Tag Archives: taxes

Bilhá Calderón: Obama, McCain and the second presidential debate

Last night, when I prepared (braced myself) for the Second Obama- McCain debate, I didn’t think I’d find it highly educational, but it was.

A good 30 minutes before the debate took place, American networks were going wild on the things that would be key to Obama and McCain’s arguments to gain points with the voters. Being economy the most important and urging matter, the specialists discussed what the answers of both presidential candidates could be. The unanimous opinion was that the key goal was to answer the leadership question accurately. convincing the public that they are able to lead the American people through the economic crisis and reassure them that they will not lose their homes or their jobs this fall. Also, it was important for both candidates to improve their image and a few mistakes they had made in the past. Senator McCain was expected to show a little more respect for Senator Obama, since he hadn’t been able to even look at him last time they held a debate in which he also couldn’t hold back from quiet a few attacks on Obama’s inexperience, background and character. Barack Obama, on the other hand, was expected to show more strength and confidence; his major goal would be to look trustworthy.

In the end, at a time of profound lack of trust from voters, it would be the candidate that managed to link its discourse to the people’s lives and the difficult time they are going through what would make this debate a game-changer. A political debate tends to question question voters, but they don’t necessarily change their mind unless what they hear has a direct impact on their lives. To win or lose this debate depended on being able to show and explain to people what is happening in USA and bring a reasonable solution to the table. That, and only that would define a connection between the candidates and the public, and therefore their potential votes.

And that’s exactly what happened. According to American journals and annalists, the debate showed the acute difference between both candidate’s projects to improve the economy, which was the most relevant subject of the evening. A great part of the debate went by arguing over hich one of them would be tougher at cutting taxes and explaining how. As the evening went by, Senator McCain seemed to have more reasons to attack Obama performance in Congress, but very few explanations for the people he was talking to. The gap between powerful corporations and a strong State grew bigger, so when it was time to elaborate on health care Senator Obama shined for being able to explain why medical services and prevention were the people’s rights as opposed to McCain’s refundable tax credit that would go to private health care companies, who until now are known for cheating their clients. And that right there made the connection with the public.

There is one more debate to come, and only one month before election day. If you ask me, I think we will be looking at a month of mouthfuls of Sarah Palin’s conservative babble, perhaps some more adds warning people of Obama’s desire to raise taxes because he is secretly Bin Laden’s best buddy. Other than a dirty campaign, I don’t see how Senator McCain can manage to convince people that his capitalist-in-denial plan can possibly be a good idea for crisis struck America.Obama, McCain, debate, USA,

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Mark Steel: Bankers should bail themselves out

Thirty years we’ve had, of unfathomably wealthy bankers and dealers being justified as part of the free market.

So they boasted: “I’ve just got my summer bonus and spent part of it on a small African nation which I burnt down for a laugh,” or went to restaurants that charged a thousand pounds for meals such as “asparagus boiled in panda’s tears” or bought cars that ran on liquified diamonds, and it was all proof we lived in a free society in which we were paid what we were worth and couldn’t rely on state handouts. Then the minute their scam falls apart, they’re straight on to the Government squealing “Can we have a free state handout please, our bank’s gone bust.” They’re like spoilt students who go back to their Dad for more money because they’ve blown a year’s allowance in one week. But this soppy government will go “You already had fifty billion quid, what have you done with that? Well alright, here’s another fifty billion we were saving for kidney machines, but this time be careful.”

It’s so obscene you get comments such as the one yesterday that went “The money men have made fools of us. In the years of their dominance they insisted the markets were the highest judges and must be left to rule. Now the markets are signalling their downfall, they’re running sobbing to governments and taxpayers, begging for our money.”

And that piece of class-hatred came from Max Hastings in the Daily Mail. Because the explanation for the current crash from people like that is they were right to demand an unregulated free market, as society could only be run efficiently if the world’s finances were put in the hands of these bankers. But then it turned out these bankers were more interested in their private wealth than in the good of society as a whole – and fair’s fair, no one could possibly have anticipated that.

So, as Gordon Brown has become so friendly with Thatcher, maybe he can put her to use. He should tell her she’s about to make a speech at the Conservative conference, but fill the room with city executives, who’ll be told “You can’t go on paying yourselves more than you earn. We can’t allow those who can’t stand on their own two feet to sponge off the state.”

Then they should all be sent down the job centre. At first they’ll complain “There’s nothing for me in there. I trained for two whole hours to get my qualifications as a parasite and there’s no parasite jobs going at the moment anywhere.” Then, just as people who claimed benefits when they were working have to pay the money back, all the bonuses they received for boosting their company’s shares will have to be returned, now the shares are worthless. And if they haven’t got it they should be herded into a new social category called “pension slaves”, in which they spend the rest of their lives doing errands for all the people whose pensions they’ve ruined.

Instead the politicians and businessmen will all join together in saying: “It seems that everything we’ve been saying for 30 years has turned out to be shite. In these circumstances, it is imperative that those people who became immensely rich out of creating this shite should be compensated heavily. It is also of great importance than we pay no attention to anyone who warned us this was bound to end in shite, as the only people trustworthy to get us out of it are those that put us in it. Carry on everyone.”

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