Live Blog of VP Debate

October 2, 2008

I will blogging about the VP debate live this evening! Hit f5 regularly to see what a person from Main Street America thinks about the VP debate.

Palin vs. Biden

Question 1-Bail-out, worst or best of Washington?

Biden-last 8 years of economic policies are a failure. Obama’s four criteria for rescue: oversight, focus on homeowners, no CEO benefits. Fundamentally change focus of economic policy by focusing on middle class.

Palin- Ask everyday American’s how they feel about the economy; fear, the economy is hurting. Government has not provided good enough oversight. John McCain has a history of providing oversight. McCain’s suspension of campaign was a good thing.

Question 2- How shrink gap of polarization?

Biden- Lists accomplishments, has as many Rep. friends and Dems. Goes after McCain for fundamentals of economy statement.

Palin- McCain was referring to the American workforce. They are the best in the world. Stresses track record of reform known for putting politics aside to get the job done. Obama has mostly voted along party line. Send Maverick of the Senate to the Whitehouse.

Question 3- Subprime lending melt-down, who’s at fault?

Palin- The fault of predator lenders who mislead Americans. Need to stop the greed and corruption on Wall Street. Every day Americans need to band together and say they will never be taken advantage of again and demand strict oversight. Americans need to avoid getting themselves in debt.

Biden- Obama warned about this 2 years ago, and McCain said he was for cutting regulations. McCain supports traditional Republican stance of deregulation. Middle class needs relief.

Palin- Tax relief needed for Americans. Obama and Biden voted for largest tax increases in US history. They voted for tax increases 94 times. Government needs to learn to be more efficient and make do with less. Obama supported tax increases for families making as little as $42,000/year.

Biden- Obama did not vote to raise taxes, McCain voted 477 times to raise taxes. Says Palin did not answer the question on dereg.

Palin- Stresses record on cutting taxes as Mayor and Governor.

Question 4- Obama proposed raising taxes on people making over $250,000

Biden- Fairness. Middle class is struggling. No one making less than $250,000 will see their taxes raised. 95% of people will get a tax break. Economic engine of America is the middle class. McCain wants 300 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy.

Palin- Says small business owners fall into the $250,000/ year category. Goes after him for suggesting paying higher taxes is patriotic. Government is not the solution, often it is the problem. Let the private sector have more freedom.

Question 5- Defend McCain’s healthcare plan

Palin- $5000 credit for families to purchase their own coverage rather than government run the program. McCain wants to allow competition between state.

Biden- It is not a redistribution of wealth, it is fairness. 95% of small businesses make less than $250,000/year and would not see tax increase. McCain taxes as income the healthcare plans of employers. 20 million people will be dropped from insurance.

Question 6- What promises will the campaign not have to keep in light of the economy?

Biden- No more double foreign assistance. No going forward with McCain’s tax cuts. Can’t slow up on education. Can’t slow up on providing healthcare for Americans. They will eliminate wasteful spending in the budget.

Palin- Energy plan: Obama voted for one the gave big oil tax breaks. Palin had to take them on in Alaska. CEO’s of oil are not her biggest fans. She put the people of Alaska first. Says she personally hasn’t promised anything to take off the table.

Biden- Obama voted for bill because it had support for alternative energy. He voted against big oil in other bills. They want to give Americans back $1000 like Palin has done in Alaska.

Question 7- Congress passes bill for making it harder for mortgage holders to declare bankruptcy, support?

Palin- Yes, again points out McCain’s calls for reform. Put politics aside to fix the problem. Need to make sure that credit markets don’t seize up.

Biden- Mortgage holders did not pay the price. Obama pointed out 2 years ago that there is a subprime crises. McCain said he was surprised by the crisis. Banks should be able to adjust the principle that you owe, not just the interest.

Palin- Talks about enery again. Says it is nuts not to allow Alaska to tap into its energy reserves. It would created tens of thousands of jobs. Energy independence is the key to this nations future. It’s not about tax breaks.

Question- Climate change?

Palin- Climate change is real, but it is not all caused by man. Cyclical changes of the planet. Encourage other nations to come along on climate change. Reduce emissions. Relying on other countries pollutes more than America would ever stand for.

Biden- It is man made. He knows what the cause is. McCain has voted against funding alternative energy. Obama believes in clean energy (coal, nuclear). Export clean coal tech.

Palin- McCain supports cap on carbon emissions. Obama/Biden say no to finding domestic solution to energy crisis. McCain also supports clean coal and nukes.

Biden- The answer is not oil for everything.

Question- Do you support same-sex benefits?

Biden- Absolutely. There will be no distinction between same-sex and heterosexual marriages. It’s only fair. The Constitution calls for it.

Palin- Does not want to redefine traditional definition of marriage. Says she would be tolerant of Americans choices. Defines as marriage as between one man and one woman.

Biden- Does not support gay marriage.

Question- Exit strategy from Iraq?

Palin- We have good plan. The surge has worked and was pushed for by McCain. Obama did not support the surge. Obama voted against funding troops in Iraq. We do not need early withdrawal in Iraq. We can continue draw down in Iraq and send more to Afganistan.

Biden- Obama’s plan is to shfit responsibility to Iraqi’s and draw down troops. McCain voted the same way on not funding troops because it had a timeline. Obama says there has to be a timeline. Time for Iraq to spend its own money. There is not end to war for McCain.

Palin- Obama plan is a white flag of surrender. They opposed the surge. We will be finished in Iraq when the government can govern and military and handle security. Biden said Obama not ready to Commander  and Chief.

Biden- McCain voted to cut off funding because of timeline. McCain has been wrong on the issues of war, Obama has been right.

Question- Nuclear Iran or unstable Pakistan, which is greater threat?

Biden- Pakistan already has nukes. Iran getting one would bad. McCain says central front of terror war is in Iraq, but it is in Pakistan. We will get Bin Laden.

Palin- Gen. Petraeus said Iraq was the central front in the war on terror. Iran cannot be allowed to acquire nukes. Israel would be in jeopardy. Obama would sit down with dangerous dictators without precondition.

Question- sec. of states say we should be engaged in diplomacy? Do you agree?

Palin- Yes, but we can’t engage at a presidential level. We will engage in diplomacy and have a plan in place.

Biden- Theocracy controls Iran. We need to go the extra mile in diplomacy to get our allies to sit with us. Goes after McCain for saying he would not sit down with Spain.

Question- Two state solution on Israel?

Palin- Yes, and would at the top of a McCain agenda. Need to assure Israel that there will be no 2nd holocaust. They will build and embassy in Jerusalem. Israel has track record of achieving peace agreements.

Biden- Biggest friend of Israel. Obama shares his passion. Bush policy on Israel is a failure. Iran has a stake in Lebanon and in Gaza.

Palin- No administration’s policy has been a failure. The administration has made mistakes. Obama and Biden keep looking back and not to the future.

Biden- The past is a prologue. McCain’s policy will not be different than Bush’s poicy. We will change policy.

Question- Use of nukes?

Palin- Ours are deterrents. Do not allow rogue leaders to get or proliferate nukes. McCain would have different strategy on Afghanistan. Institute an Iraq-like surge.

Biden- Gen. said surge will not work in Afghanistan. Spend more money in three weeks in Iraq than seven years in afghanistan. McCain voted against nuclear test ban treaty.

Palin- Gen. did not say surge principles would not work in Afghanistan. Afghan leaders have not said the surge would not work.

Biden- Gen. did say that.

Question- Intervention with military? Will Americna public go for it?

Biden- yes, troops in Bosnia saved lives. It is now relatively stable. Said going in Iraq would be a mistake. Voted for giving pres. power, but not to invade. Lead NATO into Darfur and impose no-fly zone.

Palin- Biden voted for the war before not supporting it. Biden supported McCain’s strategies before joining Obama ticket. Palin agrees with Biden on Darfur. As Gov. she divested money in Sudan.

Biden- We have to have the capacity before we go in. Never supported McCain’s strategy.

Palin- Again, Biden did support McCain before joining the ticket. McCain knows how to win a war because he has been there. He knows to learn from mistakes and listen to commanders on the ground.

Question- How would VP admin be different than top of ticket?

Biden- carry out Obama’s policy of supporting the middle class, energy policy, foreign policy, reject Bush doctrine of regime change. This is most important election since 1932.

Palin- A team of mavericks does not agree 100% on everything (ANWR drilling). She would put government back on the side of the people. Bring main street reality back to Washington.

Biden- People say they are worse off under Bush. People see McCain as another Bush. The middle class has gotten the short end.

Palin- Need to increase education funding. Can no longer accept poor schools. Put more emphasis on profession of teaching.

Question- What does VP do?

Palin- Preside over senate. Supportive of president’s policies. She would lead on energy independence and overall reform of government according to McCain.

Biden- Point person for legislation. Will advise Obama on decisions. Was chosen for independent judgment.

Palin- Will do what is best for the American people in ushering in the President’s agenda, appropriately.

Biden- Cheney has been the most dangerous VP in American history. The primary role of VP is to support the POTUS. VP only steps in during tie votes in senate.

Question- Achilee’s heal?

Palin- She has the experience in her past to lead. Shares her worldview with John McCain.

Biden- Lack of discipline, excessive passion. He will not change. Will put his and Obama’s record up against his competitors. Understands the plight of Americans from his experiences (ie single parent).

Palin- People are not looking for more of the same. Willing to put partisanship aside. McCain’s supporters illustrate his appeal across the aisle.

Biden- McCain has not been a maverick on the things that matter (budget, healthcare, education)

Final question- Single policy issue where forced to change a long held view?

Biden- Ideology of judges does make a difference

Palin- There were budgets that she maybe should have vetoed and wanted to cut taxes. She has not had to compromise on any major positions because they have able to work together in Alaska.

Question- How do you change the tone?

Biden- I have been able to work across the aisle. Does not question motives of fellow senators.

Palin- Appoint people regardless of party affiliation as she did during her tenure. People will have a choice come Nov. 4th.

Closing statements-

Palin- Wants to speak without the filter of mainstream media, likes the debate format because she can address America directly. We have to fight for freedom.

Biden- Most important election in your entire life. There is a need for fundamental change. It’s time for America to get up from being knocked down.

Personal note-

Thanks to everyone for reading this evening. I will try to post my thoughts on the debate tomorrow. Thanks again!


America’s Emails Crash the House Email Server

September 30, 2008

I thought I would take the advice of Dave Ramsey and forward his economic plan to my representatives and I discovered this:

Main Street Crashes House Email Server!

Main Street Crashes House Email Server!

American’s are letting their voice be heard on this issue and it is a good thing because it reminds our politicians who they work for.


Dave Ramsey’s “Common Sense Fix” to the Nation’s Economic Woes

September 30, 2008

I think Dave Ramsey is on to something with his ideas. They reflect what we, the Main Street Americans, need and not what the politicians want to get reelected. He has been advertising this plan on his website and encouraging his listeners and website visitors to send the plan to everyone they know and to their representatives in Washington D.C. A grassroots effort like this is exactly what we need to get our voice heard.

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The Common Sense Fix

-Dave Ramsey


Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three step Common Sense Plan.
I. INSURANCE
a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance. Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two things:
1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.
b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.
2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.
c. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.
II. MARK TO MARKET
a. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.
b. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.
III. CAPITAL GAINS TAX
a. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.
b. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement investments that go up instead of down.

This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.


Wall Street Bail Out Fails to Pass!

September 29, 2008

Today was a good day for democracy. When the bail out deal was announced the American people finally had had enough. Americans took to their phones and email accounts and bombarded Congress with calls and letters saying “NO WAY!” I have been listening to the radio and reading the news, doing my best to follow this issue. I know there are economic factors at stake that are beyond my grasp, but I think that the common sense of the every day American won a great victory here.

Most people understand that if you do something stupid, you pay for it. Over the past few weeks the government has been using the tax dollars of Americans to pay for blatant stupidity. There seems to be some sentiment among Americans that even if not passing this bail out leads to some tough times that we will all be better off in the long run. Why? Because people will learn that stupidity and outright greed will not be rewarded.

I expect the government to go back to the drawing board to try and come up with some other type of bail out plan to rescue the economy, but I think they are completely missing what we really need to stabilize the economy. I agree with Mike Huckabee that the best way to fix the economy is to dramatically cut taxes on investing. Imagine if the taxes on investing were completely eliminated, money would pour into the American markets and more people would be encouraged to invest.

Washington only knows how to spend our money. They think that they can spend their way out of this mess, when what America really needs is more incentive to invest. Hopefully, the defeat of this bill will help them to realize that Americans don’t want to see stupidity rewarded.

On a side note: isn’t it funny that the Democrats, who claim to stand for “the little guy”  seem intent to pass this bail out that will cost every single little guy thousands of dollars while rescuing big business?


Mike Huckabee Lambasts Republicans for Their Consideration of Wall Street Bail Out

September 24, 2008

Mike Huckabee today released a statement about the idiocy going on in both parties as they work with Wall Street to strap the American tax payer with hundreds of billions of dollars in bail out monies. Huckabee shows here that he is not merely Republical talking head by calling this bail out what it is: stupid. He also offers up some ideas to help get us out of this mess without charging the tax payers for the stupidity of Wall Street.

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Bailing on Our Principles

Today at 12:14pm

by Governor Mike Huckabee

Frankly, I’m disappointed and disgusted with my own Republican party as I watch them attempt to strong-arm a bailout of some of America’s biggest corporations by asking the taxpayers to suck up the staggering results of the hubris, greed, and arrogance of those who sought to make a quick buck by throwing the dice. They lost, but want the rest of us to cover their bets so they won’t be effected in their lavish lifestyles as they figure out how to spend their tens of millions and in some cases, hundreds of millions in bonuses and compensation which was their reward for not only sinking their companies, but basically doing the same to the entire American economy.

It’s especially disconcerting to see the very people who pilloried me during the Presidential campaign for being a “populist” and not “understanding Wall Street” to now line up like thirsty dogs at the Washington, D. C. water dish, otherwise known as Congress, and plead for help. I thought these guys were the smartest people in America! I thought that taxpayers like you and I were similar to the people at the U. N. who have no translator speaking into their headset – that we just needed to trust those that I called the power bunch in the “Wall Street to Washington axis of power.”

The idea of a government bailout in which we’d entrust $700 billion to one man without Congressional oversight or accountability is absurd. My party or not, that is insanity and I believe unconstitutional.

Will there be far-reaching consequences without some intervention? Probably, but we honestly don’t know since we’ve really never seen this level of greed and stupidity all rolled into one massive move. But may I suggest that letting “Uncle Sugar” step in and bail out the billionaires who made the mess will be far worse and will start a long line of companies and individuals who will demand the same of the government—which last time I checked means that they will be demanding it out of YOU and ME. This is not money that Congress is risking from THEIR pockets or future, but ours. Many if not most of us have already experienced lost value on our homes, retirement accounts, and pensions. Now they’d like for us to assume some further risks so they won’t have to.

What happened to the “free market” idea? Is that only our view when we WIN and when we LOSE, we ask the government to come in and take away the pain?

If you are a small business owner, is this the way it works at your place? When you have a bad month, a bad year, or face having to close, can you go up to Congress and get them to write YOU a fat check to take away your risk?

Some of what contributed to this disaster is too much government in the form of Sarbanes/Oxley. Some is due to the tax structure that created the hunger for companies to “game” the system. Some is the common sense that was ignored like loaning money to people who can’t pay it back.

Wall Street has become Las Vegas east, but at least in Vegas, people KNOW they are gambling and they don’t expect the government to cover their losses at the tables. In Wall Street, they do. And the American taxpayer burdens the responsibility.

If Congress wants to do something, here are some suggestions:

1. Eliminate ALL capital gains taxes and taxes on savings and dividends right now. Free up the capital and encourage investment. This is the kind of economic stimulus the Fair Tax would bring and if Congress is going to lose money, let them lose it with lower taxes, not with public dollar bailouts of private market mistakes.

2. Repeal Sarbanes/Oxley. It has failed. It was supposed to prevent this. It didn’t. Kill it.

3. Demand that the executives who steered their ships into the ground be forced to pay back the losses of their companies. Of course, they can’t, so let them work and give back to the government and they can live like the people they put on the streets or kept there. It makes no sense to put them in jail—that’s just more they will cost you and me. I’d rather them go out and earn money—just not get to keep so much of it this time. I’m not talking about limiting CEO salaries—just those of the people who now are up in Washington begging for help because they ruined their companies.

Attempts by Democrats and Republicans to blame each other is nonsense. They are both guilty and ought to own up and admit it. They all lived off big campaign contributions and the swill of the lobbyists who strong armed them into permission to steal. Enough of blame. Fix it!
This would be a start. If we don’t hold these guys responsible, we are all finished.