On July 17th, I wrote a post about why I thought Kennedy decided to endorse Barack Obama.
The basic premise was that….
On July 17th, I wrote a post about why I thought Kennedy decided to endorse Barack Obama.
The basic premise was that….
While foreign policy is technically the realm of the President and the primary job of the position, recently domestic policy has taken a front seat in much of the focus and the attention of the President.
Unlike in Foreign policy, the President has very little actual power in setting Domestic policy. The power is mostly derived from “the power of the podium” or the ability to command attention and focus the nation on a particular subject. And even though it is the area where the President has the least amount of power, the President can also be the biggest single agent for change.
Domestic policy is also the thing that most directly effects each of our lives. That is why it tends to be such a big part of the discussion in Presidential elections, especially since Clinton and his famous phrase “It’s the economy stupid.”
This time around, the economy is a pretty huge factor, especially considering the current circumstances. Domestic policy is a complicated and large subject, but this time around it will basically boil down to housing, taxes, environment/energy and healthcare in the campaign rhetoric, so I will stick that even though there are innumerable other issues that get mentioned all over the place.
This is arguably the most pressing issue that the country is facing at the moment and there is plenty of blame to go around. Both Democrats and Republicans bear much of the responsibility for the state of the economy, as do the banks and even the public.
Even though there is plenty of blame to go around, there are a very few specific events that provided essential links in the chain that let us to the level of catastrophe was face today… and the largest one was the conversion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into what essentially amounted to a hedge fund. It was the expansion of Fannie and Freddie into the marketplace that caused one of the major distortions heightening the devastation of potential economic disaster.
There were a few key points in which this distortion of the market could have been reigned in over the last several years, but the Democrats fought against them tooth and nail… including Barack Obama, who sits on the Senate oversight committee that is responsible for Fannie and Freddie.
Oddly enough, the Democrats fought to loosen the rules of mortgage lending, under the guise of opening up opportunities for the poor and minorities, which is fine, but they began to see any attempt to tighten lending standards as taking away opportunities rather than smart business.
This is a quintessential problem with having politicians directly involved in economic and business decision making. They tend to make decisions based on the desires of their constituency or based upon ideology and not based on sound economics.
On the other hand, John McCain had the good judgement and foresight to see the problems inherent in the new iteration of Fannie and Freddie. In 2005-2006, John McCain sponsored a bill that would have increased regulation and oversight on Fannie and Freddie. In short, these regulations would have reigned in many of the things that were causing the massive market distortions and either prevented many of the issues we now face or greatly mitigated the damage currently being done to the economy.
The bill was tabled… Obama and the rest of the Democrats let the bill die.
So much for Obama’s good judgement.
As for the proposed plans themselves…
Obama wants to provide incentives to mortage companies to refinance people into stable 30 year fixed rates, ask mortgage companies to voluntarily write down the balances on loans to something the people can afford, and to define “predatory lending” on a federal level.
The program proposed is total crap. And there are similar programs in place already and none of the banks are participating because it asks them to voluntarily forgive billions of dollars in debt owed to them… for what? Because Obama smiles real purdy? The write downs that Obama asks them to volunteer for would bankrupt every bank in the United States.
McCain, on the other hand, is the smart one. First, a bit deeper of an explanation of what has happened in housing…
The fundamental cause of the problems with the banks and the economy as a whole originate in the housing crisis.
The housing bubble led to greater and greater numbers of risky loans and exploded when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started acting much like a hedge fund and invested in the very paper they were insuring. This led to an explosion in the market and decreasing underwriting standards, especially when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made the “Alt A” programs available.
The banks began to group these loans (aka bank debt) together into packages and sell them off to other banks. The bank that bought them took these packages of loans and divided them into “risk tiers” and sold those tiers as derivatives. These banks then grouped the derivatives together and divided them further, until the original group was chopped into so many loans it was impossible to tell what was where.
This, in theory, should have minimized the risk associated with the loans.
Because of the grouping and dividing and selling and grouping and dividing and selling, virtually all the banks were heavily invested in these MBSs (mortgage backed security) and CDO’s (collateralized debt obligation.)
Then the economy slowed… and housing was the one beacon of light in a dimming economy, so the banks, hedge funds, investors, and consumers invested even more heavily in real estate.
As time went on, the banks began to discover that a much larger than expected percentage of the loans were given to people that should not have gotten them. The bulk of these “bad loans” were found in the Alt A realm that banks would not have normally invested as heavily in, but for the actions and rules of Fannie and Freddie.
With the economy continuing to slow, eventually the housing sector peaked and the dam broke.
Foreclosures began to happen at an epidemic rate because the people that should not have been in the loans they were given couldn’t pay.
So the banks/hedge funds and especially Fannie/Freddie realized that they should not have been offering all these loans tightened up their lending standards because they couldn’t continue to offer the crap loans they had been offering, which would have made the hole they were in that much deeper.
The side effect of this was that, especially in a slowing economy, fewer and fewer people could qualify for new loans to buy all the houses that were pouring on to the market from new construction projects (at an all time high) and from massive foreclosures.
The housing market glutted, the banks began to dump the foreclosures for next to nothing and all the other houses sat on the market for a year or more.
With only the foreclosures selling, they were the only sales to peg the prices of houses against and property values started dropping like crazy, especially in places where the bubble was biggest… CA, FL, NV.
This has caused the secondary crisis… there are millions upon millions of people upside down on their houses right now. Millions.
So because of the problems with 10-15% of the loans, and the foreclosures they led to, the values of the houses with credit worthy people now had problematic loans because their property was worth less than the mortgage was for. Hundreds of thousands of people are now “upside down” on their house, even though they have been faithfully paying their mortgages.
Essentially, the banks no longer knew what any of their loans were worth, because the assets tied to the loan weren’t worth enough to cover the outstanding debts, increasing the balance sheet debts of the banks by billions and billions and billions of dollars.
This made the banks “uncreditworthy” and so they stopped loaning money to eachother, leading to near of total collapse of a huge number of banks.
So, in order to solve the valuation problem, keep people in their homes and prevent more foreclosures, and to prop up the prices of homes as much as possible, earlier this year, the Congress approved a program called the “FHA Secure.”
This program basically works like this… if you have a $300,000 loan and your house is only worth $225,000 now, if the bank will lower the balance to the $225,000 then the FHA will insure the loan, making the loan more immediately marketable.
The bill and the program went into effect October 1. An extension of the plan is what Obama proposes in his answer to the housing problem.
Well, not a single bank has implemented this plan to date.
The problem is two fold;
First, it is voluntary… the banks don’t have to do it.
Second, it requires that the banks take HUGE writedowns and though it may help even out the bottom line in the long run, in the short term those HUGE writedowns would probably kill them at this point… especially perceptually.
Nobody wants that.
Ok, so now that we are caught up to present times, we can talk about McCain’s housing plan.
John McCain has basically taken the FHA Secure program, and instead of making the banks take the writedowns and essentially forfeit hundreds of billions of dollars… McCain wants to re-allocate the “Bailout” money to buy out the negative equity on these people’s houses.
Why is this great?
1. The estimated cost, about $300 Billion… A number that is less than half of the “Bailout” which only helps banks/Wall Street and does nothing directly for mainstreet.
2. It keeps people in their homes, reducing their balances and their payments.
3. It helps prop up housing prices, or at least stabilize them, because it will lead to fewer foreclosures.
4. It bails out the consumer and the banks in one fell swoop.
Helps the folks, helps the banks. Bingo. I think he has something right there!
Read more here
This is the best idea to solve the crisis I have heard so far (other than the fed buying commercial paper… also brilliant.)
It’s also Hillary Clinton’s idea. Smart Lady. And McCain’s a smart guy for listening to her, and not being afraid to take advice from a leading Democrat. Further proof of his propensity to work across the aisle.
On the tax issue, there are really three problems with Obama’s tax plan… the fact that no one in his camp can seem to get the particulars straight, a closer analysis of the plan shows all sorts of unpleasant details the rhetoric does not reflect, and the reality of the future.
As for clarity, it seems that the Obama camp can’t exactly get straight who and what Obama plans to tax. Past history gives us some insight into inclination and current rhetoric coming out of the camp is all over the map.
In the past, both Biden and Obama have voted for a tax increase on people that make as little as $42,000 a year, a figure that gives even me, a moderate liberal, a shiver down my spine.
In the past week or so, the Obama camp has moved their target level of who will not get a tax increase from those making under $250k to $200k to $150k to $120k and such a sucessive and consolidated slide in rhetorical estimates seems fishy to say the least.
And also, there has been no real answer as to how giving the 40% of Americans that do not pay income taxes can even get a tax cut?
As for how effective the tax cut is even going to be…. well I have my doubts.
First things first, the 40% of Americans that don’t pay taxes. Well, the “tax cut” that these people are going to get is not a tax cut at all. Obama is famous for his rhetorical flourishes and, in this case, the flourishes basically equate to a lie. For the 40% of Americans that don’t pay taxes, it’s a refundable tax credit not a tax cut.
What does this mean? Well, when these people file their taxes, they will receive money back… even though they didn’t put anything in. Translation: It’s a handout. Rhetorically, the Republicans like to call it “Welfare” but it’s not, not really… but it is definitely a government handout.
When confronted with this, the Obama camp responds with… “everyone who works pays taxes.” Well, this is true, and they cite payroll and fica taxes. But they brush past what these taxes are! These are taxes that pay for social security and medicare.
So, essentially Obama’s plan is defunding Social Security from the contributions of 40% of wage earners… and then still giving them Social Security benefits even though they effectively put nothing into the system?
Whaaaat? That makes no damn sense. At all.
Now, as for the actual cuts… Well, even thought the Bush tax cuts did disproportionately lower the amount of money that the wealthiest Americans pay in taxes, it did cut the tax rate for all Americans that actually pay taxes and even with the Bush cuts, the top 10% of wage earners still pay 70% of all the income taxes.
And, so while Obama is promising not to raise taxes on people making less than… well, who knows…. what is Obama’s plan for the Bush tax cuts? He is going to let them expire… But Obama doesn’t “count” allowing the Bush tax cuts to lapse as a tax increase, it’s allowing a tax cut to lapse.
See the difference? Me either. Rhetorical trick. Again.
When the income tax cuts lapse, Americans will see increases in their taxes, even if their household income is as low as $25,000.
Then there are the payroll taxes themselves and even though Obama promises not to raise taxes, by which he means income taxes, on people making under $250k, the payroll taxes would double for everybody making more than $94k.
So I guess that the people making over $94k would be making up for the 40% no longer paying into the system? Oh yeah, spread the wealth… you don’t wanna be greedy… like being able to afford to put your kids through college.
Then there is the increase in the Capital Gains tax. Now this is a friggin nightmare.
With the stock market eating dirt, capital infusion is absolutely essential. All the 401k’s and many of the pension and retirement programs in this country, not to mention personal assets, are dependent on the stock market and many Americans have seen their retirement savings evaporate over the last month or two. We need to strengthen the market and fast…
And yet Obama’s plan would DOUBLE the taxes on people that do invest in the market? How the hell is that supposed to encourage investment and capital infusion?
And the normal response I get from Obots is this… oh, rich people this, rich people that… well, 50% of all Americans are invested in the market. Yeah, 50%. That’s a tax increase on a lot of people.
Obama also wants to increase corporate taxes. Well, not only is this horrible for business, and will lead to more jobs being shipped overseas, and a therefore a contraction of the tax base, but it in effect raises taxes on every single American. Corporations don’t “pay” taxes — they collect taxes from customers and pass them along to the government. If corporate taxes are increased, the prices on the products are increased proportionally.
I also don’t understand why, if Obama and Biden, think it’s patriotic to pay my taxes so that the middle class and poor will get more benefits… and I make half what they do, yet gave twice as much to charity last year as they did!?!?!
McCain, on the other hand, wants to decrease capital gains taxes to encourage investment. He wants to cut corporate and small business taxes to not only keep jobs here at home, but create new ones. John McCain’s plan cuts taxes for ALL Americans, allowing them to keep more of their money and to decide for themselves to do what they want with their money.
And here is the part where the Obots start yelling about how people don’t need that extra money to rennovate their kitchens or to rent those jet ski’s on their vacation or to buy the custom made suit because those things are frivolous…
But they ignore the fact that this spending is responsible for millions of jobs across the country. What about the small businessman that owns the rental store, the businessman that owns the retail center the rental shop is in, the driver that works for the shipping company that delivers inventory, the factory worker that makes the jet ski, the miner that mines for the metals to build the jet ski and on down the line? Or what about the contractor, carpenter, electrician, manufacturer, logger, miner, rental companies, and delivery comapnies that are dependent on people redoing their kitchens? Or even the tailor, the cloth maker, the thread maker, the needle manufacturer, the miner, the retail space owner, and the like that depend on people having clothes made?
And what about all the sales tax revenues that are generated from these transactions, not to mention the payroll, income and fica taxes?
Cutting taxes does not necessarily mean lowering tax revenue. There are innumerable examples of times that taxes were cut, the tax base widened and revenues increased.
I also don’t really understand how the math works out to where Obama can increase the taxes on 5% of wage earners by 3% to pay for a tax cut for 55% of wage earners and a refundable tax credit for the remaining 40%, and still increase spending by $1 Trillon…. And decrease the Federal Deficit at the same time?
McCain and Obama are both ok on the environment in general. Both recognize that global warming is an issue and that we have to start decreasing our carbon emissions.
The difference is energy.
The newest controversy is coal. It has come to light that Obama has made a clarification of his energy plan.
Obama plans to tax the coal industry so heavily that it will bankrupt all the coal plants in the United States and that because of this energy prices will skyrocket.
His exact words… “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum” and “Energy prices would skyrocket.”
Well, I am friggin sorry, but gas prices already skyrocketed and put hundreds of thousands out on the streets… We need to find a different way to get clean energy without bankrupting the industry responsible for generating over half the energy in the United States, as well as being responsible a huge number of jobs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
As for the rest… they are basically the same. Obama has waffled and claims to now support off shore drilling, they both support the expansion of solar, wind and nuclear technologies and increasing funding to basic r&d for projects such as improved hybrid and battery technologies.
I would have to say that for all the rhetoric that the Democrats give to the environment, much of it seems to be lip service. It really hit me that this line is nothing but lip service when I went to the Democratic Convention in Denver this year and never saw one recycle bin… at the Pepsi Center, at Mile High, at the designated protest area, in the parks where information booths were set up, at the parties… Not a single one.
As crazy as it may sound, I actually believe that the Republican may have better environmental sensabilities than the Democrat. John McCain stood up against his party and declared an environmental emergency. The Republican Convention not only had recycle bins readily available, but actually recycled the unused paper flags that the Democrats threw in the trash in Denver. John McCain also has a section of his campaign paraphrenalia store that is environmentally friendly. Obama… not so much.
So, at best they are equals on environment and energy, and at worst, Obama will bankrupt the country… in yet one more way.
This is the part of both campaigns where I think they both pretty much suck… and suck hard.
Obama bascially thinks that by doing things like creating savings through putting medical records into an electronic format, that he would create so large of a savings that prices on insurance would go down by $2500 a year. Even the Obot reporters at the AP called this a bunch of bull. Just because you save insurance companies money, doesn’t mean they are passing along the savings.
McCain’s plan is horrendous as well. The $5000 refundable tax credit for healthcare threatens to end employer provided healthcare, which would leave millions of Americans unable to qualify for insurance because of tighter standards and pre-existing conditions.
The one thing that leaves me a bit hopeful about McCain is that he did put forward a bill that would allow Americans to import drugs from Canada, which would have made prices significantly cheaper for Americans, and also supported the bill that would have allowed Medicare/Medicaid to negotiate with drug companies on prices.
The Final Verdict
Housing – McCain is better… way better.
Taxes – McCain is better
Environment/Energy – Tenuous tie, possible McCain victory
Healthcare – They are both bad.
What do you think?
You Can Find Part 1 Here
McCain Won. Hands Down.
He was weak on Healthcare, but whipped Obama’s ass on everything else.
And how friggin difficult would it have been for Obama just to admit that John McCain is not a racist and is nothing like Gov Wallace?
Best line of the night… “I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against him, you should have run 4 years ago.”
What do you think?
UPDATE: Yahoo – “Among respondents not identified with either major political party, McCain was judged tonight’s winner, 51-42 percent.”
In Alburquerque, NM, John McCain delivered a speech and opened up the proverbial “can of whoop ass” and questioned everything about Obama that everyone keeps skirting by, calling Obama out on his lies and manufacturing of facts, and muddying the waters of his past, obscuring the real Barack Obama….
I pretty much have one thing to say…
It’s about damn time.
This is a short clip of his speech… it was the only one I could find, but the full transcript can be found below.
Transcript from RCP
U.S. Senator John McCain today delivered the following remarks as prepared for delivery at the McCain-Palin 2008 rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico:
In less than a month, the American people will make a choice on where they want this country to go, and who they trust to lead us in a time of war and economic crisis. The time for debating and electioneering is drawing to a close. Soon it will be the time for choosing.
Today we have seen a reminder of the importance of that choice. The action Congress took last week to address our financial crisis was a tourniquet, but not a permanent solution. Today we are seeing the stock market fall, and the credit crisis spread to other parts of the world. Our economy is still hurting — working families are worried about the price of groceries, the price of gas, keeping their jobs and paying their mortgage — further action is needed. We need to restore confidence in our economy and in our government.
Washington is still on the wrong track and we still need change. The status quo is not on the ballot. We are going to see change in Washington. The question is: in what direction will we go? Will our country be a better place under the leadership of the next president — a more secure, prosperous, and just society? Will you be better off, in the jobs you hold now and in the opportunities you hope for? Will your sons and daughters grow up in the kind of country you wish for them, rising in the world and finding in their own lives the best of America? And which candidate’s experience — in government and in life — makes him a more reliable leader for our country and commander in chief for our troops? Who is ready to lead? In a time of trouble and danger for our country, who will put our country first?
I set out on my own campaign for president many months ago. I promised at the beginning to be straight with the American people, knowing that even those who don’t agree with me on everything would expect at least that much. I didn’t just show up out of nowhere, after all — America knows me.
You know my strengths and my faults. You know my story and my convictions. And though familiarity in politics can be both helpful to a candidate, or not so helpful, it does at least fill out the picture and answer the essential questions. You need to know who you’re putting in the White House — where the candidate came from and what he or she believes. And you need to know now, before it is time to choose.
In 21 months, during hundreds of speeches, town halls and debates, I have kept my promise to level with you about my plans to reform Washington and get this country moving again. As a senator, I’ve seen the corrupt ways of Washington in wasteful spending and other abuses of power, and as president I’m going to end them — whatever it takes. I will propose and sign into law reforms to bring tax relief to the middle class and help to businesses so they can create jobs. I will get the rising cost of food and gas under control. I will help families keep their home, and help students struggling to pay for college. I will make health care more accessible and affordable. I will impose a spending freeze on all but the most vital functions of government. I will review every agency of the federal government, improve those that need to be improved and eliminate those that aren’t working for the American people. I will confront the ten trillion-dollar debt that the federal government has run up, and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office.
This is the agenda I have set before my fellow citizens. And the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent. Even at this late hour in the campaign, there are essential things we don’t know about Senator Obama or the record that he brings to this campaign.
We have all heard what he has said, but it is less clear what he has done or what he will do. What Senator Obama says today and what he has done in the past are often two different things. He has often changed his positions in this campaign, and the best way to determine where he would really take this country is to examine where he has tried to take it in the past.
My opponent has invited serious questioning by announcing a few weeks ago that he would quote — “take off the gloves.” Since then, whenever I have questioned his policies or his record, he has called me a liar.
Rather than answer his critics, Senator Obama will try to distract you from noticing that he never answers the serious and legitimate questions he has been asked. But let me reply in the plainest terms I know. I don’t need lessons about telling the truth to American people. And were I ever to need any improvement in that regard, I probably wouldn’t seek advice from a Chicago politician.
My opponent’s touchiness every time he is questioned about his record should make us only more concerned. For a guy who’s already authored two memoirs, he’s not exactly an open book. It’s as if somehow the usual rules don’t apply, and where other candidates have to explain themselves and their records, Senator Obama seems to think he is above all that. Whatever the question, whatever the issue, there’s always a back story with Senator Obama. All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government? What does he plan for America? In short: Who is the real Barack Obama? But ask such questions and all you get in response is another barrage of angry insults.
Our current economic crisis is a good case in point. What was his actual record in the years before the great economic crisis of our lifetimes?
This crisis started in our housing market in the form of subprime loans that were pushed on people who could not afford them. Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama.
Senator Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed. But the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place.
Senator Obama was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in. As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, “a good idea.” Well, Senator Obama, that “good idea” has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
To hear him talk now, you’d think he’d always opposed the dangerous practices at these institutions. But there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he did. He was surely familiar with the people who were creating this problem. The executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have advised him, and he has taken their money for his campaign.
He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them. Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why didn’t he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won’t tell you, but you deserve an answer.
Even after he refused to lift a finger to prevent this crisis, when the crisis hit, he was missing in action. He didn’t start making calls to round up votes until after the rescue bill failed in the House and the markets crashed. We continue to see the price of delay today as the markets continue to fall. Today the DOW has fallen below 10,000. And yet, members of his own party said they felt no pressure to vote for the bill. Why didn’t Senator Obama work to pass this bill from the start? Why did he let it fail and drag out this crisis for a full week before doing a thing to help pass it?
Again on taxes, we see a difference between what Senator Obama says today, what he said yesterday and what he has actually done. Over the course of this campaign, he has had many different plans to raise your taxes. During the Democratic primary, he promised to double taxes on every American with a dividend or an investment. He promised to raise payroll taxes. He promised higher taxes on electricity. Now, Senator Obama claims he will give 95 percent of Americans tax relief. He actually promised the same thing when he was running for Senate in Illinois, but once elected he never introduced legislation to do so. Instead, he voted for the Democratic budget resolution that promised to raise taxes on people making just 42,000 dollars a year. At the time, he even said his vote was intended to get “our nation’s priorities back on track.” If he’s such a defender of the middle class, why did he vote to raise their taxes? Whatever ha ppened to the tax relief he promised them when he was a candidate for the Senate? And why should middle class Americans trust him to keep promises he has already broken?
Senator Obama and I both have differences with how President Bush has handled the economy. But he thinks taxes are too low, and I think spending is too high. The government’s out of control spending has resulted in a weaker dollar, raising the cost of groceries and gasoline, and killing jobs.
I will veto pork barrel legislation and cut wasteful government spending.
Senator Obama has a different plan. According to third party estimates, he will increase government spending by over 860 billion dollars. He has denied it, but he has refused to tell you how much he does plan to spend. What is the total of his increased spending? Americans deserve to know just how much more of their money Senator Obama intends to spend, and how much more debt he plans to burden them with.
Senator Obama has also criticized earmark spending, those wasteful pork barrel projects stuck in spending bills behind closed doors. And yet, despite his talk on the campaign trail, his actual record is full of requests for earmark projects. In his three short years in the Senate, he has requested nearly a billion dollars in pork projects for his state — a million dollars for every day he’s been in office. Far from fighting earmarks in Congress, Senator Obama has been an eager participant in this corrupt system. In one instance, he sought more than 3 million dollars for a new projector at a planetarium in his hometown. Coincidentally, the chairman of that planetarium pledged to raise more than $200,000 for Senator Obama’s campaign. We don’t know if they ever discussed the money for the planetarium, and no one has asked Senator Obama. But even the appearance of this kind of insider-dealing disgusts Americans. I’m going to put a stop to that, my friends, if I’m President.
I have made every single donor to my campaign publicly available, while Senator Obama has taken in over 200 million dollars from undisclosed sources. We have already seen the potential for fraud because of his refusal to disclose his donors. His campaign had to return $33,000 in illegal foreign funds from Palestinian donors, and this weekend, we found out about another $28,000 in illegal donations. Why has Senator Obama refused to disclose the people who are funding his campaign? Again, the American people deserve answers.
On health care, Senator Obama has been misleading you about my plan to give you more money for health care, and he has been equally misleading about his own plans. He has said his goal is a single payer system where government is in charge of health care and bureaucrats stand between you and your doctor. Under the plan he has proposed, he will fine families that don’t have the kind of health insurance that Senator Obama tells them to purchase. He will fine employers who do not offer the health insurance that he thinks they should offer.
What he doesn’t say, and what nobody has asked, is how big his fines will be. What he doesn’t want you to know is that with a small fine, his plan will encourage companies to just pay the fine, drop existing health care coverage for their employees and leave them with only one real option: government run health care.
Who is the real Senator Obama? Is he the candidate who promises to cut middle class taxes, or the politician who voted to raise middle class taxes? Is he the candidate who talks about regulation or the politician who took money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned a blind eye as they ran our economy into a ditch?
Is he the candidate who promises change, or is he the politician who has bought into everything that is wrong with Washington? We can’t change the system with someone who’s never fought the system.
Washington is on the wrong track and I’m going to set it right. The American people know my record. They know I am going to change Washington, because I’ve done it before. They know I’m going to reform our broken institutions in Washington and on Wall Street because I’ve done it before. They know I’m going to deliver relief to the middle class, because that’s what I’ve done.
You don’t have to hope that things will change when you vote for me. You know things will change, because I have been fighting for change in Washington my whole career. I’ve been fighting for you my whole life. That’s what I’m going to do as President of the United States. Fight for you and put the government back on the side of the people.