Thursday, October 23, 2008

A few questions about "straight talk"

Are Americans so cowed by the very rich, or just ignorant?
Why would a proposal to make the ultra-rich pay their fair share of taxes and working slobs like us pay less "socialism"?
Why, when even conservative, god-fearing Parade magazine pointed out that regular people would pay less in taxes under Obama's plan do people still not get that?
Why does no one "remember" that when Obama answered Joe the Plumber's question, he pointed out that Joe himself would pay less in taxes under his plan?
Why do many people seem to be deliberately ignoring the facts in favor of the almost cartoonish blatherings of the McCain-Palin campaign?
Too bad we can't tax ignorance, then maybe people would start informing themselves.

1 comment:

Matt McSorley said...

A few observations. You're on to something here but I see a few nuances.

1. If he's smart, Obama is lashing himself with a wet noodle for using the words "spread the wealth around" in what was an otherwise productive and informative discussion. Sadly, most folks have only seen the 60-second Joe the Plumber video and not the full 5-minute discussion in which Obama demonstrated his command of the issue and the "spread the wealth around" line was sort of a throwaway. Like it or not, though, when you use words like "spread the wealth around," you're gonna get tagged as a socialist. What could be even more damaging to Obama is the 2001 radio interview where he seemed to suggest that the Supreme Court should have involved itself in areas of redistribution of wealth. That possibly makes a much stronger case that Obama is more liberal than any presidential candidate we've seen to date.
2. For better or worse, most Americans have a core set of principles and the whole rugged individualist notion is one of them. Now, we can all poke holes in that all day long (e.g. there's no rugged individualism in leveraging money 30-to-1 on side bets -- SIDE BETS, FOR GOD'S SAKE!!! -- on overvalued mortgages and then asking Uncle Sam to clean up your mess. But I digress.) but it's part of the American story. And it seems to me that some folks are willing to vote that principle, even if doing so will isn't going to benefit them.
3. The smart way for Obama and Democrats to go is to make the case that tax and economic policy as presently constituted redistributes wealth upward and that their ideas are just one way of leveling that effect. Get some smart accountants on that who can make the numbers say whatever you want them to say.

But, yes, at the end of the day it seems that, what, 80 percent of Americans would do better under the Obama proposal than McCain's? I think most people know that and that's one reason Obama will win next week.