9/26 Presidential Debate 2008: McCain Gaffes May Have Lost Debate. Will It Happen Again?

In this segment we respond to comments from Senator McCain in this debate that are direct quotes from the transcript. We feel McCain avoided many questions, provided weak answers to some and made out and out mistakes on some others.  Here are the quotes and our responses. All quotes are taken directly from the transcript.

Don’t miss our debate with Obama as well, it demonstrates how Obama could improve for his next debate.

When asked about our current fiscal crisis, McCain responded,

1. “…have no doubt about the magnitude of this crisis. And we’re not talking about failure of institutions on Wall Street. We’re talking about failures on Main Street, and people who will lose their jobs, and their credits, and their homes, if we don’t fix the greatest fiscal crisis, probably in — certainly in our time, and I’ve been around a little while.”

In general, this was a very weak response Senator. The rest of the response involving requiring transparency, etc. did not define the true magnitude of the problem,  its cause or its solution other than consuming 700 billion dollars to buy troubled securities, which we already knew.

2. “Somehow we’ve lost that accountability. I’ve been heavily criticized because I called for the resignation of the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. We’ve got to start also holding people accountable, and we’ve got to reward people who succeed. But somehow in Washington today — and I’m afraid on Wall Street — greed is rewarded, excess is rewarded, and corruption — or certainly failure to carry out our responsibility is rewarded.”

That is way too broad of a stroke Senator. There were specific people responsible for this disaster. Alan Greenspan was one of them. It wasn’t “Corporate America” that made the mortgage mess. It was created by artificially low interest rates and investment houses taking on risk they likely shouldn’t have. But they only make up the banks and investment houses like Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch and mortgage companies like American Lending Association. That is not “Wall Street”. They were public companies, but Wall Street consists of thousands of great companies not even remotely involved in mortgages, so please stop making that correlation, it is offensive to Americans.

3. “And Main Street is paying a penalty for the excesses and greed in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street.”

Washington we understand, the banking system we understand, but you are stretching it big time blaming it on Wall Street as a whole. It is deferring responsibility. Our Fed screwed up. Admit it and move on.

4. “We Republicans came to power to change government, and government changed us. And the — the worst symptom on this disease is what my friend, Tom Coburn, calls earmarking as a gateway drug, because it’s a gateway. It’s a gateway to out-of-control spending and corruption.”

If anything loses this debate for you Senator, it is this statement. It sounds clever, but it condemns your party. It does not share responsibility for the growth in government with a Senate and House controlled by the Democrats. Government as a whole overspent and grew too much, both sides, not just yours. Get your act together Senator, what you say has implications.

5. “I suggest that people go up on the Web site of Citizens Against Government Waste, and they’ll look at those projects.”

We will do that Senator. We recommend all Americans that are going to vote do just that.

6. “Right now, the United States of American business pays the second-highest business taxes in the world, 35 percent. Ireland pays 11 percent. Now, if you’re a business person, and you can locate any place in the world, then, obviously, if you go to the country where it’s 11 percent tax versus 35 percent, you’re going to be able to create jobs, increase your business, make more investment…”

You completely missed an opportunity here and left an opening for Obama. The issue here is that because of this high tax rate, many companies are basing themselves outside the United States. Tax incentives are huge in other nations trying to draw corporations to situate within those borders. Our tax system on corporations is so repressive that many of them just pack up and leave.

We also think you should agree with Obama on the issue of removing tax breaks for companies that do situate themselves outside the US. Having your central office in Bermuda or Panama should not reduce your tax burden for profits made in the United States. If you want to keep a business person from locating elsewhere, you can’t give them US tax breaks for doing so.

7. “And so, again, look at the record, particularly the energy bill. But, again, Senator Obama has shifted on a number of occasions. He has voted in the United States Senate to increase taxes on people who make as low as $42,000 a year. And that’s just a fact. Again, you can look it up.”

Senator, if you are going to make such a claim, you should have the specifics. Obama was able to easily deny this claim. When you say for folks to go “look it up” you are using a childish debate tactic that just proves you didn’t do your homework. If this statement is true, you should have had the name of the bill, the date it was signed and proof of Obama’s support. This was a major gaffe.

8. “I think that we have to return — particularly in defense spending, which is the largest part of our appropriations — we have to do away with cost-plus contracts. We now have defense systems that the costs are completely out of control.We tried to build a little ship called the Littoral Combat Ship that was supposed to cost $140 million, ended up costing $400 million, and we still haven’t done it. So we need to have fixed-cost contracts. We need very badly to understand that defense spending is very important and vital, particularly in the new challenges we face in the world, but we have to get a lot of the cost overruns under control. I know how to do that.”

One major problem is “year-ends”. By creating budgets based on a fiscal year, you are making businesses run like a person with a cell phone contract that loses their minutes each month. The companies know they have a limited time to spend the money and as the year-end approaches, they spend it with total disregard for cost. This “use it or lose it” philosophy has wasted more taxpayer money than any other policy. Fixed cost contracts are interesting, but is that realistic with the current complexity of government projects? The US government is not the only one with budget over runs. Massachusetts “Big Dig” went over their initial estimates by 500% and leaked when finished! The cost of such large projects is incredibly difficult to estimate.

9. When asked about how to approach the fiscal crisis, one suggestion McCain made was “How about a spending freeze on everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs.”

We like brevity Senator, but this left the stage wide open for Obama. It also sounds like it would threaten a huge number of jobs. You seem to forget that a vast number of people work on government programs. A spending freeze would be an abrupt action that could result in a huge loss of jobs in America.

10. “And Senator Obama, who after promising not to vote to cut off funds for the troops, did the incredible thing of voting to cut off the funds for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Obama did vote against funds for the troops, but you both did on bills that did not favor your overall strategies. Bringing this up without providing the complete story gave you less credibility when Obama responded.

11. “And I’d like to remind you, also, as a result of those recommendations, we’ve probably had the largest reorganization of government since we established the Defense Department. And I think that those men and women in those agencies are doing a great job.”

Was this part of the huge growth in government you speak of negatively? How expensive was this reorganization and how much of the 40% growth in government you cite was related to it?

NOTE IF YOU HAVE YOUR OWN RESPONSES TO DEBATE MCCAIN COMMENTS IN THE DEBATE, PLEASE MAKE A COMMENT AND WE WILL TRY TO INCLUDE THEM IN OUR ARTICLE.

9/26 Presidential Debate 2008: How Can Liberals Say Obama Won? You Have To See This.

This segment has 30 comments from Senator Obama in this debate that are direct quotes from the transcript with our responses to each.  Here are the quotes and our responses. All quotes are taken directly from the transcript.

When asked about our current financial crisis, Obama responded

1. “But we’re also going to have to look at, how is it that we shredded so many regulations? We did not set up a 21st-century regulatory framework to deal with these problems. And that in part has to do with an economic philosophy that says that regulation is always bad.”

Fact is, there are much heavier regulations than ever on our businesses. The reporting of stock options, Sarbanes Oxley, and stricter SEC reporting requirements have cost corporate America billions, sent some into bankruptcy, often forcing them to sell to larger corporations or severely delaying financial reports. We allow Chinese companies, like China Energy Savings Technology (CESV) enter our markets without any proof of their viability and let them steal American investors money as they collapse when it is proven they never had a viable business in the first place or any of the cash they claimed they had. Don’t you think you should instead prevent that and help American Companies reduce their costs so they can create more jobs?

In addition, what specific regulations do you think were shredded Senator Obama?  Wasn’t it Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, that backed bills specifically to force banks to provide mortgages to people that were not credit worthy, and wasn’t it also Barney Frank and the Democrats that fought legislation by the Bush administration in 2003 that would have more stringently regulated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  Didn’t government regulations instituted and endorsed by Democrats lead to this problem in the first place?

2. “I mean, we’ve had years in which the reigning economic ideology has been what’s good for Wall Street, but not what’s good for Main Street.”

Wasn’t Wall Street doing swimmingly well during Bill Clinton’s reign with record low interest rates set by Alan Greenspan? Didn’t Main Street benefit with record low unemployment and strong job creation? We fail to see the correlation between Wall Street doing well and Main Street doing badly.

3. “Well, Senator McCain is absolutely right that the earmarks process has been abused, which is why I suspended any requests for my home state, whether it was for senior centers or what have you, until we cleaned it up.”

But didn’t you do that after you decided to run for President Senator? Prior to that you appeared to clearly support the earmark system asking for $932 million for your state alone.

4. “What I do is I close corporate loopholes, stop providing tax cuts to corporations that are shipping jobs overseas so that we’re giving tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States.”

Specifically what loopholes do you close? You seem to imply you want to provide loopholes to companies investing IN the United States. Would that include Exxon? Didn’t you criticize John for tax breaks that would include the oil companies?

5. “And I pay for every dime of it.”

Senator, with all due respect, you don’t pay for diddly squat. We do, including your salary. If you mean you have a way for US to pay for all your 400 billion dollars worth of programs, show us how. We don’t believe it. Words are cheap.

6. “My definition — here’s what I can tell the American people: 95 percent of you will get a tax cut. And if you make less than $250,000, less than a quarter-million dollars a year, then you will not see one dime’s worth of tax increase.”

How will that sort of tax system pay for $400 billion dollars in new programs?

7. “John, you want to give oil companies another $4 billion.”

When you provide a corporate tax break, you cannot exclude certain businesses because they are successful. That is ludicrous. Your own tax plan says you will reward companies that invest in America. Many oil companies do, so wouldn’t your plan reward them too? Besides Senator, the oil companies are going to make that money anyway, because if you raise their taxes, they will just raise the price on gas and oil. You are just placing the burden on the consumer. Let the oil companies drill, build refineries and expand the use of other resources within the US at their expense. That will create jobs, lower the price of oil and gas and reduce our trade deficit allowing us to put that money to good use, like alternate energy sources for example.

8. “And if we want to talk about oil company profits, under your tax plan, John — this is undeniable — oil companies would get an additional $4 billion in tax breaks.”

But you have a tax program that would reward them as well, and how does that 4 billion stack up against your 400 billion in new programs you claim you can pay for?

9. When asked what programs he would give up…

“Well, there are a range of things that are probably going to have to be delayed.”

How long would you delay your promised programs? Until you are no longer in office perhaps, blaming the failure to institute those programs on the Republicans? We hope you don’t go that route Senator, because if there are reasons your programs cannot be instituted, and you really don’t have a plan to pay for them, you should be telling us now!

10. “We have to have energy independence, so I’ve put forward a plan to make sure that, in 10 years’ time, we have freed ourselves from dependence on Middle Eastern oil by increasing production at home”

OK, now we have heard enough. How do we increase production without drilling and without using coal and other natural resources more extensively? Will you stop talking about what you will do, and give us a fact or two on the hows?

11. “…most importantly by starting to invest in alternative energy, solar, wind, biodiesel, making sure that we’re developing the fuel-efficient cars of the future right here in the United States, in Ohio and Michigan, instead of Japan and South Korea.”

Japan constructs many of their cars here, providing American jobs. Many American corporations like General Motors have partnerships with Japanese car companies that have been mutually beneficial. The primary problem with the American auto companies has been poor quality and expensive labor. How do you suggest we get the companies to build more complex cars with better quality and with lower costs? Perhaps more automation? But wouldn’t that cut jobs?

In addition, it has been primarily American car companies that have fought mileage rules like you propose. The reason? The rules favor the smaller cars better manufactured in Japan and South Korea!  Perhaps you would do better getting higher mileage vehicles, on average, by shutting down American auto manufacturers?

12. “We have to fix our health care system, which is putting an enormous burden on families. Just — a report just came out that the average deductible went up 30 percent on American families.They are getting crushed, and many of them are going bankrupt as a consequence of health care. I’m meeting folks all over the country. We have to do that now, because it will actually make our businesses and our families better off.”

While we agree, wouldn’t it be better to get our costs under control like reducing the trade deficit before we attack such a huge problem? Estimates are your plan will cost at least $150 billion dollars. You want to cover people with pre-existing conditions, but wouldn’t that encourage people to just join the plan AFTER a health problem becomes obvious? The costs would be huge for that kind of plan.

13. “Well, look, I want to make sure that we are investing in energy in order to free ourselves from the dependence on foreign oil.”

How? Specifically, and on what time table? You don’t support drilling, you don’t support nuclear, you don’t support coal. Will we be converting our entire truck fleet in the United States to bio-diesel? How about our planes? Do you suggest solar power panels glued to the wings? Our hundreds of millions of cars? How about we make them all foot powered like Fred Flintstone’s?

14. “The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel.”

We have a 700 billion dollar bail-out of our financial sector going on here Senator. That is a freakin’ shot gun, not a hatchet. And you claim all we need is a scalpel??!!!

15. “Let me tell you another place to look for some savings. We are currently spending $10 billion a month in Iraq when they have a $79 billion surplus. It seems to me that if we’re going to be strong at home as well as strong abroad, that we have to look at bringing that war to a close.”

The expense is huge, but would Iran stepping into Iraq be worse? Their influence with the Iraqi Shiites is huge. And can you imagine the genocide of Sunnis and Kurds if it happens? How about instead you tell Iraq they have to start helping pay for the war effort? Wouldn’t that make more sense than abandoning them? If they have the surplus you claim, it should not be any problem at all.

16. “And because of the economy’s slowing down, I think we can also expect less tax revenue so there’s no doubt that as president I’m go doing have to make some tough decision.”

We got that Senator, but we haven’t heard one likely tough decision you will make yet? Tell us one, just one!

17. “We are spending $300 billion on tax cuts for people who don’t need them”

That is a bunch Senator, could you please get explicit for a change and tell us what tax cuts? If you are referring to the Capital Gains and Dividends tax cuts, those help people that invest in America, then you should consider that a vast number of people in America are invested in our markets. Removing those benefits will make investing in America less popular. Tax breaks on dividends help retirees living on fixed incomes. Do you really want to pressure our stock markets further after this government induced fiscal calamity you blame on Wall Street?

18. “Senator McCain is absolutely right that the violence has been reduced as a consequence of the extraordinary sacrifice of our troops and our military families.”

So you are saying that “The Surge” worked? That it was the correct strategy?

19. “The war started in 2003, and at the time when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong. You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shiite and Sunni. And you were wrong.”

So were tons of people Senator, including many Democrats, and it doesn’t matter one iota to determine how to address the problems of today. Senator Lieberman, Al Gore’s Vice Presidential Candidate has specifically broken away from your party because of your beliefs in how to handle the war now, and they cannot be based on whether or not you were right seven years ago. You were wrong more recently about the Surge. Completely wrong. Do we want that kind of judgment in the Presidency? Both George Bush and Senator McCain were right, and you were wrong.

20. “And right now, the commanders in Afghanistan, as well as Admiral Mullen, have acknowledged that we don’t have enough troops to deal with Afghanistan because we still have more troops in Iraq than we did before the surge.”

Admiral Mullen said that we don’t have enough troops in Afghanistan. He never said it was because we had too many in Iraq and praises the soldiers in Iraq and the results of the Surge.

21. “When asked about more troops in Afghanistan: “Yes, I think we need more troops. I’ve been saying that for over a year now.”

But isn’t that the same tactic we employed in Iraq that worked?

22. “And if John wants to disagree with this, he can let me know, that, if the United States has al Qaeda, bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights, and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out.”

Now, you say you do not endorse attacking Pakistan but you want to take out Al Qaeda in Pakistan. How do you do that without attacking? Didn’t we try this several times before, failing and accidentally killing innocent civilians? Didn’t that alienate the Pakistani population? Pakistan is a country with borders you must respect. What you are speaking of amounts to war on Pakistan.

23. “Well, let me just correct something very quickly. I believe the Republican Guard of Iran is a terrorist organization. I’ve consistently said so.”

Would you expect them to move into Iraq if we move out? How will you prevent that if we fully withdraw?

24. “But we are also going to have to, I believe, engage in tough direct diplomacy with Iran and this is a major difference I have with Senator McCain, this notion by not talking to people we are punishing them has not worked.”

Ask Jimmy Carter about how well diplomacy works with Iran. What experience do you have with international diplomatic negotiations and talks Senator? According to Israeli intelligence, Iran is already on the verge of having a nuclear bomb, and rumors have it they may attempt to take out Iran’s Nuclear sites as early as next month. How long do you think you have to negotiate?

25. “Senator McCain mentioned Henry Kissinger, who’s one of his advisers, who, along with five recent secretaries of state, just said that we should meet with Iran — guess what — without precondition. This is one of your own advisers.”

No, Henry Kissinger never said anything about negotiating without precondition. Later in the debate you deny this statement.

When McCain asked, ” Look, Dr. Kissinger did not say that he would approve of face-to- face meetings between the president of the United States and the president — and Ahmadinejad. He did not say that.”

You responded, “Of Course Not”.

You are wrong on one or the other Senator. That is the definition of double speak.

26. When confronted about McCain’s energy policy towards alternate energy, Obama stuttered “He — he — he objects…” When McCain denied it and said he has always voted in favor of alternative energy, Obama responded, “All right, fair enough. Let’s move on. You’ve got one more energy — you’ve got one more question.”

So it appears Obama wrongly accused McCain of policies against alternate energy and admitted it. Hmmm.

27. “Look, over the last eight years, this administration, along with Senator McCain, have been solely focused on Iraq. That has been their priority. That has been where all our resources have gone.”

So now that it is working, you want to destroy their progress?

28. “We have weakened our capacity to project power around the world because we have viewed everything through this single lens, not to mention, look at our economy. We are now spending $10 billion or more every month. And that means we can’t provide health care to people who need it. We can’t invest in science and technology, which will determine whether or not we are going to be competitive in the long term”

It seems like you are placing great weight on pulling out of Iraq for paying for all your programs, but suppose, just suppose you are wrong and we pull out and the violence starts all over again, civil war breaks out and genocide begins, and Iran and Al Qaeda strengthen in Iraq. Are you willing to take responsibility for that decision to better fund your health care program? Or will you, like everything else in your campaign, blame George Bush?

29. “Well, let me just make a closing point. You know, my father came from Kenya.”

Was he a Christian? In what religion were you raised? Now that you have distanced yourself from the pastor of your church for preaching “God Damn America”, what Christian church do you attend Senator? We have no problem if you are not Christian, but we do have a problem if you are lying about it.

30. “And part of what we need to do, what the next president has to do — and this is part of our judgment, this is part of how we’re going to keep America safe — is to — to send a message to the world that we are going to invest in issues like education, we are going to invest in issues that — that relate to how ordinary people are able to live out their dreams.”

We are sorry Senator, but that paragraph totally loses us. You can have all the dreams you want, but if someone puts a gun to your head and pulls the trigger, your dreams don’t mean squat.

9/26 Obama vs. McCain, Presidential Debate 1, Summary and Analysis, Stop Blaming Corporate America

We are carefully rummaging through the debate at this time and have so far come to the conclusion that little was said in the first round that was all that interesting.  With further analysis, we may be proven wrong, and there could be key items we are missing, so we will try carefully to glean the important points as we watch more closely.

It appears to us that both candidates in this debate spoke of the central problem (which is the economy) with hyperbole and promises rather than practical solutions and explanations.  Neither man gave us the warm feeling in this presentation that they knew how to pay for their programs or tax cuts or how to exactly target our problems.  Obama said he did, but he still didn’t say how other than to say he is going to close loopholes and tax people that make over $250,000.  John didn’t say at all but at least has an energy plan that could work which, if effective, could reverse the trade deficit over time.

We are broke guys.  We have no money.  We cannot promise things to Americans we don’t have.  Got it?

Get America on board!!  Stop pandering to us.  We want a program that treats America as though it were a business.  A responsible business certainly, that cares about its employees and benefits those that work for it.  McCain did speak of rewarding those that perform and holding those accountable that do not.

Overall, we, America, want to make a profit.  Got it?  No more deficits.  No more tax cuts. No more short term solutions that make you look good but that cost billions of dollars we do not have.

Make it freakin’ work again.  Make what work?  America.  Americans will come to the rescue for that kind of plan.  One they can understand.  Make a plan that makes the United States a “profitable” nation so we can build our own Dubai on chump change!!!

Get off the pulpit for a minute and think.  Think like the CEO’s Obama criticizes without giving any thought about all the absolutely phenomenal CEOs that have made this nation great!!  Lee Iacocca, Bill Gates, Steven Jobs, the list goes on and on.  These men either are paid well or were, but they are greats and people to remember for their accomplishments and legacy.  McCain and Obama have made the critical mistake of making the C in CEO stand for criminal.  But every entrepreneur, like Bill Gates or Henry Ford in his garage, has the potential in the US of becoming great.  And there are many fewer criminal CEO’s like Ron Skates of Data General, Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco and Executives of Enron than there are greats and heroes.  The bad seeds exist, but corporate America is huge, and for every low life thief, there are thousands of hard working dreamers and achievers that made their lives and companies into something great.  Blaming every CEO for the wayward few is like blaming our Sun in the billions of stars in the Milky Way for being warm and contributing to Intergalactic warming!

There appears to be a scapegoat game going on, in an attempt to place the culpability at corporate America’s feet for our problems!!  You say you care about middle class America, but there are many aspiring businessmen in the middle class that hope to grow their business and hope to some day make it to Wall Street as a legitimate public company.  Do they want to benefit from their work?  Yes, of course they do!!  Wouldn’t anyone?

Corporate America (Wall Street) is not the criminal; it is a stupid concept.  Don’t many of us, if not most of us, work for public companies?  We are Wall Street?  Main Street is Wall Street or at least they have a major intersection where they flow into each other.  Get it?

Given the latest requirements for oversight on companies, including “Sarbanes Oxley“, many small companies are going bankrupt, and leading companies like Open Pages, Inc, have grown at an astronomical rate, benefiting from demand for software that provides the automation for tracking accountability and corporate controls.  How can two men say how bad governance is, when the fact is that these laws, in come cases, are so stringent, they have placed some small companies out of business due to the expense of the accounting alone, and others have had to severely delay financial reports due to new laws regarding how they report? (See Broadcom, Marvel Communications, etc.).

We are not saying that better governance and regulations won’t help.  We are saying that it tends to fall the hardest on companies that are new and trying to thrive in today’s economy.  So, while Senator  Obama thinks that imposing more regulation is a good thing to protect America, in turn, he has to think about the impact of Sarbanes Oxley on a huge number of small companies that, like so many, are on the brink of success or failure.  Many failed as a result of the cost of more stringent regulation, so you could be damaging the very middle class you claim to be supporting.

Corporate America and its CEOs in general are heroes.  They are men that made it in the battle to forge a successful business.  Some are rogue, but it is not the balance.   Someone has to realize and stand up and ask, if you put Corporate America and its CEO’s out of business by treating them all as criminals, who picks up the slack?  Because they, gentlemen, are making the bulk of the private sector jobs, not you.

Right now, stop your NIMBY policies and the corporate hatred.  Make heroes out of US corporations and honor those that have been successful.  Then they will have an incentive to help us build a better America.  If you continue to chastise them and alienate them, they will continue to seek a way out of the US into other more favorable environments.

Your problems are huge, but Corporate America did not cause it.  Alan Greenspan with his bubble causing interest rates caused this problem combined with a short sighted dependency on foreign oil.  American policies of indefinite spending and deficits caused this problem.  Allowing ourselves to depend on other nations for our primary needs caused this problem.  No more blaming our best achievers in America.  No more making promises that cost billions while we wallow in debt.  No more denying that we consume vastly more resources than we generate, when we need to generate more and consume less.

We cannot consume 24% of the world’s oil and generate a small fraction of that and hope to survive economically.  We have enough resources here to provide all our needs, but we need to take the less ideal path for the short term to deliver the ideal path for the long term.  Energy independence is required as quickly as possible any way we can achieve it, followed by a nation that strives for ecological gains.  We cannot afford the reverse; it will surely put us in the poorhouse.

– 0 –

We will be back for more after a closer review of the debate content…

Full Schedule of the debates here.

NY Times Endorses McCain? Says Economy in Collapse! Reuters Says US Citizens Are Idiots. Hundreds Of Thousands DIE!

The New York Times reports we are in a total calamity according to our Federal Reserve.

If indeed this is factual in any way, which in the case of the NY Times, it most often is not, we have to examine how we got here.

We believe the primary cause is our dependency on foreign natural resources because of our NIMBY attitude.  We also believe this strongly suggests that Obama is not up for the job.  His proposal is to spend nearly the entire deficit on his programs without resolving the economic problems or our trade deficit first.

Obama wants health care that takes on people with pre-existing conditions.  This is either a hollow promise or one that puts us in the poor house as a nation.  He also wants to convert us over to alternative energy, but again has no plan and would keep on importing our natural resources at a huge rate at the expense of the dollar.  He also seems to want to blame our crisis on Republicans when the bulk of the problem was brought on by Alan Greenspan during his tenure along side Bill Clinton (when the stock market bubble occurred).

We believe if the economy is in this dire of a crisis, Obama is the last person we want at the helm.  We need to start now to tap our natural resources ASAP, creating American jobs in the process.  We cannot be NIMBY now.  The government cannot let ecology groups and liberals destroy our economy any longer.  Ecology has to take a back seat to economic destruction.  If our economy fails, ecology won’t matter one iota.

Reuters Says US Citizens Are Idiots. Hundreds Of Thousands DIE!!

We are seeing articles that totally question the intelligence of the American People. This liberal article tries to make a claim that hundreds of thousands died in a Shiite cleansing (compare that to the total death count of all American Soldiers in the war thus far, 4000 and the number killed in the 9/11 attacks, 3000).

How gullible does the liberal press think we are? Do they honestly believe hundreds of thousands of people were killed and their bodies disposed of in days? And do they have any evidence at all? Must have been one heck of a problem on garbage pick up day. Can’t just put those bodies in the recycle bin. Brings to mind the Monty Python parody, “Bring out your dead”.

Of course, this is all total nonsense… a fabrication to make the war look horrible, to refute the success of the Surge and to support Obama with lies.

This media nonsense should be “cleansed”. Maybe we can get the Shiites to visit Reuters?

McCain Versus Obama on Free Trade: McCain = McCan’t and Obama = OhMama

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

You have heard this famous cliché many times, we are sure. “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. There is even an acronym for it! TANSTAAFL. Go figure. For an explanation of how the cliché was derived, read the reference link. It is quite fascinating, well, at least interesting, well worth a click anyway.

Our politicians banter about the term “free trade”, but what it means is not exactly clear. Similar to the “free lunch”, it is practically a cliché. Our personal definition would be trade of merchandise between nations without taxes, duties or fees. So, if an item costs $5.00 to purchase from a company in Mexico, you don’t pay $30 because the US government wants $25 in tariffs, you actually pay $5.00!!  This combined with free and equal access, so it is as easy to find and buy our goods there as it is to find and purchase theirs here.

This really does not exist for the individual. We have relatives and friends all over the globe and most nations examine every package sent, even those declared as gifts, and charge fees and duties to the recipients. This is even with our so-called allies. Recently we sent a video collection to a friend in Canada. Its value was $100. They taxed our friend $30 even though it was marked clearly as a gift. 30% is hardly free.

Similarly, when we arrive home from travel to a foreign destination, our bags are searched to see if we have anything to “declare”. If we do, we pay taxes and duties on it. “Free trade” is a pipe dream for the individual.

On a larger scale, free trade provides merchandise from foreign countries at a significantly cheaper price than if tariffs and fees were charged. The questions become, why is it cheaper and what does it really cost us to deliver those cheap goods to our shores?

So called “free trade” has proven to be a double edged sword (what another cliché?). It clearly cuts both ways. It is not always tit for tat.  or even Steven. But we digress.

Fact is, nothing is “free” in “free trade” except the word free, and the lie behind that word has cost America plenty. What America has gained with respect to “free trade” is primarily a lower inflation rate. Just ask Uncle Alan Greenspan. We are able to import vastly cheaper products than we could manufacture in the US, so products are indeed cheaper. Check that $10 shirt in the closet and your $39.99 shoes and see where they are made. We are willing to bet it isn’t in the US.

Most of our cars are manufactured in Mexico, Canada, Korea, Germany and Japan. Most bicycles, clothing, shoes, etc. (and we stress the etc.) are manufactured in China and throughout Asia. The other edge of the sword is that it is no longer profitable to make anything in America, so jobs are lost, but more importantly, the national trade deficit rises as we purchase vastly more than we sell. Perhaps, as our wonderful politicians state, you actually could train people for new jobs, but that would only make them buy more foreign products increasing the deficit even more. Great idea.

The biggest consideration of a huge trade deficit is a weak dollar. The dollar has collapsed versus other currencies since we instituted supposed “free trade” with many other nations. Now, think for a minute. If this were fair, why are their currencies soaring with respect to ours? Because the only thing we have to trade is our dollar!! We don’t make anything else, so all we can do is print money to buy it all!

It is apparent that the gain in lowering the rate of inflation does not compensate those that lost their jobs as a result, and it certainly does not justify our huge trade deficit. If “free trade” were equal trade, the huge trade deficit would not be there! But we do at least have EBAY for those that lost their jobs as a result.

NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was drafted for free trade among North American Nations. We cannot possibly cover all the facets and criticisms of this agreement, but it is also covered here. It has caused much of a stir over the years, and whether it was beneficial or not depends on your perspective, but we believe it the least of our problems.

We do not believe in “free trade”. We believe in fair trade. And we do not believe in fairness only for special interests, but for America as a whole. Certainly some businesses benefit strongly from marketing cheap goods in the US Market or exporting their labor to foreign nations, but who pays for that, and just as importantly, who gets paid for endorsing it (lobbyists, government officials)?

Here is an article that clearly defines how badly we are doing on the trade front. We agree completely with the Democratic position here. “In July, the politically sensitive deficit with China increased 16.1 percent to $24.9 billion, the second highest gap on record.

Critics contend the administration has not done enough to combat unfair Chinese trade practices. U.S. manufacturers say the Chinese keep the yuan undervalued by as much as 40 percent against the American dollar. That makes Chinese goods cheaper for American consumers while making U.S. products more expensive in China.”

On an international basis, we must be more restrictive with nations that cheat the United States. China, for example, while they provide cheap products, steals daily from Americans. They destroy American companies with illegally exported products and they cheat wherever it favors them. They market fake companies on our stock markets and steal from our investors by falsifying reporting information with the assistance of the NASDAQ and NYSE. And when one of these companies goes under, and the Chinese criminals make off with the money, no one prosecutes them; the Chinese government lines their pockets and Americans surrender another portion of their retirement portfolios.

Nations that cheat and steal from the United States should not be offered free trade even if it means cheaper products. Those cheaper products ruin US companies, destroy jobs and line the pockets of criminals. It is not that we think fair trade is not an objective we should seek with all nations, but we think our government has severely failed us in protecting us from economic theft by nations such as China that even cheat with 12 year old girls in Olympic Gymnastics. China does not deserve free access to our markets, and US citizens do not deserve to be abused by a government drooling over the evident opportunities for their special interests.

All that said, and now that we have made our opinions on “free trade” and trade in general as clear as we can without a complete dissertation on every possible trade agreement, let’s allow the candidates to have a say. After all, it isn’t we that are running for President.

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