During the Obama interview at Saddleback, Rick Warren asks the senator what it means to be rich. Or, more specifically, what is the threshold for taxation? (This is the question McCain jokingly answered with $5 million/year.) Obama answers in pretty effective manner, and then drops the following:
"If we believe in good schools, if we believe in good roads, if we wanna make sure that kids can go to college, if we don't want to leave a mountain of debt for the next generation, then we've gotta pay for these things. They don't come for free. It is irresponsible, intergenerationally, to spend ten billion dollars a month on a war, and not have a way of paying for it."And applause. This right here is the thing that kills me about the Bush/McCain tax plan. Because this is what they did: cut taxes, bumped up funding for an impossible war by billions, and incurred a truly stupendous amount of debt. And all the while providing luscious tax cuts for rich people. Now that the economy is in the toilet, due to spending on things that Americans don't need or want (war), the Republicans who put us here have the nerve to talk about "regular Americans" getting screwed over by Obama's plan to end tax cuts. raising taxes. And what's more: no one is calling them on it. Aside from your neighborhood lefty bloggers, the traditional media and the pundits are having a frickin' field day out there talking about McCain's plan as though it's legitimate. This is all part of the madness. It's not. Let's talk this through. The economy sucks, because of the Republicans. However, these crazy American people still want those good social services the government provides (many of which lost a lot of funding over the last 7.5 years) -- you know, federal grants, scholarships, up-to-date text books, free immunizations, decent food in schools, roads that don't have potholes, safe public transportation, more cops on the streets, and the list goes on. And moreover, these nutty American people also don't want the economy to suck forever. Obama is suggesting, in not so stilted words, that it's time to pay the piper. The U.S. can't keep going the way it's been going for the last 90 months. It simply isn't sustainable. Not for four more years. You can't keep spending and keep spending, and fail to replace the money. Or in third grade terms: you have four apples and you give someone an apple every day. After four days you're borrowing apples. You're in apple debt. Are you going to keep borrowing apples while your quality of life gets worse, or are you going to stop giving away apples and start putting in work to grow your own? What's it gonna be, U.S.A.? The people making millions each year need to start doing their part to shoulder the cost of the things that Americans want and need. Middle-class people want the government to provide basic services, and presumably, they want the wealthy to stop skating. Meanwhile, McCain (like Bush, and every Republican in the last 30+ years) is trading on the notion that the middle-class won't realize what the deal is. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the GOP bets that Americans are dumb, while the Dems pray to FDR that Americans are smart. Ultimately, it's up to the middle-class portion of the electorate to actually educate themselves on the candidates' respective economy plans. (That's right, I said it. Educate oneself. My beef with the whole "I dunno what that Obama guy is really about" phenomenon is another post.) And if not, at least don't vote for the guy who's happily singing the tune of the worst president ever.