The final Not Spencer post comes from my beautiful wife Kristen. I like to take credit for her turn to the Democratic dark side (no pun intended), but she’s a woman of discerning taste and Ivy League intelligence. The turn was inevitable.
It has been a long road through this Presidential Election season. There are many ways to slice and dice the positions of the candidates, but the socialism controversy exposes a fundamental difference between the two: As a society, are we to act as our brother’s keeper, or is it every man for himself?
McCain’s latest ads say a vote for him is a vote for “keeping what is [mine].” That’s the attitude that got us into this mess. Looking out for number one is the reason so many Americans have no healthcare coverage, owe money on predatory loans, and can’t make enough money to keep their families afloat. The free market ways of McCain and Bush and their cronies have been a proven disaster.
When McCain raises the specter of socialism while lying about tax increases you can supposedly expect under an Obama administration, he’s stoking people’s fear of a welfare state. Most people in this country aren’t looking for a handout, though. They’re just looking for a fair shake.
Right now, the system is set up to enrich people at the top, and destroy the middle class. Too many people need to work multiple jobs to make ends meet these days. It didn’t used to be that way. The promise of America, the dream of working hard and saving money and achieving something, if not for you then for your kids, seems to be dying. There are no opportunities to get ahead. And even when the big wigs fail, they fail up to bigger positions, larger bonuses, and government bailouts that they use to enrich themselves further.
McCain’s tax ideas once again trust corporate America and the free market system to take care of those deemed worthy. This is no way to move forward.
For the average person, this basically boils down to a tax debate. I’ve never been a big fan of taxes. If you had asked me ten years ago, I would have said that I shouldn’t have to pay them. After all, I wasn’t putting kids through school or using social programs. Why put in for someone else’s benefit?
As I have gotten older with more responsibilities, I’m starting to appreciate the importance of taxes and the role they play in allowing our society to continue functioning. They pave roads, build schools, help take care of the elderly, pay cops, and basically maintain the fabric of civilization. So fairly assessed taxes, when used for the right reasons, make America work.
The biggest lesson of the last eight years is that you can’t entrust the well-being of citizens to a misplaced faith in corporate responsibility. This is the folly of McCain’s economic policy. Now that we are starting to see the full extent of the tax fraud that is perpetrated by those in Washington who would spend our taxes on unnecessary wars, building bridges to nowhere, and bailing out corrupt robber barons, I’m more convinced than ever that the taxes themselves are not evil. The real evil is that so few of those funds end up helping citizens in meaningful ways.
We need to shore up the institutions that built this country and support our families. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to pay a fair amount of taxes based on your income. Those who are successful should not be penalized, but they should put in their fair share. And all of our monies should be spent in ways that provide opportunities for all citizens to lay claim to their piece of the American dream.
Barack Obama’s tax plan and domestic policy outlook is the only option for the middle class to have any hope of making progress. By cutting taxes for people under the $250,000 mark and investing that money in the infrastructure of our nation, the well-being of its people, the education of our youth, and the development of a responsible energy economy, we will regain our position as a global leader and innovator.
“What’s mine is mine” may be a fundamental Republican mantra, but it’s no way to build thriving communities. I believe in the concept of the greater good. I believe in good public schools and easy access to higher education. I believe in providing some sort of assistance for people who are having a hard time. I believe in hope and the power of those much maligned community organizers.
I’m voting for Barack Obama on November 4th. And if you really care about this country’s future, you will too.
Kristen is a recovering Republican from the McCainiac’s home state of Arizona. Her guilty pleasure is singing “Raising McCain” ironically while sending money to Obama.