget, he will probably need to abandon his tax plan and/or his promise for universal health.
Obviously confronted with the illogic of his campaign rhetoric, Obama is now retreating from his promise to balance the budget. He has adopted a clever accounting trick that eliminates the costs of his tax cuts, even though the TPC says that these cuts will cost trillions, increase the deficit and enlarge our national debt. So much for pay-go budgeting.
My guess is that Obama will have no option but to continue breaking his fiscal pledges. Working with what should be a Democratic Congress, Obama will probably let the Bush tax cuts expire, without much modification except for the very lowest brackets. He will also permit deficit spending, which could hit record highs in light of recent government bailouts. This environment will force Obama to abandon his health care schemes faster than Bill Clinton did in the 1990s.
With what are we voters left? Not change, just a politician making promises that that he knows he cannot possibly keep without taking our current fiscal difficulties and making them worse. Either way, by act of commission or omission, Obama will probably leave our national balance sheet in worse shape than some financial firms. That is of course, if he succeeds in getting elected.
SourceOne of the knocks on Barack Obama is that his résumé is, so to speak, paper-thin. But that is not entirely accurate. Obama, in fact, has held some major job titles which are noteworthy all by themselves: United States Senator, Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, Harvard Law Review President-each of these titles puts him in rarefied company. Tack on a few Illinois State Senate terms, and his resume actually appears solid. Yet, in spite of these prestigious positions, Obama has increasingly resorted to making claims of accomplishment that are so patently inflated that even his cheerleaders at CNN and the New York Times are taking notice. Why?
It seems that Obama recognizes that while his résumé titles are impressive, his actual accomplishments are weak. It's as if he were jockeying to be the next company CEO with little to show for his prior high-profile management positions. So, he does what anyone else does who has spent years coasting on charisma without doing any heavy work: he pads his résumé--stretching the truth here, stealing credit there, and creating the illusion of achievement during his lackadaisical, undistinguished tenure in previous jobs.
A few examples? Take Obama's first general election ad. We are told that Obama "passed laws" that "extended healthcare for wounded troops who'd been neglected," with a citation at the bottom to only one Senate bill: The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, which passed the Senate by a 91-3 vote. Six Senators did not vote-including Obama. Nor is there evidence that he contributed to its passage in any material way. So, his claim to have "passed laws" amounts to citing a bill that was largely unopposed, that he didn't vote for, and whose passage he didn't impact. Even his hometown Chicago Tribune caught this false claim. It's classic résumé-padding--falsely taking credit for the work of others.
Or take one of Obama's standard lines: his claim of "twenty years of public service." As pundit Michael Medved has pointed out, the numbers don't add up. Shall we count? Three years in the US Senate (two of which he's spent running for President), plus seven years in the Illinois State Senate (a part-time gig, during which time he also served as a law professor) equals, at most, ten. Even if we generously throw in his three years as a "community organizer" (whatever that means, let's count it as public service), that still adds up to just thirteen.
Obama's other activities since 1985 have included Harvard Law School, writing two autobiographies (including several months writing in Bali), prestigious summer law firm jobs, three years as an associate at a Chicago law firm, and twelve years part-time on the University of Chicago Law School faculty. As Medved notes, it takes quite the ego to consider any of those stints "public service." Which of them is Obama including?
Obama made yet another inflated boast last month during his visit to Israel. At his press conference in Hamas rocket-bombarded Sderot, Obama talked up "his" efforts to protect Israel from Iran:
"Just this past week, we passed out of the US Senate Banking Committee - which is my committee - a bill to call for divestment from Iran as way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon." (Emphasis added.)
Nice try. But as even CNN noted, Obama is not even on that committee. That is one peculiar "mistake" to simply have made by accident. Again, his claiming credit for the work of others just looks like clumsy, transparent résumé embellishment.
Would someone with Obama's stellar list of job titles resort to making stuff up? He seems to think he has to. In spite of the many impressive positions he's held, he's done almost nothing with them. If he wants to claim specific, relevant accomplishments, his only resort is to stretching the truth.
Look at his record: he's now completed over half of a Senate term; yet, is there even one signature issue he has taken hold of, other than his own presidential run? Similarly, as the New York Times recently pointed out, Obama spent twelve years on the University of Chicago Law School faculty--singularly famous for its intellectual ferment and incubator of scholarship--and produced not even a single scholarly paper. He was President of Harvard Law Review, but wrote nothing himself. Even as a state legislator for seven years-or community organizer for three years, there is little that shows his imprint. OK, to be fair, he did write two books. About himself.
For all his glowing job titles, Obama has never gotten much done. Is it any wonder that his spokesmen respond with sweeping generalities when asked what Obama has actually accomplished relevant to the presidency?
Obama has held several serious positions from which a serious man could have made a serious impact. But Obama made none. He remains a man of proven charisma, but unproven skill--and not for lack of opportunity. He's treated his offices as if they were high school student council positions-fun to run for, fun to win, affirmations of popularity, heady recognition from superiors, good resume-builders for stepping up to the next position of power, and…well, that's about it-actual accomplishments are not expected; heavy lifting is never on the agenda.
Obama's record of accomplishment is thin not because of lack of opportunity, but in spite of it. For twenty years, Obama has walked the floors of the most prestigious institutions in the nation, but has left no footprints other than those from his runs for whatever office came next.
It's been said that some people want to be President so they can do something; and some want to be President so they can be something. Obama has accomplished nothing noteworthy despite the golden opportunities and positions he's had; why should we believe he'd be a different man in the White House?
No company would hire anyone with Obama's empty track record, pattern of underachievement and padded résumé to be CEO. Is America really ready to hire him as President?
You're not speaking my language.Yeah,I'm a Central Pa inbred Dutchman who will vote for whoever my Mennonite preacher tells me to. And I'll trive my bukky nah vonce don the road to cast my vode.
Schnitzel vonce and yummerdall. Kett ott Chakey.Pashing weeg.Ferhoodle.
Lies, but I bet you know this already. Franklin Raines has not and never will be an Obama advisor.It has come to light Franklin Raines took 91.1 million dollars over 6 years in crooked cooked books numbers for fake performance bonuses...at our tax payer expense and when he retired, his package includes $1 million a year for the rest of his life, again, at our tax payer expense. Funny how Obama is on the campaign trail talking about going after greedy, corrupt, nasty CEOs and yet his economic adviser is one.
McCain Attacks Wall Street Greed—While 83 Wall Street Lobbyists Work for His CampaignThe same day my opponent attacked me for being associated with a Fannie Mae guy I've talked to for maybe 5 minutes in my entire life -- the same day he did that -- the head of the lobbying shop at Fannie Mae turned around and said, wait a minute, "when I see photographs of Senator McCain's staff, it looks to me like the team of lobbyists who used to report to me."
http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/09/9753_mccain_campaign_lobbyists_wall_street_aig.htmlMcCain's onetime campaign chairman, used a backroom maneuver in late 2000 to slip into law a bill that kept credit default swaps unregulated. These financial instruments greased the way to the subprime meltdown that has led to today's economic crisis. Several of McCain's most senior campaign aides have lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And the Democratic National Committee, using publicly available records, has identified 177 lobbyists working for the McCain campaign as either aides, policy advisers, or fundraisers.
Of those 177 lobbyists, according to a Mother Jones review of Senate and House records, at least 83 have in recent years lobbied for the financial industry McCain now attacks. These are high-paid influence-peddlers who have been working the corridors of the nation's capital to win favors and special treatment for investment banks, securities firms, hedge funds, accounting outfits, and insurance companies. Their clients have included AIG, the newest symbol of corporate excess; Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday sending the stock market into a tailspin; Merrill Lynch, which was bought out by Bank of America this week; and Washington Mutual, the banking giant that could be the next to fall. Among these 83 lobbyists are McCain's chief political adviser, Charlie Black (JP Morgan, Washington Mutual Bank, Freddie Mac, Mortgage Bankers Association of America); McCain's national finance co-chairman, Wayne Berman (AIG, Blackstone, Credit Suisse, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac); the campaign's congressional liaison, John Green (Carlyle Group, Citigroup, Icahn Associates, Fannie Mae); McCain's veep vetter, Arthur Culvahouse (Fannie Mae); and McCain's transition planning chief, William Timmons Sr. (Citigroup, Freddie Mac, Vanguard Group).
When cable news shows air footage of McCain railing against greedy execs and the lobbyists who rig the rules for the benefit of Wall Street dealmakers, there ought to be a crawl beneath him listing these lobbyists. (Talk about a fair and balanced presentation.) Short of that, here's the list of the McCain aides and bundlers who have worked for the high-finance greed-mongers McCain has pledged to take on. So far, it seems, none of them have been cast out of the campaign. If McCain were serious about his outrage, he might throw these money-changers out of his own temple.
Please, for the sake of your credibility, don't tell me you blindly accept something Obama says in a speech publicly as truth and say something McCain says is a lie. Please, don't even try that. You'll have to look it up or perhaps you remember, but Obama also claimed to barely know Tony Rezko and never worked with or for him. Just so happens he got a sweetheart deal on his house to the tune of nearly a $400,000 discount and worked closely with him to funnel $14,000,000 in tax payer dollars to him.Lies, but I bet you know this already. Franklin Raines has not and never will be an Obama advisor.
Wrong. Between the people now working on his campaign and his receiving of funds from the organization, Obama is again playing the blame game blaming GOP policy, even though Ron Paul called this event in 2001 and George Bush spoke at least 17 times for the reform of FM/FM and Wall Street.The McCain campaign is obtuse, McCain has a much larger connection to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
There is a TON of info out there detailing the links between McCain, Fanny Mae and other financial houses that are in trouble.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/letters/send/s_589747.htmlUSA Today reported on May 4, 2006, that Franklin D. Raines cooked the books that netted him $58 million in bonuses at Fannie Mae. Democrats in Congress blocked legislation in 2005 to hold Raines accountable and provide more oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Is this you changing the subject and avoiding everything I posted?I suppose you believe in the Bilderberg conspiracy as well?
And you are so typical of a republican supporter, abusive, and insulting.Is this you changing the subject and avoiding everything I posted?
If not, let me know as I'll look for your response. If it is, that's ok, it's typical of people who support Obama to change the subject, accuse you of harassment, or just leave the conversation when you challenge the Anointed One.
I had a girl I went to high school with start a conversation with me about abortion and when I pointed out blatant double standards and hypocrisies in her views, she sent me an email asking me to stop harassing her. I laughed.
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/guilt_and_associations.htmlMcCain once again tries to tar Obama with the controversies of others.
A McCain-Palin ad says that Obama was "born of the corrupt Chicago political machine" and implies that the candidate himself is corrupt by association with four local political figures. But the ad's implication and many of its supporting details are false. In fact, this is a particularly egregious example of ricochet sliming:
- William Daley, the first figure mentioned in the ad, is indeed related to the other famous Chicago Daleys, but he's never been accused of any wrongdoing. And the former commerce secretary isn't Obama's only economic adviser, as the ad implies.
- Emil Jones, Illinois state Senate leader, may indeed have been Obama's "political godfather." But he, too, hasn't been charged with or even seriously accused of misdeeds despite the ad's claim of an "ethical cloud."
- Obama did have a past relationship with real estate developer Tony Rezko, but he is no longer Obama's "money man." Obama hasn't been associated with him since his indictment for wire fraud, bribery, money laundering and attempted extortion, and Obama donated all of the disgraced businessman's previous campaign contributions to charity.
Most important, the ad offers no evidence of wrongdoing by Obama himself in connection with any of these relationships, however close or distant.
- Rod Blagojevich has been touched by plenty of scandal but his relationship with Obama doesn't extend much beyond being "his governor." In fact, Obama has worked on ethics legislation triggered by some of the Blagojevich's questionable moves.
The McCain-Palin campaign's new ad, "Chicago Machine," tries to tie Barack Obama to four Illinois powerbrokers. The campaign says it will air nationally. We'll take a look at the merits of each individual's "corrupt" status as well as their connection to Obama in turn.
Daley and Nightly
The ad begins with a statement that Obama was "born of the corrupt Chicago political machine," then shows Obama saying that Chicago toughened him up. The announcer returns, saying, "His economic adviser: William Daley. Lobbyist. Mayor's brother."
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/rezko_reality.htmlMcCain misfires as he attacks Obama's home purchase.
On the defensive over the extent of multiple McCain homes, the GOP candidate strikes back. But his TV spot gives an oversimplified and misleading account of how Obama bought his own $1.6 million house in Chicago.
- The ad says Chicago power broker Tony Rezko got "political favors" including "$14 million from taxpayers." But there's no evidence of any connection to the Obama home purchase. The $14 million was to build apartments for low-income seniors. Obama wrote a letter supporting the "worthy" project, but both men say Rezko didn't ask for the letter.
McCain launched the attack after Obama ran one capitalizing on McCain's inability to recall for an interviewer how many homes the McCains own. Obama's ad says it's seven. The best tally we've seen puts the figure at eight, counting all the apartments and homes owned by McCain's wife, Cindy, and various family trusts, for themselves and their children.
- It says Rezko "purchased part of the property [Obama] couldn't afford." Rezko's wife did buy an adjoining tract but later sold the land at a profit. Obama paid market price for his home.
On Aug. 21, Barack Obama released an ad chiding Sen. John McCain for his inability to remember how many houses he owns, and McCain responded the same day with a counterattack charging that Obama got help buying his house from a "convicted felon" who got $14 million in "political favors" from Obama. We find McCain's ad is careless with the facts and could easily leave a false impression.
[/FONT]A $14 Million "Favor"?
McCain's ad opens by turning Obama's housing problem attack back on Obama. The narrator says Chicago real estate developer Tony Rezko, one of Obama's "biggest fundraisers" helped Obama buy his "million-dollar mansion" by purchasing property that Obama couldn't afford. The ad goes on to charge that Obama helped Rezko receive "political favors" including "$14 million from taxpayers," and it points out that Rezko is now a convicted felon.
It's untrue that Rezko got "$14 million from taxpayers" for himself, as the ad seems to be saying. The "help" to which it refers is a one-page letter Obama signed in October 1998 urging the city housing commissioner to support an apartment project for low-income senior citizens. A copy went to the state housing development authority. The 97-unit Cottage View Terrace, which opened in 2002, was funded with taxpayer money, and Tony Rezko was involved in developing the project.
But the deal did not put $14 million into Rezko's pocket. That figure represents the total development cost for the project. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Rezko and his partner, Allison Davis, netted about $855,000. That's not pocket change, but it's a far cry from $14 million. And the tenants of the building benefited too.
Flip: During an appearance on NBC's "Today Show" on September 16th, Senator McCain opposed the idea of a bailout of "AIG" when asked by host Matt Lauer "what should the government do [about AIG]?"Like what? What has he flipped flopped on? He used to support amnesty, but after the people wanted it nixed, he abandoned that position and now supports the securing of the borders.
Have you read Marx? Because if you had you would realize that Obama is a Centrist at best. Other then standing for union density, which in it of itself is not solely a Marxist position how does Obama qualify as a Marxist?Doesn't Obama scare you more than McCain? I'm not a huge McCain fan, but Obama will be a disaster for this country. He's a Marxist. The stuff he is affiliated with and associated with is just unbelievable.
Yea this complete moron supports battered women, yet you would be hard pressed to find any of Palin's policies to be pro women. Biden may speak out of turn, but at least this moron has no worries facing the press. I can't wait for the VP debate. I'm sorry but I lean towards a person who stands up for battered women rather then a person who charges women for their own rape kits.Again, you're more scared of a woman like Palin than a guy like Joe Biden who is a complete moron?
Is it? This is a Christian who uses their religion to legislate by. She attempted to ban a book about gay parenting without even reading it. What about teaching creationism in school? If she wants to teach all views IE Muslim, Buddhism, fine. But she only wants to teach old testament, fire and brimstone creationism, in a science class!That's more than a stretch.
He opposed that bill because language protecting Roe V Wade was missing, furthermore he is against third trimester abortions unless the health of the mother is in question.I disagree with her on that, but I'd rather have her position than Obama's position of denying healthcare to babies who are born alive after botched/failed abortions. I support the anti-abortion policy for all cases more than I would even consider allowing partial birth abortions like Obama.
A record of Palin's pratfalls as an elected official.She knows it's not great experience, but it's more than Obama has. She's actually met with foreign dignitaries and actually made decisions in her job and taken tough positions on various issues - something Obama has not.
Then please explain the recent 9 point lead Obama/Biden have in the poll of polls?A large percentage of Americans believe Palin is more qualified to be President now than Obama is.
August 29, 2008
He stuck to the facts, except when he stretched them.
We checked the accuracy of Obama's speech accepting the Democratic nomination, and noted the following:
* Obama said he could “pay for every dime” of his spending and tax cut proposals “by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens.” That’s wrong – his proposed tax increases on upper-income individuals are key components of paying for his program, as well. And his plan, like McCain’s, would leave the U.S. facing big budget deficits, according to independent experts.
* He twisted McCain’s words about Afghanistan, saying, “When John McCain said we could just 'muddle through' in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources.” Actually, McCain said in 2003 we “may” muddle through, and he recently also called for more troops there.
* He said McCain would fail to lower taxes for 100 million Americans while his own plan would cut taxes for 95 percent of “working” families. But an independent analysis puts the number who would see no benefit from McCain’s plan at 66 million and finds that Obama’s plan would benefit 81 percent of all households when retirees and those without children are figured in.
* Obama asked why McCain would "define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year"? Actually, McCain meant that comment as a joke, getting a laugh and following up by saying, "But seriously ..."
* Obama noted that McCain’s health care plan would "tax people’s benefits" but didn’t say that it also would provide up to a $5,000 tax credit for families.
* He said McCain, far from being a maverick who’s "broken with his party," has voted to support Bush policies 90 percent of the time. True enough, but by the same measure Obama has voted with fellow Democrats in the Senate 97 percent of the time.
* Obama said "average family income" went down $2,000 under Bush, which isn't correct. An aide said he was really talking only about "working" families and not retired couples. And – math teachers, please note – he meant median (or midpoint) and not really the mean or average. Median family income actually has inched up slightly under Bush.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination Aug. 28, speaking before more than 84,000 people in Denver's Mile High football stadium. Some of his comments were worthy of a ref's yellow flag.
Not Quite Every Dime
Obama reassured voters that he can pay for all his spending proposals:
Obama: Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I’ve laid out how I’ll pay for every dime – by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow.
obama_convention_speechThis is misleading. Even by his own campaign’s estimates, closing corporate loopholes and tax havens won’t pay for all of Obama’s new plans. In July, the campaign told the Los Angeles Times that they estimate the yearly cost of their proposed tax cuts at $130 billion. They put revenue from closing tax loopholes at just $80 billion. Obama also proposes to raise taxes to pre-Bush levels for families earning more than $250,000 a year and singles making more than $200,000, yielding additional revenue. But he didn't mention that in his speech.
But Obama’s claim is misleading on another level. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, "without substantial cuts in government spending" Obama’s plan – and McCain's, too – "would substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years." Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor told FactCheck.org that the Tax Policy Center's analysis "fails to take in account Senator Obama's spending cuts, including ending the Iraq war." That's true, but Obama's proposed cuts are dwarfed by the Tax Policy Center's projected deficits. Obama’s new spending programs might be completely offset by new revenue and spending cuts. But overall spending will still exceed overall revenue, and the nation would face at least 10 more years of annual deficits.
Obama twisted McCain's words about Afghanistan, incorrectly implying that McCain saw no need for more troops there.
Obama: When John McCain said we could just “muddle through” in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11
Actually, McCain said in 2003 that the U.S. "may" muddle through, not that weobama_convention could or would. He also said he was very concerned about a rise in al Qaeda activity there. He said then that he was "guardedly optimistic" that the government could handle it.
McCain, 2003: I think Afghanistan is dicey. I think that there are certain areas of the country, particularly along the Pakistani border, that are clearly not under the control of either Pakistan or the Afghan government. ... There has been a rise in al Qaeda activity along the border. There has been some increase in U.S. casualties. I am concerned about it, but I'm not as concerned as I am about Iraq today, obviously, or I'd be talking about Afghanistan. But I believe that if Karzai can make the progress that he is making, that – in the long term, we may muddle through in Afghanistan.
So I'm guardedly optimistic, but I am also realistic that the central government in Kabul has very little effect on the policies and practices of the warlords who control the surrounding areas.
Recently, however, both candidates have called for an increased troop presence in Afghanistan. In July, Obama proposed sending two more combat brigades, drawn down from Iraq. McCain immediately followed this with a call for three more brigades, but later clarified that some of those troops would be NATO forces. A McCain spokeswoman said that the U.S. would "contribute" troops to the increase under McCain's plan.
Obama said: “I will cut taxes ... for 95 percent of all working families.” And he said McCain proposes “not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans,” a claim his running mate, Joe Biden, made the night before.
obama_convention Obama is right about his plan's effect on working families. More broadly, though, the plan cuts taxes for 81.3 percent of all households in 2009, according to the Tax Policy Center. The TPC also says McCain’s tax plan would leave 65.8 million households without a cut, not 100 million.
The TPC’s calculations factor in what's in effect a hidden tax on individuals that results from taxing corporations. McCain proposes to lower the corporate income tax rate, and Obama proposes billions of dollars in increased corporate taxes in the form of “loophole closings.” Individuals wouldn’t experience those changes as an increased tax bill from the government, but both the Congressional Budget Office and TPC allocate all corporate tax to owners of capital rather than to consumers. That means rather than flowing through to consumers in the form of higher prices or lower wages, corporate tax changes would show up as higher or lower returns on investments, which typically come in the form of corporate dividends, and profits or losses from stock sales.
Only by ignoring the hidden benefit to individuals can McCain’s plan be said to produce no cut for 100 million households. According to a calculation the TPC did at FactCheck's request, 101.9 million see no benefit if the effects of a corporate reduction are set aside.
For the record, Obama aides say the indirect effect on holders of capital won't be as large as TPC says. "We dispute TPC's methodology here," says Brian Deese of the Obama campaign. He says several of the "loophole closers" that Obama is proposing won't affect corporations or are on offshore activity that will not directly filter through.
We'd also note that retirees would fare quite a bit less well than working families under Obama's tax plan: The TPC estimates that 32 percent of households with a person over age 65 would see a tax increase.
Obama used a clumsy attempt at humor by McCain as evidence of his supposed insensitivity to middle-class economic realities:
Obama: Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans; I just think he doesn’t know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year?
obama_conventionWhat McCain actually said at the Saddleback Church forum on Aug. 16 was that he favors low taxes for all income levels. He drew a laugh, then said, "but seriously" as he struggled to make his point:
Pastor Rick Warren, Aug. 16: [G]ive me a number, give me a specific number - where do you move from middle class to rich?
McCain: I don't want to take any money from the rich – I want everybody to get rich. ... So, I think if you are just talking about income, how about $5 million?
But seriously, I don't think you can - I don't think seriously that - the point is that I'm trying to make here, seriously – and I'm sure that comment will be distorted – but the point is that we want to keep people's taxes low and increase revenues.
Health Care Half Truths
Obama gave only half the story when he described a feature of McCain's health care plan:
Obama: How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people’s benefits...
McCain proposes to grant families up to a $5,000 tax credit to use for health benefits. The flip side of that proposal, which McCain seldom if ever mentions, is that the value of employer-sponsored benefits would also become taxable. Both candidates are trading in half-truths here; McCain talks only about the pleasurable side of his plan, while Obama's speech mentioned only the painful aspect. Neither gives a complete picture.
Obama painted McCain as a Republican partisan who's supported the unpopular President Bush consistently:
Obama: And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time.
It's true that McCain's voting support for Bush policies has averaged slightly above 89 percent since Bush took office, according to Congressional Quarterly’s vote studies. But it has ebbed and flowed. It reached a low of 77 percent in 2005. Last year it was 95 percent. By comparison, Obama's own record of supporting Bush policies has averaged slightly under 41 percent since the senator took office. However, Obama's voting record is no less partisan than McCain's. He has voted in line with his party an average of nearly 97 percent of the time. The truth is that neither candidate can claim a strong record of "breaking with his party" if Senate votes are the measure.
He Didn't Mean It
Obama also pulled some sleight of hand when he stated that "the average American family" saw its income "go down $2,000" under George Bush. That's not correct. Census figures show average family income went down $348.
As it turns out, when Obama said "average family income," he didn't mean "average," and he didn't mean "family," either. An Obama aide says he was really referring to median income – which is the midpoint – and not to the average. And Obama was talking only about "working families," not retired couples.
For all families, median family income actually inched up under Bush by $272.
– by Brooks Jackson, with Viveca Novak, Justin Bank, Jess Henig, Emi Kolawole, Joe Miller, Lori Robertson and D'Angelo Gore
Burman, Len, et. al. “An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Tax Plans: Revised August 15, 2008.” Tax Policy Center, 15 Aug. 2008.
Table T08-0182, Senator McCain’s Tax Proposals as Described by his Economic Advisors, Distribution of Federal Tax Change by Cash Income Percentile, 2009. Tax Policy Center, 19 July 2008.
Gleckman, Roberton Williams and Howard. "An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans." 28 August 2008. The Tax Policy Center. 29 August 2008
Nicholas, Peter. "Adding Up the Cost of Obama's agenda." 8 July 2008. The Los Angeles Times. 29 August 2008
CQ member Profiles: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz). 1 Apr. 2007. Congressional Quarterly, 9 June 2008.
CQ member Profiles: Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill). February 2008. Congressional Quarterly, 12 June 2008.
Transcript, "Saddleback Presidential Candidates Forum" CNN.com 16 Aug. 2008.
Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, "Table T08-0203 - Senator Obama's Tax Proposals of August 14, 2008: Economic Advisers' Version (No Payroll Surtax), Distribution of Federal Tax Change by Cash Income Percentile, 2009" 14 Aug 2008.
Funny, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about:"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened,'" Barack Obama's running mate recently told the "CBS Evening News."
Except, Republican Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929. There also was no television at the time; TV wasn't introduced to the public until a decade later, at the 1939 World's Fair.