Monday, August 18, 2008

Ugh, please!

Here's a line from last night's debate that I'd managed to wipe from memory until this morning:

..."some of the richest people I've ever known in my life are the most unhappy."

That was the beginning of John McCain's answer to the question "How do you define 'rich'?" The context, of course, is the issue of how America is going to pay for all of her spending on wars, the military machine, caring for our seniors, maintaining our crumbling infrastructure, educating our children, investing in our future, researching cures for diseases, etc. Barack Obama subscribes to the typically progressive notion of a graduated tax system, where those who have the most money should also share in the greatest burden. John McCain is now positioning himself as a defender of the notion that your ability to pay should have no bearing on the amount which you are taxed. But the intellectual bankruptcy of such an approach is well apparent in the above quote. How do you defend tax policies that inordinately bruden the poor while plunging the country deeper and deeper into debt? Simple: you distract the American public with this saccarine, soap-operatic nonsense about how unfair it would be to demand sacrifice from all those poor, poor rich people who have lots of money but lead sad and empty lives. Then, of course, you continue to propagate the lie that lowering taxes effects an increase in government revenues. And finally, you blame "out of control government spending" in the abstract for the deficit, without actually spelling out what elements of the social safety net (Social Security? Medicaid? School lunches?) you intend to cut.

McCain did all of that last night, which is just more evidence of the levels to which the man has sunk. His sob story about the unhappy millionaires, coupled with his insistence that cutting taxes increases revenue, added to nonsense proposals for cutting government spending, proves the man is just another right-wing ideologue. Consider that as an example of "wasteful" government spending, McCain cited a paltry $3 million, 5 year study to help protect endangered Grizzly Bear populations. That $.6 million yearly expenditure accounts for about .000005% of the $2.7 trillion Federal budget. And this is from a man who adamantly supports an uneccesary war that costs the nation about $10 billion a month to fund. To put that in perspective, you could fund one thousand 5-year grizzly bear studies every day with the money we're throwing away in Iraq. Clearly the man's priorities are way out of whack.

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