Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Emperor Has No Clothes

**WARNING! Long-winded political rant ahead!**

It’s starting to look like we will soon have a President Obama ::shudders at the sound of that:: and a Vice President Biden. I have to admit that, when Obama first started running, I gave serious thought to voting for him— he’s young, exciting, and gives a helluva smooth talkin' PERFORMANCE in his speeches. Besides, the Republicans weren’t offering up anyone that seemed any more competent, so why not give a younger version of incompetence a try?

So why am I voting for McCain/Palin instead? Well, technically I’m NOT voting FOR them, I’m voting AGAINST Obama/Biden and the words that send chills up my spine— “redistribution of wealth”. You know... that socialist concept that Comrades Obama and Biden consider “Fair” and “Patriotic”?

Obama Pictures and McCain PicturesPhrases like that may pay lip service and hold zealous appeal to the lowest common denominator of the voting (and hopefully non-voting) public who are apparently unable to see that “the emperor has no clothes”. But let me tell you how it is for the REAL “rich fat cats” that will be affected the worst when the Obama/Biden socialist policies meet up with the worth-less-than-nothing Democratic Congress (hereafter referred to as the Porkers).

First of all, note my sarcasm when I use the term “rich fat cats”. Obama tosses that term around when he wants his “redistribution of wealth” rhetoric to fire up the masses into a revolution against “Corporate Greed”. Yeah, he’s talking about the Exxons and AIGs, but you know who else is going to be effected? The backbone of this country-- the thousands (millions) of small and medium business owners; the people who, through years of hard work, not only have made their own lives better, but also the lives of their employees.

Just to give some background on my POV, let me say that I was not raised with money—barely lower middle class in fact. The only reason I was able to go to college back in 1975 was that my father made so little that everything from tuition to dorm to books was paid for by state and federal grants and living expenses were paid through a work-study program.

After college, I steadily advanced in my career, but after I had my twins back in 1986, it quickly became apparent that I could not physically handle a 90 minute round trip commute, 9 hours of work, caring for two babies, and only a couple of hours sleep a night. So I had to quit, which meant that we had to live on my husband’s small salary, which also meant we were using credit cards to pay for necessities like diapers, formula, and baby food.

In 1990 we bought my father-in-law's hardware store (more on the death of family businesses later), which was, quite frankly, doing piss-poor because my father-in-law had lost interest in it. Over the years, largely because of my husband’s work ethic, the store has become successful. We paid off our debt, we went from six of us in a cramped house to a house we built where we now have some room to each have our own space, and we are also able to send our kids to the colleges of their choice.

Obama Pictures and McCain PicturesI do NOT consider us “rich fat cats” AT ALL. Are we comfortable? Yes, absolutely. But we WORKED HARD to get there, dammit. And now Obama/Biden DARE to tell us that the payoff for working hard, for living the American Dream that this country was built on, is to have it taken away from us?! So those who don’t want to work hard are rewarded by a “redistribution of wealth” from those that DO work hard? Fuck that shit! When did we become a country of people that feel they are ENTITLED to everything? When did work ethics give way to careers of milking the system for all it’s worth?

Do you think those are extreme statements? They aren’t. Here’s how things are from a different standpoint, i.e. someone who doesn’t think that Uncle Sam owes them a living.

Let’s start with minimum wage increases. Now, keep in mind that I live in Ohio (the we-don’t-want-your-stinking-business state) which compounds the problem because we’re gifted with automatic C.O.L.A. increases above and beyond the federal minimum wage. Every time minimum wage increases, employers have to make some decisions— A)- raise prices, which means that all those people that are now earning more, don’t have any more purchasing power, and ARE NO BETTER OFF THAN THEY WERE BEFORE THEIR WAGE INCREASE; B)- place a freeze on new hires, or to put it another way- NO NEW JOBS; C)- layoff employees to lower costs, as in PEOPLE LOSE THEIR JOBS; or D)- all of the above, particularly when minimum wage gets bumped up high enough that it starts meeting the higher wages employers pay their more experienced employees, who will then expect a raise also.

Obama Pictures and McCain PicturesAnd thus it cycles around again—prices go up, so the Democrats raise the minimum wage; which makes prices go up, which means another minimum wage increase is needed and so on, and so on, spiraling down into an economic cluster-fuck.

Think I’m exaggerating? Yesterday morning, a cup of coffee cost my husband $1.35 at McDonalds. Then it was announced that minimum wage would increase to $7.40 an hour in January. This morning, McDonalds had raised their coffee price to $1.45 per cup. Coincidence?

Now here’s an idea—what if people worked hard and EARNED higher wages? What if they cared enough, showed enough initiative to actually contribute to the success of their employer, who would then reward them for their hard work? WOW! What a concept! Sounds vaguely familiar though, doesn’t it? Hmmmm... let me think.... oh, yeah, that’s how things functioned before we ditched capitalism and embraced socialism. You know, back in the days when you started out with a low paying job until you proved your worth, gained some experience, and then were able to start your own advancement towards the American Dream.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are those truly in need that deserve help. I also believe there are just as many, if not more, people that, instead of using the system as a helping hand until they get on their feet, see the system as a permanent career choice, who see work as something that the system, in a half-assed attempt to proclaim its reformation, FORCES them to do... and it shows. Believe me, as an employer, I can tell you that I’ve yet to see one single person who is in the system actually strive to get off the system.

Obama Pictures and McCain PicturesNow, here are a few other REAL WORLD examples of what happens when the Porkers try to stick it to the “fat cats” and make them pay their “fair” and “patriotic” share. First of all, I don’t agree with Obama that anyone making over $250,000 a year is wealthy. VERY well off, yes. But in this day and age, that’s not even CLOSE to wealthy. Nonetheless, let’s go with his definition for a second. He says that his “redistribution of wealth” will only effect the wealthy that make over $250k per year. I cry BULLSHIT! Complete and utter bullshit- every single American will be affected by his naïve, idealistic, and downright FRIGHTENING plans!

Are you aware that family businesses can NOT be passed on to the next generation? Nope. If you do well and your business is successful, then you can SELL it to your kids at fair market value. Of course, all that success you earned as the business grew was taxed, taxed, and taxed some more, and now, you get to pay CAPITAL GAINS TAX on that success when you sell it to your child(ren). At only 15% or even 20% capital gains tax rate, selling isn’t all that unattractive, and you’d probably begrudgingly pay it.

Or, you can leave the kid(s) your business in your will. Under current law, the first $2 million of your estate is not subject to inheritance taxes, so the kids would only have to pay taxes on any portion above that limit. After all, as I pointed out above, you’ve been paying taxes out the wazoo on that success as you’ve earned it, so it doesn’t seem fair to have it heavily taxed again. And btw, yes, a company worth $2 million should most certainly still be considered a small business.

But wait! We now have Obama, Biden and the Porkers making plans for a new society! Assuming your kid(s) can get a business loan to even buy the business in this economic climate, your choices have changed under their proposed new national policy of penalizing those who achieve success through hard work (i.e. not members of Congress). You can choose to pay capital gains tax of 25, 35, or who knows what percent on your already over-taxed success. Or, once the lifetime exemption is lowered or abolished since it only benefits the “wealthy”, your kid(s) can pay inheritance tax on the full value of your already overtaxed business.

Obama Pictures and McCain PicturesYou know what? I think a whole lot of family business owners will be saying “I’ll be choosing option C- Close the business and sell off the assets for whatever I can get. And, oh yeah, to those 12 or 17 or 25 employees that are now out of work? Don’t sweat it. You can now join the millions of other people who are entitled to live off of Obama and the Porkers’ great socialism plans.” So, yeah, Obama, explain to me again how your version of socialism doesn’t effect anyone but the “wealthy fat cats”.

So, under Obama, Biden and the Porkers, what will I do with the proceeds from that sale and any other investments I have? Well, I will transfer them into my kids’ names a little at a time until I have no assets left in my name, that’s what. Then I can proudly hold my hand out for all that I’m entitled to from the United Socialists of America. After all, anything I make off my investments would now also be taxed at the higher capital gains rate, so why bother keeping it when I can live for free courtesy of President Obama? ::shudders because those two words should never be together:: Now that's MY plan for a patriotic and fair “redistribution of wealth”!

Let’s next discuss the social security tax. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if a worker has contributed the minimum over their lifetime, or 10,000 times the minimum., because, once we’re fully funded, we all get the same amount back every month. And every year the cap goes up. So instead of say the first $82,000 of earnings being subject to SS taxes, the next year it went up, and the year after that, etc. I think it’s at $102k right now. But if Obama has his way, that cap will disappear. Which means that, no matter how much is earned, it will still be subject to Social Security taxes.

So, WOW, maybe I should have flunked math class because it seems to me that $107k is middle class and MUCH less than the $250K that Obama swears would be the minimum income brackets affected by his socialistic policies! So would that be yet ANOTHER instance of people other than the “wealthy fat cats” whose money is being “redistributed”? And to my obviously math-challenged mind, it sure seems like another instance of people already paying MORE than their fair share.

funny picturesBut then again, Obama has waffled on this issue and obviously never thought it through completely. I believe at one point, it was pointed out that he would be adding middle class taxes, so he backed off a bit and said that only “wealthy” people would pay (and pay and pay) more. Gee, Obama, you couldn’t be bothered to think this through before you shot your mouth off about it? What happened, did you realize that SOME of the masses might be smarter than you gave them credit for and hadn't been assimilated into the Collective? The pods haven't gotten to all of us yet and we're still able to see through your cloud of noxious bullshit? Here you were counting on our political ignorance and apathy and a few of us had the nerve to actually THINK about what you were saying!

funny picturesEither way, if you own a business, you get screwed twice and not kissed once. Social security taxes are deducted from paychecks, but then the employer has to match that amount for each employee. So own your own business and every increase in Social Security taxes, every raise in the cap, increases the SS tax that both you personally AND your business pay. But, again, according to Obama, that’s not fair enough, not patriotic enough.

So, after paying all that, we still only get the same amount back that someone that contributed a fraction of our contributions gets. Uh, yeah, Obama, you’re right... we’re NOT paying our fair share are we? Yeah, I think the idea of gradually transferring all our assets to our kids and living off the system, courtesy of Obama, Biden, and the Porkers, makes a lot of sense. I mean really, why bother trying to get ahead?

Speaking of paying more than our fair share, someone explain to me how we’re not doing that NOW on our income tax returns. If I have an income of $200,000 per year and I’m taxed at 33%, I’m required to pay roughly $66,000 dollars in taxes (yes, that’s an over simplification, and no, that’s not my actual income), whereas someone else earning $30,000, taxed at the 15% rate, will only pay $4500. So in what universe is 33%/$66k NOT more than 15%/$4.5k?!

And let’s not forget that I get to pay college tuitions in full out of my own pocket (currently between $150-200k per child for four years at the average private college) with no tax breaks, while the person who only paid $4500 in taxes could qualify for financial aid for their children. I also don’t qualify for tax breaks such as IRAs, and we’d have to have a pretty devastating illness in order to meet the criteria for deducting medical expenses. And all those “loopholes” that the “wealthy fat cats” use to avoid paying taxes? Somebody point ‘em out to me, okay? No, really, PLEASE point them out because damned if I can find any of them!

Obama Pictures and McCain PicturesAnd to further complicate matters, there’s a whole ‘nuther set of plans to force businesses to be “patriotic” and “fair”. Hell, every time someone wants to finance just about ANYTHING in this country, the standard cry is “Let the greedy corporations pay for it”. Uh, yeah, go back and read what happens when the minimum wage is increased, because every time someone decides that the businesses in this country- small, medium, and large- need to pay for yet another of society’s problems, we create that spiraling out of control economic cluster fuck again. I don’t know what the solution for health care reform is. Hell, I'm paying outrageous premiums even with a $10k deductible! Oh, I have a few suggestions, but there’s one thing I absolutely know for sure— demand mandatory employer paid health care coverage without extreme control over costs, and this country will not exist as we know it today. Epic. cluster. fuck.

You know, as an American, it’s beyond frustrating that the McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden tickets are the best leaders this country could offer us. While I DO tend to vote Republican, I do not consider myself Republican because there are too many issues, such as abortion and stem-cell research, that I disagree with them on. On the flip side, those are just about the only two issues that I CAN agree with the Democratic Party about.

Obama Pictures and McCain PicturesSo, while the McCain/Palin ticket hardly inspires confidence, and the current Republican administration hasn't worked so well these past few years, at least there’s a chance that they won’t fuck up this country so completely that it cannot recover. The Obama/Biden ticket, however, through their apparent ignorance of the Real World, seems to have made that result their goal. Under their leadership, the motivations and incentives to achieve the American Dream will be snuffed out.

Which is why I'll be voting AGAINST an Obama/Biden administration and AGAINST giving the Democrats free rein to "redistribute the wealth" of hard working Americans.

18 comments:

MB (Leah) said...

Hey Bev, I really can't comment too much about what you said because basically I'm so jaded that I take a politician's rhetoric worth a grain of salt. I think they will say anything that they don't really mean just to get elected. Especially now as it's so close. So I don't really listen to them.

And Obama has always been a little too much rhetoric with no basis of reality involved for me.

And it seems to me that there is so much red tape in changing anything in Washington that things get changed very slowly. I think the only reason Bush was able to do so much was because he slipped in and quietly and stealthily passed his issues while the country was in shock and mourning after 9/11. Because if 9/11 hadn't happened and there wasn't that atmosphere that any criticism of the pres or gov. meant that you weren't patriotic, then the Dems would have fought a lot harder on stuff.

So I don't really think that Obama and Biden will be able to institute too much change because even now, the Dems haven't been able to or haven't done much of any kind of change since they gained control of the senate 2 years ago.

I agree that 250K is a ridiculously low amount to be considered "rich" enough to extraly taxed. I consider that to be still well within the middle class range. Higher end, but still middle class. And I do think you're right to be upset because it's always the small to med size business owner who gets screwed.

I'm mainly a Dem but I'm in the Rep camp as far as hand outs to people who are unwilling to work for their money. I've always worked really hard for my money and I get pissed at those who work the system.

But I've also been in a position where I've worked hard but because I'm self employed I have to pay more than the guy working at McDonalds because I have to pay my full SS, and yet I'm not running a business, so I have no right offs.

To be truthful, I don't even count that SS will even be there when I retire. Damn, but I'm so fed up and have no hope about things.

And before I got married and got on DH's insurance, I was happy that Washington state has a relatively well funded Health care system making it reasonable for me to see a Dr. at least. Otherwise I would have had to pay almost 1/2 my monthly salary just for premiums. I just couldn't afford health insurance. As it was, I got even more screwed because you might not know this, but if you don't have health insurance, hospitals and Dr.s charge you full price when insurance companies get away with only paying a percentage of the cost.

So, it's people like me that get caught in the crunch and who would benefit a lot from more Subsidized Gov. money that the Dems propose.

And there are many, many lower middle class families who are barely scraping by who are really hard working but their higher paying jobs have been outsourced and they are now forced to work at lower paying jobs or are unemployed. And these families/people do need help as well.

It's all very complicated and I think there are no easy answers.

Bev(QB) said...

"So I don't really think that Obama and Biden will be able to institute too much change because even now, the Dems haven't been able to or haven't done much of any kind of change since they gained control of the senate 2 years ago."

Which is why having a Democratic Congress AND a Democratic administration is so dangerous-- there are no checks and balances. They can and will vote absolutely anything they want through, because who is gonna stop them? And yes, the reverse can also be true if the Republicans are in control of both sides of the equation, but since that situation usually ends up costing me LESS, I don't complain about that scenario too much. ;-D

But you are also right that often the politicians talk a good game, makes a lot of promises that rouse the crowd into a frenzy, but when they get into office, they turn around and basically say "Oops, looks like I can't do that after all. My bad." I'm really holding out hope that that will be the case with Obama.

"Damn, but I'm so fed up and have no hope about things." That's exactly how I feel, and I'll bet it's how a whole lot of people feel.

"It's all very complicated and I think there are no easy answers." You are so right. Like I said, I'm crunched because of health care costs too. Believe me, it would be fantastic to offer benefits through our store, but it just plain costs too damn much. One solution that makes a lot of sense (which is why it will never happen) is to let businesses, and even individuals, join into larger groups to purchase insurance coverage. The costs would be lower because the risk is spread over the larger group.

Also, those that DO receive public health benefits, should be forced to use those benefits reasonably or else pay the difference. By that I mean, I know for a fact that many, MANY of those receiving Medicaid don't even bother to have their own doctor. If they get a cold, they go to the emergency room. Add in the people who have no health care coverage who also use the ERs as their own private doctors because they can't be refused treatment, and, at least according to the insurance industry, you see the reason that health care costs are out of control. The hospitals pass the cost of treating the uninsured and government insured onto the rest of us.

MB (Leah) said...

"Damn, but I'm so fed up and have no hope about things." That's exactly how I feel, and I'll bet it's how a whole lot of people feel.

Which is what Obama and Biden are speaking to. Just opium for the masses as it were.

One solution that makes a lot of sense (which is why it will never happen) is to let businesses, and even individuals, join into larger groups to purchase insurance coverage.

I think they have that here in Washington, which is how health insurance costs are kept low. I know for individual when I checked into it, it was basically a system in which individuals or very small companies were banded together to keep costs down. I don't know how it works in other states.

By that I mean, I know for a fact that many, MANY of those receiving Medicaid don't even bother to have their own doctor.

Oh don't even get me started on how wasteful medicare is. In my work I deal with people using medicare and many people with tons of money, still get all the benefits of medicare. In fact, one woman I took care of had millions, and yet medicare paid for her hosital bed in the house, an air mattress costing over $1000 a month to rent, a visiting nurse and many medical supplies. The visiting nurse would bring all this crap she didn't need, but because it was in the home, she couldn't take it back to the hospital and medicare was charged.

And the current man I take care of, his wife needed a nebulizer, and so this company kept sending her all these meds cause medicare would pay even though she didn't need it and most of it was thrown out. In fact, there were so many really expensive medical supplies payed for by medicare that I had to throw out because not even the red cross or any other charity would take them. It totally pisses me off.

JenB said...

I think what worries me most about Obama is that he's such a slick talker. He gives great speeches but he essentially SAYS NOTHING.

I don't like McCain, but he's a simple enough person that it's pretty easy to figure out what he's all about. I'd rather have "more of the same" than elect a complete unknown.

Honestly, I already know who I'm voting for...actually, I should say who I'm *not* voting for. So I haven't been watching the news or the debates, and it's really worked wonders for my stress levels.

Bev(QB) said...

"I think they have that here in Washington, which is how health insurance costs are kept low."

Unfortunately, Ohioians are fucked when it comes to insurance. Even doctors are leaving or not moving to this state because their malpractice insurance is so high here.

"In my work I deal with people using medicare and many people with tons of money, still get all the benefits of medicare."
Maybe I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that there is no choice. Once you reach 65(?), you can buy supplemental health insurance but not a full coverage health insurance policy.

But I DO agree that there is a lot of wasteful spending out there on both the patient and the providers sides.

So I haven't been watching the news or the debates, and it's really worked wonders for my stress levels.

First of all, I KNEW there was something I liked about you and MB-- you're both realists, not idealists.

But, yeah, Jen, I watched a few minutes of that debate and I just walked away when it was apparent that it was just going to be more of the same old rhetoric. And I am so sick of the constant accusations back and forth with each side saying the other is lieing. Frankly, with Obama, it's started to seem like, instead of answering the charges, his answer for every acccusation is that it's a lie. Geez, can't SOMEONE out there own up to their mistakes?

Or my favorite is when they take personal credit for something even though I KNOW that one man could NOT be responsible-- a committe or a party, yes, but there's no way they are personally responsible for 1/4 of the shit they take credit for.

Not to mention that it was just becoming more and more apparent that people were watching and not really listening to Obama's polished public speaking style.

Now with John McCain, he may or may not be the right guy, and God knows he comes off as unfocused, but I can only HOPE that his biggest flaw is that he's NOT a polished public performer but instead is a man who gets the job done behind the scenes.

As for Biden and Palin... :sigh:

MB (Leah) said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that there is no choice. Once you reach 65(?), you can buy supplemental health insurance but not a full coverage health insurance policy

Yes, but if you end up in a nursing home or some such thing, then medicare will make you use all of your money first before they will kick in and pay for anything.

Now with John McCain, he may or may not be the right guy, and God knows he comes off as unfocused, but I can only HOPE that his biggest flaw is that he's NOT a polished public performer but instead is a man who gets the job done behind the scenes.

I really liked McCain for prezzi back when he was running against Bush, but I think he screwed up royally by picking Palin. I mean, WTF? It'd be a no brainer for me if he would have picked someone who actually knows what they are doing and has some kind of experience in the ways of Washington politics.

But Biden sucks the big one too. He's too much of a real maverick and roughshods over Obama at times. And although I like Obama, I think he's full of pretty words and like Jen says, nothing substantial and that's how I felt about him from day one and that hasn't changed for me.

It's just not an easy choice. I think I know who I'm voting for, but there is a lot of discomfort in it.

Bev(QB) said...

Yes, but if you end up in a nursing home or some such thing, then medicare will make you use all of your money first before they will kick in and pay for anything.

Oh God, don't get me started about the way this country takes care of its senior citizens. I well know the hoops they made my mother jump through a few years ago, and are STILL making her jump through. While we have an employee who is handed anything and everything she wants because she has two kids (from two different fathers, and is planning a 3rd with yet another guy). I'm talking about the woman buying t-bones and sodas (I know this for a fact) while all my mother, who lives on SS, gets is $10 a month help for food. In order to get her that pittance, plus someone to help her with personal care a few hours a week, she had to sell her home and give away the meager proceeds (all of $20k). Granted, that was the only way we ever would have convinced her to move out of that house that was almost falling down around her, but the point is that seniors are ignored by the system while able bodied younger people are handed the keys to the kingdom. No wonder its become a career aspiration for them!

I really liked McCain for prezzi back when he was running against Bush, but I think he screwed up royally by picking Palin.
Agreed. Oh, I thought she was a brilliant choice after the convention, but it soon became apparent that she is in further over her head than Obama is.

You know, I might still be ready to give Obama a chance if it wasn't for the Democratic Congress. It TRULY frightens me when I think of how much Obama/Biden teamed up with the Dem. Congress can push through without anyone able to stop them. Someone is going to have one helluva mess to clean up in 4 years, assuming it CAN be fixed at all.

Teddy Pig said...

Bev I have not liked both McCain or Obama since they both addressed that Pastors Conference in Southern California. Like it was some theological debate.

When McCain chose Sarah Palin for VP who is an extreme Pentecostal... I cringed. My family is the same brand of religion and my own grandfather is a minister and let's just say I would not let any one of them near a political office unless I wanted serious conversations about Armageddon and the End Times and militia style political views.
Whackadoodles each and every one of them.

So then they both voted for the real economic socialism you are talking about by voting for the 700 billion bailout bill complete with added 100 billion in pork.

That amount of tax payer money going into the pockets of shady executives who ran their corporations into the ground could have provided every American with full health care and probably a nice dental plan.

What do we get instead. Yeah more failed Reaganomics on the scale we have never seen before.

But no I will not vote for McCain. He employed Phil Gramm to be in charge of his campaign, the guy we can blame for the Enron ripoff of California tax payer for 40 billion dollars and now the failure of our banking system to the tune of 700 billion.

So I may not like Obama. I don't think he will actually solve anything now that they have basically guaranteed astronomical debt for our country for ages to come but no I won't go near McCain and wish we had someone else viable to vote for in all honesty.

Bev(QB) said...

wish we had someone else viable to vote for in all honesty.

I'll start there because I could not agree more. What the hell happened to Rudy Gulianni, anyway? Personally, I STILL think it's a shame that Ross Perot went bug fucking nutso, because I think this would be a completely different country if Ross Perot (the international businessman not the batshit crazy Perot) had taken the reins back then. The man had more common sense in one brain cell than the entire Congress has combined.

Now as far as Palin's personal beliefs, well first of all, I agree that the woman just has no business playing in the national arena. But there are some personal beliefs of ANY candidate that just aren't deal breakers for me. The fact is that, no matter their personal beliefs or agendas, there are some issues that they cannot influence.

For instance-- abortion. What a waste of time and resources that issue is! This entire country is never going to agree, so let it go. I don't think the federal government or any politicians should be butting their noses into that issue anyway. It's legal. End of discussion. Now the federal government needs to regulate and oversee it just like any other MEDICAL procedure. Your town doesn't want it performed there? Fine, make it a local ballot issue. But national politicians, no what their personal beliefs, need to quit wasting time and money yammering about it on a national level because BY LAW they cannot do ANYTHING about it.

Anyway, my point there was, I don't care so much about a politicians personal beliefs so much as whether they know the difference between upholding those beliefs on a personal level, and not letting those beliefs effect their decisions on matters of law.

As for who is to blame for the mess we are in now-- I've got to admit that as far as I am concerned, BOTH parties had their chances to rein Fannie and Freddie in and BOTH parties blew it.

I personally choose to see the bailout as an investment that potentially could make a pretty decent profit... eventually. In the meantime, I'm just continuing with my previous investment plans, although the temptation to BUYBUYBUY is there. But damn I can't imagine what it's like for people that need to sell their house or obtain a mortgage for a new house right now!

As for the pork on the bailout bill, that pissed me off to no end that they couldn't even keep there freakin' hands off this one bill! But I honestly did not look to see whose pork it was. With all the wheeling and dealings those asswipes do, I just assumed that there was probably pork from both sides of the aisle, where there should not have been any.

You know, as I said previously, if it wasn't for the dangers of a Democratic Congress teaming up with a Democratic Administration, I too would be more than willing to vote Obama in. But his plans scare me enough that, without anyone able to stop him, I think he's going to create an epic cluster fuck. In fact, yesterday I was told that he wants to tax proceeeds from home sales (BAD, BAD idea), he doesn't agree with the National Anthem and would like to change it, and he wants to reduce American arms so that they are at a level that Muslim countries would not perceive as a threat. WTF?

And with a Democratic Congress, he could actually push that kind of idealist nonsense through!

Teddy Pig said...

But his plans scare me enough that, without anyone able to stop him, I think he's going to create an epic cluster fuck.

Bev, We have had 8 years of Bush. Eight years of Weapons of Mass Destruction that were never there and no bid contracts for Haliburton and the great Gas swindle that we will never see the price go down again under 3 dollars and hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq war and financial meltdown later I don't think we can get any worse.

Hell, at this point I will take different.

Bev(QB) said...

I'm thinking back to how I've voted over the years and how it worked out. So first time was Ford over Carter. I think I was right because Carter's administration was a mess.

Voted for Reagan twice. That worked out. George H.W. Bush over Dukakis, that wasn't a bad move. Voted for Bush again over Clinton. I have to admit that I cast the wrong vote there but made up for it by voting for Clinton for re-election over Dole.

Ah, but that takes us to George W. and Al Gore and then George W. and John Kerry. Like this upcoming election, I was disappointed with the choices we were given and didn't particularly want either one of them. So, when in doubt, I usually vote Republican because I have a better chance of seeing my taxes cut instead of raised.

Besides, and I STILL believe this, George W. seems like the kind of guy you could kick back and have a beer with, while Gore is the human equivalent of chewing aluminum foil and Kerry is just... uh... forgettable. Yeah, I know... odd criteria to base my vote on, but with the choices we had, that's the best I could come up with.

So that brings us to this election and there is NOTHING about my voting for EITHER candidate that feels right. In fact, a vote either way feels downright WRONG, like I'd be making a mistake no matter which one I vote for.

While I too would like a change, it all comes down to that Democratic Congress. Because of them, a Democratic Administration would have few of the checks and balances that serve as a safety net against a Presidents' personal agenda becoming public policy.

And that takes me back to why I reluctantly voted for George W.-- I'll just vote Republican because I have a better chance of seeing my taxes either left alone or cut instead of raised. It's as simple as that and the only factor that makes any sense to me this time around.

MB (Leah) said...

I'll just vote Republican because I have a better chance of seeing my taxes either left alone or cut instead of raised.

See, this is the only thing I liked about this current administration. However, realistically, where is the money going to come from to pay off all the debt that George W and the party has created with their constant spend, spend, spend, while giving tax breaks to one and all?

I really don't know much about national economics and really how it all works, but on a fundamental level, if you keep spending more than what is coming in, there's gonna be hell to pay at a later date and someone is going to have to foot that bill.

I'd rather my taxes go up minimally, incrementally or at least stay the same to keep the national debt on even keel, then to keep having the nice easy going ride that I've had now for the last 8 years and then have to be taxed up the wazzoo in the years to come to deal with it.

See, that's my fear with more years of the republican party ideology. We're going to have the pay the piper at some point and it's gonna hurt. And I'm talking here as a regular average person who is not really that savvy on economics.

Bev(QB) said...

You have a very good point, MB and I agree with you on most of it.

Although, thinking back on George H.W.'s bid for re-election, I believe his downfall was that, after vowing there would be no new taxes, he finally had to concede he was wrong and did raise taxes. Dunno why it's GOOD when Democratics do it, but BAD when Republicans do it though.

But I think it's the decision making process that spells the difference here. On the one hand, if Republicans raise taxes, I would be reasonably sure that A- they did it begrudgingly and B- they wouldn't raise them anymore than needed and hopefully in ways that would spread the hit around.

But the Democrats? Nope, they're not known for taking their time and trying to be reasonable when raising taxes. They make broad strokes and make even broader bullshit rally-the-masses statements to make it sound like only the greedy, evil, wealthy people and the greedy, evil deep-pocketed businesses are gonna take the hit.

Geez, for some asinine reason, people seem to think that every dollar that goes into our cash registers goes straight into our pockets. Would that it were so! Hell, Tim and I took $20K/year pay cuts the last two years and with college tuitions going up big time, that's starting to hurt a bit. But so what cuz we're greedy and evil according to the Dems.

MB (Leah) said...

Dunno why it's GOOD when Democratics do it, but BAD when Republicans do it though.

I think that's because the Republican platform is always "no new taxes." Whereas the Dems don't even claim to not want to tax. So it's more shocking when the republican party turns around and raises taxes.

They make broad strokes and make even broader bullshit rally-the-masses statements to make it sound like only the greedy, evil, wealthy people and the greedy, evil deep-pocketed businesses are gonna take the hit

See, how I hear it, so I can't say how most people hear that kind of talk, for me it's the really, really wealthy and huge conglomerate companies who they are talking about. Basically, 1-2% of the population.

I never think mid-size companies, or even large companies, and certainly not mom and pop or even individual franchise owners.

I think the perception about the republican party, which isn't necessarily true, is that they give huge tax breaks to huge companies, which means that the middle and upper middle class ends up picking up the tab all the time. Once again, I think that is the perception.

And the fact that these huge companies keep going under taking the average stockholder's money with them, along with the the republican platform of no gov. regulation or overseeing of such companies, plus... giving huge tax breaks, perpetuates that perception, which gives the Dems more power in swaying people to the idea that they are getting screwed over.

Frankly, I don't follow political stuff too much and I don't worry too much because what are you gonna do? It can give you heart burn. All you can do is vote and after that, you just gotta deal with what happens. Either way, it's never a perfect world unfortunately.

Bev(QB) said...

See, how I hear it, so I can't say how most people hear that kind of talk, for me it's the really, really wealthy and huge conglomerate companies who they are talking about. Basically, 1-2% of the population.

I never think mid-size companies, or even large companies, and certainly not mom and pop or even individual franchise owners.


Which is the whole point of my original post. When minimum wage is raised, when employer paid health care costs are made mandatory, it effects every business, and therefore every employee of every business. In fact those two costs in particular effect small businesses more than the larger corporations who are more likely to already have wage scales and health care plans set up.

When Capital Gains Tax is raised, or when Lifetime Exemptions are lowered or abolished, that can be a direct determining factor whether an owner sells or simply closes up a business.

Really, if someone reads my post, even if they wander off shaking their head at what an asstard I am, I only hope that what sticks in their head is that business taxes and mandatory costs effect EVERYONE directly or indirectly.

They just have to think it through and apply Real World Common Sense to all the poitical rhetoric about who the "rich fat cats" really are and who the "greedy corporations" really are.

And here's another thing to think about, something we (my husband and I and thousands of other businesses) are already facing:

We pay our employees good wages for our industry. In fact, instead of the turnover that many hardware stores have, our employees seldom leave and their pay has gradually grown out of proportion to the industry standards. So, last January, when we had that huge minimum wage increase, our employees assumed that they would get an increase in line with it. Well, we couldn't do it. And this coming January, it's going up another $.40 and we won't be able to do that. Obama wants to raise it to $9+ an hour which means some of our employees will have to be given raises to bring them UP to minimum wage.

But for the immediate future, we won't be hiring any summer help. Why should we pay some inexperienced high school kid $7.40 an hour? So, he can just figure out how to get money some other way-- let's hope it's legal, huh?

And eventually, once minimum wage closes in on some of our experienced employees current wages, we'll probably just have to get rid of them and make do with a smaller staff. Believe me, we don't want to do that AT ALL.

MB (Leah) said...

Bev, I hear exactly what you are saying and I agree to a degree. I think what gets most people, and why Obama can get away with talking like he does because I really don't think he will be able to enact all that he's saying even with an all dem system, is that we see on the news every day about some CEO of a huge company getting $1,000,000 plus in salary in and bennys while the average employee of those companies are getting minimum wage or slightly higher and then these same CEOs are tanking the company leaving the average schmoe with zip, while he and the uber echelon walk away with a mint.

I can see though where small companies, mom and pop type places, are just barely scraping by and are having a hard time keeping their employees and make some kind of profit on top, which they deserve and worked hard for.

Then I look at how back in 1976, I was making $6.45 p/hour, belonging to a union and how my rent was only $300, and how gas was $.60 per/gallon and so on. Minimum wage was I think $3.15. You get the picture. Now, minimum wage is more than double what it was, but gas, rent, food and basic necessities are more than tripled or quadrupled. It's literally impossible to make ends meet on a minimum wage salary without gov help, especially if you have a family, and so I also see that point of view.

In my personal case, both DH and I make above industry standards and we spend way within our means and so we are lucky and doing fine. And I do like that we don't have a marriage tax because we took all those things into account before getting married, what was more beneficial and such financially.

So, I can see your point of view exactly and know that raising taxes and minimum wage in fact hurts even more because that's one less job that a small company can offer putting more people into the system of needing help.

It's a vicious cycle. And really, I don't have any answers. I wish I could ease your fears in this.

I felt your same fears about an all republican administration 8 years ago, but for different reasons. More important to me are my civil rights and such, which I was scared would be ripped from me and I was right. But, I'm still alive and even though the country is in the tanker at the moment, I know that's going to change as it ever does,although I just don't know if it's for the better. All I can do is deal with how it is and work the system as best I can with what is going on.

Bev(QB) said...

It's a vicious cycle.

I'm only quoting that one small statement because it sums up everything else you said. You and I don't have the answers, but the really scary part is that the people that SHOULD have the answers, DON'T. Or at least if they do, they aren't sharing the answers with us.

Now this past weekend, both candidates have basically admitted that they have BOTH been running shitty campaigns and that the back and forth ""Did not... Did to... You lie... Do Not... Do Too" arguing about the past isn't helping anyone make a decision. They've promised to clean up their acts and get more specific about their plans for the future.

So, we'll see. But dammit, they damn well better go beyond this "greedy corporation"/ "rich fat cat" rhetoric and instead tell us SPECIFICALLY how OTHER businesses and the rest of America are going to benefit or be affected by their economic plans.

MB (Leah) said...

I agree. Specifics are sorely lacking. Especially where Obama is concerned.