So it looks like Obama will be the Democrat's choice for '08. I am a Republican at heart, but try to always give all the candidates a fair look. I went to Obama's website to see what this guy is all about.
I'm not impressed.
First, props where they are due. The guy is clearly charismatic, likable and a very good speaker. However, I think that is where the Obamania comes from, because beneath that I see little substance. It seem to me that most of his pitch is "change", "hope" and rah-rah. When you start to dig into his ideas and policies, one thing becomes clear - he wants to tax us out of whatever ails us. Every issue I read about talked about more taxes, primarily to the "rich". Democrats always seem to talk about this huge number of "rich" people, and how they seem to be getting away with financial (or, at least, tax) murder. Who are these people?
Oh shit, it's me!
Depending on which person you listen to, if you make about $100k AGI you're "rich". WHAT?!? No, I'm not there yet, but I'm getting dangerously close. Am I rich? I don't think I'm bad off at all, but I think very few would say I'm rich. Aside from that, why should people with higher incomes pay even more taxes? The top 10% of earners pay 70% of taxes, and the top 50% pay almost 97%!
Now, I know it's not all that simple, but I do think it's an important fact. Again, I'm not "rich" (or am I?) but here is an example:
I contribute to a 401k, and, of course, pay my taxes (income and payroll) just like anyone else. Because I pretty much know that SS is fucked, I see it as money wasted (I will likely not see much ROI) and consider my 401k a "self imposed retirement tax", so to speak. That is, since I know that SS is fucked I am required, as a fiscally responsible person, to save for myself.
All told, after taxes and saving, I take home about 50% of my check, and that does not include health insurance payments. Sounds pretty close to confiscatory to me.
Here's the kicker.
He wants to increase spending on social programs, and cut taxes to "average Americans" (whoever that is). How can you do that? Obamagic? Either that, or the tax increase to the rich folks is going to be HUGE.
All that said, when I see an Obama who basically says he’ll tax me even more, I get a bit antsy, particularly when it’s for providing child care and the like, which I feel the federal government has no business in.
I'm not really a McCain fan, either, but once again I'm picking the lesser of two evils, IMO. I'm not buying the hype, the Obamania, and don't trust Obamagic. Ya know, if the Libertarians weren't so wing-nutty, I just might jump ship on the GOP. And that hurts me.