Undecided and American

I hate to delve into politics again, but it seems like no matter what it is unavoidable. I will keep it short and sweet. Since I am undecided and an independent I have been trying to take what time I can to research the candidates and their “plans.”

One thing I have learned, is read between the lines, there is some tiny print there. I am bit biased though I’m sure my post will seem that way. If it makes you unhappy or you think I am wrong, feel free to show me the FACTS that make me incorrect.

Okay, hot topics for me in this election, 1. Spending/Economy, 2. Health Care, 3. Military.

Seems odd to many, but I could really give a rats ass bout all the other stuff, it’s all about the basics, money, health and security. The rest can come later after we fix a few messes. I believe each candidate needs to have just a basics approach to bettering our country and that needs to begin with fixing decades of problems. We need to take care of us.

I sent Barack Obama an email, and I got a response signed by him, whether or not it was him remains to be seen. I am sure it was just someone working for his office, it was partially canned but you could tell some was actually free formed. This is always nice because it means they may have actually read my email and considered my questions.

They did TRY to answer my questions, but just like the debates, nothing specific. My biggest question was, how does he believe we can afford most of his items, or any for that matter when he touts fixing the problems with overspending in the government. The response in summary was that it would rely on the repeal of the current tax break for those making over $250K per year. The response claimed that would be enough tax revenue to cover the up front costs of updating our government medical systems with a new IT system.

I only point this one out, because I find it hard to believe that this would be enough money since all the responses I got target this group for the tax money.

Which has lead me into another thought, had this discussion with my Dad the other day too. Think about it, $250,000.00. That’s a lot of money for you and me middle class people…as individuals. However, what about as families? Look up and down your street, look at your relatives. I bet there are plenty of people you know that are in that tax bracket as a household, and that is the target.

While I will admit we’re not quite there, it’s not unrealistic to expect to be there in the future. Basically these people are made out to be bad guys. They are probably some of the hardest working people in America. Hell, a married couple with 3 – 5 kids, I’m not going to say they are living check to check but I would almost bet they aren’t living in a mansion and driving a Ferrari.

Don’t get me wrong, if your household is bringing in $250K / year you are doing good, but you are also taxed heavily as is.

On the note of taxes…other things included, there will be taxes in other places to cover the costs of proposed items in the plan. While the “middle” class may not have more of that take home pay whittled down from income taxes, be prepared to pay higher costs elsewhere…the businesses and other places that will be paying the higher taxes which will translate into higher prices for us middle class.

Moving along, Military, Obama’s straight response was to just yank everyone from Iraq and that will solve our military problems. Not verbatim, but that is the gist of it. In fact, here is the actual response to my question of “How do we modernize and strengthen our military.?”

And we must end a war in Iraq that John McCain wants to continue, a war that should never have been authorized and never been waged, and has cost us over one trillion dollars in addition to the incalculable human toll. The peace dividend we will realize from ending this war is an important part of putting our fiscal house in order.

Nothing there really addressed my question. At this point you might be asking, what about the first point I made about spending and the economy. His responses were good, attempt to have investigations and committees to look into the out of control spending in the government and how to reign that in.

In the end, everything costs money, and both candidates have way to broad of plans to even consider getting a fraction of them complete without hurting us more. I will post more as I am sending a similar email to McCain.

I just see these ads on TV and the debates and talk to people and I think some folks just listen to the ads and the debates and don’t think about that these guys are just like car sales men. They are telling you what you want to here knowing they don’t have to in any way shape or form follow through with what they say ther are going to do.

They all have agendas and it’s not always in our best interest. Take this with a grain of salt and I would love to talk more but I am tired and busy. I will try to offer equal time to the candidates ;).

I am still undecided and keep in mind my skepticism towards McCain is the same as that for Obama. I am a registered voter but I am not a Republican and I am not Democrat, I just vote for who I feel is the best overall candidate for our country.

Don’t think about the last 8 years, think about the next four. It’s almost over, take the parties out of it, look at the candidates, their plans and how they plan to achieve their goals, how they will work with congress and do they really care about this country or themselves.

Be good.

Politics and you…and me

One of the things I love about being an American is that I can have whatever political view I choose. However, some of my fellow American’s seem to feel that my political views are wrong and theirs are right.

Lets remember this one thing, we are all in this together. Being a citizen of the United States of America means you take a stake in the success of your country by electing other citizens to represent you and and to lead the country.

Frankly, I don’t care what “party” has control, I don’t care what religion, race, gender or sexual orientation our elected officials are. Single, married, divorced, separated, living in sin, I don’t care.

What I want is for every American including our elected officials to take a step back and look around. Think about the greater good and not your personal agendas. Our country is very much like a large corporation. As tax-paying citizens we are all shareholders in this corporation. If things aren’t being run right, then it’s time to change leadership.

We are never going to be the powerhouse we once were as a country because as citizens we are too hung up blaming political parties for our problems. In reality it’s apathy that is our problem. We have the power as citizens to make this country better, we have the power to get this country back on track. Unfortunately, we need a leader that has the knowledge and the skill to take the helm and get us there. I say unfortunately because our current outlook is not very rosy.

We have two primary candidates, one of which will be our next leader, neither of which has provided any real reason why they should be chosen for the job. With that, what are we to expect. If we select Obama he will spend his first term working on his re-election campaign for a second term. McCain could do the same thing, but if he were a smart man he would say and stick to being a one term president.

Regardless the United States of America is in a dire situation. We have dug a hole so deep I don’t think in my lifetime we will every make up for the damage caused in recent years. I can only blame myself, I mean I can run for office, I can be a in the Senate or Congress, heck soon I will be old enough to run for President.

Instead of siting in front of a TV or my computer getting angry at all the hate democrats have for republicans and vice versa I could be out there working to make a difference. And you know what’s really crazy, so can you! I know it’s weird, but yeah. You too can go make a difference.

As citizens we need to force change from a different angle, the angle needs to be that being a politician is a job that you will be held accountable for. We need to further change the rules on funding campaigns, and what it means to take on the role. There is NO reason at all any politician should be focusing on a re-election campaign until it is within a few months of the election.

So many candidates waste our money (their salary is paid by us) and time by focusing on their re-election and not on the country. Accountability! Especially with the President, every president is a single term president unless they meet certain criteria by the beginning of the last year of their term. Just like any other job, they need a performance review. I don’t care about polls, there need to be legitimate milestones in every presidential term that if the president can’t meet those goals they can’t run for a second consecutive term. They could run again further down the road, but not in succession. If they are a second term president, well we all know that is about your legacy and what you will be remembered for so maybe there is already enough incentive there, but I’m sure we can add milestones there and that can be directly related to their post presidency benefits.

There are problems with our political system that aren’t about the fundamentals, but the application. The fact that we are stuck in a two party system, and that most politicians are more like used car salesmen (and women) than people that should be making decisions about our country.

Lets be civil with each other in this election year, lets stop trashing the candidates and instead focus on educating the citizens on what is going to be done once elected and lets hold them accountable. Enough is enough, vote for the candidate you think will be the one that can lead us properly and can begin the healing process in this country. I will do the same. Who knows, maybe, just just maybe we will see some change for the better.

One last thing, while you may think it’s funny to send out mass emails to everyone in your address book pimping your political views, it’s not. Unless you want to engage in a civil conversation and truly express your thoughts and concerns about our country and now about why you don’t like some one I don’t want to hear it. I want to know what’s going to be done, not 3rd grade “My Dad is better than your Dad” type talk.