Obama’s Tax Plan Exposed, The Destruction of Small Business And Why McCain Won the Presidential Debate October 15, 2008

In this third and final debate, the key issue was the economy, primarily the clarification of the tax plan of each candidate.  The key was not those impacted among individual employees, but how businesses would be impacted, specifically small businesses.

Obama, while saying he will only increase taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year, includes American business in his cross hairs.  And while $250K seems like a large sum, most small businesses operate well in excess of that amount and will be severely impacted.  The distribution of the tax will be uneven and specifically unfair to those businesses that are more capital intensive and have more employees.

In response to our original article, many expressed concern because Obama did not state clearly whether he was speaking of taxing gross or net business income in the debate. Some believe Obama is trying to be intentionally misleading on the issue, so we decided to clarify.

What we have found in our research is that Obama does say, buried deeply on his website, that the amount to be taxed would be the business’ net profit, not the gross receipts.  If it had been gross receipts, that would have shut the doors on many small businesses in America overnight.

Still, there is a major concern with his plan, because what Obama qualifies as a small business is totally suspect. Small businesses, according to the Small Business Administration, have average incomes in the millions of dollars and can employ hundreds. This site provides a summary.

So, if the Small Business Administration data is correct, how can Obama claim that 90-98% of American small businesses would be excluded from his tax increase?  The lie in Obama’s plan is that he is including sole proprietorships which aren’t really businesses; they are just individuals filing taxes that are not on a W2. That includes the maid, a lone painter, etc. These are businesses by tax qualifications only, not true businesses in any sense of the word.  They do not employ anyone, and they do not provide the same benefits to the nation as real businesses which employ people that also contribute to the tax base.

Let’s examine this.

First, Obama attempts to delude people that make less than $250,000 that they will benefit under his tax plan.  The plan, at first, does seem beneficial for the person in a normal job working for a US-based company.  It is true that most of those people do not make more than $250K, so they would get a tax cut.  Great plan, right?  Think again.  How many of these people work for small businesses?  If you do, you definitely should consider how Obama’s plan to increase your employer’s taxes could cost you a raise or even your job.

Second, and most importantly, when Obama speaks of taxing only those that make more than $250,000, he groups in what he claims are small businesses that have a net profit of over $250,000.  He has often referenced statistics stating how this applies to small businesses in America.  These statistics are not only misleading, they are an outright lie and the cornerstone of Obama’s campaign.

Obama states that at least 90% of small businesses make less than $250K, but the huge flaw in that statistic is it includes the sole proprietor.   These people are not making more than $250K on average any more than the average person does in any other job in America.  They are not considered a “business” for any other reason than they do not get paid via a W2 (with automatic deductions).  They do not operate as a true business, they do not employ others, and they essentially are not a business at all in any real sense of the word.

Joe the Plumber and Small Businesses

What we are most interested in are small businesses that provide jobs, and how those businesses will be impacted.  We want statistics that isolate small businesses that employ people, genuine small businesses.

The expert on small business in America is the Small Business Administration.  This SBA does a great job at summarizing the incomes and employment limits for many businesses to qualify as a “small business”.  None are as low as $250,000, some employ hundreds, and all would pay significantly higher taxes under Obama’s plan.

Obama claims that the companies, even though their taxes will rise sharply, will pay lower taxes than under Reagan.  That is a lie as well.  The rate could potentially be well north of 50% if you count Social Security contributions (a point that Obama conveniently glosses over).  Then consider the added expense of health plans (which Obama wants to force upon all businesses).  It is the highest tax rate since the Carter years, and we all know how that turned out…record unemployment.  Tack on the cost of health care and you have a small business disaster waiting to happen.

Why is this dangerous and why is it easy for Obama to mislead the average citizen?  The concept of taxing a business based on its net income sounds good to the average American when you throw out what seems like a large number to most of them.  Most don’t earn that much money, so we are just taxing the rich, right?

Wrong, a company’s net income is not what the proprietors take home.  It is extremely different from earned wages.  It is the money left after expenses for the prior business year, such as salaries paid, equipment depreciated, etc.  Most businesses reinvest large portions of their profits to grow the business, or in some cases, to just keep up with inflation.   If there are no profits, there is no money to invest.

In addition, the distribution of the tax does not take into consideration that businesses are vastly different from one to the next.  Some are more capital intensive, some employ more than others and others operate in areas with a significantly higher cost of living (New York versus Mississippi for example).

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McCain Says It To Obama’s Face, And Wins Final Presidential Debate 3, October 15 2008

During the past two weeks, Obama made a wish, he said McCain should “say it to his face”.

The format of this third debate gave Obama his wish, and it was clearly a case where Obama will remember the adage, “Be careful what you wish for”, because he got exactly that. This format allowed more of the type of interaction between the candidates we favor. McCain was able to attack Obama face to face. And instead of Obama’s usual calm smile, he wore a nervous smirk through much of the debate.

McCain was able to unnerve Obama by attacking him on the issues. He hit Obama on the spending that he constantly promises without defining clearly how to pay for it. He confronted Obama about his associations with ACORN and Ayers, the terrorist in Obama’s past. And he clearly had Obama retreating on issues about his tax increases, CAFTA and energy independence. He even got Obama to say he was considering off shore drilling.

Obama was not the calm, “promise the world” candidate he had been prior to this debate. He could not attack the issues the same way, which had been to just promise more than his opponent. In this debate, on each promise he made, McCain called him on the issues. One clear example is the promise to only tax those that make more than $250,000 while promising health care for everyone even with pre-existing conditions. Something we know does not work from real life experience in Massachusetts.

McCain nailed Obama on a quote he made about “spreading the wealth around”. Obama tried to defend it, but came across as an errant Robin Hood. He once again threw out his intentionally misleading statistic that 98% (It was 98% this week, it was 95% last) of all businesses make less than $250,000. That statistic includes self-employed individuals, so it is a complete lie.

Most businesses that have more than two employees would be in the category that sees their taxes increase under Obama’s plan. And McCain was able to call Obama on this, using a plumber wishing to purchase a small business as an example of a man that would lose in Obama’s plan.  Obama tried to say that the business would not be taxed because he only would tax the “rich”. And McCain’s response was to congratulate the plumber on being “rich”. It was a subtle and superb comeback and it cut Obama to the quick. Obama’s qualification of “rich” includes many that no one would consider “rich”

Liberals will try to find the bright moments for Obama to attempt to declare him the winner, but in this debate, there weren’t many. His promises didn’t add up and McCain was nailing him on it. Obama did have one bright spot on health care, but it was once again using his usual tactic of promising the world to everyone.  McCain was quick to point out that tax increases on small businesses while forcing them to add health care benefits they cannot afford isn’t going to add up on a calculator.

Both candidates have cuts they promise, but Obama’s plans just have no compromise. They are all based on welfare programs and investing in our future. It is a great concept to invest in your future, but you “invest” when you have the money to invest. “Invest”ing money you do not have is gambling, on margin. The US here needs to stabilize its costs before it can “invest”. And there is not a fast solution in government that will reduce those costs that adds the types of expensive programs Obama endorses. It was plain in this debate, McCain was not going to roll over, and just let Obama go unanswered and unquestioned.

“That one”

This time “That One” had to stand up and answer some hard questions, and he was nowhere near as effective or believable in the process.

Obama and McCain were very close in the first debate. Obama clearly won the second. McCain clearly won the finale. It is our opinion, however, from what we have seen discussing the issues with people, the debates do not shape the election much. The candidates can confirm your opinion, but sway few. If Obama had won this debate, it may have swung more neutral voters his way, but he did not. So, we don’t believe he gains anything.

We believe McCain will gain 2 points or so in the polls, but it won’t be enough to swing the final vote Republican. This debate did, however, finally show the kink in the Obama armor. When hit point blank with the questions about how he will pay for his programs without hurting small business, he crumbled. That proves he is not the guardian of the middle class he claims to be. He is the defender of the public programs like welfare that have proven so very costly for America in the past.

We will be back to cover the issues in more detail after we get a chance to fully review the transcript of the debate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the McCain Front:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s energy independence, stupid!

Presidential Debate 2008 Round 2: The Hard Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As you probably know, if exposed to any news at all in the past week, the Federal Government is bailing out the financial industry to the tune of $700 billion. Their plan is to buy up bad mortgage debt with the hope of resolving the financial crisis and perhaps some day recovering that money. No government estimate has ever come in on time and on budget, so don’t bet your life on that $700 billion being enough.

To put that $700 billion in perspective, with that same amount of money, we could have followed Boone Pickens plan and erected enough wind power facilities to generate 20% of the US energy needs with wind power!!! Instead, we are buying BAD MORTGAGES!! Think about that. Instead of burning coal and oil, we could use wind for 20% of our energy, but we are buying bad mortgage debt instead!

As it turns out, the funniest aspect of the debates last week, and the saddest, was an accusation made by Senator Obama. Obama stated that regulations had been hurled out the window by the Republican administration, and that disregard for government regulation resulted in our current financial malaise.

But it wasn’t deregulation at all, it was the weakening of mortgage requirements.  Mortgage requirements, specifically for the poor and minorities, were severely weakened over a much longer period than the tenure of the Bush Administration, going back as far as the Carter Administration. Regulations as a whole were not reduced on Wall Street. In fact, regulations on public companies are more stringent today than they ever have been.

This article has moved to its new home, The Lie Politic. Please continue reading by clicking here and you will be directed to the new site. Thank you!

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.