Sunday, September 28, 2008

Politically Ignorant

When it comes to politics, I have opinions about how I would like for things to be, but I'm not as informed as I would like. The problem I have is I never really know what the candidates answers are to specific questions. Don't you wish there was a "hotline" that you can call in to and have your questions answered? It could be a non-political group that is informed about the issues and the candidates position and plans. They would not have an opinion, just give facts.

I usually get confused about the vague answers I hear in news clips or the specific accusations made against each of the candidates by groups sending out warning emails. I get a ton of emails from a former employee that must be on every conservative, Republican, Christian Coalition, and right wing mailing list. Some of the stuff I read is interesting, albeit very one sided. The latest one that has me worried is the one about the proposed tax changes after the election.

Proposed changes in taxes after 2008 General election:

MCCAIN: 0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples) McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

OBAMA: 28% on profit from ALL home sales

How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.

MCCAIN: 15% (no change)

OBAMA: 39.6%

How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama become president. The experts predict that 'higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.

MCCAIN: (no changes) Single making 30K - tax $4,500Single making 50K - tax $12,500 Single making 75K - tax $18,750Married making 60K- tax $9,000Married making 75K - tax $18,750Married making 125K - tax $31,250

OBAMA: (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts) Single making 30K - tax $8,400 Single making 50K - tax $14,000 Single making 75K - tax $23,250 Married making 60K - tax $16,800Married making 75K - tax $21,000Married making 125K - tax $38,750 Under Obama your taxes will more than double!

How does this affect you? No explanation needed. This is pretty straight forward.

MCCAIN: 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)
I did find McCain's entry about his in his briefing. "Allow Families To Keep Their Businesses: John McCain proposes reducing the Estate Tax rate to 15 percent and permit a generous $10 million exemption."

OBAMA: Restore the inheritance tax

How does this affect you? Many families have lost businesses, farms and ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will not only lose them to these taxes.

* New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet
* New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already)
* New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity)
* New taxes on retirement accounts and last but not least....
* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

I realize the message was written from a pro McCain view point, but is any of this true? Where does this information come from? I just don't know It's not like I can go to Obama's web site and he is going to say, "hey, I want to start taxing you on the sale of your home, and don't forget please vote for me." You can't go to McCain's site and see where they can prove these numbers. I guess most of the time, it is just their interpretation and then the supposed result is given.

Unfortunately, I also get other emails that never emphasize anything about Obama other than his heritage. For some reason, the emails always list his name as Barack HUSSEIN Obama. What's with the need to include and capitalize his middle name? Is suggesting that he is a bus bombing Muslim the best strategy you have? Although, I would love to watch a good in-depth story on his father's side of the family that still resides in Africa and what ties / communication our possible future president still has with them.

Another other thing I don't understand is the absolute hatred some people have against some of the candidates that until this election, we had never heard of. I mean really, who the hell knew who Obama was until he started running for president? As for Palin, the woman is governor of the largest state in the union, but I never heard of her until she got picked by McCain. I completely understand not being a supporter of a party's general policies or disagreeing with specific actions / positions the candidates have taken, but can you honestly tell me you "hate" Palin like I have heard some of the Hollyweird folks say. Inexperienced, sure. Lack of foreign policy experience, absolutely. Sorry M'am, just because you can see Russia from your doorstep, doesn't make you an expert. Hell, if that was the case, I could be the ambassador to Mexico based on my tequila consumption alone. But let's not forget that Obama also has little experience in many of the same fields where Palin gets bashed.

I have read both candidates plans and like many parts of each and don't agree with a few from both, but I at least recognize that each is not happy with the the current state of our nation. I still blame most of our current situation on policies that started by Clinton while the Republicans were in Congress. It seems that the Democrats and Republicans can only agree and work together when the shit has already hit the fan. We see very little preemptive cooperation for the good of middle class Americans. How cool would it be to watch a debate one time and one of the candidates say "I like that idea, I wish I would have thought of it" or "I am so going to use that if I'm elected"? Either way, good luck to all of us.

***UPDATE*** Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks to J for the links to and a Wall Street Journal article about the taxes. It's a start.


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