Facts and Feelings from Wall Street to Main Street

The biggest heart string issue any candidate can use to influence votes is the economy.  The last few days have been a testament to this.  While Obama uses “middle class” as a noun, verb and adjective in every speech, McCain has been trying to reassure Americans about the fundamentals of the economy.  In light of the polls today, it would seem Obama is the better string player.  But does he have the leadership and policies to back up what he is saying on the stump? 

First to leadership.  It was reported today that the Democratically controlled Congress is considering another recess in light of the current economic situation.  The reason being that they don’t know what to do and don’t want to act in a manner that will cause any more harm.  Obama himself has yet to take a position on the bailout of AIG saying he needs more information before he can react to what happened yesterday. 

While it is true that John McCain is part of the same Congress that is considering another recess, it is also true that he is a member of the party that stayed in the House to push for a vote on energy reform after the last recess was called by Speaker Pelosi.  The Republican representatives stayed in the House for days after the recess was called, lights out, trying to put pressure on the Democrats to allow an up or down vote on energy reform.  

Unlike Obama,  John McCain has taken a position on the bailout of AIG.  According to ABC he is now a flip-flopper because he supports the bailout after he opposed it previously.  But they miss the point.  John McCain changed his position because he was able to see that if AIG was not given help in some manner-federal,private or the combination of both that has happened-the economy and millions of Americans who are associated with AIG in some way would have been decimated by even a partial failure.  Call it a flip flop if you like but leaders know when and how to act, even if acting goes against what they believe. 

Now, the policies.  Once again  these are policy statements directly out of Obama’s “Blueprint for America”  and the expanded Issues section of the John McCain website.  They are not the soundbites or anecdotes candidates use on the stump. 

  Obama’s plan starts with, what else, the middle class.  While Obama is fond of talking about his tax cut and it’s perceived ability to help 95% of Americans, his plan does not address who is middle class.  He does specify a tax credit that would be equal to $500 per individual or $1,000 per working family in what he calls the “Making Work Pay” tax credit.  He says it would completely eliminate taxes for 10 million Americans and provide 150 million workers relief. 

Obama also will simplify tax filings,  allowing taxpayers the option of signing a returning a pre-filled tax form sent by the IRS.  No itemization, no W, I or A forms, just sign a return.  Accountants beware, estimates are you will lose approximately $2 billion in fees when this happens.  Perhaps the accounts will need retraining after they lose their jobs, but not to worry Obama has provided for that in his plan. 

First of all, if you take a job at McDonalds, your minimum wage will rise indexed to inflation.  Simply put, small businesses are forced to pony up money every year for every worker, NOT based on performance.  In addition Obama will raise the Earned Income Tax Credit so that you can work full-time and still raise a family.  Not only that but Obama will expand FMLA to companies that employ as little as 25 people and allow time off for just about anything.  While I can’t say that allowing time off under FMLA to see your kids soccer games is a bad idea, I can say that his idea to make states and companies to pay for FMLA time is a bad one.  But to this end Obama has promised $1.5 billion to the states to help them pay for the new FMLA rules. 

If you decide, as an out of work accountant, that you want to enter the manufacturing field, Obama is going to spend untold (literally, he has no number) dollar amounts on new job training programs.  Using his education policy as a backdrop, most of this retraining will happen at community colleges where education will be free under an Obama administration.  If you decide to stay at home and work, Obama will give you high speed Internet as he spends countless (again no number) dollars on companies who provide Internet connection services. 

Of course Obama has a record to back up his economic policies and tax cuts.  In 2007 he was a cosponsor on a bill (his site says he introduced it) by Dick Durbin called the Patriot Employer Act.  The bill currently sits in committee. Did I mention the Congress that controls these committees is controlled currently by Obama’s own party.  He also cosponsored the STOP FRAUD Act to help homeowners, it also sits in committee

Sen McCain’s proposals start off with a balanced budget by 2013.  To achieve this McCain will:

  • make reasonable growth a reality
  • control spending
  • use bipartisanship like (hold on ) Bill Clinton did in the 90’s to pass a budget

In assuring growth Mccain believes that small businesses will benefit the economy the most.  His proposals of low taxes and low rates on capital gains will allow those businesses to reinvest in their own future.  Also small businesses would be able to deduct equipment and technology investments they make to improve their businesses.  In addition to allowing businesses to reinvest in themselves, McCain is proposing reducing the Estate Tax to 15% which would allow more businesses to stay in the family.  In addition the Bush tax cuts would stay in place and may even increase for all Americans. 

Another way John McCain can assure growth is the implementation of his energy policy.  Under his plans, which include ALL types of energy,  new jobs would be created in America to build and support new energy development.  In nuclear power alone it is estimated that over 700,000 jobs would be created under McCain’s plan.  Retraining is also a priority in a Mccain Presidency and would be fully supported. 

The second part of McCain’s plan to balance the budget is to control spending.  John McCain’s efforts to control spending are famous and easily found on his congressional website.  But in addition to earmarks, John McCain has proposed a freeze on all non-defense and non-veteran discretionary spending thus allowing time to plan and prioritize all spending programs.  And as we draw down in Iraq and costs are reduced in the war, much of that money will go to deficit reduction, not universal health care. 

One other point on spending.  Much has been made about the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska.  Sarah Palin has been criticised for supporting the earmark before she was Governor and then voicing her opposition to it as Governor.  John McCain voted “NO” to this earmark (H.r. 3, CQ Vote#220: Adopted 91-4:R 48-4;D42-0, I 1-0,7/29/2005)and was only one of 4 Senators to do so, Obama voted for it.  When the money was allocated anyway, Palin did take the $36 million allocated BUT directed her Transportation Department to use it for infrastructure improvements in the state.  This is in keeping with improvements sought after the government directed states to look at all of their infrastructure after the bridge collapse a few years ago.  Here are two source to verify the bill-

http://www.johnmccain.com/mccainreport/Read.aspx?guid=ab24d6d6-f796-4851-99ac-451d7567a5cc

This site shows Obama and McCain’s votes on HR 3

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/1/votes/220/

Finally, John McCain’s record of bipartisanship shows that he can easily work with all members of Congress to make this happen.  Just as Democrats and Republicans are coming together this week to slow the bleed in the financial sector, Sen McCain has worked with Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman and others to introduce legislation that, many times his own party did not support. 

There is more to the McCain plan but I have gone on long enough (Printed text for McCain goes on for 14 pages, Obama has 5).   Figuring out what each candidate is saying on the trail is difficult.  Sen Obama clearly uses emotion over reason and Sen McCain tries reason more than he should sometimes.  But after writing my longest post yet, the bottom line is this.  On May 25, 2006 John McCain spoke to the Banking Committee and warned of the failure of Fannie and Freddie as well as others (AIG).  Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, now advisers to Obama, were executives in the banking industry then.  Chris Dodd (D) was the ranking committee member and killed the resolution John McCain and others proposed.  Where was the leadership of Obama and the Democrats then?

Again look at the comments:

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/09/17/mccains-attempt-to-fix-fannie-mae-freddie-mac-in-2005/

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2084424/posts

 (Thank you to all sites listed)

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Sebelius: The GOP wears white after Labor Day

Here we go again!  Another member of the Obama campaign is accusing the GOP of wearing white after Labor Day. 

Kansas Gov Kathleen Sebelius, once thought of as a VP candidate for Obama, is the latest Obama surrogate to inject race into this election.  On Tuesday she told a crowd in Iowa that the GOP is using code words to inject race into this election. 

When asked if Obama and the Democrats would fight for a victory in November, Sebelius answered ” Have you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” then added that the “Republicans are not going to go lightly into the darkness”.  She has not clarified her comments yet. 

Governor Sebelius is not some left wing blogger whose post you read and then discard as idiotic.  She is a vocal supporter of Obama who has been asked by the campaign to travel around the country and speak on behalf of Obama.  She was once considered an alternative to Hilary Clinton for the VP nomination.  Sebelius is also the Governor of a state,  a position she should take responsibly and not use to instill fear in voters. 

Race is the elephant in the room according to Sen Obama, his surrogates, volunteers and the media( http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/16/obama-race-a-factor/) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia75o5IO3xo) .  They want us to believe that the only way to improve race relations in this country is to vote Obama into the White House.  To those  promoting this idea I would have to ask a simple question.  Is this what Martin Luther King, Jr meant when he said ” I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Tire Gauge:$25,Air: $.25,Obama’s Plan:Priceless

Obama's Well Thought Out Energy Plan

Obama's Well Thought Out Energy Plan

Go to www.johnmccain.com to get yours! 

McCain’s Energy Plan:

  • Offshore drilling
  • conservation
  • alternative energy sources
  • expansion/building of new nuclear power plants
  • incentives for individuals and companies

You decide which candidate has the best ideas?

Get Your Obama Tire Gauge Here!

 

  • John McCain Tire Gauge 

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  • referred by Mike Shay

  • Remember,  if all Americans inflate their tires our dependence on foreign oil will be broken. 

  • He’s Black !?-Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    Sen Obama once again stepped into the race issue on Thursday (see previous post) and I can’t help but be reminded of Seinfeld every time someone tries to discuss race in this election. 

    Here is how I would envision the latest discussion of Sen Obama’s racial remark:  

    Reporter:  “Sen Obama said that he doesn’t look like the other Presidents on our money, once again raising the fact the he is black, (not that there is anything wrong with that).  How do you respond to his comment? ” 

    Obama spokesperson:  ” Well he just meant that he doesn’t wear a wig, not that there is anything wrong with folically challenged individuals.  If you look back you’ll see President Bush’s economic policies have caused people to forget what money looks like and only the rich can survive another Bush term.”   

    McCain spokesman:  “Sen McCain doesn’t wear a wig either but if it will help him get his message across he will certainly wear one! And how did Bush come up again? Sen Obama might want to remember who he is running against and focus on the real issues facing Americans today.”

    Published in: on August 1, 2008 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  

    Who’s on my $20 now?

    In the past few weeks Obama has become the embodiment of the hopes of America, he has redecorated the White House with a new basketball court and less TVs,  and has taken a Presidential trip overseas.  Now he has cast himself as a new face of American money. 

    On Thursday, Obama reiterated his charge that the Bush and McCain team (?) were trying to make voters afraid of him.  In several speeches, Obama accused the Republicans of saying “You know, he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name, you know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on the dollar bills.”  Then in defense of the statement, David Axelrod and others have been saying that McCain started it.  The question is HOW?

    Sen McCain has never used a racial slur against Obama.  Ted Kennedy was the one who got mixed up and called him Osama in an introduction he was making to voters.  Obama was the one who gave “The Race Speech” to let voters know he was black after the Clinton’s made several reportedly racial remarks.  The worst Sen McCain has done was to liken him to celebrity’s who happened to be white women.  It has also been widely stated, almost reverently at times,  that only in America could we be facing the choice of a Presidential candidate with the middle name of Hussein. 

    Sen Obama is again deciding to use the race card in this campaign to draw attention to himself.  In the same breath he is trying to paint a picture of a McCain Presidency as a third Bush term,  a charge Obama is using to incite the same fear he is accusing McCain of promoting.  Yet, in every attack McCain has used there has been real policy differences discussed.  Obama has only used his “Hopes and Dreams” scenario in a majority of his ads.  The accusation that McCain was the one who started this race issue is LUDACRIS (hear HIS new song?) and baseless. 

    If Sen Obama wants a real discussion of what Americans are afraid of he should look at his own policies, not his race.  On energy, Sen Obama does not support any measures that will help Americans in the long or short term.  Offshore drilling is a scheme to him, yet when the ban was lifted by President Bush two weeks ago the price of a barrel of oil and the price at the pump dropped.  Nuclear is risky for Obama yet produces clean power at a much higher rate and is safer than traditional power plants.  And incentives to find alternative power sources are nothing more than political pandering to Obama.

    On the issue of Iraq, Sen Obama wants us out of the country in as little time as possible.  He did not and still does not support the surge despite its ongoing success (10 soldiers and 510 civilians died in July, a 75% drop from the same period last year).  He disagrees with the commanders on the ground, possibly because of his extensive knowledge of the military, and would only listen to them if it fits into his plans as Commander in Chief.  Obama also wants to refocus our military might to Afghanistan, citing the surge of violence there in recent months, but also wants to meet with Iran and Syria with no preconditions to discuss options in the region. 

    On health care, Sen Obama wants to give coverage to everyone to the tune of billions a year.  Not a bad idea except that the cost would be prohibitive.  Obama says not to worry that the money being spent on Iraq would fund his initiative.  What Obama does not say is that the money being used for Iraq is already being taken out of various Government agencies who would have to continue to operate on a lower budget or cut services even more.  To fund the war each agency has to give a portion of its budget back to the government for war funding, so the $10 billion we are spending in Iraq is not the free money Obama sees. 

    On the issue of the economy, Sen Obama supports tax increases for “wealthy” Americans but has yet to define who will be defined as “wealthy”.  He supports PAYGO policies and the limiting earmarks (good) but also supports more stimulus payments with no spending cuts.  Obama also wants to tax windfall profits, again without an explanation of what a windfall profit margin is, and raise the minimum wage to what some call a living wage.  Both of these practices would raise prices across the board and further weaken the economy by hurting the small businesses that run our country.  In addition his guarantee of paid sick days for all workers will further weaken small businesses who are just starting out and can not provide such benefits. 

    Sen Obama was again partially correct when he said that the Republicans were trying to scare voters.  However his insuation that McCain and his supporters are using race to frighten voters was off the mark.  The majority of voters do not care about his race or ethnic background and Obama is the only candidate who highlights his diversity and calls it an adversity.  What voters are scared of is not who is on their money but rather who will help them earn and keep more of their money.  In that scenario, voters should be scared of calling Obama Mr. President.