Who Won The Presidential Debate 2? Obama versus McCain. There is a Rainbow! Obama Wins

Rainbows have been a sign of hope in fable from the Bible to legends of magic and leprechauns. There is always a hope that the person we elect will make a difference, and that the achievements of these great men will touch and benefit us all as a nation.

What was clearly evident in this debate was that McCain is not good at projecting that rainbow. Obama painted one with dozens of colors, and McCain painted reality in a somber brown. McCain has the inherent trait that he does not want to promise what he cannot deliver. Obama has the inherent trait that he will promise anything whether he can deliver it or not. There are many more colors in Obama’s palette, but that is because he makes you imagine the paint instead of actually having to apply any of it.

The latter technique wins debates, because it paints that colored arch of promise. It leads Americans, especially those less educated, to believe that there is a pot of gold to be found at the end of the election.

Here is the reality. At the end of Obama’s rainbow, there is no pot of gold. All there is at the end of Obama’s rainbow is an inexperienced man that would be President.

When Obama speaks of health care, he speaks of covering people with pre-existing conditions, but he does not say how he will pay for it. He challenges McCain on his tax cuts. But anyone with third grade math skills can easily understand that 300 billion in tax cuts is only 1/3 of the government spending that Obama incorporates into his plan. The questions that had to be asked by McCain weren’t. McCain just plain was not aggressive enough. It may have to do with the platform, which did not allow enough challenge of the other’s positions, but these are the questions that McCain missed.

1. If Obama is going to cover pre-existing conditions for health care, where does that money come from? Does it come from those that are healthy in America? You bet. Will people with health problems just be able to jump on the train now at everyone else’s expense? How could that possibly be paid for? Get some numbers and pin the man down.
2. Senator Obama, you say Republican tax cuts will total 300 billion dollars, but you are also offering tax cuts. How much will those cost and how could you possibly believe that will be made up by only taxing people that earn over $250,000 without destroying small enterprises. Someone has to pin this man down on the costs of his programs. Where does the money come from?
3. On every topic Obama speaks to, he talks of spending. We will need money for education, health care, Social Security, Medicare, foreign aid, energy independence, blah blah blah. But he has no way to pay for any of it other than some absurd idea that taxing people making more than $250,000 will make any difference at all. He sounds like he has his wallet open to help America, but what he has open is America’s wallet, and it is empty.

On the McCain Front:

McCain is easy to debate. He is just too much of a straight shooter. He doesn’t want to tell you there is a rainbow if there isn’t one. He doesn’t speak of spending for everything in creation while promising a pot of gold.

Problem is, if you don’t promise the pot of gold, and your opponent is, you have to challenge the other man’s pot by calling his bluff. McCain was challenged on how he would fund his tax cut, but didn’t take the opportunity to drill Obama on his tax cut or his spending programs. A simple response, “You promise a tax cut plus all 900 billion dollars in new spending. Specifically how much will your tax cut cost, then add on your 900 billion dollars in spending and tell America how you will pay for that? Here is a piece of graph paper and a pencil, show us.”

It is sad to see McCain being weak in the debates because we have no faith in Obama. We believe he is the same hollow promise campaigner we have seen many, many times in our past. And we also believe that if he wins this election, all we will hear for years as his policies fail, is that the Republicans made it worse than he thought. He has built up the perfect excuse and continues to make promises he knows he can never hope to meet.

We believe that America wants that pot of gold. They will follow the candidate that calmly promises it to them. And for that reason, we believe Obama won this debate. He won it with false promises and false hopes that Americans want to hear. And McCain failed to challenge him appropriately to bust the concept of the Obama Fantasy Island.

While McCain is a poor debater, we also believe the formats being chosen for these debates, especially this debate, clearly favor Obama. He overstays his welcome, overruns his time frequently, and leaves little time for the other side. He also gets to answer questions from people that have no chance to challenge him on his response. They ask a question, he answers and it is done.

We would prefer a face to face debate. One in which each man confronts the other, one in which the promises of one can be clearly challenged by the other. This debate clearly did not cater to that and we do not think that an accident.

Obama comes across as confident and cool. McCain comes across as uncomfortable and stressed. As long as that is true, it is like listening to a story at bedtime. As you doze off to sleep, there is just the story. It takes you over as you gradually doze off to your slumber. It wishes you happy dreams as you hear of the characters of the story (in this case us) living happily ever after. Obama tells that story well, but we believe that under Obama’s leadership, our cradle will rock, the bow will break, and down will come America, cradle and all.

10/6 Dancing in a Bar Review and Recap, Analysis and Sexual Innuendo

Misty May-Treanor is done. She sprained her ankle in practice. She wouldn’t win, so it was a good time to get out. She ruptured her Achilles tendon. So, that is a pretty major injury. And what is interesting about it is that she is the most athletic of anyone here. We hope it wont hurt Misty in volleyball. We know she is competitive, but her age is catching up.

Susan & Tony (7/10)

Susan looks so amateurish. Her movements are like she is dancing karaoke. She looks like someone learning how to dance. Tony, of course, is great, and leads her about, which helps, but she isn’t very good. Her leg lifts get all of six inches off the floor. Tony can throw her around because she is petite, but she doesn’t have it quite. Tony’s legs are much faster and hide her flaws well. And you have to give the gal a point for having fun and effort. Judges: 21.

Lance & Lacey (8/10)

Last week the judges said they didn’t want to see Lacey’s tricks. Stupid, but hey, you have to play by their nonsense rules even if it makes it less fun for the audience. The “tricks” are the art. But the judges aren’t very good so you have to cater to them. They cooled it down for the Waltz this week, leading into very subtle, well choreographed moves with great chemistry. If the judges call these tricks, they should be sent home themselves. Judges: 22 The two judges that gave the 7s are stupid and have it in for Lacey.

Maurice & Cheryl (9/10)

Cheryl looked killer and knew the moves. Maurice came to play. He was using his athleticism jumping over Cheryl’s head. Tons of energy, which is what the Jibe is all about. Maurice failed to impress us in past weeks, but this week, he was all that. Cheryl was still the lead in the dance. If you watch it closely, she actually is throwing him around. Oh, this woman is great. We were wrong, she is better than Lacey. There were some awkward moves where Cheryl had to cover up for Maurice in the middle. He just didn’t know which way to turn. But the finish was dazzling and we had our winner this week. Judges 24. To put in perspective how stupid this is, look at some of the 24s from prior weeks. This was the best dance of the show thus far. But at least they didn’t fall asleep.

Rocco & Karina (6/10)

Rocco tried to start off in a blindfold. We wanted to borrow it for the rest of the dance. It looked like a dance at a wedding dance. They just couldn’t pull it off. Some lame applause from the audience that was obviously bored. It just had nothing going for it despite some cornball shenanigans and nice finish by Karina. Judges: 20. Overdone.

Warren & Kym (8/10)

We believe Warren is the most overrated dancer in this competition next to Cloris. He is somewhat graceful, but his physique is out of touch and awkward. Kym though, is killer and she is on par with Cheryl. And her dress this week was a designer dream. The dress was designed to dance, where some moves were done with the dress rather than with Kym’s hands. Warren looked stiff and like a trainee. He has one advantage. He is strong so when Kym wants to make a move that involves trust in her partner, she knows Warren won’t drop her. But it is a bit difficult watching Warren do a pirouette without laughing. Kym leads Warren so well that it is almost seamless. Kym had Warren dancing on her every whim. She is a classic. If you can make a fat man like Warren look good in dance, you can do anything. Judges: 25. That is kind of close, but Maurice did a better job than Warren ever could. They underscored Maurice and over-scored Warren.

Cody & Julianne (8/10)

Lots of energy, like you would expect from the youngest pair in the competition. Cody didn’t have the legwork down though. He was hopping about but Julianne was the only one dancing in parts. As they progressed, Cody loosened up and got more fun and showed in some moves he has great flexibility. There were parts that could have been great where Cody plays Julianne like a guitar, but he made such stupid faces, he lost the magic of it. Still, this is no elimination couple. Judges: 21. OK. Not good judging in comparison to others, but it keeps them in the running.

Toni & Alec (7/10)

Toni came out wearing a full gown that looked like it was worn by Marie Antoinette. It made for an elegant dance. But it made it very difficult for her to move and for us to see her move despite how loud they made the music. We don’t see elimination, but this was not up to Toni’s usual standards. Judges: 22. Pretty close.

Cloris & Corky (4/10)

Time for the joke of the competition. Should have been eliminated in week one or two. Either this is a setup for entertainment factor or she is drawing a sympathy vote. It ain’t talent. Cloris has to act up to get anything done. Trying to be funny. Every move looks like she belongs in a geriatric ward. She has fun, and we give her credit for still standing afterwards, but she doesn’t compare to the rest of the crowd. At the end her wig came off. It was awful. Judges: 16. Way too generous. Let’s cut the patronizing nonsense.

Brooke & Derek (8/10)

Brooke is elegant and the dress was stunning. Woman have a alight advantage because the professional men can really lead them. Brooke though has very nice lines and very pretty arm movement. The end had Brooke kissing her daughter for a nice heart warming touch. We liked this dance. Judges: 28. Now, we liked this a bunch. But that is way over the top. Still, we liked it and we think Brooke is earning big numbers.


Misty May-Treanor and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy

10/5 The Amazing Race 13 Recap Episode 2: First Place By A Nose

The Amazing Race was much more interesting this evening. Some personalities started to come out and we started to have teams we liked and disliked. That makes for a more entertaining competition.

The show begins based on last week’s finishes. The leaders get to start first. But as is the case in almost all Amazing Race episodes, who starts first means nothing? Why? Because they all eventually have to hop a plane to somewhere, and there are rarely planes available to go exactly where you want to go when you need them.

The teams begin in Salvadore, Brazil. Where they ended last week. Nick and Star get to depart at 4:07 AM. The teams have to fly to Porteleza Brazil. The key, of course, is they have to fly. And one by one at different times, everyone scrambles for the airport.

Ken and Tina get to go next, followed by Terence and Sarah. Mark and Bill were next. They tried to play out some drama by having the people speak of their relationships, but it was just filler.

Now, as you would expect, Nick and Star arrived at the airport first. But guess what? The next flight was hours away. Ken and Tina catch up and they all scramble to find a faster way out. By the time they do, they find a 6:45 flight, but it is full. They get on a waiting list with Ken and Tina now in the lead negotiating.

What we found out here is that Tina is narcissistic. The airline notified everyone that they had a larger plane than planned. Tina somehow thought she was the one responsible for the choice of the airline. They had rolled out that bigger plane just for her pruned and painted on eyebrows! Hardly.

Of course, now everyone caught up and everyone got on the plane. They were actually arguing over who got the seats closer to the front. That was what happened to the lead, it was gone.  This very silly saga repeats almost every week. We think it would be much more fair if the flight were not part of the issue. If the teams have to fly they should fly and resume where they left off (with appropriate time gaps). But the drama may be lost as the leading team expands its lead, so they have to keep on causing ties to give the weaker teams a chance.

Ken and Tina somehow ended up behind Terence and Sarah. Things happen funny on airlines. But Tina informed Terence and Sarah that they wouldn’t have even gotten on the flight if she hadn’t arranged it. This was stupid on Tina’s part. If it didn’t get arranged (by the airline with a larger plane), Tina wouldn’t have a seat either. The fact that it was got everybody seats. We hate narcissism. And we hate husbands that endorse it in their partners acting the hero. Terence stood up to Tina because he did not believe it. Neither did we. Ted said he didn’t care and tried to act the tough guy. He swore and was rude. We do not like Ted. We know had we been in Terence’s situation, we would have told him simply to go to heck.

They kissed and made up though and got on the plane. Then everyone scrambled for cabs off the plane. Some got lost in the airport so some made it out faster than others. Terence and Sarah made it out first, which we appreciated after Terence’s run in with Ted and Tina. In this episode, we decided we want Ted gone. We don’t like him, he cheats on his wife and he cheats in life.

First to the clue box was Terence and Sarah. They had to grab a Dune Buggy to drive up the beach. One by one the teams had to get in the Dune Buggies and boogie up the beach. At the end of the Dune Buggy run, a detour got laid out. Beach it, to roll boats to the sea. The alternative was Docket, which was to find a container in a shipyard after finding it in a database on a computer.

Almost everyone chose the boats. But it was difficult. The nerds took the Docket, but were alone. The scramble was tough, and as usual, at this phase, it was hard to see who is in front. All you get are people bickering with each other.

We watch one by one the folks getting the boats to the water. We could see them flashing quickly who was in what place, but we weren’t sure it meant much.

They had to confront a wall with a ton of foreign language destinations and advertisements and had to pick out their next destination. Mark and Bill were right apparently in choosing the Docket, because they were in first although we never saw them actually find their container. They found their destination on the wall first and got their next clue.

Why someone didn’t just follow them to the cab and follow them we don’t know. Tina somehow caught up and was next to guess. And it turned into a cab race. Kelly and Christy let their cab go when they got their clue and realized they still needed a cab. D’oh.

We were disappointed that Ken and Tina made it first. They won an off-road vehicle. We were disappointed because we don’t like Ken after his posturing at the airport. The nerds got there second. Mark and Bill lost by a hair. The rest in order:


3. Terence & Sarah
4. Aja & Ty
5. Toni & Dallas
6. Nick & Star
7. Kelly & Christy
8. Andrew & Dan
9. Marisa & Brooke
10. Anthony & Stephanie

That makes Anthony and Stephanie dead last. And they were eliminated.

End of story. Night.



Obama Coverup, Affiliation With Known Terrorists Questions Candidate’s Ideology

During the Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton became aware of an association between a known terrorist, Bill Ayers, and Senator Barrack Obama.  She stated that this association could be used by the Republican party to discredit Obama if he became the Democratic nominee for President. As more news on this relationship comes to light, it appears she may well have been correct.

Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, were known terrorists for a group called the Weather Underground. Ayers claims to have set bombs at the US Capitol and the group was involved in the bombing of government buildings in the 60s and 70s.   Among those bombings was an attack on the Pentagon in 1972. Ayers has been repeatedly unrepentant about the attacks.  In 2001, this article appeared with Ayers standing on the American Flag as it lies in the dirt.

There are reasons to be concerned, primarily because Obama has made sincere efforts to conceal or downgrade his relationship with Ayers.  Obama, when asked about his relationship with Ayers in one of the debates during the Democratic Primary responded,

“This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense, George.”

Obama left it at that, but as it turns out, that was hardly the entire story.  We find it amazing that Obama could brush off bombing of the US Capitol and the Pentagon so lightly!!! And this was much more than a casual acquaintance between the two, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal,

“From 1995 to 1999, he (Obama) led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.”

This demonstrates a  5 year relationship between Obama and Ayers, who was one of the original grantees of the CAC and was co-chairman of the Chicago School Reform Collaborative, one of the two operational arms of the CAC.”

Obama obviously had not been forthcoming in the debate and has not answered to his affiliations to Ayers, and, according to this article, looks to be attempting to cover up that relationship.

Andrew McCarthy, former federal prosecutor that led the investigation into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing when asked about Ayers had this to say, “Of all the people that have ever bombed the Pentagon, the State Department and a New York City Police Department headquarters, I am certain he is one of the best”.

We are disturbed with these allegations and would like a clear explanation from Senator Obama regarding his affiliation with CAC.  We do not wish to have the President of our nation, especially after 9/11, affiliated in any way with terrorists.  Such a tie would be a disgrace to America and endorse terrorist activities world-wide.

Beyond the implied associations with terrorism, it also brings into question Obama’s ideology.  Certainly such an affiliation implies Obama’s leanings are much more radical than they would otherwise appear.

The 2008 Presidential Debates: It’s Energy Independence Stupid!

The candidates need to focus. We believe there is one primary cause of America’s current problems. It isn’t Wall Street. It isn’t Main Street. It isn’t corruption. Quite simply, it is dependency on foreign oil and natural resources.

There are many nations we purchase oil from; they are not all rogue.  But what nations have led to problems for the US and yet still profit from selling us their oil directly or indirectly?  Iran, and for every barrel we purchase, we support their nuclear endeavor. Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 terrorists were born. Russia, which is now invading Georgia.

Now we even talk about attacking Iran or defending Georgia when it is OUR OIL money that is supporting Iran and Russia.

We are allies of Israel. It puts us at odds with ourselves and our own policies supporting Israel while we depend on her worst enemies for the bulk of our oil.

We realize that we purchase much or our oil from allies and local nations.  Please read our series on natural resources to find out who we depend on the most for our oil, but even those nations have seen their currencies advance strongly in the face of our dollar’s collapse as our economy weakens and our deficit rises.

This election could still go either way, but the advantage is currently with Obama.  We believe, however, there are many closet voters just waiting for their opportunity to elect McCain instead. It is popular to say you are for Obama, or to just hate Bush, but we believe that many Americans that take these positions are really not in favor of Obama’s policies, inexperience and lack of spending discipline.

When Clinton ran for President the first time, he came up with a slogan. It narrowed the issues and allowed America to identify with his ideals and his campaign. That slogan was, “It’s the economy stupid”. It focused his objectives and gathered a nation around him to fix our economic problems.

We face a myriad of problems, but most have been brought on by our dependency on foreign oil.

1. 9/11 brought on by our presence in the Middle East to protect our interests with respect to foreign oil.
2. War in Afghanistan against the Taliban.
3. Two attacks on Iraq, the second of which led to occupation. There is little doubt that many consider this a war over oil. Well, if we didn’t need their oil, it wouldn’t be an issue, would it?
4. A huge Federal deficit.
5. More pollution outside the US because we don’t use our own advanced technologies to tap the resources we need.

It’s energy independence, stupid!

Who Won The Vice Presidential Debate 2008?

This debate is normally relatively ignored. It is not considered important in general, and it usually does not draw much of an audience.  This year was played up as being different.

We watched this debate, and from our vantage point, neither candidate made it worth watching.  Biden was interrupting and off topic, focusing on attacking McCain and Bush rather than addressing the actual issues and the future.  His personal focus was on the “little guy”.  Palin was obviously nervous.  She focused on her ticket’s future agenda.  From a personal perspective, she focused on moms and identifying with family and people in America.

Palin was not aggressive enough or mean enough to deal with an opponent bent on negative and accusatory politics.  She also does not have the background to really debate the past in Washington.

Palin did come across as a very positive, forthright and honest person.  We believe America will like her and identify with her more than with Biden.

Our main complaint in Palin’s comments is she keeps on blaming Wall Street, and she should focus more on policies that created an environment that not only made bad loans possible, but encouraged them.  And those policies have been in place for decades, but were most strongly pushed in the late 1980s.

We don’t see either candidate swaying the partisan vote, or even the undecided.  We are not saying the debate was a waste of time, but it didn’t present anything new.  The bottom line we see from both parties is they both want change going forward having learned from past mistakes.  Biden seemed more bent on criticizing the past, but we find that funny seeing as he has been around for three decades.  We understand though.  It is the in thing to hate Bush.  Other than that, it was just basically a repeat of the policies already stated in the first Presidential debate.

Palin did get a chance to call Biden on a number of his positions that now directly contradict positions he had taken when running against Obama in the primaries.  Biden got to attack the “Maverick” concept of McCain.

Palin did deliver partially on arguing for tapping US resources, and it was interesting to see Biden actually move towards clean coal!  But neither gives a plan we can grasp for how we get to energy independence.  McCain, because he is behind, needs to grab the reigns there and provide a clear plan, because it is a major differentiator.  He should also push getting Iraq to financially assist in the war.  We think that would kill the Obama financial justification of a fast exit strategy.

We think Obama, going forward, should be more forthright in the hows and not the what’s.  We are getting kind of sick of hearing how wrong headed Bush was, and how this is wrong and that is wrong, and this is what we are going to do differently, etc.  We want to know HOW!! Do that, and you get our vote.

Biden only had one major gaffe.  On a bill which Obama voted for, which would have raised taxes on people making as little as $42000 a year, Biden said McCain voted the same way on that bill.  McCain did not even vote on the bill.

Palin had one gaffe, getting the name of the General in Afghanistan wrong.

Palin had some problems in knowing which bills were which in some instances.  But Biden kept commenting to “go look it up”, which we find a silly debate comeback, having heard it again and again in conversations when the other party had run out of real arguments.

We think overall, Palin won.  Why?  Because she didn’t lose.  Biden has over 30 years of experience in Washington and is known for his debating skills.  Governor Palin has little exposure to this kind of debate, and yet Biden failed to convince us the Democratic ticket was the better choice.  Biden should have wiped the floor with Palin lipstick, and he gained little, if any ground.

If you want more on the debates, please read this:

Who Caused The Financial Meltdown? Was McCain Negligent? 2008 Presidential Debates Don’t Tell All.

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Presidential Debate 2008 Round 2: The Hard Questions

Have a question for the two candidates? Publish it here by leaving a comment!

It is getting down to the wire here and McCain is behind in the Polls.  It is time to take those polls seriously and take off the kid gloves if you are the Republicans.

We are going to summarize the questions we would ask Obama if we were confronting him in a debate.  We will follow with a similar segment asking McCain the questions we would ask if we were confronting him.  Everything goes here.  It is time to get nasty.

Our opinion of Obama, and it would be the central part of our attack in any debate, is that he is great at stating what he will do with absolutely no specifics.  We would primarily be asking “how”.  With Obama, the key tactic has to be to pin the sucka down.

1. You say you pay for every penny of your hundreds of billions in dollars worth of programs.  Tell us exactly how.  If it is by closing “loopholes” and “rolling back tax cuts”, give us the specifics.  What loopholes will you specifically close.  What “tax cuts” are you taking away?  Are you dependent on funds from your planned withdrawal from Iraq?

2. If you are rolling back tax cuts, how is that different from increasing taxes?

3. If you are focused on raising the capital gains tax and taxes on dividends, aren’t you concerned about the negative fall out on the stock markets which have already been pummeled over the mortgage fiasco?  Would you also be concerned with fixed income seniors dependent on these dividends as income?

4. You claim deregulation led to the mortgage fiasco, but we fail to see the exact deregulation of which you speak.  Could you elaborate?

5. Wasn’t it Barney Frank that resisted legislation sought by the Bush administration in 2003 to better regulate mortgages, and, specifically, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  Didn’t he repeatedly say there were no problems there while the Bush administration warned of “systemic risk”?

6. On Social Security, you say you will pay for it partially by raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year 10 years from now.  Isn’t that a cop-out on America?  Aren’t we going to have to start paying back Social Security with interest in less time than that?  And how does deferring the problem to your successor solve the problem now?

7. You say you want to send more troops into Afghanistan?  Isn’t that just your own version of the Surge?

8. You imply you want to violate Pakistan’s borders or threaten Pakistan if we are not allowed to go after the Taliban and Al Qaeda within Pakistani borders.  Of what specific threats do you speak?  And if you would attack without government knowledge and cooperation, wouldn’t that be an act of war?

9. You have a plan to get us out of Iraq in 16 months.  Have you asked General Petraus what he thinks of such a plan?

10. In the last debate you claim that Iraq has a huge surplus.  We would like to know, if that is true, why haven’t you suggested to ask them to contribute financially to the war effort rather than using it as justification for bailing on them.

11. You claim your energy plan includes increased production.  If you don’t support drilling, where would that increased production come from?

12. In an interview, you referred to your Muslim Faith, and had to be corrected.  Since the beginning of the campaign, you distanced yourself from the pastor of your church for stating to “God Damn America”.  What faith are you Senator?  What church do you attend?

13. If you are Christian, Senator, how does abortion conflict with your Christian belief?

14. Your healthcare plan says it will include those with pre-existing conditions.  How would that work Senator?  Wouldn’t people just wait until something catastrophic went wrong and THEN join the plan?

15. You imply that giving tax breaks to oil companies is a bad idea, but then you say that providing a tax break to companies that invest in America is a good idea.  Many oil companies invest in America, so how will you resolve that?

16. You say you may delay programs because of the financial crisis.  Being absolutely specific, what programs would you delay?  Do not include what we need to do.  We only want the answer to the question.

17. You preach energy independence.  Can you please give us your exact plan for reaching energy independence along with the time frame?

18. You speak of hard negotiations with Iran.  Senator, when is the last time you were involved in any form of international negotiation?

McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

Everyone we speak to that works in America believes Social Security is just a pipe dream and that no funds will exist to support them when they retire.  This isn’t just paranoia.  Many politicians say the same thing. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the current system is unsustainable.

There are many ideas, such as taking Social Security private.  We find it funny that some politicians argue against that as being unsafe and it should remain in the hands of the Federal government. The Federal government has borrowed against Social Security with impunity, and, based on current estimates, in about 8 years or so will have to start paying that money back with interest in order to pay benefits.  Certainly, just examining the facts, Social Security in its current form cannot survive, and one can see it isn’t safe in the hands of the Federal government, who has acted like an irresponsible custodian stealing from her trustee’s trust fund.

Now the Federal government is sucking up mortgage backed securities at a huge rate, which means that all Federal investments will in part be based on these securities that have led to a major collapse of the financial institutions in America.  We are not so sure that keeping Social Security in the hands of government is a good idea at all.

From CNN:  “Demographics are a major reason for the funding shortfall. The number of workers, compared to retirees, has begun to shrink. That means the system will produce a smaller surplus, then none at all, and eventually it won’t be able to pay out all benefits promised to future retirees.”  This clearly argues for a strong immigration policy in favor of more immigration and less protectionism.  If we cannot demographically support our own programs, it only seems logical that we need to change the demographics.

It is currently suggested that there are only two ways to address the dire problems Social Security faces.  Raise the payroll tax even more or reduce benefits.  Some say to start now in small increments.  Fact is, they have already been increasing the tax, increasing the income limit on which Social Security tax is charged.  This has been a steady and subtle tax increase on Americans for years.

Medicare is an even bigger problem which we will address separately.  But we will mention that we are once again looking at the only way to address the problem being an increase in taxes from about 3% now to about 7%.  Doing the math, this implies that Medicare and Social Security alone will take approximately an additional 6% of Americans’ gross income.  Turn that around and imagine how much an American could save if that 6% went steadily into a retirement fund and was possibly even matched in part or in whole by an employer.

We personally believe in the abolishment of Social Security and Medicare, phasing them out in favor of private investments such as 401Ks and a national solution to the disaster the United States has created in its health care programs.

What are the candidates positions?

Obama’s Position

Protect Social Security

Obama is committed to ensuring Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future. Obama will be honest with the American people about the long-term solvency of Social Security and the ways we can address the shortfall. He will work with members of Congress from both parties to strengthen Social Security and prevent privatization while protecting middle class families from tax increases or benefit cuts. As part of a bipartisan plan that would be phased in over many years, he would ask those making over $250,000 to contribute a bit more to Social Security to keep it sound.

Increase taxes on those making over $250,000 may help contribute “a bit“.

Question, Senator.  Does the rest beyond “a bit” come from the middle class below $250,000?

Despite the many smears of his opponents, Obama does not support uncapping the full payroll tax of 12.4 percent rate. Instead, he is considering plans that would ask those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total (combined employer and employee). This change to Social Security would start a decade or more from now and is similar to the rate increases floated by John McCain’s close adviser Senator Lindsey Graham and that McCain has previously said he “could” support.

But our Treasury Secretary already says we will have to start paying back what the Federal Government has borrowed from Social Security in less than ten years.  And, c’mon, isn’t that a complete cop out?  Putting off the plan for ten years.  Senator, even if you won two terms as President, would place the burden on your successor.  Great idea.  Never seen that one before.  You are pretty good at math.  And in ten years, won’t inflation make it so people that earn 250,000 a year ARE the middle class not the wealthy?

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