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Obama Speaks on Economy in Va.

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Days before the Democratic national convention, Barack Obama was focusing on the economy today during a town hall in Martinsville, Va. Obama says the country cannot afford four more years of George W. Bush's policies. (Video by the Associated Press.)

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 20, 2008; 7:13 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Video Report  
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"How can Obama be losing the economy to McCain in that new Reuters poll? How can a Dem botch his campaign so badly that John McCain is seen as a better steward of our economic crisis? That's astounding..."

this is an easy one...

because the MSM, as righties like to refer to it as, is neither fair or balanced. Dems haven't botched anything, it's the one-sided reporting and small opinion polls that sample small populations, that have dumbed-down those that take what they see on TV as fact without trying to discern the truth of it all, that have botched things.

Unless income is more evenly distributed in the future in this country soon, we surly will have another "1929 Crash" when the "middle class" fails to be able to continue propping up the Corporations that tend to suck communities dry with their business models that favor their shareholders only.

Taxes are good if "represented" fairly. If they only pay for one of the 5 commons of our society. If their aren't enough taxes to pay for health care, road building, public education, environmental quality, and (god-forbid) an efficient military bent on protecting us defensively instead of regime change, then then it's all good isn't it. Why don't Republican'ts ask a British or Danish or Swedish person how they like the taxes they pay? I am sure they aree "happier" than we "middle class are here in America.

Because of the gullable nature of, and the general lack of fair reporting on facts that we're fed by TV and radio, and print(all mostly owned by right-leaning tax-dodging media corporations), that most of us don't realize the neccessary role of fair taxation (which can seem like a lot to a person who values their money as an entitlement) has on every aspect of our daily lives and society.

If we keep sucking money off the streets, then the only thing left will be blood sweat and tears, which can't be taxed and society as a whole will crash, just like in 1929. They didn't call them "Robber-Barons" for nothing

Posted by: mjimih | August 21, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I am all about working hard, making money, financial discipline, and keeping the money you make. But the fact is that Republicans only respond to the interests and the demands placed on government by those with extreme wealth and many houses. They manipulate those of us that care about religion and they give the shaft to those of us that care about using some of our wealth to feed the poor. They give fat contracts to their best friends at Halliburton and KBR, demand no accountability from them, while sending our troops into battle with not enough body armor. The Republicans fail on all accounts, but especially when measured upon the values they themselves claim to hold dear.

Posted by: Former Republican | August 21, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I am asking all of you unemployed slacking liberals that are still home living with mommy to get out there and register so you can vote for me. Please act now. And listen, when I say Change, Change, Change I don't want you to think that means you and you have to go and work or something. You can stay here and blog and read the Huffington post all day long still, no need to worry.

Posted by: Senatory Barack Husein Obama (D-IL) | August 21, 2008 2:03 PM

Posted by: Senatior Barack Husein Obama (D-IL) | August 21, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama's tax plan calls for LOWER taxes for the middle class.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:31 AM


Depends on how you define "middle class" I don't consider individuals who pay less than a $1000 a year in federal income tax middle class. Yet, these are the ones who Obama is targeting his "tax credits" too.

To me, middle class should be defined by "locality." The amount of money needed to live a middle class life style in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, or San Francisco would be much different than Butte, Montana.

As someone who lives in DC, I don't see how you can get by on less than $100,000 per family member. Yet Obama would say that if you are making $250,000 a year filing jointly you are "rich." Not in the cities I named.

Maybe that is how federal income tax should be allocated. By income and by locality with those living in high cost areas having their taxes lowered.

Now that is a tax plan I can believe in.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Mccain has gone on at length how he believes people MUST serve a cause greater then themselves. He said in the Saturday sit down church thing last week he thinks after 9/11 they should have urged people to enlist in the military or the piece core. This is how he thinks and I believe he is being honest.
Now fast forward to yesterday 8/20 when at a town hall meeting he was asked about starting up the draft again. He said he was all for it. He completely agreed with the person in the audience who brought it up and I believe Mccain on this subject. I believe Mccain would seize on the first opportunity to propose a draft without a doubt. It only happened yesterday but I think Obama should exploit it as soon as possible. This would be a big negative for Mccain as someone looks over at their 12 year old and imagines them being sent home to them in a box by John Mccain.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I know a lot of you like polls but one that has not changed for a long time is this one. Only 24% of the public put terrorism and the Iraq war as their priority in the up coming election. For 55% it is the economy and the rest it is things like health care schools and so on. What seemed like an opportunity for Mccain with this Georgia and Russia thing is really going to be his undoing. He has so completely shifted his focus he is away from what the public care about. Mccain is burning up his remaining days on the wrong issue as Obama pounds what the people care about. Also an interesting thing about recent polls you have to notice the polls they are running. When you ask someone a direct question like, "Who has the most experience" the answer is Mccain. If you ask something like "Who do you think is the most qualified in foreign policy"? Again the answer is Mccain, they are just being honest. But is you asked the same people who gave those answers who they will vote for you will find many will differ from the last answer because of the way the question was posed. They like to do these convoluted polls so they have something to talk about and intellectualize it makes it sound so exciting. The truth is all they have to do is ask in the poll is who are you voting for? Thats it. There are poll like that done in silly ways like the popcorn poll done at movie theaters and polls done in department stores and so on. Some of them have Obama leading by like 10 to 20 points Interestingly. They sample sometimes millions of people not a 1000 like most of the polls that are discussed. I don't think this is is even going to be a close election, honestly.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"The solution to people in the middle class struggling is lower taxes. Taxes eat up way too much of middle class income. There is a tax revolt brewing in this country and if Obama gets elected the level of discontent among the productive members of society against the parasites who pay little or no income tax will swell. Obama's tax plan to give "tax credits" to those who pay little or no income tax will only make the deficit worse and foment class warfare."

Obama's tax plan calls for LOWER taxes for the middle class.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse


The Wall Street Journal today has an editorial criticizing Obama's health care plan.

There hasn't been a single proposal that Obama has made on domestic issues that the Wall Street Journal has liked.

I trust the Wall Street Journal to know more about how to run the economy than Obama."

You don't suppose that it's because the WSJ is in the bag with FoxNews?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The solution to people in the middle class struggling is lower taxes. Taxes eat up way too much of middle class income. There is a tax revolt brewing in this country and if Obama gets elected the level of discontent among the productive members of society against the parasites who pay little or no income tax will swell. Obama's tax plan to give "tax credits" to those who pay little or no income tax will only make the deficit worse and foment class warfare.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to that middle class that once included so many of us in America? Folks may still call themselves members of some middle class but there ain't all that much middle class left for them still to belong to.

Posted by: 2mature2bhornswoggled | August 21, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The Wall Street Journal today has an editorial criticizing Obama's health care plan.

There hasn't been a single proposal that Obama has made on domestic issues that the Wall Street Journal has liked.

I trust the Wall Street Journal to know more about how to run the economy than Obama.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Look, the wealthy have inherited their money, they hire lawyers, and they work the system as hard as they can so they pay as little taxes as possible. They don't care about society. When Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who has seen it all and have done it all, tell you that the system is corrupt... believe it.

The Republicans want the lower and middle white class to be delusional and think that they, too, can be $5 millionaires. Yeah, that can happen, but no thanks to them. Most of those guys made their money doing dodgy sh*t that they could get away with because of who they are. Do you think that you could pockey $112,000 (probably more) from Charles Keating and NOT go to jail.

Delusions of grandeur. That's what the Republicans are selling. So they can continue scrwing the system.

Wake up white people.

Posted by: Corruption Anon | August 21, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Hey Charles Keating:

The wealthy rich white guy Republicans see the middle and lower class as their "worker bee's".

Then why is it that half the population doesn't pay taxes at all? Why is it that 10% of the population pays 80% of the tax burden? I bet you are angry in your failure in life and want to blame everyone except yourself. You look to the government to save you. Go make it on your own you sponge.

Huge tax breaks for the rich? Really? Look at the staticstics. You probably pay no taxes at all. And your savior BHO wants to take more from the "rich" and give to the poor. That is socialism. That is not America.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

I bet you dumb*ss libs wish you would have stuck with Hillary! BHO is an empty suit, at best. Take from the rich and give to the poor. If you like socialism then leave America. Free market capitalism isn't in your lexicon.

Higher taxes, universal everything funded by the government is a recipe for disaster. Get off Uncle Sam's nipple and make it on your own you sponges.

Oh, and did I mention BHO isn't experienced enough to lead anything. Pathetic that you libs fall for this.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

How many wars does John McCain want to start?




Posted by: Just Wonderin'... | August 20, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh! Sure are a batch of mis-informed Obama supporters here. Look at what you really have when the silver tongue smooth talker is set aside. Nothing of substance. If Obama is voted in, you will definately get what you "paid" for. Nothing!

Posted by: jimbob | August 20, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

The Center for Responsive Politics finds that McCain has accepted over $1 million from the oil and gas industry. Many of McCain's top advisers have lobbied for big oil, which is why he now acts in their best interests, opposing environmental legislation and alternative energy plans.

McCain is desperate to distance himself from Bush. But according to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, McCain has received millions in donations from the same oil, coal, nuclear, chemical, utility, and auto companies that helped the Bush administration create its energy plan—a plan that has raised gasoline to $4 a gallon.

Posted by: Phil Slowsky | August 20, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

McCain economic policy:

Less Jobs, More Wars

Posted by: Agent Orange | August 20, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Now that he is rested, this is where the focus of Obama's conversation with the American people needs to be.

Posted by: swalker3 | August 20, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain is soaring to new heights of hypocrisy on his wife's personal jet. He flies around the country bent on duping the public into believing he's "one of them," a regular guy who can empathize with Americans facing an overwhelming economic crush. What's more, he disparages those who oppose his ridiculous policy proposals as "elitist." But who's the real elitist?

The REAL McCain is a multimillionaire who owns ten luxurious homes. The REAL McCain backs President Bush's tax cuts for big corporations. The REAL McCain empathizes only with the interests of our nation's wealthy minority, not its money-strapped majority. But far too many are buying into McCain's deceit because the corporate press won't present the whole picture..

Posted by: curious george | August 20, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse


Barack HUSSEIN Obama will not be sworn in as President on January 20, 2009.

Posted by: JakeD | August 20, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

The wealthy rich white guy Republicans see the middle and lower class as their "worker bee's". We are the pool that they take the income from to support their lavish life styles. The move our jobs out of the country. They give themselves huge tax breaks.Vote down any health plan that would cover all Americans. Want to control our private lives and own our bodies, strip us of our constitutional rights.

Sorry Grandpa Golddigger. The White House is one home Cindy can't buy you.

Posted by: Charles Keating | August 20, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

HELP: I have been having trouble with posting on Community Blogs most of the day. I hope someone gets this message and can help. Thanks.

Posted by: Vera Crozier | August 20, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

The Haves, the Have Mores and John McCain

Eight years ago, then Governor George W. Bush revealingly joked about his backers at the 2000 Al Smith Dinner. "This is an impressive crowd - the haves and the have-mores," Bush said, adding, "Some people call you the elites; I call you my base." With his own quip Saturday night that "$5 million" is his definition of "rich," John McCain made no mistake that he is Bush's natural heir.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being happily rich and utterly detached. Nothing, that is, unless you make criticizing your political opponent as "elitist" and "out of touch" a centerpiece of your campaign. Rick Davis, speaking on behalf of his $100 million man John McCain, earlier this month offered the latest formulation of Barack Obama as an effete, aloof denizen of the upper class:

"Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand 'MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew - Black Forest Berry Honest Tea' and worry about the price of arugula."

Of course, Davis' "arugula war" is just another attempt at misdirection. After all, John McCain's $5 million threshold where "you move from middle class to rich" is just the latest episode of his enduring disconnect from the real lives of the American people.

For starters, McCain in April declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, was back with the campaign last week.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay.

In his defense, McCain's shocking tone-deafness may just be a matter of perspective. When you're as well off as he is, anything below a $5 million income (a figure exceeding that earned on average by the top 0.1% of Americans) seems middle class.

*The $100 Million Man*
-Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.

*The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership*
-While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.

*The Anheuser-Busch Windfall*
-As it turns out, the beauty of globalization is in the eye of the beholder. While John McCain apparently played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock. Amazingly, while Missouri's politicians of both parties lined up to try to block the sale, John McCain held a fundraiser in the Show Me State even as the In Bev deal was being finalized.

*McCain's $370,000 Personal Tax Break*
-Earlier this year, the Center for American Progress analyzed John McCain's tax proposals. The conclusion? McCain's plan is radically more regressive than even that of President Bush, delivering 58% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of American taxpayers. McCain's born-again support for the Bush tax cuts has one additional bonus for Mr. Straight Talk: the McCains would save an estimated $373,000 a year.

*Paying Off $225,000 Credit Card Debt, Priceless*
-That massive windfall from his own tax plan will come in handy for John McCain. As was reported in June, the McCains were carrying over $225,000 in credit card debt. The American Express card - don't leave your homes without it.

*Charity Begins at Home*
-As Harpers documented earlier this year, the McCains are true believers in the old saying that charity begins at home:

Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed roughly $950,000 to [their] foundation. That accounted for all of its listed income other than for $100 that came from an anonymous donor. During that same period, the McCain foundation made contributions of roughly $1.6 million. More than $500,000 went to his kids' private schools, most of which was donated when his children were attending those institutions. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.
Ironically, the McCain campaign last week blasted Barack Obama for having attended a private school in Hawaii on scholarship. That attack came just weeks after John McCain held an event at his old prep school, Episcopal High, an institution where fees now top $38,000 a year.

*Private Jet Setters*
-As the New York Times detailed back in April, John McCain enjoyed the use of his wife's private jet for his campaign, courtesy of election law loopholes he helped craft. Despite the controversy, McCain continued to use Cindy's corporate jet. For her part, Cindy McCain says that even with skyrocketing fuel costs, "in Arizona the only way to get around the state is by small private plane."

*Help on the Homefront*
-In these tough economic times, the McCains are able to stretch their household budget. As the AP reported in April, "McCain reported paying $136,572 in wages to household employees in 2007. Aides say the McCains pay for a caretaker for a cabin in Sedona, Ariz., child care for their teenage daughter, and a personal assistant for Cindy McCain."

*Well-Heeled in $520 Shoes*
-If clothes make the man, then John McCain has it made. As Huffington Post noted in July, "He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop - from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem, PA." It is altogether fitting that McCain wore the golden loafers during a golf outing with President George H.W. Bush in which he rode around in cart displaying the sign, "Property of Bush #41. Hands Off."

And so it goes. John McCain proclaims $5 million finally makes you rich. Meanwhile, ABC's Charlie Gibson thinks a $200,000 income makes you middle class. And his colleague Cokie Roberts claims Barack Obama's vacation to his home state of Hawaii was "exotic."

Posted by: McCain = Bush | August 20, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

How can Obama be losing the economy to McCain in that new Reuters poll? How can a Dem botch his campaign so badly that John McCain is seen as a better steward of our economic crisis? That's astounding...

Posted by: matt | August 20, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I loved that last poll in Virginia that had 57% of black supporting Obama.

Republicans know how to cook the numbers. But this election is going to be one for the ages. They've met with their match with Obama- he's as good a politician as I've seen. Just as smart as Bill Clinton, but without the character baggage.

You can only lie, cheat and steal for so long. "Fool me once... you can't get fooled again..." Virginia is going blue.

Posted by: Corruption Anon | August 20, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Still won't give average Americans that $10 billion gas-tax holiday, right?

Posted by: JakeD | August 20, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

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