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Venusian's Election Guide 2008 - Presidential Primary

Old 02-04-08, 12:49 PM
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Venusian's Election Guide 2008 - Presidential Primary

Since Zod shared his, I will too. This was an email I sent out to my friends and family.




During the 2004 elections, I sent out an election guide. For some reason, people actually liked it so I sent out another one in 2006. This year, I’ve actually received requests for one. This is the first edition for this year. Below is the same introduction found in the previous guides and then the actual information. The guide is meant to inform and somewhat entertain. Let me know what you think.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government… -The Declaration of Independence

As citizens of the United States of America, we have the right and privilege to institute a new government every two years. This is no right one should take lightly. Unlike what many naively state, our duty is not to be a voter, but to be an informed voter. I decided I would share some of the information I came across in the process of educating myself. This is some of the information I encountered and my analysis of it. As an informed voter, you should investigate the candidates and issues yourself. You should NOT rely on what I have said. You should NOT even believe that all of this is accurate. However, you SHOULD vote the way I recommend.

Democratic Party

Hillary Clinton

www.hillaryclinton.com

Chances are, everyone reading this has already made up their minds about Hillary. You either hate her (not sure why, the best answer I’ve gotten is because she is scary) or you love her (usually because she will bring back the utopia of the Clinton eras where flannel was cool and venture capital money was flowing like cheap oil from the Middle East). But from what I’ve gathered from talking to people, no one really has a reason for hating or loving her. Most people don’t really know her positions on any issues. Did you know she wanted to give us another federal holiday? Who could be against that?

Economically, Clinton wants to “return to fiscal responsibility.” Sounds good. One of her ideas is to raise the size of loans Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae can purchase. So fiscal responsibility means to encourage real estate prospecting that has led to the housing bubble that just popped? Check. She wants to provide healthcare for everyone. That sounds cheap and fiscally responsible. She will increase college tax credits, modernize HOPE, and increase the Pell Grant. I wonder who is going to pay for all these since she wants a balanced budget as well.

Hillary Clinton has been around D.C. for awhile. She pretty much knows what’s going on. According to her site: “As president, she will: Cut the minority dropout rate in half.” How? Shhhh…don’t worry your pretty little head, you don’t need details. Her plan includes “Cutting 500,000 government contractors”. How? I can only assume by making them direct hires to work in new agencies like the “Connie Mae” she suggests. Really? We can’t come up with better names anymore?

Although she is derided as a flaming liberal, Hillary has supported some controversial things like the War in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and No Child Left Behind. Since she’s supported some of Bush’s most hated (by the left) policies, many of her critics ask if she’s really be any different. Her greatest asset, Bill, is probably also her greatest liability. Slick Willy can’t seem to stay clean. If you want some interesting reading, Google “BoratGate” for information on Clinton questionably dealing with Kazakhstan.

From what I gather by reading her site, she is going to solve all the problems in America. If you don’t vote for her, you’re sexist.

Barack Obama

www.barackobama.com

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, this guy is black. Well, technically, he’s half black since his mom is white, but from what I understand, since he has married a black woman, he is accepted into the black culture (except for those who say he isn’t really African-American, but African-African-American. That makes no sense but makes for a good interview on The Colbert Report). Does it matter he’s black? Not to me, but some people think it’d be really cool to have a black President like they have personal stake in it. With apologies to Chris Rock, I’ve checked my mail every day for my ”Brown Governor Prize” since Jindal got elected and there’s been nothing, so don’t hold out people. Some people think Obama is a Muslim (or worse, a closet Muslim). He’s not. He’s a Christian. He attends Trinity United Church of Christ which leans heavily on liberation theology. I don’t really understand liberation theology too much but I mention it because his church and pastor, Jeremiah Wright, will be mentioned more if he is the nominee, particularly the pastor’s praise of Louis Farrakhan.

Obama is straight up liberal. Most political compasses I’ve seen, rate his as the farthest left of the Democratic candidates. However, if you read his positions on fiscal policy, he sounds somewhat conservative. He wants to reinstate PAYGO, the idea that the government has to pay for the money it spends. So basically, he wants the government to act like a fiscally responsible person and not a teenage girl on her first trip to the mall with her dad’s credit card. He wants to cut wasteful government spending (I’m guessing he and I would define wasteful differently), and is against raising the debt limit. He claims he will “dramatically simply tax filings.” Nice. How? Apparently by creating or expanding at least six different tax credits I count listed on his website. So from what I understand, creating new tax laws and carving out special credits for a select group of voters constituents leads to a simplified tax code! That must be the same logic that says raising minimum wage will lower inflation.

According to his site, “Obama will make available a new national health plan to all Americans”. No more 1990s where people tried to hide the idea of socialized medicine behind fancy terms. Time for straight up honest truth. “You see how efficiently the government spends money and runs things like the DMV? Yeah, well, we want to bring that efficiency to your healthcare system!” Why let someone in middle management in the insurance business determine the future of your health when you can let some government bureaucrat do it!

Other fun topics: He would bring the troops home from Iraq in 16 months. He would help us toward oil independence by doubling fuel efficiency of cars (that’s all we have to do to be oil independent? Nice to know). He would expand hate crime laws, because we all know that a crime is just a crime, but a hate crime is so much more (it might even be a boat!). He’d also eliminate the discrepancy between sentencing for crack cocaine and powdered cocaine. That is important enough to show up on his platform, but what about the discrepancy between dog fighting and other felonies? Free Michael Vick!

From what I gather by reading his site, he is going to solve all the problems in America. If you don’t vote for him, you’re racist.

Republican Party

Mike Huckabee

www.mikehuckabee.com

Mike Huckabee is the former Governor of Arkansas. Like Bill Clinton, who is also a former governor of Arkansas, Huckabee is from Hope, Arkansas. I think the similarities stop there. One of his claims to fame - he has lost 110 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes. Mr. Ex-chunky is also endorsed by none other than Chuck Norris - you know, the guy whose tears cure cancer, but it’s a shame he’s never cried. Before entering politics, Huckabee was a Southern Baptist preacher and even led the Arkansas Southern Baptist Convention. You would assume this means he is pretty conservative, but his opponents claim he is more a populist - socially conservative, fiscally liberal. How valid is that claim? Hard to say. Under him, many taxes were raised - including gasoline, cigarettes and sales taxes. But some taxes were cut (standard deduction for income taxes was raised leading to lower taxes). Huckabee claims that the tax increases were due to the fact that as a Governor he had to maintain a balanced budget. Balanced budget? If we are to believe Bush, there is nothing fiscally conservative about that. Now that he’s running for President though, Huckabee is supporting the Fair Tax. This gives his opponents plenty of ammo suggesting that he wants to raise sales taxes by 20-30%. They conveniently leave out the fact that he wants to eliminate the income tax completely. Feasible? Eh. Probable? Let’s say it has as much chance as Congress not giving themselves another raise next year.

Because of his background, Huckabee is full of fodder for any potential Democratic opponent in November. He has such classic quotes as: “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.” (Back? When was it ever a Christian nation?) And from his book: “It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations—from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia.” (When has necrophilia been publicly endorsed?)

From his site, Huckabee doesn’t support a government sponsored universal health care plan. He wants to fix the system, but just gives a bunch of fluff and no practical ideas. He wants to improve the infrastructure of the country. Most of the specific projects seem to involve Florida. Coincidently, these are from a speech he gave in Florida. That’s weird. He also promises energy independence by the end of his second term - hold up Skinny, let’s get the first term first. How? We’ll have to wait and see: “I’ll use the bully pulpit to inform you about the plan and ask for your support.” He’ll tell us when he gets there! He also has this nugget on his site: “I agree … that marriage does matter, I would add that nothing in our society matters more.” Really Mikey? Nothing? Quite a bold statement.

Huckabee seems like a great guy to hang out with and who would make a better VP than Chuck Norris, but his fiscal records scare conservatives and his social statements scare liberals. From what I gather by reading his site, he is going to solve all the problems in America but he won’t tell us how until he gets elected. If you don’t vote for him, you’re against Baptists.

John McCain

www.johnmccain.com

McCain is the senior Senator from Arizona, and when I say senior, I mean senior - dude is 71 years old. He served in the Navy and was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five and a half years. He’s also had three bouts with skin cancer. Dude is tough, even for a 71 year old. He could probably beat up Huckabee’s VP. Many consider McCain a moderate (or even a liberal), mostly because he isn’t partisan. He is one of the “Gang of 14″ Senators who worked out a deal so Bush’s Judicial nominees wouldn’t get filibustered and Republicans wouldn’t use the “nuclear” option. For some he was caving to liberals, to others he was putting his country before his party. He was also the author of a huge campaign finance reform law. Some saw this as cleaning up campaigns; others saw it as squelching free speech. He voted against Bush’s tax cuts. Some see his as wanting higher taxes, other see him as being fiscally responsible. But now he supports making the cuts permanent. Pandering? Eh. He also voted again Bush’s Medicare prescription plan which sucks beyond all comprehension so I can’t imagine that vote being anything but a positive for McCain. McCain was one of the main backers of the immigration reform bill that failed in the Senate last year. Many see this as his support for granting amnesty for illegal aliens. He is also one of the main opponents of the use of torture (as you can guess from his past). But he is a strong supporter of the war in Iraq and even the surge. Many critics see McCain as too hawkish. He has joked about bombing Iran.

McCain wants to eliminate the Alternate Minimum Tax and make Bush’s tax cuts permanent. He also says he wants to cut pork barrel spending. He wants to fix health care. He says something about giving everyone a tax credit for it but other than that, it is all buzz words that mean nothing. On Iraq, it sounds like he wants to be there for a while: “The American people also deserve to know that the path ahead will be long and difficult.” He will fix it, of course, by doing all the things Bush promised to do but couldn’t. He says he ”will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.” That is on a page about abortion so he says he will appoint pro-life judges. Many critics think he is more concerned about his campaign finance legacy and will nominate judges who will back his law. McCain says he will support allowing parents to choose the school for their kids. He is also a big supporter of NASA.

McCain had some shady dealings in the past that led to his involvement in the Keating Five scandal. He claims to have learned from it and that is why he is a big supporter of campaign finance reform. The media has coined him as the “Maverick” Senator and he lives up to it by saying stuff that gets him in trouble. He had a habit of using the derogatory term “gooks.” He claimed to only use it to refer to the people who held him prisoner for five years but has decided against using it in the future. Conservatives are worried that he isn’t conservative enough for them. But some would rather have someone they know than some of the other unknown choices.

From what I gather by reading his site, he is going to solve all the problems in America. If you don’t vote for him, you’re against Veterans.


Mitt Romney

www.mittromney.com

Mitt, a fine name for a President by the way, is a Mormon. If you don’t know what that is, and chances are you probably don’t really know much of Mormonism, you should look it up instead of being ignorant. Why does it matter that he is Mormon? I guess it is just his claim to fame amongst a pool that includes the potential first black and first woman Presidents. Romney used to be the Governor of Massachusetts. He was also a business man who “saved” the 2002 Olympics. He’s rich, like a couple hundred million dollars rich. (Which does go to show he has potentially has some fiscal knowledge versus someone like Joe Biden whose net worth is pathetic for someone who has been making six figures for years, but since he dropped out already, ya’ll are spared that rant). Like another Massachusetts politician who ran for President, Romney has been labeled a flip flopper. He used to be pro-choice, now he’s pro-life. He claimed he was more liberal than Ted Kennedy on gay rights, now he opposes gay marriage. There are charges he has flipped on gun control, immigration, minimum wage, and even his favorite book. Either he has just grown a lot in the years and changed his views, or he’s running for a nomination that requires conservative votes versus an office in a really liberal state. Not sure which it is.

But lucky for us, his website lists his current stance on many issues. Romney has published his own version of an economic stimulus plan which is surprisingly detailed. He would reduce the lowest income bracket to 7.5%, eliminate payroll taxes for seniors, and eliminate capital gains and interest taxes for people making under $200,000 to encourage savings. These ideas would benefit me, so I like them! But he doesn’t explain how he’s going to pay for this. He also wants to increase the size of loans that the government can back. As we learned earlier, that isn’t a good idea. I guess the best way to pay for this is cuts in spending. How would he do that? Hold non defense spending to inflation minus one percent. Does he realize what size of the budget defense is? He also says he’ll institute the line item veto. He might want to check the Constitution on that, but why should we let a pesky document like that stand in the way of grand promises? His site says he wants to isolate Iran diplomatically. Isn’t that what we’re already doing? His site says he’s also going to confront radical jihad and stop nuclear terror. He’s going to be busy.

From what I gather by reading his site, he is going to solve all the problems in America and the world. If you don’t vote for him, you’re Anti-Mormon.


Ron Paul

www.ronpaul2008.com

Ron Paul is a Congressman from Texas. He ran for President in 1988 under the Libertarian ticket. He must have realized that third parties don’t work under our winner take all system and went back to being a Republican. (Although I suspect he might look at a third party run again after this summer.) Paul is a doctor by trade. He loves the Constitution so much that he wants to marry it. He votes on all bills based on if they are Constitutional (his interpretation of course). This means he is against practically all spending. He is also against the War in Iraq since Congress never declared war which is what the Constitution requires. On top of that, he believes in a non interference foreign policy. A couple of notes from his site: “He has never voted to raise taxes. He has never voted for an unbalanced budget. He has never voted to raise congressional pay. He has never taken a government-paid junket.” Wow. Can all this be real?
Ron Paul’s idealistic views attract some odd bed fellows. He’s got a huge following on the internet causing him to become the leading fundraiser out of the GOP field. Back in the 90s, some of his fans published a newsletter under his name with his permission that included what some consider to be racist views. Paul has come out against the views but won’t release the names of the authors which has lost him some support. He also wants to eliminate the Federal Reserve and return to the gold standard. I have not studied the economic implications of these suggestions (give me a break, writing this thing took long enough) but I’m guessing they have about as much chance of becoming law as Paul has of winning the election. Being a libertarian, Paul is against censorship and the Patriot Act which along with his opposition to the war has won him many young fans. Too bad for him that young people don’t vote.

From what I gather by reading his site, he is going to let you deal with your own problems. If you don’t vote for him, you’re against freedom.

Endorsement

This is probably one of the hardest races to endorse. Be aware that in most states, you can only vote in one of the primaries (Republican or Democrat). My first choice would be None of the Above. The Democrats have something similar to this called “Uncommitted.” It has actually beat Kucinich in a couple of states (I guess that’s why he gave up). Since we don’t have a way to select none of the above, except for not voting, I’ll pick the lesser of the many evils (again). On the Democratic side, I don’t see a huge difference between the candidates. I’ve heard many say Clinton would be the most moderate fiscally, but I’m not sure that is true. On the foreign policy side, I doubt there would be a huge difference either except Obama says he will engage in dialogue with countries we don’t currently talk to. Overall, I think they are all similar enough to flip a coin. But in the end, I’ll go with Barack Obama because he seems like the nicest guy. Personality is secondary to policy for a President, but when policy is similar enough I’ll go with personality.

On the Republican side, the people all look very similar on many issues as well….except Ron Paul. He is basically on his own on everything. He represents a voice that seems not to have a position in the two party system. I am endorsing Ron Paul. I don’t agree with all his positions but he has no chance of winning. Why vote for him then? Because they all suck bad enough that I’m not going to use my vote to pick someone I like so I’ll use my vote to effect change. Maybe, although I highly doubt it, Paul’s fundraising and stronger than expected showing in some of the primaries will make both parties open their eyes and realize some of us want real change in Washington.
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Old 02-04-08, 12:52 PM
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Well written piece (and witty), but would be more helpful if you could provide unflattering photos of the candidates you didn't like.
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Old 02-04-08, 12:58 PM
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Good idea!

I'll add that next time. Maybe I should make a picture edition for those that are too lazy to read
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Old 02-04-08, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Well written piece (and witty), but would be more helpful if you could provide unflattering photos of the candidates you didn't like.
Please God no.

I enjoyed it a lot. You've convinced me to support McCain, if for no other reason than a victory for him will piss off the people I think deserve it most.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:13 PM
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Just one quick and very minor point, but PAYGO is a liberal fiscal policy tenet.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:15 PM
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why is paygo considered fiscally liberal?
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Old 02-04-08, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
why is paygo considered fiscally liberal?


Primarily because it refuses to address where the real problem exists, non-discretionary spending.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:43 PM
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Yes, it's more focused at getting more money to spend, not stopping the spending.
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Old 02-04-08, 02:25 PM
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Don't listen to Pharoh & X.

Their problem is that it requires the government to pay for the programs that the Repubs didn't want to pay for. They simply wanted to create unfunded liability after unfunded liiability. Iraq is the primary example.

Ask Pharoh about the origin of PayGo.
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Old 02-04-08, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Don't listen to Pharoh & X.

Their problem is that it requires the government to pay for the programs that the Repubs didn't want to pay for. They simply wanted to create unfunded liability after unfunded liiability. Iraq is the primary example.

Ask Pharoh about the origin of PayGo.
how is that different than what Pharoh & X said?

Basically to Democrats PayGo = raise taxes to pay for the spending.

If you envy & hate the rich, I'm sure Paygo sounds like a grand plan.
If you instead wish to see the government tighten their belt like regular Americans have to when things get tougher, then Paygo sounds like a horrible plan.
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Old 02-04-08, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
If you instead wish to see the government tighten their belt like regular Americans have to when things get tougher, then Paygo sounds like a horrible plan.
Average Americans haven't tightened their belts for years.
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Old 02-04-08, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
how is that different than what Pharoh & X said?

Basically to Democrats PayGo = raise taxes to pay for the spending.

If you envy & hate the rich, I'm sure Paygo sounds like a grand plan.
If you instead wish to see the government tighten their belt like regular Americans have to when things get tougher, then Paygo sounds like a horrible plan.
If you envy & hate the rich, I'm sure PayGo sounds like a grand plan.

Come off of that nonsense!!

Perhaps you should find out the origins of PayGo, and why it came about. I'll give you a hint: Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
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Old 02-04-08, 03:34 PM
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Is it better to spend and pay for it or spend and not pay for it?
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Old 02-04-08, 03:38 PM
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It's better to spend only what you already have coming in.
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Old 02-04-08, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by X
It's better to spend only what you already have coming in.
in theory a govt starts with 0 and works it's way up with tax policy, right? So you're saying stop taxes at what they are now and set that as the spending cap as well?
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Old 02-04-08, 03:45 PM
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Sure. Except for economic "emergencies" and war spending I think spending should be capped at a fixed percentage increase and tax revenues should not exceed what's needed to pay for those expenditures.

Of course some extra revenues need to be collected to pay down the debt, but no tax increases for new pet projects. Find something else to cut if you want to spend the money on something new.
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Old 02-04-08, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
If you envy & hate the rich, I'm sure PayGo sounds like a grand plan.

Come off of that nonsense!!

Perhaps you should find out the origins of PayGo, and why it came about. I'll give you a hint: Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
And shall I ask if YOUR taxes would be increased there C-Man, or is it just those horrible rich bastards that should pay for the politicians endless re-election spending? (ie, government contracts to those they favor or to those who donate to their campaigns)
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Old 02-04-08, 03:51 PM
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Pay-Go: Fiscal Responsibility or Political Cover to Raise Your Taxes?
By Rep. Eric Cantor

When the new majority implemented "pay-go" spending rules last fall, the American people thought they were getting a check on runaway congressional spending - not an excuse to raise taxes. Congress would offset any dollar of new government spending, we were told, with spending reductions in other areas.

Sadly, this year the majority has done nothing to change its profligate ways. Congress’ spending proposal came out $23 billion over the president’s budget request, an overall increase of over 10 percent from last year’s levels. Instead, Democrats have used pay-go as a pretext for a wave of new tax increases. Their strategy, disguised in the garb of “fiscal responsibility,” threatens to deal a decisive blow to American prosperity at a tense moment for our economy.

How does their stealth work? Consider the ongoing logjam over Congress’ attempt to patch up the alternative minimum tax (AMT). Because this tax was never indexed for inflation, 19 million additional taxpayers this year will be caught in its ever-expanding web, swelling the ranks of AMT payers to 23 million. Previous congresses have implemented a patch for middle-class AMT payers. But the inaction of this Congress has placed 23 million taxpayers at risk of a $2,000 tax increase this fiscal year.

Read On...

You have to smile at Democratic claims that opponents of AMT offsets are trying to pass the costs of the patch on to our children and grandchildren. That’s because another AMT patch would not increase the federal deficit. Preventing 19 million unsuspecting taxpayers from getting clubbed for the first time by an alternative tax hardly constitutes a spending increase or a new tax cut. The government has never collected AMT revenue from these taxpayers and never intended to.

House Democrats refuse to accept that reality. The opportunity to sell tax hikes as “offsets” is too tempting. Conveniently characterizing the patch as new spending, the House used a one-year AMT fix to muscle through an antigrowth 133-percent tax hike on investment partnerships. The ill-conceived Democratic legislation, which passed last month, increases taxes ostensibly to cut taxes.

The AMT struggle magnifies the differences between the two parties as we formulate tax policy for the future. The Democrats’ budget baseline for pay-go assumes more than just the revenue from 24 million AMT payers. It assumes that the Republican tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which lifted us from the depths of recession and fueled extraordinary economic growth, will expire in 2011. Taken together, these assumed revenues amount to an unprecedented $3.5 trillion tax increase on the backs of American families.

The Democrats’ inflexible adherence to this flawed form of pay-go puts the House at odds with the Senate, which passed a clean AMT patch on Thursday. More importantly, it imperils Congress’s ability to put America on sound economic footing. As we slog through a difficult economy, the last thing American families need is to be hit over the head with new tax hikes.
http://www.redstate.com/blogs/rep_er...ise_your_taxes

Kinda sounds like this...
Spoiler:
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