Archive for October, 2008

Spreading a Wealth of Lies 2

October 28, 2008

As a follow-up to my previous post, here are Palin’s statements in Des Moines. Let us count the lies together.

See, under a big government, more tax agenda, what you thought was yours would really start belonging to somebody else, to everybody else1. If you thought your income, your property, your inventory, your investments were, were yours, they would really collectively belong to everybody2. Obama, Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes, and I say this based on his record… Higher taxes, more government, misusing the power to tax leads to government moving into the role of some believing that government then has to take care of us3. And government kind of moving into the role as the other half of our family, making decisions for us4.

1 Only workers making over $250,000 face the possibility of higher taxes under Obama’s plan. 95% of workers will see a reduction or no increase of their federal income taxes. That is an undeniable fact.
2 Nowhere does Obama propose taking money from one person and giving it to another. As I explained previously, he is proposing a tax credit to workers for income and payroll taxes that they pay. All workers pay the payroll tax, so no one is getting someone else’s money: Obama is giving people back money that they themselves paid. This is probably Palin’s biggest lie. She goes so far as to suggest Obama’s going to come in with his gummint goons and take your furniture and silverware to give to “other” people.
3 Where in Obama’s record has he misused the power to tax? Nowhere. And guess what? His current tax plan calls for LOWER OR THE SAME TAXES for everyone not making more than $250,000 a year. For those making more than $250,000, they’ll see tax rates that they had in the 90s.
4 Oh no, it’s Married to the Government. But where is government making decisions for families? By giving families tax credits, Obama is giving them a choice to spend or save that money.

It seems that Palin is completely unable to make a statement without lying.

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Spreading a Wealth of Lies

October 28, 2008

McCain, Palin, Fox News, and many others are falling over themselves to claim that Obama is “spreading the wealth,” which makes him a Marxist. But sharing the wealth is hardly an uncommon idea, even among Republican presidents and wannabes. But let’s look at some facts, and let’s start with the frequent claim from Republicans that 40% of Americans don’t even pay taxes but to whom Obama would give money.

For these Republicans, that’s taking money from us and giving it to them. But the fact is that workers don’t just pay income taxes but pay high payroll taxes, which is something all workers all have to pay, except for those earning over $100,000, which is the cap for payroll taxes. Republicans ignore these taxes, which increased for the majority of Americans under Reagan.

Obama has planned a “Make Work Pay” tax credit of $500 for 95% of American workers. While 40% of workers might not pay federal income taxes, they do pay payroll taxes. In fact, while the federal income tax has dropped for lowest quintile, payroll taxes have increased (from 5.3 in 1979 to 8.3 in 2005).

So, Obama is not giving money to people who don’t pay taxes: he’s giving a tax credit to workers who do pay federal taxes. Let’s put some numbers to this now. A worker makes $25,000 a year and pays no federal income tax because of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Still, that worker pays more than $2000 in payroll taxes. For that worker, Obama offers a $500 tax credit, but because she doesn’t have an income tax, she gets a check for $500, offsetting a portion of her payroll taxes (which she still has contributed more than $1500 after the tax credit).

This is hardly a Marxist redistribution of wealth because the worker still pays federal taxes, and the worker is getting back money she paid to the federal government. She’s getting back her money, not your money, not money she didn’t earn.

So, when Palin and her ilk lie about Obama taking “your money” and doing what he wants with it, keep in mind that not just Republicans pay taxes. Everyone does. And Obama is trying to give some of that money back to 95% of taxpayers.

Stayin’ Alive: Subprime Myths

October 24, 2008

So, the way the conservative story goes, in 1995 Bill Clinton forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give home loans to low-income families that wouldn’t otherwise qualify, which started the subprime mess that has led to your underwater 401k.

The problem is almost none of that is true according to pesky facts:

Subprime lending was at its height from 2004 to 2006.

Federal Reserve Board data show that:

-More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.

-Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.

-Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that’s being lambasted by conservative critics.

During those same explosive three years, private investment banks – not Fannie and Freddie – dominated the mortgage loans that were packaged and sold into the secondary mortgage market. In 2005 and 2006, the private sector securitized almost two thirds of all U.S. mortgages, supplanting Fannie and Freddie, according to a number of specialty publications that track this data.

Read the rest of the article for more facts that won’t cooperate with Republican smears.

Bachmann Blames Media Trap for Her Opinions

October 23, 2008

Rep. Bachmann has a found an interesting way to avoid being held responsible for her words: she claims Matthews trapped her by introducing and repeating the term “anti-American” so that she just used it without thinking. But, as we are accustomed with Republican politicians these days, she initiated the theme by claiming that Obama has “negative views of the United States.” This is standard Republican strategy: don’t call it a duck, but just talk about the quacking and waddling so that everyone knows you’re talking about a duck, yet you can claim you never said “duck.”

In the transcript of the show, Matthews used “anti-American” first, but Bachmann had a chance to immediately respond and repeat the term. But notice Bachmann’s sentence prior to Matthew entrapping question in which she uses a Russian term to evoke images of communism, which, of course, America fought for decades. He uses “anti-American” only twice in his question, which she promptly picks up and uses.

REP. BACHMANN: You have a troika of the most leftist administration in the history of our country.

MR. MATTHEWS: If you have liberal views, does that mean you have anti-American views? What’s the connection? I don’t get the connection. What’s the connection between liberal and leftist and anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: Anti-American is the point, because —

Matthews immediately interrupts and reuses the term in a refining the question, which, again, she reuses. More importantly, she doesn’t just use “anti-American,” she provides an example of it, which the GOP has been repeating for months. The idea that she was trapped into using the term “anti-American” is ridiculously untrue. She believed it to be true but avoided using the term, relying on indirect accusations of “anti-American.” Her regret is that she was called on the carpet for it. She was trapped only in the sense that she thought she was with a fellow traveller and can speak freely. She then repeats the term twice in her response.

MR. MATTHEWS: I mean, if you’re liberal, are you anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, the liberals that are Jeremiah Wright and that are Bill Ayers, they’re over-the-top anti-American. And that’s the question that Americans have. Remember, it was Michelle Obama who said she’s only recently proud of her country. And so these are very anti-American views.

So, initially, they use “anti-American” equally. For those counting at home, Matthews ends using it 13 times and Bachman 8 times. But the truth is that Bachmann is the one who raised the idea of “anti-American” with her “troika” reference and accusations:

REP. BACHMANN: It’s important because we look at the collection of friends that Barack Obama has had over his life, and usually we associate with people who have similar ideas to us. And it seems that it calls into question what Barack Obama’s true beliefs and values and thoughts are — his attitudes, values and beliefs with Jeremiah Wright on his view of the United States

MR. MATTHEWS: Okay —

REP. BACHMANN: — which is negative; Bill Ayers, his negative view of the United States. We’ve seen one friend after another. It calls into question his judgment, but also what is it that Barack Obama really believes? And we know that he’s the most liberal senator in the United States Senate, and that’s just after one year after being there. He’s the most liberal. Joe Biden is the third most liberal. You’ve got Harry Reid who’s liberal, Nancy Pelosi who’s liberal.

This is pure political cowardice: she said exactly what she meant, as evidenced by her words prior to Matthews’ first use of “anti-American.”

You’re clearly anti-American or not a real American if you don’t vote Republican. Got that America? And it’s probably our fault that these politicians say this crap.

John McCarthy

October 10, 2008

It is a sad commentary on McCain’s desperation and hunger for power that he allows his staff and his running mate to accuse Obama of being a terrorist. Is that how adled McCain has become that he honestly cannot separate someone that he disagrees with from an enemy of our nation?

I think that, if a candidate doesn’t deserve leading our nation as president, it is the one who’s willing to call his fellow senator an enemy of America, so that he can achieve a selfish political end.

Obama, the Right’s Hitler du jour

October 6, 2008

National Review flunky Jonah Goldber writes one of the more contorted feats of logic called Liberal Facism.

Republicans of similar mind produce these videos of hate:

There are more, but you get the fear message.

Ask a Simple Question, Get a Defensive Palin

October 1, 2008

Sometimes, I think the easiest to do is to play the martyr. Certainly, John McCain and Sarah Palin seem good at it. How paranoid do you have to be to respond as Palin does to a very simple, mundane question? Notice in the clip how Palin assumes Couric is implying that Alaskans aren’t informed. Instead, in a climate in which people seem to attend increasingly to more ideologically driven news sources, Couric simply asks what kinds of news sources Palin reads. Instead, Palin launches in a very defensive mode, almost attacking Couric for asking such a question. Who knew that asking a candidate to defend a claim with specifics, to address an important topic like the judiciary to the conservative movement, or to respond to a major shift in foreign policy were such dastardly attempts to catch the candidate with their mental pants down.

What you see in campaigns will be magnified once the person is in office. And what we’re seeing from McCain and Palin is that they consider being held accountable for their words is inappropriate and contemptuous.