Craig Baltz's Blog

Craig's personal ramblings

Final thoughts on election

Posted by craigbaltz on November 10, 2008

Now that the ruckus has subsided I guess I can document my feelings on the election.

I’m a little ashamed that I didn’t vote.  I think I didn’t vote out of habit at this point.  It’s been so long since I cared enough to take time out of my day to physically go vote, I just think it’s become normal for me.  I just moved back from Alaska, and didn’t do the legwork to vote absentee, and I wasn’t registered in California so I couldn’t vote here.  But, those are excuses.  It wasn’t really until a few days before the election that I committed to supporting Obama, and it wasn’t until the day before the election that I could actually name enough specific issues that made it worthy of my time to want to vote, and by then it was too late to do anything about it. 

It isn’t that I think McCain is a bad guy.  In the realm of political candidates of the 21st century, he’s actually not bad.  I believe him to be pretty honorable.  He is a stronger man than I could ever hope to be.  He has ideas of his own and is able to stray from the confinement of his party.  He is able to work with members of the other party, which in this day and age is invaluable.  He lost me on three main issues.  First, taxes and the economy.  The Republican idea of shoveling all the money to the top and hoping it trickles downhill doesn’t work anymore (if it ever did) due to corporate greed, and the excesses of the wealthy.  Second, the war.  I can’t support anybody who has the intention of keeping our troops in Iraq any longer.  We’re done.  We don’t need to be there.  They don’t want us there.   We don’t need to spend one more dollar, or lose one more life there.  Third, free trade.  McCain is huge free trade supporter and thinks we need more agreements like NAFTA.  NAFTA is a disaster for the U.S.  It’s fantastic for Mexico and Canada, it’s a nightmare for the U.S.  Our economy is in shambles and we need to do everything we can to keep jobs here and even regain what we have lost.  What are we POSSIBLY going to gain with free trade agreements with other poor Central American countries?  Rich companies gain because of dirt poor labor and higher profits, and real American people lose jobs.

Barrack Obama has an incredible opportunity.  Humorously, like no other, he is perfectly setup to succeed.  Everything is screwed up.  Anything he gets done will be a bonus, everything that goes wrong he can blame on Bush.  Seriously he would have to screw up big time to make anything worse.  He has a friendly House and Senate to work with and the support of the American people.  It remains to be seen if he can be an effective president.   I hope he is.  He is an incredible public speaker.  He speaks brilliantly and with complete confidence.  He says all the right things.   I hope he can do half of what he says.

As far as the election itself my two favorite statistics, being a white male, were that 60% of the people that voted for Obama were white, and that he won Iowa.  Iowa is 91% caucasian.  I lived in Iowa and it is a VERY conservative, traditional, dare I say racist place.  At least the small town I lived in was.  The entire country needs him to be a great leader.  Not just black Americans.  I know I need a job and there are none here.

8 Responses to “Final thoughts on election”

  1. Brian S. Lumberg said

    Craig, While I believe you put a lot of effort into your research, your sources seem to have failed you on this point. You say “The Republican idea of shoveling all the money to the top and hoping it trickles downhill doesn’t work anymore (if it ever did) due to corporate greed, and the excesses of the wealthy.” If you check the facts behind this issue, you will find that quite the opposite has happened in the last eight years. Especially, within the realm of federal power, where fiscal policy is concerned. What you hear repeated over and over is “tax cuts for the rich”, when the greatest income tax rate reductions were at the lowest income levels, through both rounds of cuts.

    I give President Bush a B for his first term, and a D for his second. As for Senator McCain, I also could not bring myself to vote for him. He seems to be OK with disregarding the U.S. Constitution, when it gets in the way of his political course. The McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform bill is a prime example. However, what Senator Obama has demonstrated through his actions in the past show someone that not only disregards the Constitution, but gives the impression he has not yet read it. That coupled with his lack of understanding of basic macroecononic principles make him possibly dangerous at the head of the executive branch.

    The candidate in this election that was closest to my positions was Bob Barr. I’ve always been more of a libertarian at heart anyway.

    Love the blog idea. It’s a great way to vent!

  2. Here is the deal.
    The government is too big. It taxes us too much. It spends too much. It borrows too much. Period. Now, if you disagree then the following statements have no merit.
    I have NEVER supported the second Desert War(Iraq). Why Bush was terrible is because he spent money he didn’t have, and didn’t try to raise. He basically put off the bill for future generations. BTW, the $700 dollar Wall Street bailout is the same thing..no new taxes, no cut programs but more borrowed money. Democrats have been labeled the tax and spend party for the last 40 years, but Republicans have acted far worse over the past 8. The spent and didn’t tax. Spend and borrow.

    Obama wants to spend the money differently, but he still wants to spend it. He does have some ideas about raising revenue by repealing the BUSH tax cuts, but he offsets these gains with tax breaks to the middle class.

    I’m sorry, but Ron Paul makes more and more sense everyday—and he was routinely smirked at during the Republican debates. He was anti war and fiscally conservative. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/11/paul.republican/index.html?iref=newssearch

    If you remember right, Ross Perot was able to get almost 20% of the vote running a very poor campaign on the key issue of Balanced budget and no federal debt. Clinton was able to do this basically because of pressure from the Republican congress and the huge federal tax revenues of the first dot com rush.

    Gore, Clinton, and now maybe Obama have it right, the next great growth sector will be GREEN tech, it will need government support and incentives at first, but once it takes off it will dramatically change our economy.

    Line item veto for the president. A balanced budget amendment. And a complete overhaul of the 100 year old taxing system. Mike Huckabee is right about a value added taxing system that is fair. Why don’t these changes take place…ask yourself who benefits from the present system.

  3. Brian S. Lumberg said

    Patrick,

    Three cheers for your last paragraph. The Fair Tax proposal makes more sense than any other I see out there. The problem is that the current tax system is what makes it worth while to buy members of congress. The crooked members, which I feel are in the majority in both houses, would never let this be taken away. Change that, and you would have REAL campaign finance reform.

    I disagree with your comment “He does have some ideas about raising revenue by repealing the BUSH tax cuts, but he offsets these gains with tax breaks to the middle class.” Raising income and capital gains tax rates has historically caused a reduction in revenue, not an increase. Since the largest income tax rate reductions in the “Bush” tax cuts were on the lower end of the income scale, the “tax breaks to the middle class” would happen most easily by leaving the Bush tax cuts in place.

    The government is too big. It does tax too much. Most of what the feds are doing, is outside the authority granted it in the U.S. Constitution. I don’t believe either Senator McCain or Senator Obama could take the oath of office without crossing their fingers behind their back. Big government Republicans and tax and spend Democrats in congress have gotten us into this mess. Not only over the past 8 years, but over the past 13, at least. Study the economic moves made in the late 20s and through the 30s, and you see what is happening now. Hoover gave us the big downturn and FDR gave us the Great Depression. Now there is Bush as Hoover, and Obama as FDR. Not a promising outlook, unless the president elect becomes quickly enlightened and changes course.

  4. Brian,
    Regardless of how one views the Bush tax cuts, the main problem is this–revenue has not come close to spending increases. The same is about to happen in my state of CA. The only way for CA to balance the budget, which now seems to be going up to $33 billion in the hole is to raise revenue with a tax increase and cut spending at the same time. The problem with this is that we are in a recession and that will only acerbates the problem. I work for public schools, and I predict this right now…my union and district will be in a fight about how much money the district has(this is a yearly argument in good times and bad) Teachers will probably get no raise, but have to contribute more for benefits(a net reduction in salary) I also foresee a workforce reduction this time. These things will happen throughout the public sector in 2009 just has the country comes out of recession. Government employees always trail the private sector by about a year. The market at 8500 is undervalued, the market any lower than that is ridiculously undervalued and if you have cash..buy stocks now. It may well be the recovery will be as fast as the fall. But, 2009 is going to be a rocky ride.

  5. Brian S. Lumberg said

    Patrick,
    I can disagree with nothing you say there. The only question I have is on your assumption the recession will pass in 2009. I see no indication that the natural economic cycle will be allowed to occur. If the feds weren’t increasing their involvement in private (as opposed to government) businesses, I would see this recession as shallow and short lived, as you do. Their tinkering, to me, will delay the bottom, and extend the recession.

    Where state economies are concerned, the people seem to create the situations they want in their states, as it should be. In California, with my limited knowledge of the details, the majority of the voters have voiced their opinions that the state treasury should be used for many purposes. Because of these increased expenditures, they should expect a larger state tax burden. That’s reasonable, and most likely, authorized under the California Constitution. At the federal level, the increased expenditures are, for the most part, outside the authority granted in the U.S. Constitution. These increased expenditures, and accompanying tax burden, are unreasonable.
    As you have stated, we may have a different perspective on recent fiscal policy. I believe, however, that we have much common ground in our overall philosophy. It’s nice to have a reasonable discussion. In many forums, it quickly degrades to name calling.

  6. mike akers said

    I voted and i voted for obama, the republicans for the last eight years raped our country especially with the last one on gas prices there was no reason for those prices to be that hi when the storm hit down south they claim it wrecked all the oil production facilities which may have been true to some extent but the facts are this, i worked in the oil fields back in the seventies any damaged done to any oil platforms were fixed all most emmediatly but the fact that bush let the oil companies raise prices like that and kept them there for a year or more shows you what a thief he is and was since his family does have oil interests, and the to top it off the thief and his friends are giving the wall street thiefs money also but we cant help the auto industry?? they em[loy more people then wall street,to me most all politians have sold out the american public,the oil companies should have been charged with racketeering etc.. i am getting more pissed by the moment thinking about how the american people have let themselves be ripped off so badly hopefully this will change somewhat with obama i know he cannot change everything but firing some people and bringing others to the justice courts to make make them accountable it just seems to me to many people are to lazy to stand up to our politicians rember if you dont like it vote them out get involved its the only thing that will bring change well enough i better get back to my online poker later dazess lol

  7. Brian S. Lumberg said

    Wow, Mike, where to begin?
    1. “bush let the oil companies raise prices like that and kept them there for a year or more shows you what a thief he is”
    The president, by design, has no authority to control prices set by businesses for their products and services. President Bush did not “let” them raise prices.
    2. “the thief and his friends are giving the wall street thiefs money”
    The president, by design, has no authority to spend money from the federal treasury. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, currently under Democrat majority. Many ethically challenged Republicans also voted for this abomination, once the pork was added to their benefit.
    3. “we cant help the auto industry??”
    The previously detailed spending bill was wrong. Therefore, an auto industry bailout is also wrong. Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution lists the 18 things the U.S. Congress has authority to do. Taking money from the treasury and giving it to non-governmental businesses is NOT on the list.
    4. “the oil companies should have been charged with racketeering”
    The profit margin for “the oil companies” is around 8.5 or 9 percent. This is not outrageous. The publishing industry has a profit margin over 25%. Should Time Warner also be charged with racketeering? When the price is high, “the oil companies” will make more money. When the price is low, “the oil companies” will make little money. I paid $1.76 per gallon to fill up this morning, and Bush is still the president. Did he set that price?
    5. “hopefully this will change somewhat with obama i know he cannot change everything but firing some people and bringing others to the justice courts to make make them accountable”
    The president, by design, does not have hire and fire privileges within non-governmental businesses.
    I hope you do well in your online poker endeavors. You might want to bury your winnings in your back yard for a few years.

  8. mike akers said

    ok i dont know if my last comments got deleted by myself i think i hit the wrong button anyways in response there is nothing wrong with anybody making profits an oil company with and 8.5 or 9 pecent margin nothing wrong at but when as i think it was the wall street journal to qoute them said in a tracking study that for the last year the oil companies made more profit this last year then all of the corporations combined in the hisotry of the united states now i dont care who you are thats going over board and even so that would not have been to big a deal if it did not directly impact the way almost every human on this continent and other places depend on auto mobiles and other modes of transportation to move themselves and and products around the world evry body now days has an argument one way or another for or against whats going on with our goverment it wasnt so long ago that the federal goverment broke up ma bell because they were getting to big and powerful now there a dozen different companies you can chose from a problem with the oil companies is that they work in collusion to keep prices high or drop them which is called racketering look up the defininftion fits nicely with those oil companies and yes the goervment can step in when they want to theve been doing it for years in many different aspects of the private secto they just use different quotes or sayings as to what applies and what doesnt laws as we used to know them dont really apply any more you can quote the constitution but the goverment can side step it amy time it wants. and again to bring up this point we have not found any new sources of oil weve been getting it from the same place the washout in new orelans on the oil derricks was justa simple smokescreen to raise and keep prices high and it was the main problem that wiped out out our economy when you take out an average of 200 to 400 dollars a month out of every single person that drives a car for a year if not more in some cases that is what hurts the economy, people dont need a degree in bussiness to understand whats working in the economy and whats not and you dont need to be genius to to smell shit when some thing stinks like bail outs for white collar thieves its still smells like shit college educated or not rember we did have a revolution in this country from england and what was the problem there taxes, lol rich people ripping off poor people and hey i would love to be rich have nothing against it at all it is a free market but when you let people so greedy screw over an entire country that is b.s. period and that is what has happened so do not disagree with me ..lol later dazzzeeee

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