Friday, October 3, 2008

My Vote goes to...

(This is going to be a long one. This reflects my personal opinion based on what I could find about each candidate’s policies. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and this is not meant to start an argument. I’m just sharing my opinions and what I have found during my research.)

So I am having trouble deciding who I am going to vote for. The debates don’t help because it is all like a “he said/she said” argument and they go around in circles. I like all the candidates as people. I really liked McCain back in the day when he was running against Bush, but now I don’t know because I fell in love with Obama with his speech at the DNC during the last election (you have to admit he is a GREAT speaker!).

Here’s why I like Obama:

-Healthcare: I was afraid Obama was for a government-run universal healthcare program, but he’s not. He wants mandatory coverage for children, no mandate for adults. He is aiming for universal coverage by requiring employers to share costs of insuring workers and by offering coverage similar to that in plan for federal employees. If you have coverage through your employer already (like me), this shouldn’t effect you. But if you lost your job, it would make individual healthcare more affordable. It should make it easier for small businesses and self-insured to afford coverage. I am all for that instead of losing the tax exemption on my benefits that would happen under McCain’s plan. Taxes are complicated enough. I would rather just see the savings up front than figure out some credit thing.

-Gas Prices: Obama wants to tax oil profits and use the money to help fund $1,000 rebate checks for consumers hit by high energy costs and eliminate oil and gas loopholes. While McCain wants to eliminate the current tax break for oil companies, but lower corporate taxes across the board.

-Fuel Efficiency: Obama wants to double fuel economy standards within 18 years, offer a $7,000 tax credit to buyers of plug-in hybrids, mandate all new cars be flex-fuel capable, provide $4 billion in retooling credits and loans to help domestic manufacturers switch to more fuel-efficient cars, aim to get 1 million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrids on the roads within six years, support creation of more transit-friendly communities and level employer commuting assistance for driving and public transit. McCain has some similar ideas, just not as good in my personal opinion.

-Taxing Wealth: McCain wants to protect the wealthy people’s tax breaks and investment income. Obama does not.

-Social Security: Obama is against raising retirement age and Favors increasing the amount that workers making $250,000 or more pay into the system. He is Considering a plan to tax income over $250,000 at between 2% and 4% - half of which would be paid for by the employee and half by the employer.

-Personal Income Tax: Obama would Leave all tax cuts in place for everyone except couples making more than $250,000 and single filers making more than $200,000. Those high-income groups would see their top two income tax rates revert to 36% and 39.6% from 33% and 35% respectively. And their capital gains and dividend tax rates would also revert to 20% from 15%. He would also Introduce new tax breaks for lower and middle-income households. (Which all helps me because I will never make $200,000/year!) McCain wants to make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent for everyone and reduce the reach of the Alternative Minimum Tax (which is some complicated tax I can’t comprehend).

-Savings: Obama would require employers that don't offer retirement plans to set up IRA-type accounts, require companies to automatically enroll their employees in 401(k)s or IRAs (they both want this), provide a federally funded match on retirement savings for families earning below $75,000. McCain wants to encourage saving by keeping investment taxes low, which I kind of agree with, but seriously, that is just another way for the rich to get even richer- you gotta have money to make money type of thing.

-Budget Deficit: Obama would Enforce budget rules that would require that new spending be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue, Reduce spending on earmarks to no greater than 2001 levels and require more transparency on such spending, Help pay for new proposals by drawing down troops in the Iraq War, raising taxes on high-income filers and cutting certain corporate loopholes. McCain wants to stop funding for pet projects, and slow growth in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending (which all sounds nice but isn’t as solid as Obama’s plan).

-Iraq: Obama said he would have a complete withdrawal of combat troops by end of 2009. I am just afraid McCain would drag out this war even more. Think about it. That is his background and something he is passionate about. He would want to stay involved in all that for as long as possible and put most of his focus there. I am ready for some of the focus to come back to our own country.

-Energy Security: Obama wants to Work to reduce carbon emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 (McCain says only 60%), Invest $150 billion in renewable energy over the next 10 years, Allow a limited amount of offshore drilling (McCain wants to lift ban completely for a free for all out there), Require that 10% of nation's energy comes from renewable sources by 2013,and Aim to reduce nation's demand for electricity 15% by 2020. McCain’s solution creating more tax relief for corporations, government initiative and free market to foster renewable energy along with Constructing 45 new reactors by 2030 as part of a push to expand nuclear power production. I like Obama’s plan better.

-Death Penalty: They are both for it, but Obama wants to take measures to make sure we don’t put to death innocent people (such as video-taping confessions and interrogations).

Here’s why I like McCain:

- Education: McCain favors private school vouchers. He is for parent’s right to choose their children’s education (whether it be private school or home school or public school). Since I went to private school until 3rd grade and saw me and all my old private school classmates in honors classes once we got to public high school, I am all for private school (I want my kids in private school for at least a few years). I don’t want to be forced into a crappy school just because of where I live.

- Bankruptcy Laws: Obama want to make Bankruptcy easier by fast-tracking the bankruptcy process for military families, helping seniors facing bankruptcy keep their home, streamlining bankruptcy process for families recovering from natural disaster (that one is ok), and amending bankruptcy laws to protect people trapped in predatory home loans. It’s called accountability people and it’s not meant to be easy.

- Free Trade: McCain is for Free Trade. He would also improve efforts to provide retraining for those who lose their jobs due to imports. While Obama wants to renegotiate NAFTA, Opposes the free trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia, Supports steep tariffs on imports from China if the Chinese keep their currency from rising, and Increase and expand assistance offered to workers who lose jobs due to trade.

-Jobs and Wages: McCain would leave the minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, which is where current law will take it to by 2009. He would create a tax credit equal to 10% of wages spent on R&D and consolidate federal unemployment programs and reform training programs for job seekers. But Obama wants to increase minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011 and tie future rises to inflation, double Federal funding to R&D and set up $60 billion infrastructure investment bank to help fund public works (like we need more spending). But I do like that Obama wants to establish tax credit for companies that maintain or increase the number of full-time workers in America relative to those outside the U.S.

I am split on their ideas on:
-Medicare (liked both)
-Foreclosures (liked some of each)
-Mortgage Fraud (liked both)
-Business Taxes (except McCain’s straight 10% corporate tax reduction)
-Abortion (I kind of like McCain’s restrictions, but no ban)
-Small Business (like some of each)
-Wall Street Regulations (I’d be ok with either)
-Iran (I can’t decide on this one)

They almost completely agree (only minor differences) on Gay Marriage, Global Warming, Immigration, and Stem Cell Research.

Here are a few other things I took into consideration:

McCain’s age: He is old. Well past retirement age. No one can know what would happen to his health over the next 4 years, but being older does put you at a higher risk for problems. And while Sarah Palin seems like a perfectly nice, strong, down to earth kind of girl, I DO NOT think she is ready to be President of our country at all. (And I find it very ironic that they complain about Obama’s lack of experience so much when she barely has any what-so-ever…Alaska really?)

I was swayed when I learned the McCain’s own 13 cars and the Obama family has one. Who needs 13 cars?

Oboma’s ads really try to get you to go to his website and see where he stands on the issues. They aren’t all attack ads, or out-of-context sound clips. From what I have seen he addresses the issues more.

Obama refused to accept money from federal lobbyists. Lobbyists are bad. They are short-sighted and have only their goal in mind (without looking at the bigger picture). They are the most selfish of selfish. They can provide you with good info on their cause, but don’t take money from them. It’s like legal bribery.

So…my vote goes to:

By the way, I think NC is officially a "swing state" and I love it. The candidates come here more to campaign! It makes me feel more like my vote will actually make a difference instead of us just being ignored. I hope we are always a swing state!

Oh and if you were not planning on voting or not registered, watch this:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you can totally steal it. I thought I was being a little too personal with my story, but I like your comment. I will keep writing. Thanks!