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The Pennsylvania Debates: Is it Me?

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Is it me?  It's them right?

Enjoying the fireworks that has become the democratic primary, fireworks that I predicted back when I wrote Super Tuesday! Texas and Ohio Open A Can of Worms for Democrats, the Rev Wright fracas, and most recently bittergate, it was with delight that I settled in last night with a bowl of popcorn, eagerly awaiting a serving of Democrat on Democrat violence in the Pennsylvania debates.

As many who are familiar with my writings know, I am no fan of Barack Obama. I have tried to be open to him, I've given him a chance. But I just don't see what everyone is so crazy about. Supporters are quick to talk about his inspirational speeches, but I listen and listen and all I hear is a lot of negativity about where this country has been, doom and gloom regarding where we are heading, with the only solution forwarded being a bigger and more pervasive government (led by Obama) at the cost of higher taxes and less personal freedoms. Obamabots mention Obama's own claim to represent a new type of politics, yet his words and (what little) actions seem like the same old politics to me. As this primary race has become more contentious, Obama seems to be doing and saying anything he can to win office.

And last night was no different. I am sure I am the only one who wasn't impressed with his performance. I am positive that within a day or so, the media will describe Obama's masterful rise over Clinton in the Penn Debates, how the moderators cowered under the weight of his logic, and how his mere breath not only elevated the very spirits of those watching but also probably combated global warming for the supposed absence of hot air.

But in reality, it wasn't a great performance for Obama.

Obama lost every policy point to Clinton (although she missed various opportunities to really put the shiv in). He was defensive on almost all of the questions. The moderators, clearly sick of being lampooned on SNL, had taken the gloves off and started to ask Obama some of the tougher questions. Thank god.

First hardball question, his "explanation" for those rude and insensitive comments in San Francisco was lacking:

"And so the point I was making was that when people feel like Washington's not listening to them, when they're promised year after year, decade after decade, that their economic situation is going to change, and it doesn't, then politically they end up focusing on those things that are constant, like religion."

To the less critical, or those who already support Obama, this sounds like a great recovery. But in San Francisco, he didn't say "focus," he said "cling," as if religion were a mere crutch, as if guns were simply an outlet. By his comments, you'd only need guns or religion if your life was in the crapper. A line of logic that does not consider the many wealthy and yet religious or gun toting (or both) Americans that exist despite Obama's narrow characterizations.

It's fair to say that most people of faith follow religion not because they are upset or wanting, but because faith for them can be inspiring. And I may be going out on a limb here, but I suspect that the faithful follow their religion in times of good and bad.

The idea that the American people are "promised," decade upon decade, that the government is going to change their economic situation for them, is simply untrue, and belies a lack of understanding the concept of America's financial system, as well as it's realities.

As far as I know, and I've been an American all my life, there are no such promises being made to Americans. In this country, it's up to the individual to make decisions for the betterment of themselves and their own futures. And in terms of the realities of our economics, it's worth noting that unemployment continues to remain below what in the 1990s was considered "full employment," at a mere 4.8%. Obamaniacs are quick to try and cloud this point by talking about income disparity. "We have greater income disparity in this country than we've seen since the first year of the Great Depression," Obama recently said at a speech in Wisconsin. But these exhortations don't account for the reality that many who are considered poor by today's standards, don't tend to stay within their income bracket. According to Thomas Sowell's article on BNET:

"An absolute majority of the people who were in the bottom 20% in 1975 have also been in the top 20% at some time since then. Most Americans don't stay put in any income bracket. At different times, they are both "rich" and "poor"-as these terms are recklessly thrown around in the media. Most of those who are called "the rich" are just middle-class people whose taxes the politicians avoid cutting by giving them that name.

So the thing Obama "meant" to say in San Francisco was nonsense, based on a premise that is inaccurate. Still waiting to hear this new kind of politics. Obama goes on to say:

"They end up feeling "This is a place where I can find some refuge. This is something that I can count on." They end up being much more concerned about votes around things like guns, where traditions have been passed on from generation to generation. And those are incredibly important to them.

And yes, what is also true is that wedge issues, hot-button issues, end up taking prominence in our — in our politics. And part of the problem is that when those issues are exploited, we never get to solve the issues that people really have to get some relief on, whether it's health care or education or jobs."

It's worth noting that the constitution of this country gives the citizens the right to bear arms. The only party that is exploiting the "gun issue" is Obama's own. The Assault Weapons Ban is a perfect example, D.C.s total ban on handguns is another effort by Obama's own party to exploit the gun issue. And Obama himself signed a questionnaire favoring a total ban on handguns in his jurisdiction. Crime has gone down since the AWB expired, and although handguns are banned in DC, it still remains a high crime area. Who is doing the exploiting exactly?

Speaking as an American, one who is prosperous, and one who owns several guns, I can attest that being a gun owner is a source of pride for me. Not just because I have a really nice collection of firearms (which I do :>), but also because it's a reminder that I live in a country where citizens are trusted and respected. Owning a gun has increased my appreciation for the freedoms that we are given in this country. The experience has made me even more law abiding, and respectful of the job that our police and military perform on our behalf each day. It's highly offensive, and inaccurate to suggest that I own a gun because I need something to cling to. Or even "focus on." In a word, pedantic.

In terms of religiously motivated hot button issues, for a politician who claims to represent a new way of politics, claiming that the views of those who disagree with his platforms are merely being exploitative sounds rather dismissive to me. Perhaps people of faith have a reason for feeling the way they do, not motivated by their financial situation?

And this is why Obama's comments weren't merely misspeak. This is why so many find what he said to be offensive, and why it really doesn't matter what he claims to have meant since then. Regardless of the conditions of his upbringing, this man is out of touch. But the problems in Obama's debate performance do not end there.

Moderator Charles Gibson asked Obama what he knew and when he knew it, about Rev. Wright's views given that a year earlier, Obama rescinded Wright's invite to a political gathering because Obama felt that Wright "can get kind of rough in sermons. So what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public." Transcript follows:

SENATOR OBAMA: Well, let me just respond to — to two things. Absolutely many of these remarks were objectionable. I've already said that I didn't hear them, because I wasn't in church that day. I didn't learn about those statements until much later.

But –

MR. GIBSON: But you did rescind the invitation to him –

SENATOR OBAMA: But that was on — that was on something entirely different, Charlie. That — that was on a different statement. And I think that what Senator Clinton referred to was extremely offensive, to me and a lot of people.

"Wasn't in church that day? That was on a different statement?" I've given better excuses for not bringing my homework into grade school. Here is where it gets even more cringe-worthy:

"And, you know, the notion that somehow that the American people are going to be distracted once again by comments not made by me but by somebody who is associated with me, that I have disowned, I think doesn't give the American people enough credit.

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You've disowned him?

SENATOR OBAMA: The comments, comments that I've disowned. Then that is not something that I think…. (interrupted by moderator)

Next up, Obama promised to raise taxes on only those evil rich people earning more than $250,000 a year. But when pressed on specifics, he also admitted that he would remove the cap on social security withholdings, representing a new tax on anyone earning more than $97,000 a year.

On the question of Iran and how he'd react as president to Israel being attacked, Obama was about as non-committal as I've ever heard from a politician. His Kerryesque response did little to reassure the many Jews who are already wondering where this man stands considering his willingness to engage with leaders like Iran's Ahmadinejad.

On the question of his refusal to wear a flag pin, Obama dithered. On the question regarding his prior agreement with McCain to accept public campaign financing only, an agreement he is currently not abiding by, Obama parsed and pointed fingers.

Is it me or is this not the candidate that so many claim him to be? To my reckoning, this is not a change agent, or a new kind of politician. This is not a uniter, or someone who is post-partisan. Obama is just another, dare I say, typical extreme left wing candidate.

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About The Obnoxious American

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    I am positive that within a day or so, the media will describe Obama’s masterful rise over Clinton in the Penn Debates, how the moderators cowered under the weight of his logic,

    Wrong here. The debate has been almost universally portrayed as a Clinton victory, or a tie.

    The moderators, clearly sick of being lampooned on SNL, had taken the gloves off and started to ask Obama some of the tougher questions.

    Wrong here too. The moderators asked both candidates difficult (and frequently small minded, misleading or plain out stupid questions). For example, they essentially asked each candidate to rule on a court case in DC on guns. How on earth could the either candidate make a ruling on a court case they had hardly heard of? Both candidates responded appropriately by restating their policy positions on guns and that they could not form a judgment on the case.

    But in San Francisco, he didn’t say “focus,” he said “cling,” as if religion were a mere crutch, as if guns were simply an outlet.

    I disagree with your interpretation of how he used the word cling. If you read the whole speech, you will see that in context he is saying it is all that they have left, not that they are bad things needed only in times of need. Considering he is a religious man, more so than Clinton and potentially McCain, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt he wasn’t demeaning religion.

    The idea that the American people are “promised,” decade upon decade, that the government is going to change their economic situation for them, is simply untrue, and belies a lack of understanding the concept of America’s financial system, as well as it’s realities.

    Well if you pay attention here you will find Obama has been fairly candid on this issue. He has pointed out repeatedly the same thing you have and stated that he will work to help these areas of the country struggling but that he can’t do it alone.

    But these exhortations don’t account for the reality that many who are considered poor by today’s standards, don’t tend to stay within their income bracket.

    I’d like the link please. And even if it is true, which I doubt, it doesn’t change the fact that the gap is much MUCH larger than in the 1970s. So people today are starting with an even larger disadvantage than those in the 1970s.

    Next up, Obama promised to raise taxes on only those evil rich people earning more than $250,000 a year. But when pressed on specifics, he also admitted that he would remove the cap on social security withholdings, representing a new tax on anyone earning more than $97,000 a year.

    BUT what you FAIL to include is that he stated he would offset this increase on those making between 97,000 and 250,000 with income tax cuts. The real point is he’s trying to eliminate the cap on the social security tax which makes it one of the most regressive taxes in the world. He can’t just lift the cap on those making over 250,000 and maintain it for those between 97k and 250k. He’s lifting the cap of the most regressive tax in the world, and offsetting it with income tax cuts for those making 97k to 250k. Don’t intentionally leave out parts of his argument.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Well if you pay attention here you will find Obama has been fairly candid on this issue. He has pointed out repeatedly the same thing you have and stated that he will work to help these areas of the country struggling but that he can’t do it alone.”

    Did you see the Obama quote where he says people were promised and the promise was not delivered upon. Even if he did favor individual empowerment as you suggest you can’t seriously claim that he isn’t selling the prospect of an Obama presidency as a cure for the lack of jobs and lack of prosperity for the “working class” (I work every day, hard work, but somehow I don’t think I am part of Obama’s “working class”

    “BUT what you FAIL to include is that he stated he would offset this increase on those making between 97,000 and 250,000 with income tax cuts. The real point is he’s trying to eliminate the cap on the social security tax which makes it one of the most regressive taxes in the world. He can’t just lift the cap on those making over 250,000 and maintain it for those between 97k and 250k. He’s lifting the cap of the most regressive tax in the world, and offsetting it with income tax cuts for those making 97k to 250k. Don’t intentionally leave out parts of his argument.”

    Intentionally leave out part of the argument? What an allegation. Sorry, but some add on promise to cut taxes for those earning over 100K by a guy who spends his entire campaign talking about helping the poor sounds like a long shot. Removing the cap on SS on the other hand sounds highly likely with an Obama presidency.

    What’s interesting about these spurrious arguments is the fact that those earning over 97K won’t get back from SS nearly what they put in. But let’s make them pay for an entitlement program that they won’t benefit from, rather than turn social security into something useful for all and self maintaining WITHOUT tax cuts – a personal retirement account – something the dems supported until Bush suggested it. This is the type of audacious change that is unacceptable to the left because the individual is simply incapable of doing anything without the government doing it for them. Right?

    You wouldn’t need the SS cap increased if we just did that. But that’s bad. There might be fees. People might invest badly. So lets raise taxes and make those earning 96k not bother to try and improve themselves because when their salaries cross the 97k barrier or even the 250k barrier, all of a sudden they are penalized and make less.

  • The Obnoxious American

    As far as your first point, give it time. Just like with the rev wright situation, the media will gloss over this one. Today CNN made passing reference to the debate by saying that both candidates supported not taxing people earning less than 250K. Is that all that happened?

    Regarding the questioning, no question that Obama’s questions were harder and more pressing than in previous debates. And that’s the point.

    As an aside, you really believe that neither presidential candidate is familiar with the DC handgun case? Wow. Consider instead that this is a topic they’d rather not delve into. I know about the DC handgun case and I am not running for any public office. This case is going to the supreme court for god sakes. If these guys are not familiar with current legal matters, then they really shouldn’t be running for the highest office. And if you believe them, perhaps you should refrain from voting :>

  • The Obnoxious American

    To your point about intentionally leaving out his “plan” to lower taxes on those earning 97K, here is a useful quote from the debate:

    MR. GIBSON: Those are a heck of a lot of people between $97,000 and $200(,000) and $250,000. If you raise the payroll taxes, that’s going to raise taxes on them.

    SENATOR OBAMA: And that’s — and that’s — and that’s why I’ve said, Charlie, that I would look at potentially exempting those who are in between.

    In case you missed it, Obama said he would look at Potentially exempting. No other mention of an offsetting payroll tax cut. But plenty of mention of increase.

    Put all this aside, and lets assume you are right (I think I’ve gone to lengths to prove otherwise, but for arguments sake). At the end of the day, you miss the entire point of the article, which is that Obama isn’t a new kind of politician with a new kind of politics. He is the same old same old. Kind of gaulling that he is selling the leftwing SOS under the guise of audacious hope and change we can believe in.

  • jacksmith

    DON’T BE DUPED !!!

    Large numbers of Republicans have been voting for Barack Obama in the DEMOCRATIC primaries, and caucuses from early on. Because they feel he would be a weaker opponent against John McCain. With Hillary Clinton you are almost 100% certain to get quality, affordable universal health care very soon.

    But first, all of you have to make certain that Hillary Clinton takes the democratic nomination and then the Whitehouse. NOW! is the time. THIS! is the moment you have all been working, and waiting for. You can do this America. “Carpe diem” (harvest the day).

    I think Hillary Clinton see’s a beautiful world of plenty for all. She’s a woman, and a mother. And it’s time America. Do this for your-selves, and your children’s future. You will have to work together on this and be aggressive, relentless, and creative. Americans face an even worse catastrophe ahead than the one you are living through now.

    You see, the medical and insurance industry mostly support the republicans with the money they ripped off from you. And they don’t want you to have quality, affordable universal health care. They want to be able to continue to rip you off, and kill you and your children by continuing to deny you life saving medical care that you have already paid for. So they can continue to make more immoral profits for them-selves.

    Hillary Clinton has actually won by much larger margins than the vote totals showed. And lost by much smaller vote margins than the vote totals showed. Her delegate count is actually much higher than it shows. And higher than Obama’s. She also leads in the electoral college numbers that you must win to become President in the November national election. HILLARY CLINTON IS ALREADY THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!

    As much as 30% of Obama’s primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help.

    Hillary Clinton has been OUT MANNED! OUT GUNNED! and OUT SPENT! 4 and 5 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton.

    If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. All of this vote fraud and republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is. YOUNG PEOPLE. DON’T BE DUPED! Think about it. You have the most to lose.

    The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against YOU the voter, and against democracy.

    The democratic party, and the super-delegates have a decision to make. Are the democrats, and the democratic party going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee to fight for the American people. Or are the republicans going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee through vote fraud, and gaming the DEMOCRATIC party primaries, and caucuses.

    Fortunately the Clinton’s have been able to hold on against this fraudulent outrage with those repeated dramatic comebacks of Hillary Clinton’s. Only the Clinton’s are that resourceful, and strong. Hillary Clinton is your NOMINEE. They are the best I have ever seen.

    “This is not a game” (Hillary Clinton)

    Sincerely

    jacksmith… Working Class :-)

  • pleasexcusetheinerruption

    Did you see the Obama quote where he says people were promised and the promise was not delivered upon. Even if he did favor individual empowerment as you suggest you can’t seriously claim that he isn’t selling the prospect of an Obama presidency as a cure for the lack of jobs and lack of prosperity for the “working class”

    Yes of course he’s promising things will get better. That’s what candidates for president do. No shit sherlock. But what I am saying is it’s not the same old vague promises that have been made before. He has committed himself to a specific plan for a more progressive tax code and a specific plan for healthcare. And like I said, he has been more candid than others in the past, at least admitting he isn’t the magic pill.

    Intentionally leave out part of the argument? What an allegation. Sorry, but some add on promise to cut taxes for those earning over 100K by a guy who spends his entire campaign talking about helping the poor sounds like a long shot. Removing the cap on SS on the other hand sounds highly likely with an Obama presidency.

    He has committed himself to giving a 500 dollar tax credit to 150 million Americans, 1000 per family. And to be honest, I don’t care that much whether or not he offsets the increased payroll taxes for those between 100k and 250k. Ending one of the most regressive taxes in history is a whole lot more important to me than people in that bracket.

    What’s interesting about these spurrious arguments is the fact that those earning over 97K won’t get back from SS nearly what they put in.

    What’s even more spurious is the fact that you don’t know nobody gets back from SS nearly as much as they put in (inflation adjusted). SS generates far more revenue than it costs and gov’t has been skimming off hundreds of billions of dollars from SS. So really it is just like the income tax, except it’s incredibly regressive. If gov’t weren’t skimming off of it, it wouldn’t be so bad, then at least everyone would get back what they put in, so they wouldn’t lose anything net. But right now it’s just a regressive income tax disguised as SS.

    As far as your first point, give it time. Just like with the rev wright situation, the media will gloss over this one. Today CNN made passing reference to the debate by saying that both candidates supported not taxing people earning less than 250K. Is that all that happened?

    Give me a break you think anyone will be writing about this debate two days from now? Of course not. It will just be another one of the 20 some odd debates so far. All that matters are the reports written yesterday and today.. which almost universally called it a Clinton victory. So CNN wrote an article on one aspect of it.. that doesn’t prove anything. If you’re determined to see favoritism though I’m sure you will.

    As an aside, you really believe that neither presidential candidate is familiar with the DC handgun case? Wow. Consider instead that this is a topic they’d rather not delve into. I know about the DC handgun case and I am not running for any public office. This case is going to the supreme court for god sakes. If these guys are not familiar with current legal matters, then they really shouldn’t be running for the highest office. And if you believe them, perhaps you should refrain from voting

    Yeah actually I doubt they are really completely informed on all the legal aspects of the case. And nor do I hold it against them. You want to bet George Bush doesn’t even know any of the relevant legal cases and laws?

    Put all this aside, and lets assume you are right (I think I’ve gone to lengths to prove otherwise, but for arguments sake). At the end of the day, you miss the entire point of the article, which is that Obama isn’t a new kind of politician with a new kind of politics. He is the same old same old.

    And all you’ve proven is he’s not the savior of the world. So he’s not as great as a few people say. Big deal. Making the tax code more progressive, adopting a cautious foreign policy, providing healthcare, and supporting instead of dismantling the EPA are all a whole lot better than what we’ve got, or mccain has to offer.

  • pleasexcusetheinerruption

    God can someone delete this jacksmith garbage.. who the hell is this guy. this is not the place to campaign for a candidate with lies and nonsense. Hillary clinton is over. Get over it.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Well if you pay attention here you will find Obama has been fairly candid on this issue. He has pointed out repeatedly the same thing you have and stated that he will work to help these areas of the country struggling but that he can’t do it alone.”

    By “can’t do it alone” he means he needs more of our income to go to the fedral givernemnt right?

    The Democrats are in the politics of dependency Please. A Democrat politician’s worst nightmare is that someone may actually succeed on their own merit and effort. The Democrats as we all know beleiev that the only solution is more government. the problem is that this approach rarely works. It is however how the Democrats keep their base voting for them through fear. It’s the same rhetoric every election cycle. republicans are nothing but evil fat cat CEO types who don’t give a damn about anyone and Democrats are the princes riding in on their white horses to save everyone through governemnt aid. But in the end all those promises of governemnt assistance ultimately fail to bring about the utopia we were promised so the dems blame the republicans again and make a new set of BS promises.

    In a nutshell….”those who can, vote republican, those who can’t vote Democrat.”

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I can only chuckle with amusement at the comments going back and forth on this article.

    If Barack Obama is the crowned the Democratic candidate already, why are debates going on? I realize that the primary is a scheduled event, but the debate indicates that the issue is not yet quite decided yet.

    On the other hand, the fact that questioners decided to take the gloves off a bit with Obama is an indication that he is no longer just a phenom, but considered a serious candidate.

    Obnoxious, for my money (what little there is of it), an Obama victory is the best thing that could happen for us in Israel. The mask will slip as the Jew-hating bastards who surround Obama make all of us who do not live in the “People’s Republic or Tel Aviv” realize clearly what I have been telling you all for some time; that the American government is an enemy of this country and not a friend. The scum in the People’s Republic will be trying to get green cards as fast as they can to flee.

    A McCain or Clinton victory would leave another glad-handing, back stabbing son (or daughter) of a bitch in office, and Israelis will not wake up to reality.

    But as for you guys, well you do not have much of a choice. It makes no difference whether a white man with a black face or a white woman with white face mishandles your economy or blunders around leading you all to oblivion. And that is where you are headed, like it or not. It is not an issue of whether your leaders follow one policy or another, it is an issue of being stuck in Iraq and not being about to afford to pull out, and not having the money to stay without wrecking the economy. Having been a bottom feeder in America’s economy for quite some time, I understand too well what that can mean. It means that the diplomas that kids earn from school are reduced to toilet paper, and they need to find work that is far below their capability or training.

    If feel re-assured that you own several guns, Obnoxious. Keep them well oiled and make sure you have a huge supply of ammo and grease for your guns. Go to the range and bone up on hitting moving targets. You’ll have to be ready to eventually.

    As I’ve said before, my advice to anyone who has money to do it is to buy gold coins and a troy scale.

    Shabbat Shalom from Samaria,
    a PéssaH kashér u’sameáH a Happy and Kosher Passover,
    Reuven

  • Clavos

    What’s even more spurious is the fact that you don’t know nobody gets back from SS nearly as much as they put in (inflation adjusted).

    That may well be true now, PETI, but when my mother died in 1998, after having retired in 1985 and worked since 1939, she had put a grand total of about $30K into SS, which she was repaid in less than 3 years.

    I used to tease her that she was on welfare, which pissed her off royally, but was nevertheless true.

    My father paid even less into SS because he retired several years before her.

    This was true of pretty much all their generation.

    With her pension from her employer plus interest and dividends from her savings, she had a comfortable retirement, but not thanks to SS, which for most of her working years, collected only $300 a year from her, as it did from me when I first started working in the early 60s.

    The real question as to what will happen to the SS funds lies with the fact that, in a few years, far fewer workers will be contributing to SS, while many millions more (the boomers, the first of whom registered for SS benefits late last year) will be collecting it.

    What surplus there may be today will be sucked up quickly if SS remains status quo.

  • The Obnoxious American

    The whole ss thing is a total shame. I’ll be the first to admit that Bush has made his mistakes, but his SS plan wasn’t one of them. Can you imagine how much we’d all be better off if the (in some cases) hundreds of dollars per check we pay in SS was actually put into a real account with our own names on it?

    The problem with the markets today is credit related, and people have been saying that a credit failure has been in the making for years, that Americans are highly over leveraged. One need only look at the typical American household, 1 or more mortgages and at least 1 car payment to know that this is true. What we need to do to help the economy is tear down every single barrier to personal savings.

    As SS is now, any money we “pay in” gets taken by non SS government programs which is one of the reasons why there is a deficit. It’s laughable that Democrats want to double down on this fool’s bet.

    “He has committed himself to giving a 500 dollar tax credit to 150 million Americans, 1000 per family. And to be honest, I don’t care that much whether or not he offsets the increased payroll taxes for those between 100k and 250k. Ending one of the most regressive taxes in history is a whole lot more important to me than people in that bracket.”

    Oh, so you don’t much care. That’s nice. But the fact is that in many parts of this great country, people earning in that range are not upper class or rich. I know, I live in NYC.

    Your let them eat cake attitude is exactly the type of Obama inspired falseness that I am railing about in the article.

    To suggest that a 500 or even 1000 tax credit would make up for the increase in SS payroll deductions is laughable, unless you are only thinking of those earning $98,000. I can tell you from personal experience, SS deductions at this pay level number in the $200-300 range per 2 week paycheck.

    “And all you’ve proven is he’s not the savior of the world. So he’s not as great as a few people say. Big deal. Making the tax code more progressive, adopting a cautious foreign policy, providing healthcare, and supporting instead of dismantling the EPA are all a whole lot better than what we’ve got, or mccain has to offer.”

    Actually, yes, I have proven that. However, your strawman that Obama’s plans are better than what McCain have to offer is ignorant and lacking any kind of facts to back it up. I think McCain’s economic plan is actually sensible and based on the free market principles that this country is founded upon. And he has solutions to the other issues you raise. He is a right of center republican, as opposed to an extreme orthodox liberal in Obama. I’d suggest you take a gander at his website and maybe listen to a speech or two (just like I listen to Obama’s speeches) – you might be surprised what moderation can do in politics.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Ruvy,

    I think McCain will be a very good supporter of Israel. As we’ve discussed before, I can’t say the same for the state department and other elements or individual actors in our government that I agree do hate Israel and maybe even Jews. But McCain is solidly pro-Israel, and you really should start actually putting your weight behind supporting this war hero, and American patriot.

    As far as my guns, they are well oiled, I am well trained, and I have plenty of RN and JHP in my safe ready and waiting should there ever be an issue threatening me or my family. That said, I don’t really think it will come to that in my lifetime. I certainly hope that is true. Regardless of the imminence of such a threat, your advice there is well taken, and should be considered by others, especially considering their 2nd ammendment rights to do so.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Can you imagine how much we’d all be better off if the (in some cases) hundreds of dollars per check we pay in SS was actually put into a real account with our own names on it?

    The system would go broke.

    It’s not that the concept of privatizing the funds, or specifying them to go into a specific account is a bad one. Actually, it’s an excellent idea. The problem is bridging the gap for paying off young geezers like me (I’ll be eligible in 2017 under current law), as well as the retirees already on the rolls.

    When Bismarck invented the system of social security in Germany over 115 years ago, 65 was the age most people died. This was till pretty much true in 1934 or 1935 when it was instituted under FDR. So, to restate the obvious, two things are killing off the social security system. One is the plummeting birthrate in the States; the other is the age that people live to.

    I do not expect to see a single dime from the system.

  • The Obnoxious American

    In fairness, Bush did say that those who were currently 50 years old would not use the new system. In his plan, this move to privatized savings would be “mixed” in with the traditional SS, but if you are close to retirement age, you’d receive traditional benefits. Younger folk, such as myself, who are not nearing an age qualifying them for benefits, would pay into the new system.

    Eventually, yes, the “system,” this pyramid/ponzi scheme that we call Social Security, would go broke. But this is as it should be – because while the large government based SS program was broke, Americans would have a nice retirement account to call their own. I’m all for government having less money, and the hard working people of this nation (whether member’s of Obama’s “working class” or not) having more money, especially in terms of retirement. After all it’s the workers of this country that earn the money. Am I right or am I right?

    If Social Security wasn’t being run by the government, it would be considered illegal, and those responsible for managing it would likely have to end up in jail. Such pyramid schemes are illegal in the private sector.

    One other thought, for all those liberal sheep (sorry but it’s true) that hate Bush’s social security plan, I wonder just how many of you also pay into corporate 401ks. (How much does any right wingers want to wager that dems will miss the point here).

  • silver surfer

    Got an itchy trigger finger Clav?

    This is interesting … you pay the federal government and they give it back to you after you retire?

    With interest? No government old-age pension?

    I assume that largely, retired folks live off employer-funded pensions, right?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Thats the thing about SS, there isn’t interest because there are no actual funds to call your own. American SS is a true pyramid scheme in that each successive generation is paying for the retirement benefits of people who are retired now. When that generation retires, it depends on the next generation to continue paying in order to receive it’s benefits. Over time with babyboomers and longer lifespans, the number of working people supporting retirees has dwindled. My numbers might be off but I remember something like 12 workers were paying 1 retiree many years ago, now it’s down to 2 or 3.

    If I offered such a scheme to people as a private business, the government would send me to jail as this type of ponzi scheme is known as a scam in the private sector – that should tell you everything you need to know about it.

    Think about the common liberal refrain about the government’s budget deficit and how “we are leaving all this debt to our grandchildren” (bs considering that government debt can be paid down much more quickly such in within a few years). Yet SS truly is a debt that we hand down to our children – they will be responsible for paying for our retirement. Backwards eh?

    Pensions used to be the main thing, but these days most employers offer 401k’s that are much like we are describing, pre-tax deductions of your salary that goes into your own account, and you can invest it into funds or stocks of your choosing.

    The dirty secret dems won’t admit to is that most working adults these days understand they cannot rely on SS. Everyone uses 401ks or if they are lucky pensions. Why not make 401k the modern version of SS? Well dems supported the idea, that is until Bush proposed it during his administration. It’s this type of anti bush nose cutting to spite the face that makes it hard for me to take dems seriously and really fear for this country should either dem win in November.

  • bliffle

    “Ponzi scheme”? But isn’t every financial instrument in the country a “Ponzi Scheme” these days?

    Isn’t Bear Stearns a Ponzi scheme? Wasn’t LTCM?

    Returns on Muny Bonds depend on future revenues to be collected.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Bliffle,

    There’s so much wrong with your post and yet it’s only three lines. I think you’ve set a record for the most inane post in the least amount of space :>. So here goes.

    Answer 1: Are you suggesting then that ponzi schemes are good and since bear sterns (by your words) is a ponzi scheme, then there is nothing wrong with SS being a ponzi scheme? And if not, then should we dismantle the entire capitalist infrastructure?

    Answer 2: Not sure what LTCM is, but Bear Sterns is not a ponzi scheme – it’s what is known as a bank.

    Bear was overleveraged and ran out of money. It had assets worth more than the bailout paid for it, but those assets were not liquid enough to pay for outstanding debts. JP Morgan’s stock price growth is proof of those assets. What happened to bear is basically a macro version of a home forclosure. To suggest home ownership is a giant ponzi scheme is laughable, unless this is some native-american-return-of-MR type thing.

  • Baronius

    ObAm – I’ve railed against Obama’s SF statements on an earlier thread. I don’t want to repeat myself, but just say that your analysis is dead-on. It’s funny that peti and others use Obama’s religiousity as a defense against the clear implications of his statements. Apparently it’s ok to view a candidate through a religious lens when he’s a Democrat.

    His apology/excuse doesn’t even make sense. If people turn away from politics in difficult times, why even run for President? Isn’t his campaign supposed to reach the alienated? Or are they too stupid, off playing with their guns, to realize he’s trying to save them? Or is he claiming that guns are part of a good American tradition, but that would make the bitter, frustrated people correct. His explanation isn’t even passingly coherent.

    Peti, Thomas Sowell has done a lot of research on the changes in income quintiles. It shouldn’t be hard to find online. You said, “And even if it is true, which I doubt, it doesn’t change the fact that the gap is much MUCH larger than in the 1970s. So people today are starting with an even larger disadvantage than those in the 1970s.” Why would higher high-end incomes be a disadvantage to people on the low end? A disadvantage in changine quintiles, maybe, maybe not. A disadvantage in their absolute income, no.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    If ObAm was discovered by astronomers to have a red dwarf companion, would it be designated ObAm B while the original ObAm would now be known as ObAm A?

    :-D

    [tap dances away with self-satisfied glee before the rotten tomatoes start flying]

  • Baronius

    Nice work, Doc. But I believe they’re called “indigenous little person life partners” now.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “How on earth could the either candidate make a ruling on a court case they had hardly heard of?”

    They should have heard of it. It’s a rather important issue, dontcha think? You know, the meaning of the Second Amendment?

    “Considering he is a religious man”

    Well, yeah. First a Muslim, then a member of a Black Nationalist hate cult.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Give me a break you think anyone will be writing about this debate two days from now? Of course not.”

    Go to RealClearPolitics for articles from about a dozen nationally-syndicated columnists who are, in fact, still writing about the debate.

    “the American government is an enemy of this country and not a friend.”

    Israel has been the #1 recipient of American foreign aid for how many years running now? 30?

    Get over it, man. The US is just about the last friend Israel has on this planet.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “I used to tease her that she was on welfare, which pissed her off royally, but was nevertheless true.”

    Heh. My dad calls it his “pension.” When I explain to him that it’s little more than a Ponzi Scheme, and that all the money he “paid into” the system was going towards retirees back in the 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s, and that the monthly check he receives now is coming directly out of my paycheck, he gets a bit … “bitter.”

    A subject best not broached. ;)

    “What surplus there may be today will be sucked up quickly if SS remains status quo.”

    The status quo will end with a flick of a pen. 20+ million illegal immigrants will magically become citizens in the near future (regardless of who wins in November), and they will all immediately become “contributors” to the FICA tax.

    Hey: If we can’t manufacture another Baby Boom to offset the last one, we can just import one, amiright? ;)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    First a Muslim, then a member of a Black Nationalist hate cult.

    Oh, give it a rest, RJ…

  • Clavos

    The status quo will end with a flick of a pen. 20+ million illegal immigrants will magically become citizens in the near future (regardless of who wins in November), and they will all immediately become “contributors” to the FICA tax.

    RJ,

    You’ve just blown my mind with that comment..

    You’re right, of course, but I never thought I’d see it come from your keyboard.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Oh, give it a rest, RJ…”

    Not likely.

    Tell me: If John McCain was raised Muslim, and then converted to Christianity by joining a Christian Identity church that gave a “lifetime achievement” award to, say, David Duke…and had a head pastor who – literally – damned America, do you think the MSM would let that go?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “You’re right, of course, but I never thought I’d see it come from your keyboard.”

    Why do you say that? :-/

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