"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Further Breakdown of the Obama Poetry

This is a snippet of the analysis from Politico.com. on points Obama made in his DNC speech the other night

I will cut taxes — cut taxes — for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.

The “95 percent of all working families” formulation is new, and a nice turn of phrase. It contains, though, one of those lawyerly caveats Obama often slips into his speeches, this one (“working”) allowing him to boost the percentage who’d benefit from his proposal for a permanent $500 tax break for workers — not so much greater than Bush’s $300 rebate checks, which he has derided as insufficient.

Also notable in its absence was any mention of his proposal to undo the Bush tax cuts.

I'll help our auto companies retool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.

There’s also a dog-whistle to Michigan voters in “I'll help our auto companies retool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.” While most listeners keyed in on "fuel-efficient cars" — Obama first promised automakers $4 billion in tax credits and loan guarantees while insisting on dramatic increases in fuel efficiency in a tough-love speech in Detroit — those staked to the auto industry just heard “I'll help our auto companies retool.”
Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.

The Obama campaign says the plan will save a typical American family up to $2,500 a year and will cost $50 billion to $65 billion a year (about $200 per American) once it’s up and running. The Tax Policy Institute estimates his plan will cost $1.6 trillion over 10 years — while stressing that’s their best guess based on what is, after all, campaign poetry, not governing prose. 

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American: If you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Few items here have specific dollar amounts attached to them (how large the “army of new teachers” would be, for instance, isn’t clear).

As with almost all politicians, the how-I’ll-pay-for-it bit is understandably less verbose than the what-I’ll-buy-you list.

And, business groups would add, changing laws to increase revenue amounts to a business tax hike by another name.

Finally, two other notable omissions: His speech made no mention of his call to eliminate tax breaks for oil and gas companies or to create a new windfall profits tax for them.

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