Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's All About The Spin


I really don't want to get into a big political discussion on this, but earlier today I was talking with my Mom (who happens to be a hard line conservative and apparently has become enamored with Palin) and she was telling me that she heard if Obama is elected he will raise everyone's taxes. I've heard this talking point before and frankly it bothers me a bit that she's so willing to believe everything being espoused by some of the right wing talking points. In this particular instance I feel the right is being more than a bit disingenuous when they claim Obama is going to raise everyone's taxes. Maybe they never say "everyone's", but they certainly want you to believe that's the case. The graphic above is a depiction of the tax plans for both candidates. As you can see McCain wants to lower everyone's taxes across the board, but the wealthiest get the biggest break and poorest get next to nothing. Obama's plan only raises taxes on the top 1%. And for the people with the least money it lowers taxes more than McCain's plan. Based only on this I think I can dispute the idea that Obama is planning on raising everyone's taxes. Now I can see how if you're in that top 0.1% Obama's plan doesn't look too appealing (11.5% is a big jump). And if anyone out there wants to perform a social experiment and give me a several million dollar a year income in order to determine if my views will change if I am actually in the top 0.1% category, then by all means let's perform that experiment.

The fact of the matter is both campaign parties are guilty of playing a bit fast and loose with the truth at times to try and make the other side look bad. I feel it's our duty and obligation as voting stewards to try and cut through the spin and look at the issues objectively, and frankly you can't do that if you take everything someone says as a talking point as gospel. So instead of parroting information you've heard someone else spout, if you feel it's an important point then take some time to investigate and get the facts for yourself.

5 comments:

CAPT_Sawyer said...

Scott Adams just paid out of his own pocket to have 500 economists evaluate both candidates. The results are here. Pretty interesting.

I think anyone who just votes purely along party lines without any critical thought deserves what they get. Oh, wait - that's how we got the train-wreck of Bush.

JamesF said...

Ben showed me the Scott Adams stuff yesterday (he showed me the CNN link, but I think it's the same stuff). It was pretty interesting, but I had a hard time digesting exactly what I was suppose to get from it. I get the fact that when you look at it from the fuzzy non-specific angle most results came out in favor of Obama. But I also came away with stuff like an economist's political leanings shape their opinion, or alternatively an economists opinion shape their political leaning (this would account for when the economists specified a party affiliation there was a > 80% chance they would have opinions that supported that party). I also came away with there seem to be a lot more Democratic economists than there are Republican ones (almost 3 to 1).

I'm not posting this trying to necessarily advocate one candidate or the other, the only point I was trying to make was you can investigate these guys on your own rather than taking point spin from a pundit with obvious political leanings as gospel. In this case it was analyzing the "Obama will raise everyone's tasking". Ironically enough my Mom's response to this was to send me a link to a Glenn Beck web page smearing Obama. *sigh*

I have my own opinion that probably shows through, but I don't want to try and force that opinion on others. I will add I consider myself a non party affiliated moderate. And I actually voted for McCain in the 2000 primaries, mainly because I agreed with him on a wide variety of issues, unfortunately McCain of 2008 doesn't hold the same stance on almost any of those same issues that 2000 McCain did. No big surprise that he changed a bit since he didn't get much in the way of party support with those opinions in 2000.

Willy C said...

McCain's opinions change with the position of the sun in the sky and he seems as easy to manipulate as a piece of clay. Also, if he gets elected(god forbid), he's going to spend the majority of his term trying tame his new "pit bull" Palin(who's as corrupt as they come), rather than living up this new "mover and shaker" persona he's laying claim to....

hamchick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CAPT_Sawyer said...

I was all ready to post a response to hamchick but it looks like she removed her post.