Why I Do Not Support Barack Obama

msquared's picture

His policies include:

-Increased military spending to kill people in foreign countries when American citizens are already dying here due to starvation, disease, and crime. (For instance, the infant mortality rate in inner-city African Americans is higher than that of Cambodia and Somalia.)

-Supporting the jingoist state of Israel militarily, bringing further conflict with a policy that has proven to be fruitless in achieving peace.

-Tax breaks for the middle class when the lower class needs it the most, continuing a cycle of poverty that has been present in this nation since it has begun. The tactic is to give just enough money to the middle class to make it a barrier between the ultrarich upper class and dirt poor lower class. The top one percent of the population possesses over FORTY percent of the wealth.

-On the same note, raising taxes for the upper class just enough for the rate to be at pre-George-Bush levels, raising them from 19 to 25 percent. After World War II, the rate was 90%.

-Under his healthcare plan, giving the entire nation health insurance, which looks good from the surface, but which actually just keeps the wealthy and corrupt insurance companies in power, as they have been for decades. A social healthcare system has proven to be successful in many European countries.

He's better than McCain, but Jesus, this is the guy that's supposed to be the hope for America, an icon for change? He's just keeping things the same by ensuring the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.

We're at an interesting point in history. As I said earlier, since this country started, the middle class has been a barrier between the upper and lower classes, preventing a massive revolution of the poor against the rich. But in recent years, the upper class has become even more greedy, leeching yet more wealth from both the impoverished and the people with average incomes. The middle class is becoming disgruntled--at the wealth disparity, the war, the incompetency of our leaders, and the foreign policy fiascos. If the middle and lower classes can finally see how much they have in common and how much they're being swindled out of by the ultra-rich, then Americans might at last stand up for themselves and for the first time in history actually be equal.

But I'm worried. Both Obama and McCain are proposing tax cuts for the middle class to appease them and keep the barrier secure. Please, don't take their table scraps and be content with that. Get your facts, get your friends, and stand up. Real change has never come from politicians. They're just trying to save their own asses. It's up to the people to make change; in the end, the only person who can stand up for you is you.

Comments

-Ruby-'s picture

actually...

it's crucial that the future president of the U.S. supports Israel. Iran is going to bomb Israel... and that is very scary. Israel is a democracy where gay people are free to live openly, there's a big Pride parade in Tel Aviv every year, etc. Iran is basically a muslim-fundamentalist, medieval-style country that is run by a nutcase with a fatalistic mentality. He says "there are no gays in Iran"... you've seen the pictures of those gay Iranian boys getting hanged, right? Toronto is full of Iranians who came here because Iran is a horrible place to live. The president of Iran needs to be stopped. The U.S. and Israel are allies in the war on terror. logically, anyone who supports democracy should support Israel.

Americans don't understand what is going on in the middle-east. They never have, and sadly they never will. what u see on CNN or "The Colbert Report" or Youtube wherever... that is totally not the whole picture. Having been to the middle-east, having dealt first-hand with Israeli Jews, Arabs, Christians, Druze, and Bedouins, i know that there is more to "Peace in the Middle-East" than meets the American eye.

Judaism, Anti-Semitism, and Zionism are 3 different, yet often related things. Although i don't live in the States, most Jews I know want McCain to win because they think he will be better for Jews and Israel. As the media recently exposed, Obama was involved with a church for many years whose leader, reverend Wright, had some very radical ideas about black people and America. This Wright also publicly honored Farakkhan, who said many racist things about Jews. although Obama claims to have cut his ties with the reverend, he spent several years in that church... sketchy, to say the least.

msquared's picture

...

But war isn't the only way to solve problems. In war, most of the time it's not the radical fundamentalist leaders who are killed--it's the civilians. The very people who you said wish to escape. I read a statistic that said up to a million excess deaths have occurred so far in the Iraqi War. That was in 2007. I don't think we should make the civilians in Iran suffer anymore than they are right now by declaring war. Diplomacy and humanitarian efforts ARE possible. I praise Israel for their treatment of gays, but not the way they treat humans in general--with loaded guns.

"But don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it."
-Stephen Colbert

jeff's picture

Hmm...

Why does a religion get ascribed to Iran, but not Israel? This is a religious war (but ain't they all?).

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Azul's picture

We could nuke the place up

We could nuke the place up and make a big parking lot there. I feel the problem would be solved there...

Unless they suddenly crawl through the asphalt... almost like the huns did in Mulan. But this time we don't have Mulan. The emperor might be killed!

jeff's picture

All good points...

I'm not happy that Barack backed FISA this week, either.

But using your criteria, you'll never vote for a mainstream politician ever. Usually, it's about who is closer to the direction you want, never the perfect candidate. Although, I do like nearly everything about Barack, doesn't promise to fix everything, no unrealistic timetables, always positive...

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

coracle's picture

I personally don't like

I personally don't like Obama much, but I don't it's fair to judge his character based on his church. He can't control what the minister says, and those were only a few comments taken out of context. The minister's ideas aren't that radical either. Thirty percent of African Americans think it's plausible that the U.S. government engineered HIV to kill blacks. While that's obviously wrong and it's not good that they think so, the African American community has a lot of reasons to be bitter about their treatment at the hands of the white community.

I don't trust Obama because all his promises of "Change We Can Believe In" aren't believable. He pretended that he's going to transcend politics as we know it, but in fact he's just another politician lying and pandering to the masses in order to get a few more votes. If you look at his history, he's just as calculating as any other person who's ever run for president. He also doesn't support gay marriage, or at least he says he doesn't.

That's the problem with politics. If you want to get elected, you have to be willing to lie and pander. It makes it impossible for someone truly honest to get elected. Being a liar doesn't necessarily mean someone would be a bad president, as long as they know when they have to be honest and make good decisions. The problem with Obama is that it's impossible to tell what sort of president he'd be. He's a very good inspirational speaker and has plenty of charisma, but very little experience and no other qualifications beyond ambition. I'd still pick him over McCain, but I wish someone more qualified had secured the Democratic nomination.

Azul's picture

Wangari Maathai, the winner

Wangari Maathai, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 personally believes that the Western powers engineered HIV/AIDS to eradicate the Africans. It's disputed though greatly. Radio Free Press alleges she does, while Maathai denies it.

Anyway, that lady planted like 5 google-plates of trees, established multi-party politics in a good amount of nations and was jailed more times than Ghandi was.

The lady is pretty much an inspiration to me. She's my hero.


Wangari Maathai and Senator Barack Obama in Nairobi

jeff's picture

Eh...

If that minster was white and said the same things, no one would think twice about it. If you believe in the Bible, he's saying nothing shocking, just that America isn't living in line with God's teachings, but add in some black preaching style and some anger, it all goes to hell. Nothing controversial there, really.

I don't think the government is competent enough to: a) engineer such a thing as HIV, and b) keep it a secret. If you say they haven't done enough to prevent it, then sure, I'll agree to that.

Gay marriage is going to be decided in courts and when one more generation is dead. Irrelevant what any politician thinks. If Obama supported gay marriage, then what? He could send something to Congress to not get passed?

If you look at Barack Obama and compare him to Kerry, Gore, Bush, and McCain and just see another politician... that's way too much cynicism and pessimism for me. And, yes, he is a politician, so he'll say what he has to to get elected. The difference is I think Bush said what he had to and then made things worse once he was in there, but Obama would try to make things better. He doesn't want to just be president, though. He wants to inspire people to start taking more ownership of changing the world.

Of course, I am confused now... Barack is too much of a politician, but also isn't experienced enough. Wouldn't someone with more experience to be president be even a bigger politician? Can't have it both ways. Unless you're just saying you want Hillary in there, who had the benefit of watching Bill be governor and president, and now puts it on her resume. Because she's a two-term senator and he's a one-term senator, so not a huge experience gap there...

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Leisa's picture

Gah! I have so many things

Gah! I have so many things to say in response to this post an everyone's subsequent comments, however I'm way too tired to think right now.

Azul's picture

Isn't every point

Isn't every point interesting in history? I mean the 90's had Rwanda, the 10's and 20's had WW I, the 30's had the Great Depression, the 40's had WW II, the 50's-90's had the cold war, the 60's had incredible social change and the 70's had economic stagnation. We're always in an interesting point in history.

Anyway:
- There will always be poor. Look at nature, the plants get fucked. They get eaten, they get tread on. That's just how the world works. Yes, they need help, but why are some of them poor? That's the biggest question facing welfare. I'll leave you to ponder that.

- 90% taxes on the rich after WW II. I wonder why, maybe because we were in debt? Are we going through the biggest war in history right now? Did we just come out of the greatest economic failure in the world? It's not fair to compare today with then.

I feel Barack Obama is bigger than what he wants to do. I feel that all presidents are beyond that. What a president really is, is the CEO of the country, the head of state. The head of state, at least in our nation, is our representative, we elect him or her. How they act, how they speak, what they look like, how they articulate, who they articulate represents us. How would you rather have model the coat called "America", Nixon or JFK? Barack of McCain?

msquared's picture

...

Maybe it's not realistic to think that every single person in every single country can be living a life of leisure, but we can be doing a hell of a lot better. Take a look at these statistics, they're shocking:

http://www.epi.org/books/swa2004/news/swafacts_international.pdf

There's tons of useful information there, but for instance, the US has the highest poverty rate of the 19 most industrialized nations at 17%. The lowest is Finland, with 5.4%. Poverty is obviously not a given; there are steps you can take to improve conditions, which we've obviously not taken, considering the US has the lowest expenditures for social reform, which corresponds to the highest child poverty rate of the industrialized nations (21.9%, or nearly a QUARTER of all children!).

As for taxes, check out this excerpt from Wikipedia:

"During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments. Top marginal tax rates stayed near or above 90% until 1964 when the top marginal tax rate was lowered to 70%. The top marginal tax rate was lowered to 50% in 1982 and eventually to 28% in 1988."

Now, the military budget, from A People's History:

"At the start of 1950, the total U.S. budget was about $40 billion, and the military part of it was about $12 billion. But by 1955, the military part alone was $40 billion out of a total of $62 billion. ... In 1960, the military budget was $45.8 billion -- 49.7 percent of the budget."

So we spent MORE on defense after WWII, which should have meant that taxes should have been even HIGHER for the wealthy, instead of lower.

From Wikipedia again, commenting on the defense budget of Reagan's presidency, from 1982-1990, when taxes for the upper class dropped from 70% to 50% to 28%:

"With Reagan's promises to restore the nation's military strength, the 1980s saw massive increases in military spending, amounting to about $1.6 trillion over five years."

That's 380 billion dollars a year. Over 8 times what we were spending on defense in 1960, but a tax cut of 62% for the wealthy. Does that make sense?

Today, we're spending more on defense than ALL OF THE OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD COMBINED.

I think I've made my point.

"But don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it."
-Stephen Colbert

Azul's picture

1. Finland and the United

1. Finland and the United States are not comparable.
- Finland is a closed society with a demographic that's homogenous, while the United States is heterogeneous.

- Finland has never have the had the influx of immigration that the United States has had.

- Finland has never had a civil rights era that United States has had, they haven't had a civil war like the United States. They haven't had the exact same strife.

2. Our economical situation changed drastically from post WW II. The Great Depression divided the masses, so it made sense to have higher taxes. But post WW II saw a boom, the divide almost vanished; A middle class was born. We now didn't have to rely so heavily on the Wealthy. The wealthy population also increased which could then alleviate more of the tax burden.

The demographics changed considerably post WW II, comparisons in taxes therefore become tricky.

3. Have you ever heard of the trickle down effect in market economies? Taxes automatically and inherently reduce the effect.

4. Lower taxes for the wealthy also means that the economy can be stimulated even more. A tax break for a wealthy person equals a whole lot more than one for a poor person. The larger amount of money will automatically have a larger effect on the economy.

5. There's a .001 difference between Finland and the United States using the HDI (Human Development Index) standard. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index).

Azul's picture

Taxes

The Mellon plan
"Mellon came into office with a goal of reducing the huge federal debt from World War I. To do this, he needed to increase the federal revenue and cut spending. He believed that if the tax rates were too high, that the people would try to avoid paying them. He observed that as tax rates had increased during the first part of the 20th century, investors moved to avoid the highest rates - by choosing tax-free municipal bonds, for instance. As Mellon wrote in 1924:

The history of taxation shows that taxes which are inherently excessive are not paid. The high rates inevitably put pressure upon the taxpayer to withdraw his capital from productive business. [1]

If the rates were set more reasonably, taxpayers would have less incentive to avoid paying. His controversial theory was that by lowering the tax rates across the board, he could increase the overall tax revenue.

...
Mellon believed that the income tax should remain progressive, but with lower rates than those enacted during World War I. He thought that the top income earners would only willingly pay their taxes if rates were 25% or lower. Mellon proposed tax rate cuts, which Congress enacted in the Revenue Acts of 1921, 1924, and 1926. The top marginal tax rate was cut from 73% to 58% in 1922, 50% in 1923, 46% in 1924, 25% in 1925, and 24% in 1929. Rates in lower brackets were also cut substantially, relieving burdens on the middle-class, working-class, and poor households.
By 1926 65% of the income tax revenue came from incomes $300,000 and higher, when five years prior, less than 20% did. During this same period, the overall tax burden on those that earned less than $10,000 dropped from $155 million to $32.5 million, proving that his policy was truly progressive and did benefit all classes."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_W._Mellon#The_Mellon_plan)

msquared's picture

We both have stats, but they

We both have stats, but they conflict. Yours are from the 1920s. Mine are from the 1980s. Most recent wins! Hahahahaha, I beat you! Lol, I'm totally kidding. I'm really glad you're making points and coming up with stats. Most debates are just opinions without facts, which doesn't get you anywhere. But anywho, here are the facts that I got from A People's History:

"While he built up the military (allocations of over a trillion dollars in his first four years in office), Reagan tried to pay for this with cuts in benefits for the poor. There would be $140 billion of cuts in social programs through 1984 and an increase of $181 billion for "defense" in the same period. He also proposed tax cuts of $190 billion (most of this going to the wealthy).
Despite the tax cuts and the military appropriations, Reagan insisted he would still balance the budget because the tax cuts would so stimulate the economy as to generate new revenue. Nobel Prize-winning economist Wassily Leontief remarked dryly: "This is not likely to happen. In fact, I personally guarantee that it will not happen."
Indeed, Department of Commerce figures showed that periods of lowered corporate taxes (1973- 1975, 1979-1982) did not at all show higher capital investment, but a steep drop. The sharpest rise of capital investment (1975-1979) took place when corporate taxes were slightly higher than they had been the preceding five years."

So what seems to be the problem here is that even if taxes are lowered for the wealthy and more income tax is received, business suffers. And the poor end up suffering as well, but it's not from taxes; it's from leaders. Presidents who cut tax rates for the wealthy typically up military spending and lower domestic spending as well (Carter, Reagan, and Bush Jr. And Sr., for instance; the Reagan budget was listed above and proved this). The situation of the poor worsens, as is shown by the rises in unemployment in the Reagan and Bush Sr. years (30 to 40 percent of black youth were unemployed by the end of the 80s), as well as the present, with Bush Jr. (that 17 percent unemployment rate I threw at you earlier). Maybe the solution lies in keeping the tax rate high enough for capital investment to rise, but low enough that the rich won't be trying to dodge taxes so much. Put that on top of increased domestic spending, and I think we could see a change.

"But don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it."
-Stephen Colbert

Azul's picture

Yea, Reagan was pretty

Yea, Reagan was pretty horrible. I didn't like him that much. The difference is, Mellon reduced the deficit, he didn't increase the military budget. He was in fact, able to reduce the national debt from 26$ billion to 16$ billion in 9 years. Pretty impressive.

"Mellon's policy reduced the public debt (largely inherited from World War I obligations) from almost $26 billion in 1921 to about $16 billion in 1930, but then the Depression caused it to rise again. By 1935, Franklin Roosevelt had gone back to high tax rates and wiped out Andrew Mellon's initiatives. The top tax rate went to 80% by 1935 and the federal government increased excise taxes to make up for the lost revenue. [3]"

Andrew Mellon also felt that the rate should be around about 25%, with tax cuts in both the wealthy and the poor.

I also think we should maybe sink that extra money into something that actually benefits people, not to kill them. Maybe something like small-scale, diversified, whole foods and organic agriculture on local levels instead of country levels. Health care too. Maybe the national debt. Just take your fancy.

Azul's picture

Rhythm is a dancer.

Rhythm is a dancer.

5thstory's picture

Note: I didn't mean to make

Note: I didn't mean to make this reply so long, but explaining circumstances takes a while. Excuse me, please.

I'm not American, so I feel like a intruder in this conversation. Nevertheless, I feel that I can share my opinion, living in a country where I owe a big part of my security to the U.S. government's troops, funds, and intelligence aid, and a huge part of my insecurity due to the massive amounts of cocaine consumed in the U.S. (we're your biggest suppliers of cocaine, a rather distressful place. It's dishonourable for us, producers, and for Americans, consumers. Europeans are only to blame for a little more than 1% of the cocaine that leaves this country).
I don't wish to be misunderstood, and even when cocaine is the country's biggest export and the reason for the despicably violent guerillas, there are many reasons why this country is in the state it is. If anyone wants clarification on any topics related with Colombia, cocaine, the U.S. military aid, or needs help on anything related with Colombia, it will be my pleasure to help you.
Bottom line, the U.S. has played and will continue to play a huge role on this country.

About Obama: I don't quite feel neither for or against him (I don't want McCain to win, anyway), yet there is one big point I feel makes me go against him.
He does not support the aid given to Colombia.
That, and I'm not exaggerating, would be rather tragic. For more than 60 years this country has been fighting cruel guerrillas. In the beginning, the guerillas did pursuit social change in a scheme that was valid for them. Now they have became a mixture of right-wing and leftist opposing forces, murdering the poor people in the countryside, and providing cocaine to the US.
Since the U.S. started helping the situation has improved substantially. Back in the 80's, one or two bombings in the city a week was normal, with the guerillas and the drug lords in the peak of their reigns over the country. Murders and massacres were far more common then than now. As a reference for you, and U.S. embassy used to be surrounded of layers and layers of protection, both American and Colombian, and Americans were highly discouraged to travel here. Now a bombing is not only strange but something that should just not happen (deep psychological scars remain). Americans can travel at leisure here, and the embassy only has its original barriers. A big part of this is due to the American support. If retired, we would still be able to maintain the guerillas at hand -we've done so for 60 years-, but the economy would become stagnant again, with the poor getting even poorer, and violence growing.
Obama has said that he does not support this aid, and that it was a Republican plan, and that he -as a Democrat- would not continue the aid. The aid started with Clinton, who is a Democrat. Bush (even if I can't stand him) supported it. Is it so difficult to make a bipartisan effort?

Now, I wish to disagree on something rather small, even when I agree with most of the post.
"We're at an interesting point in history. As I said earlier, since this country started, the middle class has been a barrier between the upper and lower classes, preventing a massive revolution of the poor against the rich. But in recent years, the upper class has become even more greedy, leeching yet more wealth from both the impoverished and the people with average incomes. The middle class is becoming disgruntled--at the wealth disparity, the war, the incompetency of our leaders, and the foreign policy fiascos. If the middle and lower classes can finally see how much they have in common and how much they're being swindled out of by the ultra-rich, then Americans might at last stand up for themselves and for the first time in history actually be equal."

Economically speaking, the middle class if the best indicator of what is going on, and the best economies keep a rather large distance between the middle-class majority, and the high-class minority. The distance between middle and lower class, on the other hand, should be non-existent: there is no reason whatsoever why there should be impoverished people. So far, the U.S. has kept the balance rather well, not having huge amounts of poverty, nor very bad. I must agree, there has been a growth in poverty in the U.S., while rich people get richer, and the middle class has to tighten their belts. I also think that msquared's thoughts on taxes are quite correct. Unfortunately for everyone, it's the global economy that is causing this, and given the impact Europeans suffered the last year, it is, I feel, wise to protect the middle class, even if it's only lowering taxes. After all, if the middle class is strong, the setback won't be so strong. Taxes also have to be relieved from the poor, since they also feel the economical changes. Just look at the British, they are having a very hard time dealing with the economy right now (they didn't have enough time to prepare for the crash). The wiser thing to do -both for the U.S. and for the world- would be to make changes in pretty much every economical structure, in order to contain the wave of poverty that is hitting the world.

On another point, quite more personal, I only wish to say how you, Americans, tend to bash on your foreign policy. Of course Iraq was a immensely stupid thing to do, but as a non-American I must say that, generally, your foreign policy is peculiarly good. Even if the Bush administration's foreign policy was a total and complete disaster, after Clinton's eight years (specially Madeleine Albright's period as Secretary of State), too many foreign policy issues were left on the right track, so that at least the older initiatives are still doing a great deal of good, and working just fine. More than four years of an overall good foreign policy are not only strage but precious. You had eight, so please don't feel so bad about your foreign policy and your institutions, since they have had a rather honourable story, and have always strived to serve you. Please believe me when I say that, since I have seen the disastrous and tragic impact of less efficient governments.

Again, I am sorry I wrote so much, and I am sorry I meddled in your American discussion about American politics. I wish something of what I said was of any use to anyone.

" . . . The sun does not shine upon this fair earth to meet frowning eyes, depend upon it." Charles Dickens

Azul's picture

Your less biased than any

You're less biased than any American, shouldn't that be enough to let you contribute a fair amount of text to this discussion?

runningupthefreeway's picture

0

And where has real change come from, may I respectfully ask?

msquared's picture

The people! Strikes,

The people! Strikes, boycotts, protests. The climax of such things was in the 1960s; you might find some interesting information by researching that time period in American history.

"But don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it."
-Stephen Colbert

Azul's picture

1920 with the 20th

1920 with the 20th amendment: women suffrage, prohibition, local and state reforms (referendum, ect.) was also pretty big. The thing that cut it short was that damned depression and war... Then Joseph McCarthy (he was the biggest fucking prick ever)

jeff's picture

Hmm...

You can just feel the sexual tension between you two... stop hiding behind your stats and switch to private messages without all the facade and Obama nonsense.

---
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi

Add me on Facebook and MySpace.

Azul's picture

What? There is no sexual

What? There is no sexual tension. None. Nothing there.
You're just a delusional old pervert.

msquared's picture

Yeah, keep your hands where

Yeah, keep your hands where I can see 'em, Jeff. =] I know budgets and taxes are hot, but srsly...

"But don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it."
-Stephen Colbert

Azul's picture

Oh when I balance my check

Oh when I balance my check book my palms get all sweaty and oh...
And then when I'm online doing pc banking I can barely keep myself from screaming. I practically start hyperventilating. Then when I pay off my visa, my face just tenses up and goes O! style.
Then making a budget and setting an expenditure limit, every muscle in my body just went tense!

You're not that bad, but that's just from the demeanor you communicate. That's about it. You could end up being a huge obese cow or a bear. You could even like country. Speaking of country, I don't even know where the fuck you live or how old you are.

In conclusion, Jeff is a mental retardate.

What the fuck is up with all the A Squared ads that I have been seeing?

runningupthefreeway's picture

....

but those were run by people who knew politics and by leaders who,even if they were not government political leaders, were still highly political and engaged in the political process.

Just another thought.