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WSJ reports: One of Barack Obama's most potent campaign claims is that he'll cut taxes for no less than 95% of "working families." He's even promising to cut taxes enough that the government's tax share of GDP will be no more than 18.2% -- which is lower than it is today.
It's a clever pitch, because it lets him pose as a middle-class tax cutter while disguising that he's also proposing one of the largest tax increases ever on the other 5%. But how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all? There are several sleights of hand, but the most creative is to redefine the meaning of "tax cut."
For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase "tax credit." Mr. Obama is proposing to create or expand no fewer than seven such credits for individuals:
- A $500 tax credit ($1,000 a couple) to "make work pay" that phases out at income of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 per couple.
- A $4,000 tax credit for college tuition.
- A 10% mortgage interest tax credit (on top of the existing mortgage interest deduction and other housing subsidies).
- A "savings" tax credit of 50% up to $1,000.
- An expansion of the earned-income tax credit that would allow single workers to receive as much as $555 a year, up from $175 now, and give these workers up to $1,110 if they are paying child support.
- A child care credit of 50% up to $6,000 of expenses a year.
- A "clean car" tax credit of up to $7,000 on the purchase of certain vehicles.
The beleaguered Democratic-leaning community group Acorn sends over this photograph: John McCain, in March of 2006, sitting beside Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek at an event Acorn co-sponsored in Florida.
The immigration event, which other photos show was packed with red-shirted Acorn member, was co-sponsored by the local Catholic Archdiocese, the SEIU, and other groups.
McCain, still spiting much of his party on immigration at the time, was the headliner.
Bertha Lewis, Acorn's chief organizer, said in a statement that came with the photo, “It has deeply saddened us to see Senator McCain abandon his historic support for ACORN and our efforts to support the goals of low-income Americans."
”We are sure that the extremists he is trying to get into a froth will be even more excited to learn that John McCain stood shoulder to shoulder with ACORN, at an ACORN co-sponsored event, to promote immigration reform," she said.
On Fox News Sunday today, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol implied that President Bush is more likely to attack Iran before leaving office if he believes Sen. Barack Obama is going to win the election because he is confident that Sen. John McCain will continue his Iran policy for a third term.
The New York Times has reported the following article. We have edited it to include the research and sources that they refer to, where available.
The most persistent falsehood about Senator Barack Obama’s background first hit in 2004 just two weeks after the Democratic convention speech that helped set him on the path to his presidential candidacy: “Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion.”
That statement, contained in this press release, spun a complex tale about the ancestry of Mr. Obama:
A month ago, the Iranian parliament voted in favour of a draft bill, entitled "Islamic Penal Code", which would codify the death penalty for any male Iranian who leaves his Islamic faith. Women would get life imprisonment. The majority in favour of the new law was overwhelming: 196 votes for, with just seven against.
Imposing the death penalty for changing religion blatantly violates one of the most fundamental of all human rights. The right to freedom of religion is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in the European Convention of Human Rights. It is even enshrined as Article 23 of Iran's own constitution, which states that no one may be molested simply for his beliefs.
And yet few politicians or clerics in Iran see any contradiction between a law mandating the death penalty for changing religion and Iran's constitution. There has been no public protest in Iran against it.
David Miliband, Britain's Foreign Secretary, stands out as one of the few politicians from any Western country who has put on record his opposition to making apostasy a crime punishable by death. The protest from the EU has been distinctly muted; meanwhile, Germany, Iran's largest foreign trading partner, has just increased its business deals with Iran by more than half. Characteristically, the United Nations has said nothing.
It is a sign of how little interest there is in Iran's intention to launch a campaign of religious persecution that its parliamentary vote has still not been reported in the mainstream media.
For a man who stated early on that he would run a campaign that he could be proud of, John McCain's campaign has turned into a cesspool of vitriol. With the crazies that he is awakening and emboldening this could turn ugly. And it would be the fault of none other than John McCain and Sarah Palin.
Their choice to turn their campaign away from issues and into a character assassination could lead to bloodshed in a country that is all too familiar with assassinations of presidents and presidential candidates.
Shame on you John McCain. Shame.
Stand up and take responsibility for the filth that you are putting on our airwaves and the unwarranted hatred you are stoking through your Vice Presidential nominee's speeches.
The plans to implement martial law in America have been taking shape for decades, hidden behind "Continuity of Government" contingency planning. Now, with public outcry over the banker bailout bill at fever pitch, all of the pieces are in place for the U.S. Army to start policing American citizens.
Many of the professional economists who formally endorsed John McCain's economic plan are expressing bewilderment with his most recent proposal to rectify the home mortgage crisis.
In interviews with the Huffington Post, roughly a dozen of McCain's economist supporters said they disagreed with the Senator's recent proposal -- for the government to buy distressed mortgages at face value from banks and renegotiate them with homeowners. Several viewed it as a gimmick, driven mostly by political circumstance. Only one pro-McCain economist spoke up in favor of the plan.
"This is just political gamesmanship," said Robert H. Heidt, a professor at the Indiana University School of Law. "The bill is wildly over-ambitious in trying to rescue home buyers from the downturn in real estate appreciation. It's costs would never end. I will end up voting for McCain but this is ridiculous."
Added George Viksnins, a retired professor of economics at Georgetown University: "Even though I support McCain I think this is an ill-considered program. This was something to get press time and face time, and that is the problem with our political system. This was done as a sound bite and without analysis."
"This is part of the larger plan to reward people who made mistakes. There is nothing in the plan to prevent people from continuing to do dumb things," remarked Don Booth, a professor of economics at Chapman University, who previously signed onto McCain's economic plan. "If we reward bad behavior, we will get more bad behavior."
One economist who backed McCain was more sympathetic to what the Arizona Republican was trying to do -- the argument being that the government, which contributed to the crisis by encouraging home loans to those in no position to afford them, now held responsibility in helping the nation out of the mess.
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