In all honesty I am fairly certain I will be voting for Obama. I was less certain prior to the debate tonight. I thoroughly dislike personal political attacks but particularly when they have no relevancy to critical issues such as the economic, financial, health care, etc problems we face. As a Viet Nam veteran I began this political cycle predisposed toward Senator McCain. He really, really shook my belief in him with his selection of Palin. But Senator McCain's pattern of negativity as demonstrated in tonight's debate has put the lid on any possibility of my supporting him. I have not missed an election since President Nixon; and I would rather not vote than assist Senator McCain into any elected office. It blows my mind that such an honorable man can become so dishonorable in the persue of an elected office. Something is terribly wrong with the process, the system or both.
My ballot has been filled out on all but the Presidential race since the day before the first debate (I'm a driver and get the early mailing of ballots to keep from missing elections when I happen to be OTR), but while my wife keeps asking who I'm voting for or even lean towards, I'm still on the fence.
McCain is prolife, but the majority of the rest of his ideas are at best questionable.
Obama clearly won't defend the most helpless Americans, so how can I trust him? Is he able to lead on other issues or just be another Slick Willie who says what he needs to get elected and then does whatever he and the ultra-left congressional leaders want?
Both sides seem to have pushed into such negative ground that I'm flat dismayed at what it continues to say about what a person has to be (or become) these days to hold the highest office in our country. Why are our expectations so low?
So I?m still undecided. I'm so far down the list of tiebreakers that even the '63 NY riots are on my sheet (that would be the 1863 Irish riots against black emancipation in NY... very ugly bit in my people?s history, that).
(sigh) If the vote were held today and I had to do something, I would probably write-in Alan Keyes. As it is, I?m still waiting for something to push me over the edge in one direction or another.
Look at what they have done, not what they say in the heat of the campaign. Good luck.
I was not super impressed with either one of the candidates during the debate since I hate it when people don't answer the question that was asked.
But in the end I was satisfied because there are real, important and substantive differences between the two of them. This time, just like the other debates, neither one struck out and neither one hit it out of the park. What that means for me is that you have to look at the two men, what they want to do, whether you think they can do it, and whether that is what you want done, which is why we should be deciding anyway.
The debate was again a re-hash of practiced Talking points. Mc Cain was more aggressive but no minds were changed. He does not represent a third Bush term but he does want us to believe in a sixtg term of republican trickle down from lowering the CAPITAL GAINS TAX. Obama offers the traditional democratic stimulus approach. Both approaches fail to consider what happens if noone will lend good old Uncle Sam the money. The mid 80's thru mid 90's had the computer, the mid 90's thru 2000 had Y2k, the 2000's to date had the cell-phone. What product will power the next president's legacy? Bankrupt thirty year Marketing Plans might create a few jobs but won't power an economy.
All the negative ads in the Merkley/Smith race make me think a write-in of almost anyone else would be an improvememnt - suggestions?
I think my 8 year-old would do at least as well as Merkeley or Smith. He has been taught to tell the truth and to be nice to others. He also loves to look for a good deal. :-)
Well... I guess I'd be willing to do the job. I have a background in finance and I have a peculiarity to my nature that requires me to be honest in my dealings. Wait, having a skill and not lying disqualifies me, doesn't it???
I am not thrilled with either candidate, but it was very obvious to me last night that my family and I don't make enough money for John McCain to care about us.
Joe the plumber has enough money to buy a business, while I am worrying about whether I will be able to pay for medicine and food. My health insurance premiums are going up 40% next year and I don't need my health insurance taxed with no evidence that McCain's plan will do anything to get my premiums any lower. Since my husband and I both have "pre-existing conditions" we would never qualify for individual coverage.
Anyway, it seemed more obvious than it ever had before that McCain isn't interested in families that are struggling to get by. I don't agree with all of Obama's ideas, but I at least feel like I and my family are on his radar.
I think Obama did a great job last night. Very presidential. My only disappointment was the lack of discussion about climate change; it is understandable that the economic flux right now has seized our attention. We must remember that without a healthy earth and oceans, our economy does not matter.
Keep us alive and sustainable. Thank you.
Refinancing your mortgage, no matter how reasonably, is no good if you don't have a job. And we cannot go back to an economy that is held up by an insane housing market.
Think about 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the current financial crisis, the Iraq war, the US highway system, global warming, the US electrical grid, education, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance, and any other problem that comes to mind.
I want you to press your guests to explain why talk about tax cuts is so central to political campaigns in general AND the presidential race specifically. Isn't it patriotic to pay enough taxes to adequately fund our future?
Isn't it more irresponsible to talk about cutting taxes without talking about what a commitment to smaller government really means than anything else except outright lying about plans? (like going to war in Iraq, for example)
The McCain supporter is not being straight. By all accounts less than 20 percent of foreclosures come from minorities and low-income homeowners. About 40 percent come from affluent Americans who wanted too much house. Those are the facts.
The crisis comes from unregulated "derivatives" -- bundled mortgage securities that were "swapped" as investment products that had not relation to the true value of assets. Republicans never wanted to regulate this shell game.
I was sad to hear you begin with "Joe the plumber." A guy on the rope line who hears that his taxes might, MIGHT, increase slightly, is soon on the questionable Fox news channel calling Obamma a socialist, and taking 3-word phrases out of context.
If the business makes 250k, I understand no increase in tax. If the business makes 270k, a figure mentioned by Joe, then the last 20k gets taxed at 39% the usual 39% instead of the sunsetting temporary tax-relief discount rate of 36%. So, maybe - maybe - $3000 more in tax.
But, the business should also benefit for a credit to the extent they provide healthcare, and I understand if the business increases in value, there will be no capital gains tax. Sounds to me like a net tax decrease.
Why is this analysis not more widely in the media. I found 1 MSNBC analyst making these points. The issue is reduced to a soundbite, an incorrect one at that, and your show puts it in the intro.
As for housing bailouts, why is nobody talking about how to divide struggling homeowners form speculators and grossly irresponsible borrowers? If someone paid an inflated price solely on the belief that it would net a profit in the short term, then no bailout. If someone refinanced and took equity out of their house, and spent that money on things that I don;t have, then no bailout.
... any what about when a good portion of the value in these houses return? If a house is bought for 500K, and is now worth 300k, and is renegotiated with fixed rates based on 300k, then what about when it is sold 10 years form now for 600k? Shouldn't the treasury, that ate the 200k loss have a share of that capital gain?
Forget about the fact that the national average cost of healthcare is $12,000. Nevermind the fact that McCain's $5000 credit will raise your taxable income by $5000. Your McCain "advisor" is failing to to mention or doesn't understand that under McCain's Healthcare plan, He will tax your healthcare benifits for the first time ever. This is unacceptable and should be addressed by the moderator.
please erase this empty message
Can you explain the "emptiness"?
I'm curious why John McCain insists that tax cuts for large business is the right answer without any pre-condition. If McCain NEEDS to give tax breaks to corporations, why doesn't he only give those breaks to companies that keep jobs in America? Tax breaks for job creation in other countries doesn't help us here...
The NY Times recently had an article showing that in 2005 nearly 25% of US-based companies paid no federal income tax. Further, over 8-10 year period nearly half of all companies had at least one year in which they paid no federal income taxes. (What wasn't reported was how many of these companies reported net operating losses in that year, which is an important thing to know when judging these numbers.)
Neither of your guests is being candid and answering the questions (Taylor won't say clearly whether the gov't will buy the mortgage at face value; Obama's guy won't say what exactly Obama proposes to help homeowners, beyond saying that whatever we do should "protect the taxpayer"), which shows why it's next to useless having campaign staffers on your show. You should have gotten reasonably objective academic economists to analyze the Mcain and Obama positions.
Also, I'll second the previous poster's criticism of the "Joe the plumber" anecdote. Greater in-depth analysis is what we need -- sad that it came from a post from a listener rather than obp.
Please ask the McCain surrogate this question: "Does the McCain health care plan tax employer-provided insurance plans as income? If so, how is this justified?"
Please ask the Obama representative: "How specifically does Obama's plan reduce health care premiums paid by small businesses?"
It has turned out that the worst threat to America and indeed the world was not Osama Bin Laden, no, it was and still is American Conservative Republicans who De-Regulated the financial sector and therefore caused this current sub-prime crisis that is stopping the US and the World Economy.
Bin Laden caused some three billion US dollars in damage on 9/11 and killed around fifteen hundred people, but American Conservative Republicans have caused over a Trillion US dollars in damage just up to now with untold hundreds of Billions in damage still to come, nearly killed off the entire world economy, and who knows how many people are left homeless and might even commit suicide because their future looks so bleak.
It is time to punish American Conservative Republicans at the polls, throw the bums out and outlaw Free-market Conservatism.
I personally feel that Sen. Obama's ads placing a huge emphasis on tax cuts for everyone who earns less than 1/4 million and in addition I will put $3000 in YOUR pocket" is insulting to me as a voter, and essentially represents a bribe. Is that what my vote is worth?
Neither candidate has presented any kind of integrated plan demonstrating how their partial financial solutions combines with regional and or state financial issues. In my opinion, even if Sen. Obama could implement his tax plans, any decrease in federal tax liability would most likely be immediately taken by cash strapped states and municipalities.
I continue hear about middle class or small business owners and I appreciate that but what of those who have fallen from middle class, are now 'working poor'? I work, I have had wage freezes, I am making less than 1/2 that I did. Education for the young is great but the opportunity to go back to school or to even save for retirement again in my early forties is low. I feel that neither party is addressing this important constiuentcy of those of us who have found ourselves fallen through the cracks. Even thinking I might retire or own my own house again feels very remote.
The tax analysis that is currently taking place on the air is just silly. How can this McCain lackey make tax claims without determining what the actual AGI is for this hypothetical couple???
Agreed, the tax analysis is faulty, but not just on the McCain side. The guest representing the Obama campaign somehow tried to make the case that taxes don't stop small businesses from hiring, because wages are an expense and are not taxed. Let's just assume small business owners are motivated by generating a profit to pay themselves and to reinvest and grow. Taxes are taken out of profit. More tax, less profit, less wealth for the owner and less investment for the future.
well, i wondered who the mccain rep was talking to. it is one thing to complain that raising your tax will prevent you from hiring new labor... essentially a lie since the tax comes on income taken out of the business after expenses... and another thing to say that businessmen will just sulk if they can't keep more of what they "earn."
frankly my dear... go ahead and sulk. some better man than you will buy the business, hire new workers, make more money, and pay his taxes and be better off than some fuzzy brained woulda coulda businessman if only those bad ol taxes didn't destroy my initiative.
speaking of fuzzy.. the mccain rep was so incoherent i am not sure he was speaking in complete sentences. another way of lying to people who can't think in complete sentences.
TDF: How arrogant can you be... do you really feel you have the standing to 'punish' anyone. If so, be sure you are not indirectly punishing yourself.
punish at the polls is not the same as "punish". How can you say that an appeal to vote you values is arrogant?
"TDF: How arrogant can you be..."
It's just repetitive use of "P" for the poetry of it. I forget what that is called in the English group of things like onomatopoeia, alliteration, and the like.
But I would like to see some discussion of defining Financial Crimes Against Humanity and possible punishments, in a similar way to The 1950 Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal and Trials.
McCain would effectively De-Regulate the health insurance industry and open it up to the same problems that we face in the sub-prime crisis.
How's that workin' out for ya? Want more De-Regulation?
I think of Conservative De-Regulators like two or three year old children who throw tantrums when told they have to behave and limit their behaviors so that they don't hurt the other people around them.
We grownups in society regulate all kinds of behaviors and we need to regulate "Free-Market Conservatives" to stop and limit the damage they can do to our fellow human beings. We ought to insist that they grow up and learn to play by our well crafted and well enforced Regulations, Laws, and Rules.
I heard the McCain representative's response regarding the roots of the housing and financial crises and must say I was flabbergasted at the gentleman's fact-free response.
To be concise, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the CRA had little to nothing to do with the current crisis. The Senator's own economists generally agree with these facts. First, the CRA does not require regulated lenders to originate mortgages to anyone who does (or did) not meet explicit requirements. Conversely, unregulated lenders had no such reluctance to lend to all manner of so-called "sub-prime" borrower. In fact, documentary evidence has been found and reported on, the Oregonian being one source, the internal practices of unregulated lenders coaching sales people to lie, falsify applications and game internal control mechanisms to increase the number of mortgages, and transaction fees, a lender could gernerate.
More importantly, however, is the fact that "sub-prime" mortgages make up a fraction of all mortgages originated. The true root of the crisis is not loan defaults. Defaults are a symptom. The problem is decline in absurdly inflated home values. It is home values that are the so-called "assets" that are then leveraged by lenders and the "after-market" in creating mortgage backed securities (MBS), collateralized debt obligations (CDO), credit default swaps (CDS) and other derivatives (a.k.a. risk diversification instruments).
In service of brevity, I'll conclude by saying that the McCain camp's demonization of Sen Dodd and Rep Frank is beyond the pale. Both members were in the Congressional minority for over a decade and had little to no power to "block" any actions or legislation by the majority. I challenge the McCain representative to identify exactly which filibuster Sen Dodd used and which tactic Rep Frank used to block housing reform legislation proposed by the majority. The lack of details offered by Sen McCain's representative, and your failure to press for those details, allows wholly fabricated mistruths to propagate across the medium you operate and thereby misinform thousands of listeners whoa re directly and indirectly impacted by the tandem crises.
I hope you take the time to air a correction or rebuttal of the misstatements I've identified. Given the scope of the crisis, reaching a dollar value of $2.5 trillion according to num3erous experts, it would border on negligence to allow misstatemnets and mistruths to settle in with your audience uncorrected.
The McCain solution to economic problems was to marry a wealthy heiress but his solution is just not available to most people.
And every plan he puts forward just protects his wife and his inherited wealth while continuing his class warfare against the lower classes! He continues the current Wealth Redistribution from the lower classes to the already wealthy that has caused the problems we are experiencing currently.
Back to moderation I say. Re-Regulation, progressive taxes at the top, and a safety net at the bottom.
Well, one aspect may be taken away from the "American" control, the European nations are ticked that a financial model driven by specualtion has brought the global economy down and are stating that not only do the markets need to be re-created but it will need to be more transparent and will have different values. Though Washington was opposed to what the G7 was suggesting, it looks as if it will involve itself, so not to be left out.
As for your last sentence suggestion...perhaps just asking why the Scandanavian countries are not only wealthy but the majority of their citizens are happy with how their government, even with some of the highest personal taxes just might be in order.
"As for your last sentence suggestion...perhaps just asking why the Scandanavian countries are not only wealthy but the majority of their citizens are happy with how their government, even with some of the highest personal taxes just might be in order."
Those Scandahoovians were on my mind as I wrote. I admire them very much for how they govern themselves and take care of what Jesus called "the least of these", while giving the top and entrepreneurs a certain amount of freedom and support in doing business.
This in follow-up to the caller who had cancer and is close to losing her home because of her loss of income during treatment. While I am an Obama supporter, I do not think he or John McCain will do anything for people in situations like her. Change and help will be fueled by us, the people. But, in the last eight years no one has felt the passion, enthusiasm or inspiration to move our country ahead. We've been living in dreary, uninspiring times. That's why I'm voting for Obama. He inspires people and empowers people. With that being said, I want to tell you about a nonprofit I'm on the Board of called Komak. We were founded just over a year ago to help people like you with your expenses related to cancer. I wish we'd known about you last year. I think Obama will inspire more people like us to stand up, come together and change things. You can read more about us at www.komakcares.org. Thank you.
Suffering is getting old so do me a favor and vote for Obama.
Nothing resonated with me in the debate other than my belief that Obama is more intelligent, capable, genuine and compassionate than McCain.
McCain is easily provoked like Bush. McCain will lash out rashly without due diligence. Palin's selection is a prime example of McCain's poor decision making.
Speaking of irrational, how can McCain claim to be pro life when he will send your children to die in Iraq and Afghanistan without an exit strategy?
How well are veterans being treated today? Many of them aren't receiving financial and health benefits commensurate with their sacrifice for their country. McCain says he will take care of veterans but I don't see enough evidence of this.
Pro life means we do everything in our power to feed, clothe, educate, care for people from birth until death. But we let people fall by the wayside as we watch. So let's not kid ourselves, we are not pro life in a broader and more real sense.
McCain doesn't care about Little America. Obama *might* be more even handed. That's a gamble I'm willing to take. We require fresh leadership.
The last eight years, the last 30 years, has been a disaster for America. We've slipped backwards in almost every measurable category and our Stupidity Quotient has increased exponentially.
Time to change direction even though that scares many of you. The future is too important to hand over to small-minded simple folk who are popular automatons pimping the status quo.
A Democrat president and congress might be able to get the People's work done finally. We've run out of time for sub-par political representation. Vote for Obama.
Re: the economy
1. We just pledged 700 billion in tax dollars to bail out the economy. How can either candidate emphasize tax cuts when this money has to come from SOMEWHERE?
2. Since we're pumping money to major banks, why can't we stipulate a temporary freeze on foreclosures? NO ONE benefits from foreclosures.
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