Friday, May 23, 2008

Still more on McCain: "It's the economy, ____" edition


McCain, small-c conservative (i.e. "fiscal"), which one assumes means "friend of the working Joe."

Well, probably it won't come as a surprise that he's not backed by the Teamsters, first of all; still, for those Dems or independents or "other" still thinking there's no difference between him and Their Favorite Candidate:

Both McCain and Bush support anti-union laws that make it harder for workers to unionize. They want to privatize Social Security. They have no meaningful plan to deal with our country's health care crisis. And they dismiss the good-paying manufacturing jobs we lost due to NAFTA with no plans to replace them. In January, McCain even said that "there are some jobs that aren't coming back to Michigan."

...Unfortunately, many Americans share our woes in Michigan. Since Bush took office, not only are we working harder for less, but 2 million more of us are out of work and 11 million more lack health care insurance. We have had slow wage growth, skyrocketing costs for gasoline and health insurance, and four straight months of job losses. Foreclosure is a looming possibility for millions of families.

Yet McCain believes we don't need to significantly change course. He credits Bush for overseeing "great progress economically," but he fails to mention that for the first time since World War II, we have experienced sustained national economic growth while personal incomes have dropped. McCain's economic stimulus plan is based on increased deregulation, slashing corporate taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent, and making permanent the Bush income tax cuts, which disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

The tax cuts illustrate how McCain has turned his back on working-class Americans' problems. In 2001, when the cuts were debated in Congress, McCain was one of just two Senate Republicans to oppose these taxes due to concerns that turned out to be accurate—increased budget deficits, unanticipated defense costs and a costly Iraq war. He has switched to court the divisive supporters of President Bush.

Unlike the Democratic presidential candidates, McCain is opposed to renegotiating the so-called free trade agreements that have resulted in 3.7-million U.S. manufacturing jobs being lost in the past 10 years—a major factor in Michigan being one of only two states to lose jobs in the same period. These are the same pro-business policies that have helped make it so difficult for working-class Americans to make a living...

Okay, so granted, not everyone is exactly down with Jim Hoffa either. Say one takes a more business-minded view of things. At random: Forbes magazine, for example, offers this assessment:

A UBS analyst said Wednesday the policies of Sen. John McCain would benefit restaurant and packaged food companies more than those of one of his Democratic rivals, Sen. Barack Obama.

...which sounds good. I mean, if you're a restaurant or packaged food company.

The candidate's tax platform - including lowering corporate tax rates and removing the alternative minimum tax - would also help pad margins and boost consumers discretionary spending if those changes were enacted, Palmer said.

In terms of health care legislation, the effect of a McCain presidency would be mixed for restaurants and food companies. Palmer said companies would be worse off if McCain were to require them to contribute to a national health insurance plan.

Earlier this week, McCain unveiled a plan that would propose offering tax credits to individuals and their families so that people will buy health insurance on their own rather than through an employer.

Obama, meanwhile, has called for a national public health insurance program that would require companies to provide coverage for all employees or contribute to the public plan.

...which presumably means companies would be even more worser off if Obama's plan were enacted.

Which is something to take into consideration, because corporations are people too.

Of course, some might consider this stance a tad, well, elitist.

If you're receiving veteran's benefits for having served in the military but vote against others getting benefits, then it's probably a safe bet that you're an elitist.

If you're getting great government health care as a Senator but block underprivileged kids from getting it, then you may be an elitist.

If you own half a dozen or so houses and insist on blocking folks from mortgage relief while using tax dollars to bail out banks and mortgage companies who made questionable loans, then you just may qualify as an elitist.

If you and your wife are worth millions and intend to make permanent tax breaks that greatly benefit only the wealthiest, then some might regard you as the elitist candidate.

Of course, as we all know, that's not elitism; this is real elitism:

"Here's how it is: In a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism."

...You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.

"And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate and they have not," he went on. "And it's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

...And so people don't vote on economic issues, because they don't expect anybody's going to help them. People are voting on issues like guns, are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. They take refuge in their faith and their community and their families and the things they can count on. But they don't believe they can count on Washington."

I mean, it might be true? but it's outrageous to SAY it. Actually, if you don't say it, it won't be true. Certainly it's wrong to suggest that people are (rightfully) cynical about previous government administrations, or that y'know, some people might be blaming the wrong people/factors for the economic depression.

"It's a remarkable statement and extremely revealing," McCain adviser Steve Schmidt said in a statement. "It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking, it is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."


ETA: O lookie here, though, this just in, he just finally rejected the endorsements of Hagee and Parsley.

Which leads one to wonder who's ultimately going to have more staying power here: McCain, or Parsley.

Let's hope it's the beginning of the end of an era for both.


Celia said...

I think some people are deliberately misunderstanding Obama's "bitter" comments, so that they could turn it around into "he said everyone with a gun is bitter and hateful!" which is quite clearly not what he said, but it's politics, innit? Filthy business. Spin, lies, denial, general underhanded garbage.

Also, McCain has admitted that he doesn't know the first thing about economics. Of course, neither do I, but I'm not running for president of anywhere. I do suspect, however, that people who do know something about economics might find it a little embarrassing (to say the least) to have someone in such a high seat of power whose methods appear to be "let's just keep on doing what we were doing, that's been going fine, right?"

belledame222 said...

Also, McCain has admitted that he doesn't know the first thing about economics. Of course, neither do I, but I'm not running for president of anywhere.


and, like, you don't even have to be particularly economically savvy to look at "2001: Bush tax cuts=bad news, sez McCain, credit to him. 2008: the economy's in the toilet, much as many had predicted; but NOW McCain says he wants to extend the tax cuts" and go: um, maybe, no? fuck you?

belledame222 said...

and yeah, there's a -reason- I had deliberately not been paying attention to any of this shit all this while. It's time, though, I expect. sigh.

Vanessa said...

I hate - hate - hate the "elitist Obama" meme.

I mean, really, after 8 years of president "have a beer with me" Bush, is anti-elitism really the game we're gonna play? Really?

belledame222 said...

I mean, the whole flip-flopping meme got on my tits--hey, people are allowed to change their minds--but it seems abundantly clear to me, looking at McCain's record, that either

a) if he really means most of the changes, we're up shit creek, because he's swung considerably to the right over the last erm um eight years or so?

b) if he really doesn't mean it, why's he still saying it? He already got the nomination, so he doesn't need to pander to the far right so much (hence the axing of Hagee and Parsley, finally, no doubt, now that people are -finally- starting to pay a little attention to such things as the Dem primaries wheeze to a close, sort of). and, why'd he vote the way he did? even if one assumes that actually, he just does whatever he has to do to stay politically viable, which it sure looks like from here (that throwaway line about the border fence, and yes, Obama and Clinton suck for that, too, no doubt)--just, we need this now, why?

belledame222 said...

Vanessa: clearly.

because if it wasn't that, it'd be he's gutter trash (and worse): see Bill Clinton round 1.

I mean, this is a world wherein Ann Coulter can spin a quadrepelegic war vet as a coward & contribute to his loss at the ballot box.

but yeah: "elitist" has nothing to do with one's actual policies; "elitist" has to do with, someone can convince you that they -think- you're beneath them, because that's what's important, after all.

also, how good your affected twang is, and how many foreign words you use, and whether you like pork rinds.