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by Rachel Alexander | October 16th, 2008
If he wins the election, the only satisfaction we'll get is when he fails to give 95% of voters a tax break, and raises taxes on those making as little as $42,000, as McCain has predicted. Then we'll vote him out of office after one term, just like the voters did with George H.W. Bush for failing to keep his promise regarding not raising taxes.
In last night's third presidential debate, Obama won on style, but McCain won on substance. Obama championed his promise that he would give 95% of working families tax cuts – in addition to an extension of the Bush tax cuts. Currently facing the biggest deficit in history, over half a trillion dollars, and considering that 38% of working families currently pay no income taxes, this promise is a bald-faced lie. Unfortunately, most Americans don't have the time to do the research to figure this out. A debate format is not a conducive environment for explaining complex economic issues, which tends to hurt Republicans. It's easy to trump the Democrat platform in a couple of soundbites, "We're going to give you x,y, and z." It takes quite a few more sentences to explain why it's not possible to play Santa Claus with others' money.
Obama has been labeled the most liberal Senator in the U.S. Senate by National Journal. The amount of spending he is promising is going to make Bush look like a fiscal conservative. Obama criticized McCain for voting for four of Bush's five budgets, and said a McCain administration would give us "eight more years of the same thing." It was incredulous to hear him turn this around. Obama voted against those budgets because he wanted budgets that would have spent even more money, not the other way around.
If conservative policies are so bad, then why is Obama touting an astronomical level of tax cuts, a Republican solution? Apparently even the Democrats admit that when liberal policies like runaway spending get us into fiscal crises, it takes conservative policies to get us out.
The winner of the evening was "Joe the plumber," a small businessman McCain talked about who had spoken with Obama about how his tax hikes would affect him. Obama could not deny this.
McCain confronted Obama about the wasteful earmarks he had obtained as a Senator. Instead of acknowledging that earmarks contribute to our massive budget debt, Obama minimized them, saying that they only account for a small percentage of the budget.
McCain did a great job of confronting Obama about his association with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Obama was forced to discuss his relationship with the man who bombed the U.S. Capitol and Pentagon. Obama tried to minimize it, but didn't deny it.
When McCain asked Obama whether he would punish people who chose not to purchase healthcare insurance, Obama ducked the question, saying that he would exempt small businesses from providing healthcare for their employees. He never answered whether folks in their 20's who make a conscious decision to avoid buying healthcare insurance while healthy would be exempt. He kept emphasizing that employers are responsible for healthcare, but never explained why. It would be a lot cheaper for everyone if we could choose our healthcare program piece by piece through the private market, just like we choose car insurance or home insurance, instead of forcing us to go with the limited one-size-supposedly-fits-all options our employers offer.
The candidates were asked about how they would reduce dependence on foreign oil. McCain emphasized offshore drilling. Obama said he would give tax breaks to U.S. auto companies in order to keep jobs in the U.S. This didn't make much sense, considering the economy has become so international, foreign auto companies like Honda have plants in the U.S. and U.S. auto companies similarly have parts made overseas. More symbolism than substance.
The last topic of the debate was abortion. McCain pointed out that Obama is so liberal that he voted against a ban on partial-birth abortion in the Illinois Senate. Even Congress was able to agree and pass a ban on partial-birth abortion. Obama claimed that the bill didn't have an exception for the health of the mother. McCain retorted that the "health of the mother" is a ruse that can be used to justify almost anything, it's broader than "to protect the life of the mother." Obama showed his immaturity at losing that argument and swore, which was bleeped out on TV.
The best part of the debate came at the end, when McCain in a Freudian slip referred to Obama as "Senator Government" instead of Senator Obama.
Because Obama was so slick during the debate, to the average ill-informed voter he probably came across the winner. If he wins the election, the only satisfaction we'll get is when he fails to give 95% of voters a tax break, and raises taxes on those making as little as $42,000, as McCain has predicted. Then we'll vote him out of office after one term, just like the voters did with George H.W. Bush for failing to keep his promise regarding not raising taxes.