Thursday, September 4

Fact Checking Palin's Speech

A reader asked if I was going to fact check Sarah Palin's speech from last night's convention. I said 'no' because I didn't do that for Obama's or Biden's speeches. Ironically, I stumbled across an article from The Huffington Post that broke down a number of Palin's assertions. Here's one:

PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

You can read the rest here.


Jeff said...

In other words, if you're an average working American family, you'll do better under the Obama plan than the McCain plan. The tax increase for the upper class under the Obama plan is essentially rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which is what McCain always advocated for before he changed his position to appease the Republican base. Obama's tax plan favors the poor and middle class workers. McCain's plan continues Bush's tax policy favoring the upper class.

If any of this even matters.

Vicki said...

This sounds great, but he's also planning on greatly increasing government programs. Money will have to come from somewhere so Congress WILL have to raise taxes. He'll just be able to slough the blame. Don't think you can get something for nothing. And don't think taxing the rich is going to solve all our problems. The rich people are rich enough to have smart tax guys working to eliminate much of their tax burdon. It's going to fall on the middle class.

Jeff said...

This must be what it feels like to be in the Twilight Zone.

Shauna said...

Vickie is absolutely right. He wants to provide National Healthcare, assistance for people who chose an ARM and got themselves in trouble and other social services. That stuff doesn't just fall out of the sky for free. Someone has to pay for it and that someone is always going to be you and me - hard working Americans who make a decent living and try not to get ourselves in too much trouble. His plans about every social program for every individual is very Orwellian. Even if the taxes "even out" we pay a pretty high price in loss of freedom and individuality. Oh No! I am a thought criminal!

Anonymous said...

Let's talk about the whole picture:

When Obama raises taxes on the wealthiest of Americans, he will be raising taxes on the people who employ the middle class. Their tax burden may go down, but so will their chance at advancement and probably their benefits packages.

Basic economics people, basic economics.

Melissa said...

Jeff -

I'm starting to wonder if you're on the P4M's payroll to keep things lively around here!

You comments are thought provoking; however, I cannot see how someone of your high intellect would be interested in vehemently supporting someone who is all smoke and mirrors. We don't need more "government programs", we don't need higher taxes (I can't even imagine that scenario) and as much as I hate what the war in Iraq has done to our economy and American families who lost a son or daughter, to pull out before the mission is completed would be wrong. I mean, really, what is he thinking?? And, Jeff, I'd be interested to know what draws you to him?

Sarah said...


I'd like to know what are Obama's top three accomplisments that make the case for him being President.

And second, if you think he's going to establish a national healthcare plan and not have to raise taxes on just about everyone, you're the one living in the twilight zone.

Jeff said...

I humbly suggest you educate yourself on the issues before you repeat the same old tired Republican propaganda:

How many times will you allow yourself to be used by a party dedicated to enriching the most among us at the expense of the least?

Jeff said...

Believe it or not, I do this for free and because I love my country more than my Republican roots. The last 8 years have been an eye-opener in terms of how blind party loyalty (indeed, blind loyalty to anything) can lead people to twist and contort reality to justify the most unjust (and unconstitutional).

I respect John McCain, but the Republican party has not earned another 4 years in the White House. It's as simple as that. How anyone can glibly brush aside the Bush years as inconsequential is beyond me, and every partisan Republican that cheered and justified each sad failure is complicit. Obama turns the page.

More on Obama later...I need sleep.

Jessi said...


I think you better think about who the "least" among us might include if you are going to throw that phrase around.

And you might want to consider that there are Americans who are voting republican right now because they agree with the stances - and it's their right to! Imagine! It doesn't make them idiots, and not all are spouting republican rhetoric. Some of us have actually weighed in our heart what is important to us, and what stances we want represented in our government by our elected officials. I have hated politics most of my life, but in an effort to appreciate, value and make the most of the freedom we are blessed with to have input in my government, I've tried to keep up on the FACTS (not the rhetoric or the spin, from EITHER party) - including personally looking into both the voting records of Sens. Obama and McCain. I've enjoyed the suave personality of Barack Obama, but he simply does not represent me or my values - as per his voting records. McCain doesn't on every point, but certainly on many, many more than Obama, so for me, he will be my choice. However, until we get to the point where we stop assuming the idiocy of everyone who has a different perspective than ourselves, it will be hard for either party to bring any real change to our nation.

Jessi said...

Well, apparently Jeff & I were posting at the same time, and when I re-visited the comments, found his last comment...

Jeff, how it blindly choosing democrat because you didn't like the last republican instead of comparing both the candidates as individuals any better than blindly choosing republican?

I thought it was more about the candidate than the party...McCain even chastised his own party tonight.

So, you are saying that because republicans are unhappy with Bush's politics, that we should "jump ship" on principle, no matter which candidate will more accurately represent us?

The "change at all cost" theory doesn't make sense, and to say "the republican party hasn't earned another 4 years" - no matter what the record or stances of the new candidates are - still seems like blind party voting to me.

Jessi said...

One additional thought...there's more at stake here than tax cuts and my pocket book (and let me just say, my pocket book is hurting as much as everyone else's, so I'm not some rich elitist who couldn't use some extra cash in my yearly budget). But I hardly think it's worth trading innocent childrens' lives, possibly national security, and personal freedoms of Americans in order to have a few extra bucks in my hand.

Melissa said...


That's why John McCain is a breath of fresh air...almost any other Republican candidate could look like more of the same last 8 years (which wasn't all bad and not all Bush's fault). I would never "blindly" follow any party lines if the person within that party didn't represent what was important to me. It's so disappointing to hear of people "abandoning the Republican party" because they are mad at Bush. I could understand that if Bush was the nominee, but he isn't. Are you and the other disenfranchised so desperate for change that you're willing to abandon your convictions? I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you think an Obama/Biden white house will fix this country's problems. I only see that scenario as causing more damage (higher taxes, bigger government and who knows what with foreign policies in dangerous countries).

Jeff said...

My apologies for my earlier snarky comments. I looked at it again and realized how mean it sounded, even by my litigator standards. That doesn't mean I don't beleive the Republican party has deceived the public on economic issues, but I was too harsh.

Jeff said...

An Obama/Biden White House will not fix all of the problems. No White House will, whether they're a D or R. However, given the current state of the parties, I believe we have a better chance with making progress on many of the most important issues with Obama/Biden. Among those issues are a more just tax system, a more just trade policy, real health care reform (not just reform that profits the insurance/pharma companies), energy independence, the environment and international legitimacy.

I think someone mentioned health care. This is a huge issue. If we want to support small business, the best thing we can do is deal with the health care crisis. I used to work for a small/mid-sized company. We laid-off more people because of the rising cost of health care than any other reason. It's huge. As much as conservatives love to deride the Europeans, there are things we can learn from them and health care is one of them. No, we don't need to mirror their system, but there's a reason why Europeans are healthier than we are. Ask any American living in the UK, France or elsewhere in Europe and they'll tell you one of the things they love the most is the health care system. Now, this is by no means an easy thing to do, but Obama and the Democrats have demonstrated much more creativity and courage on this issue than the Republicans who can't seem to think beyond policies that further enrich the insurance/pharma companies. Obama has a plan, but I don't believe for a second that his plan will become law. Campaign plans rarely, if ever, become law once they are subjected to the legislative process. However, with Obama, I think we'll have a strong advocate for the people to get something done on this issue. I trust him and the Dems on this issue far more than the Republicans who won't even let Medicare negotiate prices with the drug companies or allow Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canadian sources.

Need to work.

Shauna said...

I am as concerned with the healthcare of the underprivelaged as much as the next girl. I do have a problem though, when I as a tax payer have to pay for the issues that arise due to obesity, smoking and any other vice that may effect. DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME - I am not saying that the underprivelaged are the only ones with these issues - certainly every tax bracket struggles with these same vices - but they [those with no insurance] are the ones who wish taxpayers to pay for it.

I do have one question for Jeff, whenever the US government provides something subsidized and stamped with big brother's approval the quality takes a nose dive, because it becomes more about policy than people. What makes you think the same isn't true of socialized healthcare.

Jeff said...

I tell you, if I weren't here this place would be one big Republican love fest/echo chamber. :)

Healthcare is not just an underprivileged issue. It's a middle class issue, a small (and large) business issue, an economic issue, and even a (dare I say it?) pro-life issue.

Look, loss of quality is a legitimate concern. But then again, have you been to a hospital lately? I wouldn't call our current standard of quality anything to be boasting about. And it's only getting worse as costs keep skyrocketing. Plus, if it's impossible to have some form of universal healthcare (in whatever form) without sacrificing quality, then why are Europeans so much healthier than we are? I'd like to see figures about whether more rich people are starting to choose Europe for their care. I wouldn't be surprised if the trend is moving in their direction as the quality of our care further degrades.

Karin said...

I agree with Shauna. Knowing up front the government is going to handle healthcare just solidifies the fact that it will become as much fun as visiting the DMV.

Jeff, name me one government agency that you'd actually feel comfortable investing your money in b/c it was being managed so well that you'd get a return on your money?

Oh, and to hear that you're a litigator...well, what more needs to be said.

Jeff said...

The military. Best in the world.

Are you saying our current healthcare system is well-managed?

Jessi said...

Let me just throw in my 2 cents on the healthcare issue from my own personal experience. (As snarky as THIS may sound, Jeff, I'm doubting that as a litigator you've ever experienced having to be on the receiving end of government support, such as Medicaid... Sorry if that is overstepping the bounds... I don't intend that to sound mean, but sometimes it can be helpful to hear real experiences to understand why people hold opposing perspectives. And I am aware that this applies to myself as well.)

During a transitional period in our life we had to have our children covered by Medicaid. My hubby and I went w/out insurance for that year, but just weren't willing to take the risk with our we applied and received the government's version of healthcare for them for one year. Let me just say, the healthcare providers which we were forced to use were **horrendous**!! I nearly cried in the middle of my children's dental appt because of the conditions of the office (exposed, rusty pipes, water stains, ancient outdated equipment), unprofessionalism of the staff (no type of uniform, wearing stained clothing, general rudeness, including to my child who cried when they tried to take mouth x-rays with an adult sized piece of equipment) and the general lack of care. Why would it matter - they were one of my only choices of providers, so those of us in this position would HAVE to choose them, and they WOULD get paid, so why raise their standards?? The pediatricians weren't a whole lot different. And this doesn't even BEGIN to cover actually dealing with the government agents who all the processing had to go thru. And worst of all, when the time came (hallelujah!) that we no longer needed to be in the program, we had to fight for over 6 months to GET OUT of the program - WE tried repeatedly to show them, and WE had to explain step by step to 3 different people why we no longer even QUALIFIED for the program!! Their answer: "We've never dealt with someone trying to get OUT of the system - we don't know how to do it." This statement was made to us by more than one agent. Nice.

So, am I looking forward to removing competition between medical providers so they can all have lousy standards? Not so much. Do I want to have to deal with unprofessional and uneducated government employees (as has repeatedly been my experience)when I need medical attention for my child? No thanks.

I have a lot of trouble getting excited at the prospect of the government being in charge of my healthcare...and that's why. You can try to tell me I'm an isolated case, but I've seen too many other folks experience the same type issues.

Jeff said...

I think we're talking about something very different than the DMV or Medicaid. There are good examples all over the world of different models. In fact every industrialized country in the world, except the U.S., has a form of universal healthcare. And yet, the U.S. ranks near the bottom in life expectancy, doctors/nurses per capita, infant mortality, per capita expenditures, costs as a percentage of GDP, etc. And the quality of U.S. care is only getting worse.

If all you have in your head is government=bad, then I guess these issues are easy, to the delight of the drug/insurance companies. However, if you can squeeze a slither of open-mindedness on the issue, then I hope you'll research the issue (I don't mean read Republican talking points) and give Democrats a fair hearing.

Shauna said...


I totally respect the amount of time you've spent researching and thinking about these really difficult issues, I don't agree with you but I respect your zeal. I've been trying to come up with a way to succinctly state my issues with Universal Healthcare and this is what I came up with:

I had never read 1984, so this summer, at the age of 32, I decided I would read it (I am sure I am the only bonehead who had never read it, so I thought I ought to catch up). What I found was that in 1945 George Orwell was pretty prophetic about not just 1984 but also 2008. A lot of the things he wrote about were things we see every day. He talked about fear, propaganda, power hungry and corrupt officials and a Universal Plan for EVERYTHING, including when and if a couple would procreate. The government controlled what people ate (see Los Angeles fast food restaurants) and what information was given to them. I had a lot of nightmares. What I learned is this; when we hand over our choice and our individual rights, we hand over our freedoms. I don't really trust our government with my tax dollars, I sure as heck don't trust them with my health. You talk a lot about the Republicans not deserving another 8 years in the White House - do you think that those people who disillusioned you so badly would do a good job of taking care of your health. They have gotten the US in debt in the billions with China - I certainly don't want to trust them with my child's life.

I know what you're saying about European countries, they're healthier, but look at what they eat; they walk all the time and typically have a better understanding of moderation. The only country keeping pace with us as far as medical advances and technologies is possibly France, because they co-found the AIDS virus with an American doctor. When you eliminate the competition, you eliminate the desire to be bigger, better and badder and come up with a cure for everything from cancer to bad hair days.

I am glad that you have found the solace you need in the Democratic agenda, personally, it keeps me awwake at night.

Jeff said...

And yet something tells me you'll be carrying a Medicare card when you turn 62. Alas, I am finally speechless. May your sound sleep with the Republican party give you dreams of a better world than the reality of the last 8 years and the years to come under Republican leadership. As the saying goes, we get the government we deserve. Never will that be more true than if we re-elect the Republican party in November.

Enjoy your weekend.

Karin said...

Jeff, No our current healthcare system is not well-managed. But I sure don't think the government can do it any better. I think having less govt. control and allowing the free market to flourish would actually improve things. The government isn't the answer to our woes. The American people are the answer.

As far as your suggestion to be "open minded," all I hear coming out of the Democrats is a system that would take us one more step closer to socialism.

Karin said...

Very well said, Shauna!!!!!


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