7 – For an Ivy League educated man, Barack Obama shows in incredible lack of understanding of taxes and how they affect the economy. He has also shown he is no math wiz, making claims about providing 95% of “working families” a tax cut. There's only one problem: a large portion of those working families already pay no income taxes. So how will he cut their taxes? He hasn't really explained that as far as I can recall.
I've also realized how he'll cut the income taxes he can 'cut': let the Bush tax cuts expire or repeal them, then offer some of his own, but far less than those of George Bush. So, with the flair of a stage magician, he'll cut your taxes, but you'll still pay more than you are now.
That's some act.
8 – It's a given that any politician running for office will pander to the voters. Some are good at it. Some are not. And some have convenient cases of selective amnesia. It appears Barack Obama is pretty good at the first and third.
He has claimed our current financial problems were caused by “Republican deregulation”, a canard that has been generally accepted by much of the electorate.
What he hasn't told the electorate is that he did nothing to prevent the problems we now face when he had the opportunity..
If Sen. Obama were truly looking for a kind of deregulation that might be responsible for the current financial crisis, he need only look back to 1998, when the Clinton administration ruled that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could satisfy their affordable housing obligations by purchasing subprime mortgages. This ultimately made it possible for Fannie and Freddie to add a trillion dollars in junk loans to their balance sheets. This led to their own collapse, and to the development of a market in these mortgages that is the source of the financial crisis we are wrestling with today.
In the summer of 2005, a bill emerged from the Senate Banking Committee that considerably tightened regulations on Fannie and Freddie, including controls over their capital and their ability to hold portfolios of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. All the Republicans voted for the bill in committee; all the Democrats voted against it. To get the bill to a vote in the Senate, a few Democratic votes were necessary to limit debate. This was a time for the leadership Sen. Obama says he can offer, but neither he nor any other Democrat stepped forward.
Instead, by his own account, Mr. Obama wrote a letter to the Treasury Secretary, allegedly putting himself on record that subprime loans were dangerous and had to be dealt with. This is revealing; if true, it indicates Sen. Obama knew there was a problem with subprime lending -- but was unwilling to confront his own party by pressing for legislation to control it. As a demonstration of character and leadership capacity, it bears a strong resemblance to something else in Sen. Obama's past: voting present.
This does not show leadership in any way, shape, or form.
Is this the kind of leadership we want for the next 4 years? Do we want an “I told you so” type of president that will point back to things he observed but will fail to do anything about problems he's seen?
9 – This is a slight re-hash of what I covered in point #4: you shall know them by the company they keep.
In Barack Obama's case, his associates and associations could possibly keep him from getting a security clearance.
An e-mail has been making the rounds claiming this is so, and Frank Naif wrote a piece posted at HuffPo debunking the e-mail. However, as one who has had clearances due to work I performed in the past, let me tell you one's associates and acquaintances do count when it comes to clearances above a certain level, and I must assume a president has a pretty high clearance level. Not the the 'top' level, for there are things even a president has no need to know, but still higher than most people working in defense, either military or civilian.
I might assume the clearances I held in the past were probably as high as a number of government officials, and my associations were scrutinized in detail. If I'd had dealings with people of questionable character, much as Obama has, there's no way I would have ever received those clearances. Not a chance in hell.
Is this someone we want in the Oval Office?
10 – Barack Obama promises change in Washington. The question is a change from what to what?
Already the Democrat controlled Congress has managed to change the amount of federal spending. Unfortunately, they managed to be more profligate spenders than the Republicans they replaced after the 2006 elections. Does Obama plan to spend even more money for the programs and plans he's already alluded to in his campaign? I would have to say so. He already has a Congress that will make it possible.
Plans to increase spending on new programs, tax cuts, and yet he hasn't explained how it's all going to be paid for.
Is this someone we want in the White House? Other than the crafted image of Barack Obama we've been spoonfed by his campaign and by the media, what do we really know about him? The answer is not much. He's an unknown quantity, untested, inexperienced, yet with the gift of oratory,a gift that is overrated. There are plenty of politicians out there with the ability to give great speeches. There have been plenty in the past. But I've never seen that as a prerequisite to hold the highest office in the country.
Who is this man Barack Obama? I still don't know.