Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two Things That I Hate About Politics

1. When someone labels someone as a liberal/conservative as if that were something dangerous:

John mentioned me being wildly liberal. Mostly that's just me opposing George Bush's wrong headed policies since I've been in Congress but I think it is that it is also important to recognize I work with Tom Coburn, the most conservative, one of the most conservative Republicans who John already mentioned to set up what we call a Google for government saying we'll list every dollar of federal spending to make sure that the taxpayer can take a look and see who, in fact, is promoting some of these spending projects that John's been railing about."

- Barack Obama, Sept. 26th, 2008 in the First Presidential Debate

I would say that's a pretty good explanation and rebuttal by Obama after being defined as the most liberal voter in the Senate...

2. Somehow if you wear a US flag lapel pin, then you're patriotic:

Studies show that wearing a lapel pin is not correlated to levels of patriotism. Nor are middle names. 

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Death and Taxes: McCain/Obama

I thought this was interesting...

In the latest AC360 podcast:


38-66K -$1042 -$319
66-112K -$1,290 -$1,009
227-603K +$12 -$7,871
603K+ +$115,974 -$45,361**

For each income bracket, shown is the difference per capita under the Obama and McCain tax plans versus Bush's current tax cuts. Negative amounts mean persons under that income bracket would pay less, whereas positive amounts mean an increase in taxes.

What first struck me is that the 603K+ bracket would be paying anywhere from 10-16% more on their taxes under Obama and 4-8% less under McCain. That's a huge swing. But notice the upper middle class tax bracket; they would be paying about $1,000 less in taxes under both Obama and McCain. This income bracket contains about 20% of the population and would be getting the same tax relief under both candidates. Interesting, considering that liberals love to attack the other side for not giving enough tax relief to those not in the top 2% in income. However, while Obama's plan would increase government revenue by 600 billion dollars, McCain's plan would decrease government revenue by approximately the same amount. 

Anyone with info on what the total revenue difference for each income bracket from the Bush Administration would be?

From the Tax Policy Center:

"The two candidates' tax plans would have sharply different distributional effects. Senator McCain's tax cuts would primarily benefit those with very high incomes, almost all of whom would receive large tax cuts that would, on average, raise their after-tax incomes by more than twice the average for all households. Many fewer households at the bottom of the income distribution would get tax cuts and those tax cuts would be small as a share of after-tax income. In marked contrast, Senator Obama offers much larger tax breaks to low- and middle-income taxpayers and would increase taxes on high-income taxpayers. The largest tax cuts, as a share of income, would go to those at the bottom of the income distribution, while taxpayers with the highest income would see their taxes rise significantly."

** Source: Tax Policy Center on AC360 Podcast

What Does 'Country First' Mean?

During the Republican National Convention, I saw a plethora of "Country First" signs. 'Country First' being the foil to Obama's 'Change" mantra. However, McCain has been little helpful defining this motto, and I think it raises the question: what does 'Country First' actually mean?

Does it mean focus on domestic issues rather than foreign policy? Are we going to enact a policy of non-interventionism around the world again? Are we going to focus solely on steadying the highly erratic economy?

Or does it mean we should focus on moral and traditional issues like abortion, capital punishment, taxes, etc.?

I took the liberty to email the McCain campaign about this to find out just what they're talking about. I'll post their response soon!