## Obama's Candidacy

Why in the world would I trade in a truck that's paid for only to borrow money to buy a new truck with better gas mileage? That's like trading in my wife for one that's a better cook. I may get what I want, but it'll cost me a lot more ;-) - and No, my wife will never read this, lol

Seriously, I remember the first gas lines during Carter's presidency. You had to buy a foreign car to get good gas mileage, and people did. I came back (as I suspect others did) to US made cars when they started getting the mileage, reliability, and style right. Cars and trucks will evolve and we'll move toward them. My 61' Willy only got 8mpg and it was a 6-cylinder!

IMO, we don't need the government pushing us to borrow more money to buy a car just for more mpg, we have enough debt now. I'll run my truck until it won't run, then I'll look for my next truck and mpg will be a factor, so will 4x4, A/C, safety, etc.

I tend to think oil speculation is a big factor. As one oil trader put it, http://www.thereformedbroker.com/201...ative-premium/ , perhaps to the tone of $40/barrel or more. From http://www.philstockworld.com/2012/0...geye-rebuttal/ 'According to a recent paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis titled, “Speculation in the Oil Market” (Juvenal and Petrella), it has been “estimated that assets allocated to commodity index trading strategies rose from$13 billion in 2004 to $260 billion as of March 2008”. This paper concludes: “Our results confirm that Kilian’s (2009) conclusion that global demand shocks as the main drivers of oil fluctuations remains robust. In addition, we show that speculative shocks are the second most important driver of oil prices.”' IMO, the rolling of futures contracts until the price is "right" is a problem. In the links you'll see the speculation is often by investment groups that don't do anything with oil except trade it up for a better price. I'd like to see the government require oil contracts to require the buyer prove they can take delivery in 30 days or loose their "investment". One thing I don't think Americans can continue to do is tell the rest of the world to drill every gallon you can so we don't have to. Until technology replaces oil, we need to be working as hard to get oil from here as they are from there. We're "farming" gas from dumps, natural gas, etc., I just don't see us that far away. T.B. Picken's push to move commercial trucking to CNG seems like a good start. I remember when 18 wheelers were about all that used diesel, now diesel is everywhere. Perhaps the same thing could happen with CNG. Obama's not wrong about making your car run better, but we're not going to "save" our way out of a gas/oil future. Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus  Quote by WhoWee We really don't know which taxes he's referring to or their specific income level or filing classification - do we? They might be small business owners facing cost increases - we don't know. The payroll tax cut (the one that reduces your contribution to social security at a time when social security is facing insolvency) might not be enough to offset a lost deduction of some type? The payroll tax cut is only a part of all the middle-class tax cuts that Obama has signed over the past 3 years. But even so, I'm not aware of any lost deductions that come close to offsetting the payroll cuts. Are you?  As for medical, we really don't know the medical history or reasons for increases - do we? For instance, are you certain that healthcare mandates (PPACA/Obamacre) aren't causing insurance premiums to rise? Also, are you certain that changes to the Medicare reimbursement rates haven't somehow impacted the specific health care costs of these particular people? We'll if we don't really know these things, one could hardly make definitive assertions about the blame lying solely with Obama! But that's exactly what Pengwuino does.  If Pengwuino decides to share more details - then perhaps a definitive response can be given - until then - we just don't know enough about their particular situation to render a conclusion - IMO of course. While we may not be able to arrive at a conclusive analysis of the Pengwuino family tax history, we certainly can say something about the tax rates affecting the average middle class family (which is, in fact, who Pengwuino specifically mentions before giving the example of his own family), and the reality, last time I checked, is that the vast majority of these families have gotten net decreases in taxes over the past three years adding to somewhere near three thousand dollars per family (just from "Making Work Pay" in 2009 + payroll tax cuts for 2010 and 2011) fpr the average family. As for small businesses, Obama signed over a dozen different tax cuts for them, including things like: eliminating all capitals gains taxes on key investments, doubling the investment limit that businesses can write off, a new deduction for health insurance for the self-employed, deductions for start up investments, etc. http://www.ctj.org/obamastaxcuts.php http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...AUR_story.html http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...ax-breaks.html 2010 Tax Year Summary [pdf] --> http://tax.cchgroup.com/downloads/fi...ax-yearend.pdf 2011 Tax Year Summary [pdf] --> http://tax.cchgroup.com/downloads/fi...011yearend.pdf  Recognitions: Gold Member Recall that the President also raised tobacco taxes, about$1.5B/year, back in 2008. Also in effect now is the "Snooki" tanning bed tax. Signed into law by the President but not yet in effect include: o Uninsured penalty/tax/whatever, $695 up to$2085, 2014 to 2016 o Medicare tax hike of 0.9%, medicare investment income tax at 3.8% for incomes>$200K/year, 2013 http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...t-raise-taxes/ Recognitions: Gold Member  Quote by russ_watters The link to the citation is dead. I've been hearing 2037 for a while now - has that number been updated to account for the recession and cuts in the payroll tax rate? Yes, both of those things are considered. Here is another link: http://cbo.gov/publication/42212  Quote by SixNein Yes, both of those things are considered. Here is another link: http://cbo.gov/publication/42212 Given the date of the report - is it likely the shrinking of the workforce (as reported in recent unemployment stats) was factored in for future years? Fewer workers will probably mean lower revenues. Also, the new extension of the social security reduction wouldn't be included - would it? Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus  Quote by mheslep Recall that the President also raised tobacco taxes, about$1.5B/year, back in 2008. Also in effect now is the "Snooki" tanning bed tax.
I'm aware of those, but hardly think they come anywhere close to offsetting the tax cuts for most people.
 Quote by Gokul43201 So I'd be surprised if any significant fraction of the population has seen an increase yet (though that may change in the next few years). I think you'd have to be a chain smoking (see: tobacco tax increase) paper mill to have seen more tax raises than cuts.

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 Quote by WhoWee Given the date of the report - is it likely the shrinking of the workforce (as reported in recent unemployment stats) was factored in for future years? Fewer workers will probably mean lower revenues. Also, the new extension of the social security reduction wouldn't be included - would it?

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 Quote by SixNein Yes, both of those things are considered. Here is another link: http://cbo.gov/publication/42212
As the chart in that CBO report shows, SS revenues have been falling short of outlays for a couple years now and the gap is about to expand rapidly. The parlor games with the SS trust fund/lock box continue here with the payroll tax cut, which will decrease revenues \$100B. If one still believes in the lock box concept, SS loses no revenue here because it simply takes more money from the general revenue, i.e. the left hand of the govt. pays the right, and the left hand borrows more.

 Quote by Obama I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.
 Quote by russ watters I don't think they are all that useful - even a little disingenuous - since the "principle" at issue is clearly accessible to people of all/no faith.
The question is: what principle, that's accessible to both theistic religious people and atheists, does abortion violate?

Apparently, what Obama's saying is that he can't pinpoint such a principle. Therefore, he can't advocate outlawing abortion in his capacity as chief executive, even though he might personally and religiously be against abortion.

I think this makes sense. Whether it's disingenuous or not is another question.

But to say that Obama doesn't acknowledge what the issue is would be wrong, imo. The point being that the endowment of 'personhood' on a developing fetus at some point in its development is arbitrary.

Does personhood begin at the instant of conception? Sometime in the first trimester? The second trimester?

What exists is a situation in which Obama, or anyone else, can't explain why "abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those who have no faith at all."

 Quote by turbo If we start taxing the wealthy on just a bit more of of their income, SS can be solvent forever.
This seems to be the case. If that increased revenue is actually used for SS. But the bottom line is that if taxes on the wealthy aren't increased, then there's no hope of saving SS. Which is quite ok if one happens to be relatively well off. But of course not ok for the majority of Americans.

 Quote by SixNein I posted a link.
Yes you did. However, the projections show Social Security contributions increasing - even though the size of the workforce is shrinking and the contribution reductions were extended.
 I'm not an American, but... For both your sake and the sake of the rest of the world, I hope Obama wins the election. The USA has not been incredibly popular with the rest of the world for years now. However, when Obama won the election in 2008, I know that many people I know were quite happy and thought he would make an able president. Many people around me still think the same thing (although they are a bit disappointed he didn't make it life paradise in a few years). Romney and Santorum, on the other hand, pretty much everyone I know utterly dislikes. Romney is an American exceptionalist who feels the need to tell anyone how much more important the USA is than any other country, which makes him well-hated by anyone I know. While I try very hard to ignore this, even I sometimes get the idea that people from the USA are annoyingly 'proud' of their country. When a president feels the need to excessively show this, I start worrying. Santorum is simply an idiot for believing such strange things as the Dutch performing euthanasia on all the elderly who don't wear an "I don't want to be killed"-bracelet, for actively saying being gay is bad, and openly saying he would bomb Iranian facilities if they don't show everything they're doing to America (because, of course, all Iranians are bad peopleTM and should do as the Americans say[1]). In other words: diplomatically speaking, Obama is a million times more capable than the Republican candidates I've seen so far. I should add that, given that the above is based on interaction with people in my country and things I've heard people say in public, my view might be inaccurate or only be accurate for many people in my country (the Netherlands). As far as the economy goes, I don't think I can change anyone's view on this one: I think Obama's been much better than most people give him credit for. However, I suspect that the people who wouldn't like to see him re-elected gladly say he hasn't done enough for the economy. Then there's the matter of political positions on ethical and social issues. I've already hinted a bit at this in my rant about Santorum, but I also think Obama is much more capable in that regard. To give a few examples, Romney is in favor of abstinence-only education, he opposes same-sex marriage, doesn't favor legalizing medical cannabis (even though cannabis is less harmful than tobacco, but meh), and would ban federal funding of stem-cell research. The other Republican candidates speak of similar things. Of course, I don't agree with everything the presidential candidates of the Republican party have said so far, but, like I said, I believe (and hope) Obama is the way to go for 2012-2016. [1] I don't want to say too much about this now, seeing as this is a thread about Obama's candidacy, not about my views on Iran, but I feel it might be necessary. I'm not particularly thrilled about the possibility of Iran building nuclear weapons, that's true. And if they do, I think there has to be something we can do about it. However, I also try to see it from their point of view. And from their point of view, 1. Israel is their sworn enemy, and the USA is 'with them', 2. the USA have nukes, 3. they pretty much get told that they will be completely destroyed if they will build nukes (several important people in the USA have by now called for a strike on Iran), 4. if they *don't* have nukes, they're doomed if/when Israel decides to attack them. What choice do they have but to build nukes in secret, and pretend they're only building these facilities for nuclear energy? (There is, of course, the possibility that they're speaking the truth, in which case it would still be prudent not to let an enemy see their facilities out of fear for espionage. But, for the moment, I'll assume people's worst-case scenarios are correct.)

 Quote by Hobin I'm not an American, but... For both your sake and the sake of the rest of the world, I hope Obama wins the election. The USA is not incredibly popular with the rest of the world for years now. However, when Obama won the election in 2008, I know that many people in my direct vicinity were quite happy and thought he would make an able president. Many people around me still think the same thing. Romney and Santorum, on the other hand, pretty much everyone I know utterly dislikes. Romney is an American exceptionalist who feels the need to tell anyone how much more important the USA is than any other country, which makes him well-hated by anyone I know. Santorum is simply an idiot for believing such strange things as the Dutch performing euthanasia on all the elderly who don't wear an "I don't want to be killed"-bracelet, for actively saying gays are stupid, and openly saying he would bomb Iranian facilities if they don't show everything they're doing to American (because, of course, all Iranians are bad peopleTM). In other words: diplomatically speaking, Obama is a million times more capable than the Republican candidates I've seen so far. I should add that, given that the above is based on interaction with people in my country and things I've heard people say in public, my view might be inaccurate or only be accurate for many people in my country (the Netherlands). As far as the economy goes, I don't think I can change anyone's view on this one: I think Obama's been much better than most people give him credit for. However, I suspect that the people who wouldn't like to see him re-elected gladly say he hasn't done enough for the economy. Then there's the matter of political positions on ethical and social issues. I've already hinted a bit at this in my rant about Santorum, but I also think Obama is much more capable in that regard. To give a few examples, Romney is in favor of abstinence-only education, he opposes same-sex marriage, doesn't favor legalizing medical cannabis (even though cannabis is less harmful than tobacco, but meh), and would ban federal funding of stem-cell research. The other Republican candidates speak of similar things. Of course, I don't agree with everything the presidential candidates of the Republican party have said so far, but, like I said, I believe (and hope) Obama is the way to go for 2012-2016.
We have threads for bashing Santorum and Romney - you might want to post these opinions in those threads?

 Quote by WhoWee We have threads for bashing Santorum and Romney - you might want to post these opinions in those threads?
I'm aware. This was not to show my personal opinion so much as what most of the people around me think - and why it would (diplomatically speaking) be best if Obama gets elected.

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 Quote by WhoWee We have threads for bashing Santorum and Romney - you might want to post these opinions in those threads?
Agreed. This thread is meant only for bashing Obama.

 Quote by Hobin I should add that, given that the above is based on interaction with people in my country and things I've heard people say in public, my view might be inaccurate or only be accurate for many people in my country (the Netherlands).
I think, and polls will show, that about 50% of Americans agree with your assessment, and about 50% don't. The US is an extremely divided country in certain respects.

I agree with you that, compared to the GOP candidates, Obama seems head and shoulders above them in many ways.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that Obama is particularly special, other than wrt his general demeanor and rhetorical skills. That is, I think he's basically a bought and paid for advocate of the status quo ... in practice if not necessarily in belief.

So, I won't be voting for him, and I certainly won't be voting for any of the GOP candidates.

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 Quote by russ_watters Do these people ever explain anything or is the only thing they every say that bible verse? Perhaps they figure it is too obvious to explain what "pro life" means? I've never heard of them and I find it hard to believe a group that is only 8 years old is the most vocal group on abortion. Around where I live...
The argument has already been had and established long ago in Roe vs. Wade. It's pro-life activists whom the iotas is on. Many do feel justified citing God; others fail to come up with convincing arguments (they appeal only to pathos).

Obama's not talking about one example (such as a specific organization that formed 8 years ago) he's talking about people who feel that it's their place to enforce the laws of the bible.

You use your locale as a reference, should I reference mine? Can you imagine what kind of people might be hanging outside of Planned Parenthood by how I've demonstrated my perception of the pro-life movement? Can you image they're the same group that protest Elton John playing local shows?

Anyway, we don't need to base it on our locals or specific organizations; there's a long national history already established in the US:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro-life

Obama is declaring a clear separation philosophy in a concrete example that is well-known in the US. He has made political actions to back it up (by making sure EVERY female has access to birth control measures). He has faced resistance!

Anyway, this a thread about Obama's candidacy. The point is that his statements are consistent with Obama's image as progressive and a large body of the US wants progressive. It especially strengthens him against Santorum.