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?
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?
This topic touches on every election even though many of us do not want to overweight it in the light of a Presidential election. The reason it plays so strongly in a Presidential election, however, is the President appoints Supreme Court Justices, and they decide upon the federal laws pertaining to abortion. In addition, and more importantly, it plays to the morals of the candidate, and provides the sides a way to condemn the other for their beliefs.
The Republicans have carved out the pro-life niche. Their belief is abortion at any time in the pregnancy and for any reason other than endangerment of the mother’s health, is wrong and an abomination. It is seen as murder of a viable living being. This belief, while it may sound extreme, is also the Christian belief.
The Democrats have played the “women’s right to their body” niche. They believe it is the woman’s right to decide, and that no one but the woman has that right. There are varying extremes, but they do not see abortion as a murder, but a right. This belief, while it may sound extreme as well, is the US Supreme Court’s belief (see Roe Versus Wade).
The fact is for most people, this is a very muddied issue. One has to believe that no woman wants to take the life of her unborn child, but that life’s pressures and circumstances are different for each. There are choices, such as having a child and putting that child up for adoption. With waiting lists years long for people wanting to adopt, it is hard for many to understand why any woman would abort an unborn fetus.
What people have to put into perspective is that a pregnancy does not take nine minutes or nine days, it takes nine months. It is not something most women can conceal and it has major ramifications with respect to one’s family and future. A single event can have life long implications.
There is a notion that this does not and should not involve the father, that he has no rights to his own unborn child even if he is willing to raise the child. This appears to be believed by both sides given the way fathers are dealt with in the courts with respect to custody and their rights involving their children. Fathers appear to never have real rights to their children in the United States. We would like a Presidential Candidate to stand up and defend Fathers’ rights, but have yet to see it happen as they tend to pander to women’s rights.
Many abortions involve women that cannot afford the child, that live in poverty, may be drug addicts and are for one reason or another, desperate to rid themselves of the fetus before it can impact their lives. In fact, one argument for abortion is that a woman in such a desperate situation will risk her life to abort her fetus herself if she cannot find a safe method, so it is inhumane to not allow a woman that outlet. Our horrific pictures of coat hangers come to mind.
The fact is the water is very muddy with respect to this issue. Everyone seems to have their own level of acceptance for either side. While some argue for Roe versus Wade, they believe there is a point, perhaps the third trimester of the pregnancy, at which the woman should no longer be allowed to abort. While some are pro-life, they believe there are certain extremes, such as rape and incest, when abortion is justified. The fact is though, if you are pro-life, it is the fetus that has the rights, and the fetus does not have any concept of how it was conceived. Therefore, it is very difficult to approve any form of abortion. It would be like a vegetarian that eats only McDonald’s burgers other than their vegetarian diet. It is a cow, but oh that special sauce. You are a vegetarian or you are not. There is no in between. And such is the abortion issue for many.
How has this played out in politics?
It is always the same mantra. In politics, it is difficult to take a position only part way because you can get cut to shreds seeming to waffle. Your personal beliefs can become your enemy if they do not seem firm. Imagine the debate. “Senator McCain, you claim to be a vegetarian, but how do you explain this video of you consuming a Big Mac last Thursday?”
So, typically, those politicians on the side of abortion cite Roe versus Wade and believe it is totally the woman’s right to choose in all cases. Similarly, those politicians that side with the pro-life argument favor the total “life begins at conception” position, arguing that at the moment of fertilization, a human life with his or her own rights to life exists.
Politicians tend to play this with the same repeated arguments against the other side. Those in favor of a Roe versus Wade will point at the other side and say they EVEN do not favor abortion in cases of rape and incest, and by bringing up the much more rare and often horrific instances that could lead to pregnancy, diminish the importance and wonderment of the rest. Those that are on the pro-life side will accuse the other side of murder, and some believe it in their hearts to such a degree that they believe, in an almost vigilante way, that they must protect the rights of that fetus.
So, the game is on, and one side is inferred to be murderers or at least support murder, and the other is implied to endorse incest and rape. These are great images to paint on your political nemesis.
While this may not sound all that political to many of us, it has huge political ramifications in elections. Catholics, and most Christians, are very heavily taught that abortion is murder and that one should not vote into power anyone that would support it. Inherently, that supports the right. Many people cannot understand why people vote the way we do, but we believe this issue decides many a vote on religious grounds. Because we are predominantly a Christian population, it has huge ramifications with respect to election results.
Interestingly, finding McCain’s position in a search was easy. It was more difficult to find a non-interpretive statement of Obama’s. Obama seems to want to hide his position or at the very least not put it in writing.
We take McCain’s position from his website.
Overturning Roe v. Wade
John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.
Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat.
However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion. Once the question is returned to the states, the fight for life will be one of courage and compassion – the courage of a pregnant mother to bring her child into the world and the compassion of civil society to meet her needs and those of her newborn baby. The pro-life movement has done tremendous work in building and reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society by strengthening faith-based, community, and neighborhood organizations that provide critical services to pregnant mothers in need. This work must continue and government must find new ways to empower and strengthen these armies of compassion. These important groups can help build the consensus necessary to end abortion at the state level. As John McCain has publicly noted, “At its core, abortion is a human tragedy. To effect meaningful change, we must engage the debate at a human level.”
It is not surprising that this is the position of the Republican running for President. It would have to be, because it has been for some time. We believe John’s position here to be pretty much rote.
In 1993, John McCain and his wife, Cindy, adopted a little girl from Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Bangladesh. She has been a blessing to the McCain family and helped make adoption advocacy a personal issue for the Senator.
The McCain family experience is not unique; millions of families have had their lives transformed by the adoption of a child. As president, motivated by his personal experience, John McCain will seek ways to promote adoption as a first option for women struggling with a crisis pregnancy. In the past, he cosponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination against families with adopted children, to provide adoption education, and to permit tax deductions for qualified adoption expenses, as well as to remove barriers to interracial and inter-ethnic adoptions.
We do favor adoption vastly over abortion, but we would not vote for someone because of that belief. We are surprised at parts of John’s statements though. We were unaware of any discrimination against families that adopt or barriers to interracial or inter-ethnic adoptions. We would like John to elaborate a bit on that, because we know people that have adopted their children and are very well adjusted and the children have benefited from wonderful loving parents. What discriminations are there John?
We will not print this part of John’s position. He devotes a significant argument for promoting marriage to prevent abortion. We believe that the two are completely independent of each other. It is a political diversion.
To make it a more political issue, how about removing the marriage tax John? Whoops, not that committed are we?
Addressing the Moral Concerns of Advanced Technology
Stem cell research offers tremendous hope for those suffering from a variety of deadly diseases – hope for both cures and life-extending treatments. However, the compassion to relieve suffering and to cure deadly disease cannot erode moral and ethical principles.
For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes. To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of “fetal farming,” making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law.
As president, John McCain will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos.
Where federal funds are used for stem cell research, Senator McCain believes clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress, and that any such research should be subject to strict federal guidelines.
We are unclear on the stem cell argument. We can understand the belief in conception within the womb, but the creation of stem cells by creating embryos outside the womb is less clear if it would save or assist human life, but there is really no other position the pro-life side can take if they believe every fetus has the right to life, and it really would not impact our vote.
Protecting Children from Internet Pornography
John McCain believes the Internet offers tremendous promise…
However, there is a darker side to the Internet. Along with the access and anonymity of the Internet have come those who would use it to peddle child pornography and other sexually explicit material and to prey upon children.
John McCain has been a leader in pushing legislation through Congress that requires all schools and libraries receiving federal subsidies for Internet connectivity to utilize technology to restrict access to sexually explicit material by children using such computers. While the first line of defense for children will always be strong and involved parents, when they send their child to school or drop their child off at the library, parents have the right to feel safe that someone is going to be looking out for their children.
OK, John, now you are way off in outer space now. We have somehow managed to mix in an argument against internet pornography with going to the library? We think you should think of removing this paragraph. We don’t think too many people are viewing child pornography at their local public library. This seems so deluded as to question your ability to make Presidential decisions and to draw necessary lines.
For example, would you go to war and kill thousands of innocent people because a single madman rules that nation? Whoops, we already did that.
Protecting Children from Online Predators…
Do you work for Dateline NBC Senator? We swore we were supposed to be reading about your position on abortion.
The Greatest Honor is to Serve the Cause of Human Dignity…
OK, again, you are in outer space. In this section, John rambles on about compassion and human sacrifice and his military service to the nation. What? How can you bring up your military service when speaking of abortion? Could it be you are you speaking of soldiers that have raped the young girls of other nations in areas where the US is based?
We think you may want to rethink bringing up your military service every time you speak of any issue. Every position you take is not justified by Vietnam.
While we would not vote against you for being pro-life, we would consider voting against you for exploiting abortion by associating it with their military service to acquire votes. We find that an absurd association and, quite honestly, not worthy of a President.
Supports a Woman’s Right to Choose:
Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.
Obama buries his positions on abortion under Women’s Rights in an apparent effort to conceal them in the same way McCain appears to accentuate his. He obviously believes in a women’s right to choose under all circumstances. In fact he calls himself a “champion”. “We are the champions, we are the champions, no time for losers, cuz we are the champions, of the world”. A new theme for you perhaps Senator? We picture our champion Obama in front of an abortion clinic with a cape and big O on his chest ready to right the wrongs of those that would deny a woman her rights to abort.
Barrack appears to have no statements to make about encouraging adoption or providing support for unwed mothers. He seems to avoid the alternatives, almost promoting the act. We find it a hollow, cowardly position. We are not saying it is wrong for someone to support Roe versus Wade, but we also believe that any viable candidate should strongly suggest the alternatives and that support of those alternatives i critical to this issue. To speak of it with such brevity and to only refer to the courts certainly does not sound Christian to us. You did say you are Christian did you not Senator? Well, except when speaking in this interview.
Preventing Unintended Pregnancy:
Barack Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims.
Here we agree fully. We do believe in the availability of contraception and health information and preventive services. It is delusional to believe support of the family could possibly prevent unwanted pregnancies and we are certain Sarah Palin’s daughter did not intentionally get pregnant. We would like to say that we do see courage, though, in supporting one’s daughter through that pregnancy and we also support Sarah’s daughter’s right to choose, Roe vs Wade is not about a woman’s right to only abort her fetus. The Senator seems to have missed that fact in his attacks on Palin and her family. Senator, we just wanted to inform you, the other choice is to have the child and that takes vastly more courage than to abort it.
Therefore, because you avoided the topic, this leaves us wondering. Do you favor abortion over adoption? Do you believe Roe versus Wade applies at all points in the pregnancy? Do you find your Christian faith at odds with your political stand? What does your church preach? We do know the leader of your church was quoted as saying “God Damn America”.
We are offended by some of the associations made by John McCain with respect to abortion. We believe he went off topic, attempting to associate unrelated issues to abortion and to somehow associate his military service to protecting an unborn fetus.
But we believe Obama copped out almost completely avoiding the hard questions on abortion, leaving his position open to public interpretation. By not stating his opinions openly and clearly, he leaves that interpretation to others. We are disappointed in this shallow statement, but it does keep Obama somewhat slippery on the subject, allowing him to distort his view enough in the public eye so as to garner votes from either side.
We are dissatisfied with both sides stated positions, but we believe it is not up to the President to decide anyway, other than by the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, so we do not consider it central to our selection. We do believe that our opinion of each candidate is driven by the way in which each expresses his opinion. We believe McCain overstepped by a wide margin. We believe Obama understated and dodged the issue.
In her September 3rd speech accepting her selection as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Palin astutely stated, “U.S. reliance on imported oil poses a national security risk, and energy policy should include everything from expanding domestic drilling to finding alternative fuels”.
The Democrats appear to think we should continue to import our resources while we take decades to bring on alternative fuels, but with the NIMBY attitude of the US, that isn’t going to happen any time soon. We need to break the ecology extremists that would save a chicken at the expense of a human life. These liberals would see our economy crushed before they would stop sending huge amounts of American currency to the home of the terrorists that executed the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Palin went on, “”We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers.”
Palin showed that she has more savvy and is more cognizant of America’s situation than the Democrats which are still planning on addressing our national deficit by blocking energy advances in America and continuing to import foreign oil at huge expense.
We are NIMBY’s. It has to stop. It has to stop now. the Democrats support NIMBYism and are desperate to continue to add to our national deficit and to discourage the tapping of US resources and inherent creation of US jobs.
These policies, combined with a set of programs that would cost nearly the national deficit with no logical explanation of how to pay for them, has driven us away from Obama.
Obama has a chance to sway the moderates like us to his side, but it isn’t lying in his commercials. He has to answer several questions.
1. How do we reduce our dependency on foreign oil ASAP? We have a hint. It isn’t ethanol.
2. How do we pay for 400 billion dollars worth of Democratic programs with only what Obama states is a small tax increase on those making over $250,000?
3. How do you roll back Bush Tax Cuts without raising taxes? Aren’t raising taxes and rolling back tax cuts the exact same thing?
4. How can you say you will solve Social Security Problems by taxing people a decade from now, when you know you can’t possibly even be in office by then? Wouldn’t that just be deferring responsibility to your successor?
Those would be our questions to Obama in the debates, and we are not CBS, a pandering network in Obama’s pocket.
If you, our readers, can provide the answers to any of these questions above, we welcome your input, because we sure can’t.
This topic can “border” on insanity. It appears that most of the positions we have heard regarding immigration, at least here in the US, are protectionist. This is in direct contrast to the apparent push for “free trade” we covered in our last article.
If you have read our prior articles, you know we love clichés. It is not because we love using them in our writing, but to exemplify that what we are writing about is a well-known topic, something frequently discussed and something likely a key issue.
The United States is referred to as the “melting pot” since the early 1900s. And it is part of what makes us great as a nation, our diversity. There probably isn’t a culture in the entire world that does not have family in the United States.
We realize there are racists and we are probably as guilty as the next guy. Racism plays a huge role in our resistance as a nation to immigration, but is it a practical fear?
“Irish need not apply.” What does that mean? In the 1800s and early 1900s, Irish Immigrants came to the US and were victims of discrimination. Many companies posted the signs, “Help Wanted, Irish Need Not Apply”. No one now would feel that an Irishman did not fit right into the American culture, but one of our Irish grandfathers actually had to change his name to get a job that paid him $10 a month in 1910. He raised a family of 6 that all went on to either become professionals or have children that did, and all of which contribute strongly to our economy.
After all this unfounded prejudice against the Irish, many of us now celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, end up in an Irish Pub and wear green to honor the Irish? Our point? Substitute any prejudice you have for the word “Irish”. If you thought being racist against the Irish was stupid, it will seem just as stupid being racist against those entering our society now.
Fact is, racist or no, legal immigrants, and in some cases, illegal immigrants, in our country, have vastly helped the US.
There are a number of reasons:
1. New immigrants typically do jobs that we would not do or could not afford to do. We interviewed one immigrant couple that has been here several years and the husband worked three jobs for the entire time. One was a security job where he could catch a few Zs. The wife worked as well while raising four children. Now, they have a nice house, the children have done well in school, and they are all headed for college.
2. Immigration brings in people with desire. These people come here to make a better life for themselves and are willing to work hard for it. That desire makes us competitive as a nation. It does not diminish it.
3. Immigrants pay fees to immigrate to the United States and contribute strongly to our tax base. That helps keep US Taxes lower.
4. Immigrants contribute to Social Security. Our population is not growing all that much organically. We are having fewer children. The immigrants don’t become welfare participants when they enter the US, they are typically aggressive workers that pay taxes and contribute to Social Security. The Baby Boom is over folks, if each family has less and less children, can our descendants be expected to pay for a pyramid scheme like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? The entire system depends on new participants, and if our own population does not supply those participants, where will the taxes come from if we do not immigrate?
5. Some economies have become dependent on “illegal immigrants” so much they are redefining the term. California is so dependent that they actually offer illegals medical benefits and a chance to get a license to drive instead of deporting them. Their economy depends on workers willing to pick fruit, clean bathrooms, do basic construction work to support their families. Why do the immigrants do it? Because it is vastly better than from whence they came, and they can send money to help support their families.
6. Immigration helps other nations. Why should we care? Well, we talk about the benefit of free trade helping both sides, right? Immigration assists those economies not as well off as our own. The people that come here to work and better themselves send money to their families and children at home, and that helps advance and support that economy. Allowing immigration helps eliminate poverty and hunger in the world while it also benefits US!!!
7. The concept of the melting pot makes us less hated throughout the world. The melting pot concept means that we have Muslims in our nation, as well as Asians, Europeans, Mexicans, Portuguese, etc. That helps us be loved at least a bit by those that want a chance to come here and by the families abroad that benefit from at least part of their families being able to come to the US. Then the only ones that hate us are those jealous of our success. OK, there are plenty of those.
What are the implied negatives of immigration?
1. We are importing a bunch of poor that will go on welfare.
2. They are stealing our jobs. We need to provide jobs to Americans not immigrants.
3. Immigration allows terrorists to enter our country.
4. We are racist, and we don’t want those Mexicans, Asians, Africans, South Americans in our neighborhoods. (Substitute Irish to see how stupid this sounds). Think about the huge population of Mexican, Asian, African, and South American citizens that have been here a generation or two and now contribute significantly to our nation as tax paying and voting members of our society.
The schedule for the debates between Senators McCain and Obama are below:
Sept. 26, University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.
Oct. 7, Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
Oct. 15, Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
The Vice Presidential debate between Governor Palin and Senator Biden will be on October 2 at the University of St. Louis.
Each debate will be 90 minutes in length and begin at 9pm Eastern time.
If you are not sure of what channel to watch them on, they will be hard to miss. Just flip the channels and you will find it. Chances are, if you aren’t watching HBO, ShowTime or another movie or specialty channel, you will be watching the debate.
We were hoping, but it won’t be in 3-D this year. They didn’t even make a special version for IMAX! Go figure.
And check back, we will be making up a list of key questions for the candidates we feel need to be covered in the debates. FIND OUR QUESTIONS HERE. You can add your questions in the comments section and WE WILL ADD YOUR QUESTIONS!! They can cover both sides of any issue and be directed at either candidate.
So, 60 minutes started off a new season with an interview of the Presidential candidates. Our first reaction was “FANTASTIC!!”. Our second was, “Will CBS be fair?”. The media has gone out of its way to demonstrate its liberal bias this year, and we were hoping CBS would make this a non-biased interview allowing us to get a good feel for the candidates and the issues. We wanted to see if they could take the high road and succeed where so many other news outlets have failed.
We are going to cover these 60 Minutes interviews, and then give you a summary opinion. We will not comment on the interviews themselves until the end, but we will comment on the format of the show as it progresses.
We hope to get responses, especially if you disagree with our interpretation.
Let’s start. Who gets to go first? This is an important decision and an indication of how fair CBS intended to be. Usually the one to go first has the toughest time in comparison to his competitor. This is so true, in fact, that Hillary Clinton quipped about it in her debates and interviews with Obama, because the media often started with Hillary and allowed Obama to follow up. Hillary recognized being continually placed in this weak political position, and called reporters on it.
CBS revealed its liberal bias by having McCain go first. They wanted an Obama finale. It appears that on every network and in every media outlet but Fox, the media continues to give the advantage to Obama and/or the Democrats in general. CBS was no exception.
CBS once again employed another subtle liberal manipulation at the beginning of McCain’s segment. The background was an open book with the pictures of the two candidates. CBS squarely placed Obama’s picture ABOVE that of McCain. Just showing Obama’s picture directly before McCain’s introduction was insult enough; especially when later introducing Obama, they not only did not show McCain above Obama, they didn’t show McCain at all.
McCain began, “There is a social contract that Adam Smith talked about between capitalism and the people. That contract has been broken. It has been broken by greed and excess, aided and abetted by a government in Washington that is dominated by special interests and corruption.”
When asked about the economic bail-out, McCain said, “We are going to take over these bad loans. We are going to take over these bonds and we are going to keep you alive, and we are going to have the tax payer help you out, but when the time comes and the economy recovers, then anything that is gained back is going to go to the taxpayers first.”
McCain admitted he has called for the termination of the head of the SEC, Chris Cox. It has been repeatedly believed by many that the SEC was asleep at the switch as the banks and brokerages robbed the nation blind. “Technically, he cannot be fired, but when I am President, when I want someone to resign, they (will) resign”. When asked who would replace Chris Cox, he said he was impressed with Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat that served in the cabinet of President Clinton.
When asked if he felt the Bush administration has failed, he responded without hesitation or partisanship, “I say the Bush administration has failed, the Congress has failed, Democrats and Republicans. I remind you the Democrats have had the majority in the Congress the last two years, so everyone has failed, and the cozy “old-boy” special interests that have prevailed in Washington have harmed the American people, frankly, in the most terrible fashion.”
He was asked if it was smart to cut taxes while the Federal Deficit was breaking all records, reaching 500 billion dollars, McCain responded , “Spending got out of Control. …the size of government increased by 40% in the last seven years. We Republicans presided over the biggest increase in government since the Great Society, Republicans came to power to change Washington, and Washington changed us.”
How would he pay for the tax cuts?
“You can eliminate so many agencies of government that are outmoded. Obviously I would scrub defense spending, obviously, we would look at every institution of government, I would stop these protectionist tariffs, I would stop subsidizing sugar. I think there are areas in defense where we can save a lot of money in cost over-runs”.
“I would move the political office out of the White House and into the Republican National Committee. I think we have to have a White House that is without Politics”.
When told he was referred to by Obama as President Bush’s third term, he responded, “Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq, climate change, treatment of prisoners and the 9/11 commission…are a number of issues in which I have stood up to my party”.
When asked about the Surge, McCain said “Many Political Pundits said my campaign was over. Senator Obama moved to the left of his party and said we shouldn’t, said the Surge would fail, said it was doomed to failure, and still fails to acknowledge he was wrong about the Surge.”
In your judgement, can you see her (Sarah Palin) as President of the United States. “Absolutely”.
He said he did support NATO membership for Georgia. “It does not mean that we have to go to war with Russia, it does mean that we have to respond, and that this kind of behavior on the part of the Russians is not the kind of behavior we expect of a country that is a member of the world community”.
When asked if he would turn to preemptive war against Iran, he responded “If it is a provable direct threat. Suppose that the Iranians had nuclear weapons and you had a whole lot of other information about Iranian intentions and you could make a case to the American people and the world, I think it is obvious we would have to prevent what we are absolutely certain is a direct threat to the lives of the American people.”
Senator Obama believes that America must commit to a new national energy policy focused on improvements in technology, investments in renewable fuels such as wind and solar power, and greater efforts in conservation, efficiency, and waste reduction. Shifting from our current investment and consumption practices to this new direction will be one of the great leadership challenges in the coming decade.
Wow, amazing how much that sounds like McCain’s policy. Do they have the same writers?
With the Department of Energy telling us that U.S. demand for oil will jump 40% over the next 20 years and with countries like China and India adding millions of cars to their roads, the price of oil is approaching a breaking point.
Point taken (pun intended), but the fact is as our economy weakened and our demand for oil waned, oil prices collapsed nearly immediately from nearly $150 a barrel to under $100. China and India had nothing to do with it. As we clearly demonstrated in our prior articles, we dwarf the usage of these countries and likely will for the next decade.
In addition to the high economic costs of our foreign oil dependence, the current consumption of fossil fuels has threatened the future health and well-being of not only our citizens, but our natural resources and air quality as well. Investments in cleaner and more efficient energy technologies must play a central role in mitigating these threats to our health and our environment.
Agreed, but the NIMBY environmentalists won’t even let you put in Wind Farms. Where will we place these technologies, in outer space? Is Nuclear on your list?
Recognizing the importance of energy security to national and economic security, Senator Obama has proposed the creation of a Director of National Energy Security in the Office of the President. This position, akin to the National Security Advisor, would oversee and coordinate all administration efforts on national energy security and policies.
Another reference by a candidate to “energy security” instead of “energy independence”. The latter will automatically lead to the former, and no assigned “Director” can change that fact.
Senator Obama is a leading advocate for increasing the use of renewable fuels to reduce our nation’s reliance on foreign petroleum. In 2005, he enacted into law a tax credit for installing E-85 ethanol refueling pumps at gas stations across the country.
Fact is ethanol and methanol have proven to be a joke. We cannot generate enough from products we depend on for food, it is more expensive than gasoline and it pollutes just as much if not more. It is “renewable”, but we can’t renew it fast enough, so it is pointless.
In the 109th and 110th Congress, he joined with Senator Lugar to introduce the American Fuels Act to increase domestic production, distribution, and end uses of biofuels. Among other improvements, the American Fuels Act would expand the manufacture of ethanol-capable vehicles, offer tax credits to spur cellulosic fuel production, require clean-fueled transit buses bought with federal dollars, and provide incentives to ethanol plants to invest in E-85 blending equipment on their premises.
Ethanol is a joke. We would love to see alternate fuels adopted, but that has to be incorporated with a plan to use our own resources of fossil fuels and drop our trade deficit, or we will be so poor, we won’t have the funds to pursue alternative sources of energy at all. Certainly, that will reduce our usage, but we don’t consider poverty for Americans a viable solution.
Alternative fuels like hydrogen and natural gas are great, but are you so naïve as to believe this can be accomplished within any reasonable time frame? Our cars and the trucks that deliver most of our products throughout the world do not run on bio-diesel, hydrogen or natural gas. Are we to phase them out? By when? Will the US help pay for the trucking industry to transition from diesel to alternative energy sources and where will these alternate energy sources come from?
This is all a pipe dream Senator with no real plan.
As the author of the Fuel Economy Reform Act, Senator Obama has worked to gain bipartisan support for an innovative approach to raising automobile fuel efficiency standards (also known as “CAFE” standards) and break two decades of inaction and deadlock on reforming fuel economy laws. This proposal has attracted cosponsors from both parties – maintaining support from long-time champions of improving fuel economy standards while attracting support from traditional opponents. The bill would establish regular, continual, and incremental progress in miles per gallon fuel efficiency by an increase of four percent annually, and preserve flexibility by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to vary the rate of improvement and how best to technologically achieve those fuel economy targets. President Bush endorsed a similar approach in his State of the Union speech in January 2007.
We agree that improving fuel efficiency is a great thing, but it is naïve as well. People buy larger vehicles because they need them. Trucks can carry things, a Geo Prism cannot. SUVs cater to families, the Honda Civic does not. There is nothing you can do about that short of dramatically changing the way cars are built. More hybrids, fine, but who will pay for that? They cost vastly more than regular fuel vehicles, don’t get anywhere near the gain in fuel economy as they imply (20% is often the gain, it would take the entire life of the car to save back the fuel difference), and leave us with hazardous waste (the battery) every few years. In addition, the complexity of the manufacturing process for these automobiles and their replacement battery packs emits more Carbon Dioxide than the fuel savings garnered from the electric motor, so you are solving nothing.
There are other technologies, but none are practical at this time. We would like you to be more explicit, because if we are talking ethanol again, we have a real beef with your plan Senator.
Investing in New Technologies
Senator Obama introduced the “Health Care for Hybrids Act” to provide health care assistance to domestic automakers in exchange for their investing 50% of the savings into technology to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. His proposal has been praised by President Bill Clinton, the University of Michigan’s auto research center, and numerous newspapers.
In May 2007, Senator Obama, along with Senator Harkin, authored the National Low Carbon Fuel Standard Act (S. 1324), which requires a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the national transportation fuel pool by 2020, a reduction of about 180 million metric tons of emissions in 2020 – the equivalent of taking over 30 million cars off the road. The Obama-Harkin fuel standard embraces the growth of the renewable fuels market, including corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, and biodiesel as a key component of fighting climate change, while creating incentives for lower carbon emissions in their production.
Praised by Bill Clinton? Pshaw. Why would Bill Clinton praise a Democrat? Never happen.
Interesting numbers thrown out, but no different from what John McCain has stated and no more realistic. Can you think of a reason the rest of the world hasn’t done this Senator when we already import most of our cars? Is it because they are dunces? Of course not. It is because it isn’t practical. Automobiles are manufactured and sold worldwide. If the nations that build our cars could come up with such technologies, don’t you think they would have by now? Japan already makes the best hybrids, not the US.
It is cute to offer US Automakers a discount to produce cleaner and more fuel efficient cars, if they all weren’t nearly bankrupt because they cannot build decent cars in the first place. I don’t think many Americans want to add more complexity to the automobile they purchase from Ford or GM when they have enough trouble with quality as it is. Maybe you can instead give the tax discount to the Japanese?
Working to Lower High Gas Prices
Oil companies are enjoying record profits while consumers are suffering from record high gas prices. In the 110th Congress, Senator Obama has introduced the Oil SENSE Act to eliminate unnecessary tax breaks to the oil industry. A version of the bill was passed by House of Representatives in January 2007.
In the 109th Congress, Senator Obama sponsored legislation, the FILL UP Act, requiring oil companies that made at least $1 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2006 to invest at least 1% of the their total reported first quarter 2006 profits into installing E-85 pumps.
Senator Obama also worked with Congressman Rahm Emanuel to obtain several million dollars to establish the first ethanol-to-hydrogen refueling station for refueling Chicago natural gas bus fleets.
All wrong. If you want to impose a tax on Oil companies, we are all for it. Make them build some refineries and drill responsibly and tap resources to use our current technologies. You can force them to invest in natural resources, but you can’t force a NIMBY population to allow you to even install wind power.
It all comes down to priorities Senator. Priority one. Energy Independence. Priority two. Energy Alternatives for electricity and heating piercing NIMBY conservationist groups. Priority three. Building an infrastructure for alternative fuels, but not ethanol or methanol, they just aren’t practical.
Senator McCain is the only one that has the foresight to realize that all our cars, hundreds of millions of them, are powered by gasoline. All our trucks that deliver products in the US are powered by diesel. Most of our electricity and heating comes from burning coal, oil or natural gas.
It is not practical to think that within any reasonable time frame we can change that. It is not realistic and it would destroy our economy in the process. It places the entire burden on us to convert while continuing to pay foreign nations for our current resources and maintain a huge trade deficit to do so. It is not a financially viable solution.
When you have run up your debt and you can’t pay the bills, you can do one of two things, try to pay down your debt and get control of your finances, or you can declare bankruptcy. We believe the only way to approach this problem is to reduce our dependency on an ever-growing importation of an international supply of natural resources.
This is vastly more practical and can be done with our current infrastructure and not with incredible expense to the citizen to convert cars, trucks and buses to use alternative fuels that would likely cost us more than gasoline. Building the infrastructure, converting our cars, converting our energy plants will cost an astronomical amount of money. Where will that money come from if we do not first get our trade deficit under control?
Round 4: McCain (but we want to see less pandering, the liberals are delusional here, McCain must point it out)
This is McCain’s opinion. We believe it panders a bit too much in an attempt to get votes. While we agree with Obama on Trade, this is an important facet of trade, and John is much more realistic in his approach than Obama. However, he spends most of his time sounding overly NIMBY. We have cut out many of his positions from his site.
Many, like those of Obama, are nonsense pandering to the conservationists and not making a stand to show us how narrow minded we can be. Climate change happened over centuries, we cannot fix it in 4 years guys. Don’t patronize us, get real!
From John McCain:
Economic development is essential to a strong American economy but urban sprawl shouldn’t be allowed to expand unabated at the expense of our remarkable wild and scenic public lands. Instead we should promote responsible growth and encourage state and local officials to implement open space initiatives and establish green corridors within our communities. This will require strengthening federal tools like Land and Water Conservation Fund that emphasizes recreation and the protection of wildlife areas.
Climate Change and Energy Independence
Climate change is the single greatest environmental challenge of our time. The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington. Not only does our dependence on foreign oil bring about sizable national security risks but the preponderance of scientific evidence points to the warming of our climate from the burning of fossil fuels. We can no longer deny our responsibility to lead the world in reducing our carbon emissions.
John McCain has announced The Lexington Project, a comprehensive energy and climate strategy to provide America with secure sources of energy, ensure our continued prosperity, and address global climate change. This plan includes the elements necessary to achieve these objectives by: producing more power, pushing technology to help free our transportation sector from its use of foreign oil, cleaning up our air, addressing climate change, and ensuring that Americans have dependable energy sources.
This strategy recognizes that we must reexamine our national energy policy and enact reforms that allow the market to do more to open new paths of invention and ingenuity. And we must do this in a way that gives American businesses new incentives to develop clean and renewable energy technologies. The most direct way to achieve this is through a cap-and-trade system that sets clear limits on all greenhouse gases, while also allowing the sale of rights to excess emissions.
We have an opportunity for American agriculture to be a major player in the pursuit of energy independence through the development of bio diesel and cellulosic energy. In moving forward, we must integrate environmental policies that maintain quality wildlife habitat near and downstream of farmland. The past quarter century shown that environmental stewardship programs like the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetland Reserve Program have helped reduce wetland loss, improve water quality and minimize soil erosion. As we build our new energy economy, these programs should be recognized as good agriculture practices central to sustaining healthy ecosystems.
All that is fine John, but it is a solution for fifty years from now, we need a solution now. But John expanded on this view.
“The next president must be willing to break with the energy policies, not just of the current administration, but the administrations that preceded it, and lead a great national campaign to achieve energy security for America,” McCain said Tuesday.
Finally someone with some guts, although we would call it energy independence which, in turn, leads to energy security. If we were independent of foreign oil, we would not be at war in Iraq today, and it is highly likely we would not have experienced 9/11.
John is now supporting offshore drilling to tap our resources, and we are glad to see someone finally has the guts to support offshore drilling in the face of naive self-centered NIMBY conservationists? Are we finally breaking away from the “prima donna” attitude and accepting some responsibility for ourselves? Maybe not…
“When America set aside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we called it a ‘refuge’ for a reason,” he said.
We are getting mixed messages, but at least we are hearing some approach to providing access to US natural resources that sooner than later will reduce our dependencies on international oil and our trade deficit.
It is absolutely foolish to assume that anyone will stop drilling, destroying their habitats and killing other human beings to provide for our needs if we will not provide for our own.
One liberal diatribe makes this quote: “According to your best estimate, when will “drilling here and drilling now” reduce the price of gasoline in the United States?” You don’t have to ask the candidates this question, you know the answer. Sooner than if we take no action at all. A central argument against taking action has been that results are not immediate. By this argument, you should never attempt any long term objective. If you can’t deliver results today, it is too late. And year after year, while you maintain that “can’t do” attitude, other nations will eat you alive and your trade deficit will soar as you continue to import natural resources you already have for blood money. Had we strongly pursued energy independence ten years ago, we would likely be independent today. We didn’t do it. Why? It wasn’t because we believed in our environment and it wasn’t because we cared about pollution, etc. It wasn’t cost effective. Ten years ago, imported oil was cheap. But as it turned out, the deluded idea we could import our resources has resulted in the loss of huge numbers of human lives and cost us more economically than we ever imagined. That is hindsight, but we don’t need hindsight now to know we need to fix the problem and to see we have the resources to do it within our grasp.
The answers we are reading from the candidates also skip over a major problem we face in the US with respect to gasoline prices. We do not have enough refineries. Build them, with new technologies and governed by our laws. To hell with the special interests. If we don’t do it, someone else will and we can guarantee you it won’t be in their citizens’ interests or ours. It will be in the name of money.
The liberal side completely escapes us as does John’s desire to pander to them. We believe we should drill anywhere feasible, Alaska, Offshore, wherever we can. Build refineries. Accelerate the use of coal for petroleum, tap oil shale, and build alternative energy sources in the face of NIMBY self-interest groups.
Through it all, we guarantee you, the US will do it much cleaner and with much more consideration to the environment and human rights than any other nation on earth. Get used to it. We consume. Why destroy our economy in our wake? Take responsibility for ourselves! It will yield results. And if anyone asks you for a date for when it will deliver results like the liberal diatribe above? Ask them for a date when we will be independent of foreign oil if we don’t take action. Hypocrites need not apply!