Monday, September 29, 2008

Damn pinkos

Lucy (welcome to my blog, Lucy!) raised her concerns about electing Obama in my comments. What struck me about the comment is that it sounded a lot like the concerns that my parents have...issues that to me, an unemployed 20-something with a ton of time on her hands, have obvious answers; however, other people are actually employed and do not have limitless amounts of time to research these issues on the interweb while eating Nutella straight out of the jar (if you have yet to try Nutella, I am sorry to tell you that you are living an empty and meaningless life).

So I'm going to address these particular issues in a post, since it seems too involved to attempt on the comments board.

His resume is a little thin and he has yet to tell me HOW he plans to implement CHANGE. I am all for CHANGE, I just want some details.
This is the plight of all politicians, no? The details are always sketchy. Not to mention, the rhetoric is bothersome in that it is of a general nature. To address this topic, you have to ask yourself what change you are looking for. Do you want economic change? Social change? Foreign policy change? Each of these is a complex category, and has to be addressed separately. I think one of the best resources for this is a lil' site called ontheissues.org. You can search by topic or candidate. Frankly, I feel the best gauge of what a candidate will do is what that candidate has already done. Look for their past voting record, declarations that they have made, etc. I agree that it is hard to get a "straight answer" as to what exactly will happen. But knowing his stance on the issues is usually a good indicator.
As for his "thin" resume...honestly, he's a young guy for a presidential candidate, no kidding. But he's been a legislator since 1996, a senator, since 2004, he belonged to a law firm specializing in civil rights and neighborhood economic development for many years, among many other things. He's packed a lot of punch into his 47 years. Go ahead, google his career. Wikipedia is a good resource. His resume is only "thin" compared to someone with 30 extra years on him. And if you compare it to Palin...god, don't even get me started. The bottom line is, that "thin resume" stuff is just hype put out by the McCain campaign. If you compared McCain to Strom Thurmond, McCain would look like a political toddler, too.

over the years, I have become less fond of taxes
Ah yes, the taxes. The older we get, the more money we make, the more important that becomes. So the answer here is yes, Obama will raise taxes. But wait! There's more! He's only raising taxes for those that make above $603,403. Do you make that much? Then maybe you should vote for McCain, whose tax cuts benefit that group more than any. The Washington Post has a really simple chart to see where you would fall on the tax cut spectrum. Also, you can go to electiontaxes.com to estimate your personal taxes for 2009-12 under the candidates' proposed plans. The answer may surprise you! Also, I want to point out that if you make enough money to have increased taxes under Obama, it really is nicer of you to share the wealth. One person reaalllly doesn't need that much. And they certainly don't need more tax breaks. That's just how the rich get richer while the poor get...well, Nutella on the couch.

his health care program scares me. Are we getting dangerously close to Socialism with his ideas?
This is a concern that my father has expressed as well. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that Lucy had the unfortunate experience of being raised during or close to the Cold War. There is no reason to fear universal programs like these. They don't make us "communists." They don't mean that we'll all have to wait in bread lines. They don't mean that everything you earn will be taken away from you and divvied up among the workers. I promise. The Republicans just call socialism because they know it will scare you. We have a lot of good socialized programs: The post office, public schools, medicare, social security. Yes, these systems have flaws. So do the privatized ones. BUT. Here's the thing. A lot of people need these systems. Not everyone can afford private schools. Or health care. Or retirement. A lot of people need help. The people who make the most money do "earn" it, but they are often able to earn it because they already occupy privileged places in society. The opportunity to earn money was always presented to them, and they were able to take it. There are a lot of people who do not EVER get the opportunity to earn as you do. They grew up poor, they had uneducated parents, they did not have access to proper health care, they did not have access to a good education. Your tax dollars help those people have access to those things. Those people are not suckling at your teat. They just need some help. We aren't communists for helping our fellow Americans reach their full potential. Helping those people will make the country a far better place, even if it means you take one vacation this year instead of two. Everyone should have access to quality and affordable health care!! And privatizing it ensures that many people are barred from receiving the help that they need. Cancer patients can't get treatment, children die when they didn't have to. Insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying for treatment costs. I myself do not have healthcare right now. If I discover a lump in my breast tomorrow, do I deserve to suffer and die because I can't afford treatment? If your company went bankrupt tomorrow because of corrupt corporate practices and you got laid off, and then your child needed an emergency appendectomy that you can't afford without your healthcare, does that make you lazy and deserving of suffering? This is a reality for many, many people. It's important to remember that not everyone is as lucky as you are right now.

As I have aged and worked hard for my money, well, I like to keep most of it or at least I prefer to give it to the charities I choose
Giving to charities is wonderful, but it's important to separate taxes from charities. Although tax dollars often do go to what some would consider "charitable causes" (social programs such as funding homeless shelters and early-childhood education initiatives), they go to a lot of other programs as well. For instance, I wouldn't consider the USPS a charity. Furthermore, tax dollars go to many different and specific institutions that absolutely must receive a certain amount of money to operate, and it would be too difficult to rely on the voluntary will of the people to donate that money (I seriously doubt that public schools could keep afloat under such a system. There's that whole notion of "my kid doesn't go, why should I pay?!").

The government doesn't seem to be doing such a 'bang up' job of handling our funds
I agree with you 100%! That's why I'm voting for new government leadership! McCain thinks the same as Bush. Check out his voting record. I believe that as someone with a lot of experience in civil rights and inequality, Obama will do something more reasonable with our tax dollars...aka, actually helping out the Americans who need it. McCain just wants to look out for his own...preserving the status quo of the white, straight, wealthy, and male.

The points Lucy brought up are all valid concerns of many voters. I hope that the links were helpful and cleared up some gray areas. Now I'm off to lick the Nutella jar clean.

2 comments:

Lucy said...

Wow! A very well thought out argument to my concerns and yes, I am old enough to be your mom. I am 42 and grew up in the late 70's and early 80's, huge Madonna fan I am!!!

We have some great programs in the U.S. funded by our taxes and I did not mean that we should have no taxes but I truly do not want to give 50% of my pay to the government for programs that need serious help and to create new programs. Human Beings have a moral obligation to care for each other but the United States was founded on the idea of government involvement being held to a miniunm.
I too know of the vicious cycle of the poor but pooring money into failing programs is not the answer. The programs already established need fixed.
Democrats and remember I have been one my entire voting life have yet to close the gap!
Big Government does not fix the poor. Educating,infrastructure and job growth creates a better society and a private sector is needed for that. Why do you think people leave oppresive governments? And the attempt at communism failed. People eventually do not like it when the government is too involved in their lives.
Many countries, such as Canada and Germany are currently trying Healthcare systems, childcare programs and many other programs offered by the government and their citizens are complaining about the "red tape" of those systems and the long wait for services (I think you compared them to bread lines) but quite frankly, in Canada many citizens are coming here for MRI's and CAT Scans because if they wait a small tumor will be an inoperable tumor by the time they get to the diagnosis in Canada. And I was a Hilary fan and she was huge on Healthcare but I always was against it and she was smart enough to know how to revamp and back away when she got the crap beat out of her while trying to get it through during her husband's administration.
This election should be interesting!
Most important, is the U.S. has made great strides for this country. How great that we finally have a black man running for President, the U.S. has come a long way, FINALLY. It was even more amazing that in the primary it was between a woman and a black man, see we are making serious progress, trust me 20 years ago, that would have never happpened!

Phoebe Caulfield said...

I get where you're coming from, Lucy :)


I just HAVE to say this though, in response to your comment about a black man and woman running...You should look up Frederick Douglass and Victoria Woodhull. They were nominated for the presidency and vice presidency in 1872. It's happened before! No one ever seems to know about that...(but now, it's the first time there's been a fighting chance). The more you know!

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