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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

February 17, 2008


The Next Big Hurt

Just how would a President John McCain pay for all of the programs he's proposing. Let's face it - President Bush ahs already cut any and all of what the Right wing terms "entitlements" from the federal government, so what is left for "Te Maverick" to get rid of to pay for all of his programs and initiatives if he wins the White House this November?

It was just about two weeks ago we examined the McCain health care bill which would still leave over 40 million Americans uninsured, at least twice that many under-insured and an already existing budget hole some $700 million (per year) deeper. As discussed, the McCain plan would allow all 170- 180 million American households a tax rebate of $2,500 (single) or $5,000 (family) to pay for health care coverage. And even though the average cost of a health care insurance policy today is about $1,000 per month ($12,000 per year), leaving a hole of some $7,000 to $9,500 for each one of us to come up with in this awful economy, most of us who can't afford health care coverage under the Bush administration will still not be able to afford it under a McCain federal government.

The plan doesn't really tell us how he's going to pay for his idea. Certainly, in a federal budget of nearly three trillion dollars (excluding the $100- to $150 billion per year for the cost of the Iraq war and occupation, a place a President McCain has said "it's alright with me" to keep us for "a hundred years"), there isn't a way to slash a twenty-five percent piece free to cover such a tax break

And although McCain originally voted against the Bush tax cuts, he has vowed to make them permanent if given a chance. Just where is he getting all of this money from anyway?

And what about McCain's other ideas? Let's forger what "The Issues" section of his campaign site doesn't even mention for the moment, which includes Social Security, poverty and education. Let's talk about the section listed as "The Economy". McCain promises to cut taxes for the middle class. His campaign website boasts the following:

"Cut Taxes For Middle Class Families: Hard-working American families need lower taxes. John McCain will permanently repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) -- a tax that will be paid nearly exclusively by 25 million middle class families. John McCain will repeal this onerous tax, saving middle class families nearly $60 billion in a single year. Under McCain's plan, a middle class family with children set to pay the AMT will save an average of over $2,700 -- a real tax cut for working families."

First, let's remember that the AMT was put into place to force the very rich to pay something in income taxes every year. The problem isn't that it didn't succeed, but that it was never allowed to grow with wage increases, inflation and other economic indicators which show us who are truly rich an who aren't. For example, a single person might have paid $5,000 on an income of $75,000 in 2000, the year before George W. Bush and his gang took office. Today, in 2008, that income of $75,000 still pays that same AMT of $5,000 even though that income today isn't worth nearly what is was worth then. So instead of fixing the AMT, John McCain wants to abolish it completely costing our economy hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue which should be paid for by only the very rich. Even using McCain's own formula, that $2,700 per family, multiplied by 25 million families, will take another $67.5 billion out of our economy. This will either make the budget deficit grow even wider of cost those same middle class families (and some more) even ore of their hard earned tax dollars to make up the difference.

And there's more from McCain on the economy:

"Cut The Corporate Tax Rate From 35 To 25 Percent. A lower corporate tax rate is essential to U.S. competitiveness. America was once a low-tax business environment, but as our trade partners lowered their rates, America failed to keep pace, leaving us with the second-highest rate among the world’s advanced economies. "

Not a bad idea, but what about all of those corporation who have already left US soil to form "global corporations" abroad and pay little of no taxes here? All one has to do is go to that building in the Cayman Islands, the "home office" of so many of these corporation, to see one receptionist taking calls for a multitude of Globalists whose true headquarters are in the United States, but pay no taxes here. Without reforming how these global tax evaders participate in our economy, one has to ask just how McCain's economy will make up the loss of millions if not trillions more in tax dollars hw is urging to give back to big business. Whereas a tax break for corporations who chose to stay and contribute here is a great idea, not coupling it with a tax on goods coming into our market from those corporations who left to keep those dollars will cost us all in the end - and quite a lot.

In the end, a McCain presidency looks more and more like a Bush presidency. And much like all of the "Compassionate Conservatives" to come along since (and including) the Ronald Reagan years, the rhetoric outspends the reality. Cutting taxes without thought, for political gain only, hurts in the end. And that's what a McCain presidency would bring - hurt in the end and especially in the middle (class).

-Noah Greenberg

In response to, "Barack Obama has his work cut out for him. He is about to be "Roved," Robert Scardapane writes:

Roved (is that a new word?) for sure. Keep in mind that the right wing has gathered a reservoir of slime for Hillary Clinton over the past decade. They will give her as hard a time as Obama.

In response to, "The Islamification of Barack Obama," Eddie Konczal writes:

The Internet Rumor about Barack Obama being a Muslim included a link to a Snopes.com page that showed him standing in front of a flag without his hand over his heart, allegedly "proof" that Obama is Muslim. The irony is that Snopes.com has completely debunked the rumor! Here is a link to Snopes.com that takes on the rumor head-on:


I would also like to forward this article by Leonard Pitts: Even if Obama were a Muslim, so what?


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-Noah Greenberg