Tag: 2008 Presidential Election

Logipundit’s take on the election.

I’ll be brief as possible:

I’m astounded at the “hope and optimism” line from the left on this.  It’s as if everything was riding on it.  Our whole existence depended on the ascension (and I do mean ascension) of ONE MAN.  If the old white guy had gotten elected–a thousand years of darkness.

The biggest difference between the majority of people supporting McCain this election and those supporting Obama is this:

Obama wins, crying and laughing and cheering in the streets…all over the world.  If McCain had won, all you would have heard was a huge sigh of relief all over America.

Don’t get me wrong, Obama won and he won big, and there are reasons for his winning big.  And as Johnny pointed out, there was only reasons to vote AGAINST him fewer reasons to vote FOR the other guy.  But Obama didn’t win on “the issues” and anyone who thinks so is in a dream world.  The next time I hear a “Progressive” tell me that we need to stop the evil politics and focus on “the issues” might simply get a punch in the face.  This is evidence, case in point, that issues do not matter anymore.  Even his acceptance speech had NO policies in it.  It was all about hope, change, optimism, love and happiness.

One thing is for certain.  The ‘Pundit has just upgraded himself from political philosopher to political activist.

More to come on that…

Delinking Health Insurance from Employment wouldn’t be all bad.

A brief article on the history of why the healthcare system got to where it is, and why the McCain plan is actually the only one of the two (between his and Obama’s) that can truly accomplish anything:  by putting more control back in the hands of the consumer instead of simply shifting control from EVIL Insurance companies to the ALL-LOVING Federal Government.

Mr. Jacoby is very explicit in explaining the history of the problem:

During World War II, federal wage controls barred employers from raising their workers’ salaries, but said nothing about fringe benefits. So firms competing for employees at government-restricted wages began offering medical insurance to sweeten employment offers. Even sweeter was that employers could deduct those benefits as business expenses, yet employees didn’t have to report them as taxable income. For a while the IRS resisted that interpretation, but Congress eventually enshrined the tax-exempt status of employer-based medical insurance in law.

Result: a radical shift in the way Americans paid for medical care. With health benefits tax-free if they were employer-supplied, tens of millions of Americans were soon signing up for medical insurance through work. As tax rates rose, so did the incentive to keep expanding health benefits. No longer was medical insurance reserved for major expenditures like surgery or hospitalization. Americans who would never think of using auto insurance to cover tune-ups and oil changes grew accustomed to having their medical insurer pay for yearly physicals, prescriptions, and other routine expenses.

Now, I actually don’t agree with the part of McCain’s proposal that taxes employer-based coverage.  I’m more interested in parity (making sure that individuals get the same tax cut), than I am a punitive approach.  But it at least cuts at the core of the problem: the individual has been left out of the process for far too long.  It’s actually just a little too harsh.

I preferred the plan that President Bush proposed in a State of the Union address a few years ago (seems like so long ago), and that was a tax-credit (and a pretty sizable one, if I recall) for those participating in Consumer-Driven (High-Deductible) Health Plans.  That would have accomplished a lot as far as getting more control of costs back in the hands of the consumer without giving a Democratic contender ammunition to call the Republican contender a tax-hiker.

(Mirrored on gcfin.com.)

Joe the Plumber

In case you guys haven’t seen it, here is the entire exchange between Joe the Plumber and Barack Obama. Watch the whole thing and listen carefully as Obama explains to Joe why he had to work too hard to get where he is, but because of where he is Obama has to make sure that the businesses coming behind him (his competition, for instance) shouldn’t have to work so hard:

Then Obama adeptly (God he’s good) leaves the audience with the impression that “Hey, he might even pay LESS in taxes because he’ll get that Capital Gains tax break.” What a bunch of poppycock. It’s a plumbing company. The odds of his having any real capital gains (other than possibly real estate) is almost NILL until he sells the company. Obama knew better than to think he’d convince Joe with this shell game (“Think back ten years ago”–HA), but he did manage to convince the sycophants in the audience.

And again, I’ll say, neither Obama nor McCain has any real economic acumen, but it’s obvious from this little exchange that Obama feels that the Government should be the arbiter of how much money is too much money, and how successful is too successful, and how much hard work is just too much hard work. Punish ability and reward need. It’s Marxism at its best, and as Mr. Marx himself said, it all starts with a heavily progressive income tax.

To further illustrate the point, listen to Joe Biden tell us that he doesn’t have any Joe the Plumbers in his neighborhood:

The only people that are important to Joe the Biden is Joe the cop, Joe the teacher, Joe the whatever. Joe the Plumber is not important, because Joe the Plumber can create his own job. Joe the Plumber should be taken for all that he is worth (I can hear it now, “it’s only a few thousand dollars–he can afford it!”), so Joe the whatever else can feel that much more grateful to Uncle Sam for his well being.

Democrats need a lesson in humility and respect.

These are a couple of excellent articles (here and here, registration required and recommended) from Clive Crook at the Financial Times.  He points out how obviously the Liberal Elite and the Democratic party hold in low regard the very people they purportedly are so ardently representing.  A couple of excerpts:

Democrats speak up for the less prosperous; they have well-intentioned policies to help them; they are disturbed by inequality, and want to do something about it. Their concern is real and admirable. The trouble is, they lack respect for the objects of their solicitude. Their sympathy comes mixed with disdain, and even contempt.

Democrats regard their policies as self-evidently in the interests of the US working and middle classes. Yet those wide segments of US society keep helping to elect Republican presidents. How is one to account for this? Are those people idiots? Frankly, yes – or so many liberals are driven to conclude. Either that or bigots, clinging to guns, God and white supremacy; or else pathetic dupes, ever at the disposal of Republican strategists. If they only had the brains to vote in their interests, Democrats think, the party would never be out of power. But again and again, the Republicans tell their lies, and those stupid damned voters buy it.

And…

Efforts to smear the governor proceed at a frantic pace. My guess would be that there are now more journalists on assignment in Alaska than bothered to turn up for the Republican convention in St Paul, sifting through dustbins, interrogating Palin family acquaintances (extra credit for those with a grievance) and subjecting Ms Palin’s expenses claims to a fanatical scrutiny which I dare say their own record-keeping, or that of most senators, might not withstand.

Of course, they will find things. They may even find something important. But the sheer swarming zeal for trivial malfeasance and family embarrassments is rapidly raising the bar for impropriety. I think that many voters – and not just committed Republicans – find this whole spectacle disgusting, so on top of everything else Ms Palin is now getting a sympathy vote.

I, like the author, can’t help but laugh at the trap that the Democrats have walked into here.  It’s very simply a microcosm and expose on their attitudes in general.  It’s particularly amazing to me when I have conversations with supporters of Obama (you know who you are) who accuse McCain and Palin (and all their EVIL minions) of deliberately and consistently manipulating and fooling the American people into following them.  As if their beliefs have absolutely no value in and of themselves, it’s simply the Republican machine grabbing power.  You can’t simply disagree with the Liberal viewpoint, you simply must be too dense and stupid to grasp it.  There’s an astounding sense of intellectual snobbery matched by a decided lack of intellectual depth that continually boggles the mind.

The further irony (as Mr. Crook adeptly points out) is that Obama himself would never abide by this nonsense.  If his latest book is any indication, he seeths at the concept of insulting an entire group of people based on their beliefs.  And even though his campaign has eventually made its way into a predictable and depressing class warfare stump speech, I believe as the author does that his initial reaction to Palin was the right one, and it was a sincere one.  Unfortunately, the undeniable support he receives from the media is not matched by a solid control of it, and he couldn’t stop them from descending on Wasila like a pack of wild Banshees trying to find crazy preachers and 2nd grade classmates of Palin who would talk bad about her.

Obama in Berlin…equal and united.

The speech was OK, until this part:

This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.

This’s undoubtedly a little scary, and the number one reason why I don’t trust Mr. Obama with my foreign policy OR my economy. This sort of pap is the quickest route to the end of American dominance, which in my humble opinion, is a bad thing. The flaw in “equality politics” domestically and internationally is so obvious that it shouldn’t require explanation: The lowest common denominator becomes the ideal, which is the opposite of what has made America, or Americans, successful. Rewarding need instead of ability is the beginning of the end.

Europe is actually becoming more American, though. There was an article the other day (which I simply can’t find now…I’m slacking, apparently) that detailed all the conservative fiscal moves that Europe has been making lately (Sarkozy, cutting corporate taxes, etc., etc.), in order to compete. Obama might find that (as Giulliani pointed out months ago after reading Sarkozy’s book) that an American move toward European policies might meet them in the middle of the Atlantic.