So, as I will have access to an actual TV tonight, I’m going to try to liveblog the debate between presidential candidates Obama and McCain [wtf Firefox dictionary, how do you not recognize ‘Obama’ as a word? ].The latest news is that McCain will be attending, either because he’s Accomplished So Much In Washington Already (snort), or because (and this is what I’m leaning towards) Obama handed him his ass when he tried to weasel out of answering questions about his policies.
I mean, I can’t really blame McCain. This whole Wall Street mess is, in large part, the fruits of almost 8 years of very diligent labor to disenfranchise the poor and middle class and give the very rich lots more pretty money to play with. Couple that with McCain’s long history of paying lip service to The Free Market ™ to do everything but brush your teeth for you, and it’s quite clear why he would want to avoid getting asked about his how his economic policies will save us all from the Great Depression, 2.0.
I seem to have gotten off the topic of the debate ever-so-slightly, but while I’m kvetching about McCain’s economic policies, please allow me to share with you a wonderful little graphic that shows the differences between the two candidates’ tax plans.
Clearly, this graph is made of awesome. It very nicely lays out how both candidates’ plans would affect people of different income levels. My only quibble is, as others before me have said, that the last line of the graphic – the ‘average’ tax increase or decrease – is misleading because, of course there are not equal numbers of people in each population group. It even says right on there that the ‘bottom three groups’ – so, families whose gross income < $66, 354 – make up 60% of taxpayers. Yet John McCain thinks it’s important to give more than half the country tax rebates ranging from (approximately) $20 – $300, and will give the CEOs with five yachts rebates of ~$270,000.
Actually, that is quite the glaring error – somebody who only had the bottom figure (which I suspect will be anybody getting their news from Fox) wouldn’t realize that, unless they are currently receiving this information from a gold-plated armchair, they’d be much better off under Obama’s tax plan. It really is striking how consistently the tax cuts decrease by income level – they look like a staircase on the graph. In McCainWorld, the more economically unstable you currently are, the less help you get! Isn’t that great?
I say again: is it any surprise that McCain didn’t want to do the debate tonight? Actually, by ‘suspending’ (not really) his campaign and momentarily refusing to come to the debate, he accomplished the double whammy of
- Not having to answer questions about how his presidency would fix things, and
- Still getting a ton of press coverage.
Say what you will about McCain, but he’s a wily old bastard. You have to get up pretty early in the day to out-sleaze him.
Back to the debate – Alternet has a good article up about 15 things Obama should do to kick some righteous ass in the debate tonight (my words, not theirs). If I’m feeling particularly, I might read it more carefully and critique the candidates’ performance from that perspective, but even if I drop the ball, people who are interested in the current race and/or debate should at least skim it to get an idea of what’s going on (as well as just spend as much time as is temporally feasible on Alternet – it really is an amazing source of articles about politics and progressive issues, and is always on top of breaking news).
Well, must fly! TTFN, TRN-ers!