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Author Topic: Presidential General Election News & Discussion Center
Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
To be fair, NCLB is a liberal policy by definition. Rather than a federalist approach where you let the states have the most control of their education programs, you have regulations and testing that's required from Washington. That said, you have fairly strong points on the other aspects of Obama's liberalism.
All the talk about how to implement testing, accountability, and competition without actually talking about what we are trying to test for, account for, and maximize smells like of some MBA or management consultant gone wild in the Department of Education, trying to control, manipulate, and make more efficient, without actually thinking.

________

Win or lose, Obama has given a lot of speeches. Most people live and die without the opportunity to give a speech as big as the DNC Keynote, then the Announcement Speech, the race speech, and the Berlin Speech. The pressure is almost dizzying.

Here is a great video with Nader:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22886841#26439584

[ August 28, 2008, 03:54 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Dan_raven
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You know, I keep looking for these liberal beliefs of Obama's. He's not out suggesting we nationalize the oil industry or that we delve into communisism or that we tax the church to pay for abortion clinics or anything radical. I haven't heard much liberal from him at all, except that he's not afraid of the word liberal and that he wants to take it back from the Republican Spin-Masters who've turned it into a dirty word.

The only reason I hear people are saying he's too liberal is because other people are saying he's to liberal. And that started as dirt thrown at him by his opponents.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I haven't even heard him say the word Liberal.
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SenojRetep
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Okay, so Irami's rebuke sent me looking for statistical data.

In the past three years, National Journal rated Obama the 16th, 10th, and 1st most liberal Senator. There are concerns over methodology, however, particularly regarding the most recent year in which Obama missed several votes which might have pulled his rank lower due to campaigning.

A more academic analysis is done at voteview.com, run by some Political Scientists at UCSD. They discuss in a great write-up here** the comparable liberality of Clinton and Obama. Using their methodology, for the first two years he was in the Senate, Obama was the 21st most liberal Senator; for the second two years he was tied with Biden as the 10th most liberal Senator.

All of which is to say, Obama is left of center for the national party. He's no Russ Feingold, but it's far from inaccurate to call him a liberal.

** For those interested, when full voting history is considered, McCain is much closer to center than Obama. However, just considering his last six years of Senate service, he has moved dramatically to the right. In each of the past three Senates he's ranked as one of the five most conservative Senators. The graphs show that McCain, with his full service considered, skews center much more strongly than his recent votes would indicate. For me, this somewhat validates my opinion that he's spent the last eight years laying the groundwork for mollifying the right wing of the Republican party.

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ElJay
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Um, wow.

quote:
A health care policy adviser for the McCain campaign told a newspaper reporter that nobody in the United States is technically uninsured, because everyone has access to hospital emergency rooms.

"So I have a solution [to the health care crisis]. And it will cost not one thin dime," John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, told the Dallas Morning News in an interview published Thursday.

"The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care. So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

-----

UPDATE: McCain's campaign says they do not consider Goodman to be an official campaign adviser.


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Farmgirl
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quote:
Originally posted by ElJay:
quote:

"The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care. So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."


That doesn't even make sense.

.

(I should clarify - ElJay didn't say that - a quote in her post did. ElJay would never say such non-nonsensical things) [Smile]

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ElJay
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The rest of what he said doesn't make sense, to me, either. [Smile] And although the McCain campaign doesn't consider him an official advisor, apparently he was instrumental in helping write McCain's health plan. I haven't read McCain's plan in detail, but I still must say I don't find that comforting.
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SenojRetep
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It's stretching the definition of "insurance" to mean "when you get sick you are insured you will be seen by someone who can help, provided you can get there in time and make it through the triage" which is not what is usually meant by "insurance."

And it strikes me as pretty counterproductive to the discussion to play such silly semantic games.

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ElJay
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Exactly.

Plus one the big points of having insurance is that you can get preventative care, or when something goes wrong get it fixed when it's still minor (and cheaper) before it gets bad enough to go to the emergency room. Wasn't there a study recently that showed that providing free preventative care to the most frequent patients seen at a large urban emergency room saved the hospital a lot of money, since the care was cheaper and they didn't have to take the loss on the emergency visits? I think it was linked here within the last year. . .

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Strider
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If he was instrumental in helping write mccain's health care plan, the dems should have a field day with this.
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Lyrhawn
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That's not stretching the definition of insurance, it's totally changing it. Insurance is how you pay for a service, an emergency room is the service itself. Plus Eljay's point about preventative care, which is a huge, huge point all by itself, but suggesting that er's are health insurance is stupid. Anyone can go to the er right now, and come out with thousands and thousands of dollars in bills, which is the entire point of insurance.

It's no wonder McCain's healthcare plan is all smoke and mirrors.

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kmbboots
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And people still get billed for emergency care. It isn't like trips to the emergency room are free. The "I went to the ER because I couldn't afford to go to a doctor, so now I am in bankruptcy" scenario is not a good one.

Especially when you add the "and by that time it was too late" epilogue.

edit to add: "They aren't homeless; they're campers!"

[ August 28, 2008, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Dagonee
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I have nothing good to say about the comment being discussed.

But I do find the idea that insurance should pay for preventative care to underscore one of the huge disconnects in health care policy and how it is discussed. Insurance is usually used to pool risk - usually because the risk only happens to a small percentage of the pool.

Now, that's not to say that a health care plan shouldn't pay for preventative care. Obviously, that makes good financial sense. But such a plan isn't insurance. This is a comment about the term "health insurance" and its use in the policy discussion.

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Samprimary
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quote:
A health care policy adviser for the McCain campaign told a newspaper reporter that nobody in the United States is technically uninsured, because everyone has access to hospital emergency rooms.
Hell, that's like saying nobody in the United States is technically homeless if they have access to shelters.

And that we should change the definition of homeless to that effect.

Voila, problem solved. Hi my name is JOHN GOODMAN and i have BRAINWORMS

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Hell, that's like saying nobody in the United States is technically homeless if they have access to shelters.

It would be, if shelters were required by law not to turn people away.

I agree with Dag; people are talking about universal health care when they talk about preventitive procedures, not insurance.

As a question, if we as a nation had the resources to either a) provide preventive care or b) provide insurance against catastrophic illness, which should we morally do? Perhaps that should go in it's own thread; if the discussion takes off I'll likely move it there.

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Lyrhawn
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I agree with Dag that people are talking about healthcare (not necessarily universal) rather than pure insurance. I think that's a subtle but perhaps important difference that people often consider synonymous.
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Darth_Mauve
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The reason that they consider it synonymous is not that any insurer with a brain would provide preventive care so as to cut the risk and cost of covering catastrophic care.

In other words, "I can't afford my Insulin so I went to the Emergency Room when the Diabetic Coma struck." It costs the insurance company much less to provide Insulin than to take care of a coma patient.

Preventive Care is a way for the Insurers to lower risk, while also providing extra services so actually being able to increase income.

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Threads
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I'm not finding Obama's speech to be his most inspiring but I can see the points he's trying to hit. He has complimented Bill Clinton's administration, mentioned progress in equality for women, and specified what needs to be changed ("let me specify EXACTLY what I mean by change..."). I think his goal was to make his speech as bulletproof as possible to criticism rather than as inspirational as possible.

EDIT: I'm not saying it's boring [Razz]

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rollainm
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quote:
I think his goal was to make his speech as bulletproof as possible to criticism rather than as inspirational as possible.
Agreed. I think he did that pretty well.
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SenojRetep
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Well, I didn't catch it all. I came in around 10:30.

It's hard for me, as a McCain supporter, to know how unpartisan this opinion is, but I thought the speech was really flat. Maybe I just wasn't the right audience.

A lot of the words were right, but it seemed like he was trying to be all things to all people. He had his set of talking points, and he hit them methodically and without spirit.

Best moment: "That's a debate I'm ready to have" looking dead into the camera. That was great. But compared to his Keynote address in 2004, this was, to me, disappointing. He brought back some of the same themes (even some of the same rhetoric, i.e. "they didn't fight for a red America, or a blue America, but the United States of America"), but it seemed like he didn't have the same energy.

And I simply don't believe that he really has a plan, or even an understanding of the costs, of all the new benefits he mentioned tonight. His speech was a litany of new entitlements that he claims can be paid for through closing corporate tax loopholes and making judicious, line-by-line budget cuts. I'm skeptical.

Despite his speechwriters' best efforts, it didn't put to rest my concerns about his ability to lead from day one (to steal one of Clinton's lines) or his temperment to get detail oriented in setting a real agenda. The details were there, but it just seemed his heart (and his head) weren't in it.

Anyway, one man's (likely very biased) opinion.

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landybraine
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Did anyone else notice how Obama started speaking in a deep southern accent the last two minutes of his speech? Directly after talking about Dr. King? Even though I understand that politicians are going to use basic "mind games", it still really bugs me.

Other than that, I really liked what he had to say about not wanting more of the same. Let's just hope his change is a better one.

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Ron Lambert
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I never noticed that. When did Sen. Obama ever live in the deep south?
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Lyrhawn
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Senoj -

I agree and disagree. The thing is, there was absolutely no way he was going be able to meet the insanely high expectations that everyone had of him. I mean, a speech given on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King's speech, and this being the first black nominee, and after all the speeches that came before given by both him and others, it was just never going to happen. So instead of the over the top energetic magic, he set out to mollify the biggest criticisms against him. I think he did that.

Frankly I got bored during the opening part. The biographical stuff was all old news. I understand why he had to do it, but for those of us who've already heard it, I was nodding off. He heated it up part way through when he both took it to McCain and clearly laid out his own plans and issues (and it was nice that he brought up some social issues for the first time in the election). I liked how he didn't try and use them as wedge issues either, he tried to plot the middle course where we agree instead of sticking to the Left side.

Was it as soaring as the 2004 speech? Nope, and for good reason. He's given the soaring speeches, and the more he gives them, the more he gets attacked for it, so he decided to up the substance to poetry ratio.

We have a $3 TRILLION dollar budget. I have zero trouble believing that Obama can find massive cuts that can be made in the budget to pay for what he wants to do, and frankly I think it all needs to be done, so someone is going to have to make the tough choices. I don't know where the "litany of new entitlements" comes from. Other than healthcare, what was he talking about that was a new idea?

Clearly he has a plan. He just told it to you in pretty clear detail, and it's a lot more detailed than McCain's. And I think their criticisms on McCain, that Republicans just say you're on your own, is a rebuke of pretty core Republican ideals at a time when people are struggling to get by. I think it'll resonate. That you don't like his plan is fine, but I'm sick of the people who say that Obama doesn't have a plan. I'd say they're just lazy and don't look it up when it's clearly there, but the man keeps telling people his plan.

Ron & landy -

I listened to the speech, and didn't hear the accent. I'll have to listen to it again later when it's on YouTube.

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Strider
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I thought it was great. I agree it was slow at the beginning and for me a lot of it was rehash. But I thought he really kicked it into gear as he went along and became really inspirational. But like Lyrhawn says, stayed focused on the specifics. I absolutely love his speeches where he goes off on tangents talking about lofty ideals, but with all the criticism he's gotten for being all talk, I thought it was smart to not go there too much.

Our local campaign had a big convention watch party tonight and after Gore's speech and his speech we had a large rush of people signing up to volunteer.

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rollainm
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I didn't hear an accent either.
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Humean316
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I thought it was great. For the last month, Obama has shown little to no leadership whatsoever, and I began to doubt whether he had what it takes to be President. For instance, it was not, no matter what others say, Hillary Clinton's job to get her supporters to vote for Obama, it was Obama's job, and as a leader, he failed to realize that very notion. For over a month now, McCain has attacked Obama from many sides, and in his attempt to stay above the fray, he has not answered back. Just like when Clinton went on the roll at the end of the primaries, when these attacks came from the McCain campaign came out, Barack Obama stood on the sideline because he is not one to attack or smear. What he failed to realize was that you don't have to smear someone in order to rebut an argument, you don't have to appeal to fear and the worst of us as people, you simply have to argue the argument and not the person, and if you do that, you are righteous and nothing like Karl Rove.

Tonight, he took those criticisms that I had, and turned them into something positive. More importantly however, he showed why he is better than John McCain and why he will be a great President. Great speech.

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Chris Bridges
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"Despite his speechwriters' best efforts..."

Obama writes his own speeches.

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Chris Bridges
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I suspect that he was purposely allowing the McCain campaign to get as dirty as they wanted, until it became a joke. Setting himself up for this speech when he could answer them all calmly and reasonably.
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Vadon
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I like the 538 analysis that basically said Obama didn't meet expectations, he defied them. Let's face it, with a greek-temple inspired back drop and an audience of 80,000 people were expecting him to give a rhetorically rich, yet substantively weak speech. Instead he gave us the opposite.

So I agree with SenojRetep in that it wasn't the inspirational speech we know he gives so often and so well, instead he gave the speech that to me, essentially said "Game on!"

This next part is going to be my politically naive analysis on how I view this speech in context to the general election. So if you don't want to read it, or just ignore it completely I'm completely fine with it.

[Naive soap-box ramblings]

I think the average voter decides who to cast their ballot for based off of three things. One is the issues, the voter has their own checklist of what they believe on the issues, so when it comes to choosing a candidate, they find which candidate shares the same opinion on the most issues. You could also see this as the logos appeal of the candidate if you're into classic philosophy.

The second aspect a voter looks to is how they feel when thinking of the candidate. When you hear the name Obama or McCain, you have an immediate gut reaction. Now, while my opinion is very biased, when I think of Obama I think 'warm, compassionate, family-oriented man.' When I think of McCain I think of 'Stubborn, crotchety old man.' You can think of this as the pathos appeal of the candidate, again, if you like classic philosophy.

And the last is their credibility. This is seen in their organizational abilities as well as who supports them. Their ethos, in other words.

What I've seen is Obama building Pathos and Ethos over the past 18 months. My opinion on Pathos is that it takes a lot of time to create a gut reaction to a candidate. You have to hear a consistent message from them, and it will slowly influence your opinion on them. Obama is constantly talking about hope, change, and a bright future. That makes him more alluring. McCain, however, is focusing on negative Obama ads, he sounds bitter and vicious. Because he's been releasing these ads so enthusiastically, it portrays a negative light on him too. There's a sort of rule, if I recall, that Negative campaigning has no positive result in regards to the favorability of a candidate. The question is who will be hurt more by releasing a negative ad. So theoretically if Obama stayed positive and did a better job keeping himself in a positive light than McCain's attempts at taking him down, Obama would do better because McCain's negativity reflects badly on him.

On the Ethos, I can sum this up fairly quickly. Obama is dominating in this arena because of his organizational skills. He knows how to build a strong coalition and grass roots movement. Remember how McCain's campaign almost fizzled out last year because of a bad team? This kind of thing affects voters. Obama built a team that's tightly knit together, yet expansive and effective. That's why he lost only one caucus state. Obama is continuing to do well in this aspect as well, for example in Indiana McCain doesn't even have a field office. Obama has somewhere around 20 fully staffed offices. While this doesn't create an immediate movement in the polls like new advertisements do, it helps to create a network of hard support, not soft.

So what am I getting at?

Obama has built a huge image of himself as a nice guy who builds killer campaigns. McCain is essentially relying on 'not the taxing, weak and poor-judging democrat.' Also Obama is winning in the Ethos department. So the last thing Obama needs to win is the logos, which can be won in a short time-frame. All Obama would need to do is cut the 'nice-guy' act for a couple of weeks, open the flood gates of negative attacks on McCain, and people will remember those for issue selection.

It takes time to create a gut reaction(pathos), but people will only remember the issues for a few weeks back.

I think this is what his speech tonight showed. He was starting to show that he is a grounded candidate who can fight on the issues, and as the election day rolls close, I'm pretty sure we'll see some exciting things from Obama. If I recall correctly that's what his campaign strategy has almost always been. Be the nice guy through the campaign until the last few weeks when you go all out against the other candidate. I seem to recall in some local Illinois election, he even petitioned to have his opponent removed from the ballot for technical reasons.

[/Naive Soap-box Ramblings]

For those of you who didn't read my silly, politically neophyte rant, I can sum it up as I really liked his speech tonight. [Smile]

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SenojRetep
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For those interested, here is the full text of the speech.

The fact that that wasn't a speechwriter's job is even less disheartening. Honestly, I was inspired by Obama in 2004; he spoke passionately about strengthening families and communities and returning civility to our political dialogue. And while he still mentioned those things, his passion is largely gone. Maybe he reined in his rhetoric to avoid attacks, but for me (and it sounds like many others) it was a disappointment.

New entitlements (more appropriately, new spending; they aren't all entitlements):

- Tax breaks for companies that create good jobs in America
- Eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the startups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
- Cut taxes for 95% of all working families
- In ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East
- Tap our natural gas reserves
- Invest in clean coal technology
- Find ways to safely harness nuclear power
- Help our auto companies retool
- Make it easier for the American people to afford these new [high fuel-efficiency] cars.
- Invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy
- Provide every child a world-class education
- Invest in early childhood education.
- Recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support.
- [In exchange for] commitment to serving your community or your country, make sure you can afford a college education.
- Lower premiums of all current health care participants
- Congressional healthcare coverage for those currently without healthcare.
- Regulation of insurance companies so they will stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.
- Help families with paid sick days and better family leave
- Change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses;
- Protect Social Security for future generations.

Let's just take the sick leave promise. I'm not sure exactly what the promise is, but it sounds like he would like to compel business to allow employees to take paid leave if a dependent is sick. Back of the envelope calculations: 150 million workers, 100 million with dependents, additional 1-2 weeks of sick leave per worker, median salary of $50,000/year (or appr. $1000/wk) results in about $1 trillion lost revenue annually. Calculated another way, current GDP is about $14 trillion, with about 2/3 (say $10 trillion) generated by workers with dependents. If we take one productive week out (due to dependent illness), we lose about $100 billion in GDP. So this line will cost either businesses or the government between $100 billion and $1 trillion annually in lost production/revenue. It's nice to say we want to protect jobs, but it comes at a cost. I'm sure I've overestimated it here (and I'm also sure there's no way this actually happens), but I just don't believe there's been an honest accounting.

Wikipedia lists last years federal budget as $1.1 trillion in discretionary spending (additional $1.8 in mandatory spending). $1.1 trillion is a big number, and I know we can trim a lot of that money. I just don't think that it, combined with closing tax loopholes, will begin to fix health care, let alone energy, let alone education, let alone social security. And that's before you give 95% of the country tax cuts.

If we want universal health care, every tax payer better believe they are going to pay for it with higher taxes and lower wages. Which is fine if that's what we want. If we want energy independence in 10 years, every tax payer better believe they will pay for it with higher energy costs and more taxes. If we want to fix social security, every worker better realize they'll pay for it with higher taxes and longer careers. We can do all these things, but pretending we can do them without paying for them is fiscally irresponsible.

This certainly isn't strictly a Barack Obama problem; all national politicians do it. For the past eight years, we've had a president and congresses who've been egregious in the disconnect between what we take in and what we spend. Fiscal reality is one of the first things a lot of the voters Obama's trying to capture in CO, NM, NV and NH consider. And I don't see reality reflected in these plans.

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BlackBlade
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Senoj: Yes all those things require money, and tax increases are most likely where these funds will come from. But not every tax must by necessity target working Americans. There are corporate taxes, roll back of dead end grants and subsidies, import taxes for certain goods, etc.

And yes while my social security contribution might increase in order to make it secure at least I'll get SOMETHING, whereas before I was paying for nothing. While my medicare tax will increase so that I'm paying for subsidized health insurance through the government, at least I'll have stable health insurance. I'd be happy to pay for these sorts of things if they were affordable. My wife can't get health insurance because she is taking medication that automatically disqualifies her from coverage. Our only options are to do without for now, or lie to insurance companies, which we're not willing to do.

Investing in alternate energy costs more money now, but compared to the cost of just sucking down oil until reality catches up with us and wide spread panic seizes the nation when we realize there isn't anymore oil to use here or anywhere else is certainly preferable. Gas will continue to get more expensive, wind and solar power can only get cheaper as the technology improves. I'm tentatively interested in more nuclear power, but I keep hearing that we don't have as much uranium available as one might think.

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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Well, I didn't catch it all. I came in around 10:30.

It's hard for me, as a McCain supporter, to know how unpartisan this opinion is, but I thought the speech was really flat. Maybe I just wasn't the right audience.

A lot of the words were right, but it seemed like he was trying to be all things to all people. He had his set of talking points, and he hit them methodically and without spirit.

Best moment: "That's a debate I'm ready to have" looking dead into the camera. That was great. But compared to his Keynote address in 2004, this was, to me, disappointing. He brought back some of the same themes (even some of the same rhetoric, i.e. "they didn't fight for a red America, or a blue America, but the United States of America"), but it seemed like he didn't have the same energy.

And I simply don't believe that he really has a plan, or even an understanding of the costs, of all the new benefits he mentioned tonight. His speech was a litany of new entitlements that he claims can be paid for through closing corporate tax loopholes and making judicious, line-by-line budget cuts. I'm skeptical.

Despite his speechwriters' best efforts, it didn't put to rest my concerns about his ability to lead from day one (to steal one of Clinton's lines) or his temperment to get detail oriented in setting a real agenda. The details were there, but it just seemed his heart (and his head) weren't in it.

Anyway, one man's (likely very biased) opinion.

Have you read the NYT article on his economic plan? It's pretty good at outlining his policy. There are also some charts and progressions (at the Washington Post?) that show how the tax cuts (or hikes) of both candidates would affect various income levels.

I can't remember which article it was, but looking at the tax plans, I think a group computed that Obama's plan would only bee 400 billion in the red, as opposed to almost a trillion for McCain's plan.

Food for thought.

-Bok

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SenojRetep
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BB, I agree. My point wasn't that these are good things or worthy investments, it was that I don't believe Obama presented the reality that we all *must* pay for these things, either through lower wages (because our bosses are being taxed at a higher rate), higher prices (because of increased import taxes) or higher taxes ourselves. Probably all three.

They're not bad things, some of them are great ideas (like energy independence), but they will all cost money. A lot more money than I think can be generated through efficiency efforts and closing corporate loopholes alone.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
I can't remember which article it was, but looking at the tax plans, I think a group computed that Obama's plan would only bee 400 billion in the red, as opposed to almost a trillion for McCain's plan.

Wait, McCain has an economic plan? (tongue in cheek).

<edit>I know McCain is making the same sort of empty promises. I don't like them when he makes them either. I hate that our country, has moved from tax and spend, to just plain spend, and it's been led by Republicans and a misapplication of Keynesian economics. If Obama really wants a change for the better (and I believe he does) I think his responsibility rhetoric should extend beyond parents turning off the tv and include government only spending what it takes in.

Perot in '08.</edit>

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just_me
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quote:
Let's just take the sick leave promise. I'm not sure exactly what the promise is, but it sounds like...
The second hit on Google for a search of obama sick paid is Obama's website. On this topic it says his plan is:
1) "require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year"

2) "expand the FMLA to cover businesses with 25 or more employees" (instead of 50 or more employees)

3) "Encourage States to Adopt Paid Leave ... encourage all of the states to adopt paid-leave systems. Obama will provide a $1.5 billion fund to assist states with start-up costs and to help states offset the costs for employees and employers."

So, I think your calculations are way off.

Just for starters you don't account for the workers who already get paid sick days...

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twinky
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quote:
Let's just take the sick leave promise. I'm not sure exactly what the promise is, but it sounds like he would like to compel business to allow employees to take paid leave if a dependent is sick. Back of the envelope calculations: 150 million workers, 100 million with dependents, additional 1-2 weeks of sick leave per worker, median salary of $50,000/year (or appr. $1000/wk) results in about $1 trillion lost revenue annually. Calculated another way, current GDP is about $14 trillion, with about 2/3 (say $10 trillion) generated by workers with dependents. If we take one productive week out (due to dependent illness), we lose about $100 billion in GDP. So this line will cost either businesses or the government between $100 billion and $1 trillion annually in lost production/revenue. It's nice to say we want to protect jobs, but it comes at a cost. I'm sure I've overestimated it here (and I'm also sure there's no way this actually happens), but I just don't believe there's been an honest accounting.
Your calculation assumes that the status quo in terms of worker productivity versus wages and benefits is an acceptable situation. I don't think the Obama campaign shares your view. Obama said in his speech that over the last eight years, worker productivity has risen while working and middle class wages have declined.
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kmbboots
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Please, Senator McCain, please pick Gov. Palin.
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DarkKnight
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NCLB was cosponsored by President Bush and by Ted Kennedy....and then approved by a bipartisan congress. I would think Ted Kennedy is a decent definition of liberal. It is odd how he is almost never mentioned in connection with NCLB though
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cmc
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kmbboots - Looks like he listened... ; )
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Belle
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Sarah Palin!

Wow, interesting choice.

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fugu13
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It was a joint proposal, but co-sponsored is the wrong term, as sponsorship of a bill can only be done by a member of the chamber in question. Bush cannot sponsor any bills.

twinky: what Obama said isn't quite accurate. There's been no general change in poor and middle-class wages using the same inflation measure across the economy, up or down. However, when using measures of inflation weighted for the different consumption baskets of different levels of income, there has been an increase in wages (as in, people can buy more of what they actually buy on what they're receiving in wages). That is, the wage increase has been hidden in many things becoming dramatically cheaper. It is still a weak increase, but there's a very simple explanation for that: the war in Iraq. It siphons off large amounts of consumer surplus. There's no need for any drastic policy changes, just eliminate that gigantic line item and wages should be free to again increase at normal rates.

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fugu13
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Oh, and Kennedy has said things several times along the lines of, I supported this, I thought it was a good idea, the evidence has proven me wrong. That's why he isn't villainized for proposing it. Bush still thinks NCLB is basically working as it was implemented, which seems to be rather delusional. Whether it would work given more funding is another question entirely, of course, though my personal position is that there's no good reason for NCLB to exist: that the Federal gov't should generally stay out of eduction.
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TomDavidson
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It's a very, very clever choice. I won't say it's a good one, but it hits precisely the right demographics.
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DarkKnight
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I'm not sure why people think closing corporate tax loopholes is such a great thing? If you take money away from the corporation, guess who is going to 'replace' that money. Allentown, PA lost Mack Trucks because of taxes.
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Belle
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I must admit I don't know much about her.

*goes to read*

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kmbboots
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Tom, I think too clever. The only real argument that Senator McCain has had was the experience, "lead on day one" argument. He is 72 years old. His VP had better fill those qualifications. I'm not sure that 19 months as governor really counts Or being the mayor of a smallish town? Runner up in the Miss Alaska pageant? Do they think that disaffected Clinton supporters will accept this substitute?

Geographically she shores up...Alaska? Were they worried?

Presumably there is a plan, but I am baffled.

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TomDavidson
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*nod* I think the Obama camp is going to start hitting McCain's age and medical condition pretty hard right now. He's made what I think is a brilliant choice, but the "is she ready to be president" question is the obvious line of attack.
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Brinestone
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Okay, forgive me for being sexist or insensitive or whatever, but I'm concerned about her new Downs baby. I mean, taking care of a new baby is a big job. Taking care of a Downs baby is a huge job. Being VP is a huge job too. Does she have time to do both? I suppose her husband could do a lot of the caring for him, but she should be somewhat involved too. Am I way out in left field here?
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fugu13
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DK: I'm in favor of closing tax loopholes mostly because they reduce the complexity of the tax code. I'm perfectly fine with figuring out how much was saved on the legitimate loopholes and lowering overall tax rates by the appropriate fractional amount.

Loopholes that advantage one particular form of production over another (such as Mack Trucks) are bad. They result in things being produced that are not as much wanted (relative to their price) as other things, because they distort the cost landscape.

As for who is paying it, that's simple: a combination of the corporation (in the form of lower profits) and the consumer (in the form of higher prices).

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I mean, taking care of a new baby is a big job. Taking care of a Downs baby is a huge job.
I would imagine that they could afford at least two full-time childcare professionals.
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