More on the Obama Tax Plan vs McCain tax plan

I just received my first followup that this may not be accurate.

Snopes.Com verifies this check it out:

This is more of the same distortions brought to us by the same people who seek to mis-characterize him as a Muslim.  They circulate these lies and hope you’ll do what you just did;  Believe it on first read, not check it out, and then pass the lie along.


If you’re actually INTERESTED in reading about the differences in their tax plans, go to the non-partisan TAX POLICY CENTER and read what they say about the plans offered by Senator Obama and John McCain.  The Tax Policy Center is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. The Center is made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government.

leave some comments.

I need help with voting for Obama or McCain

I just received this email today that describes in real terms what are the tangible differences between Obama and McCain. Can someone please help me decipher this.

INTERESTING DATA JUST RECEIVED ON TAXES. This is really going to catch a lot of families off guard. It should make you worry.

Proposed changes in taxes after 2008 General election:


0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples) McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.

28% on profit from ALL home sales

How does this affect you?  If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes.  If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.


MCCAIN 15% (no change)

OBAMA 39.6%

How will this affect you?  If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama become president.  The experts predict that higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.


MCCAIN (no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

(Reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750

Under Obama your taxes will more than double!  How does this affect you? No explanation needed. This is pretty straight forward.


MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)

OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax

How does this affect you? Many families have lost businesses, farms and ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax.  Those willing their assets to loved ones will not only lose them to these taxes.


* New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet

* New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already)

* New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity)

* New taxes on retirement accounts and last but not least....

* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level
of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

The Godfather movie as a metaphor for U.S. Politics and the Middle East

The Godfather’ doctrine and Israel in the Middle East

Coppola’s film offers lessons in diplomacy that we can’t refuse. This is a copy of the article published in the Los Angeles Times this week in the editorial section. I was totally blown away by the application of the Godfather masterpiece to the maelstrom of foreign policy considerations being tossed around in our Presidential election. It’s nice that all three candidates are “friends of Israel” but it would be nicer if they could learn from Michael. Read on to see what Hulsman and Mitchell put together. Quite a treat.
By John C. Hulsman and A. Wess Mitchell
May 7, 2008
It is one of the best-known scenes in cinematic history. Vito Corleone, head of one of the most powerful organized-crime families in New York, crosses the street to buy some oranges from a fruit stand. Seconds later, his peaceful idyll is shattered as multiple gunshots leave him bleeding in the street — victim of a hit by Mafia rival Virgil “the Turk” Sollozzo.

By a miracle, he is only badly wounded. Two of his sons, Santino (Sonny) and Michael, and his adopted son and consigliere, Tom Hagen, gather in an atmosphere of shock to try to decide how to save the family.

This, of course, is the hinge of Francis Ford Coppola’s movie, “The Godfather.” It is also a startlingly useful metaphor for the strategic problems and global power structure of our time. The don, emblematic of Cold War American power, is struck by forces he did not expect and does not understand, as was America on 9/11. Intriguingly, his heirs embrace very different visions of family strategy that approximate the three schools of thought — liberal institutionalism, neoconservatism and realism — vying for control of U.S. foreign policy today.

As consigliere, Tom’s view of the Sollozzo threat is rooted in a legal-diplomatic worldview similar to the liberal institutionalism of today’s Democratic Party. The way to handle Sollozzo, Tom judges, is not through force but through negotiation. Tom thinks even a rogue power can be brought to terms, if the family accommodates his needs and accepts him as a normalized player in the Corleones’ rules-based community. In this, he echoes the Democrats’ belief that Washington’s only option for coping with the Iranian nuclear crisis is immediate, unconditional talks with our latest “Sollozzo,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But to succeed, Tom’s diplomacy must be conducted from a position of unparalleled strength, which the family no longer possesses. Gone are the days when Tom was invariably the man at the table with the most leverage. Like the petty tyrants who challenge Washington with increasing confidence, Sollozzo is an opportunist who will take things as they come — as either a revolutionary or a status quo power, but certainly as one out to profit from the transition to multi- polarity. Power on the streets has already begun to shift to the Tattaglias and Barzinis — the Mafia equivalent of today’s BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China). The reality confronting the Corleones is one of increasing multipolarity — something lost on Tom, who, like many Democrats, thinks he is still the emissary of the dominant superpower.

By contrast, Sonny’s response is to advocate “toughness” through military action, a one-note policy prescription for waging war against the rest of the Mafia world. By starting a gangland free-for-all against all possible enemies at once, Sonny severs long-standing alliances and unites the other families against the Corleones.

One can imagine that Sonny’s shoot-first, ask-questions-later approach would meet with the firm approval of arch-neoconservatives such as Norman Podhoretz and Michael Ledeen. Confronted with the current Iranian nuclear crisis, Sonny would urge an immediate airstrike, and it is unlikely he would make a cost-benefit analysis of the military option: What? A U.S. airstrike would imperil American allies in the region, directly benefiting Al Qaeda? I knew you didn’t have the guts to do this, says Sonny, who doesn’t let facts get in the way of his desire for action.

This rash instinct to use military power as a tactic to solve structural problems merely hastens the family’s decline. Blinded by a militant moralism bereft of strategic insight, Sonny proves an easy target for his foes. In place of understanding the world, he accosts it, and the world, in Iraq as on the causeway, is able to strike back.

The strategy that ultimately saves the Corleone family from the Sollozzo threat and equips it to cope with the new world comes from Michael, the youngest and least experienced of the don’s sons. Unlike Tom or Sonny, Michael has no formulaic fixation on a particular policy instrument; his overriding goal is to protect the family’s interests by any and all means necessary. In today’s foreign policy terminology, Michael is a realist.

Relinquishing the mechanistic, one-trick-pony approaches of his brothers, Michael uses soft and hard power in flexible combinations to influence others. Can the Iran policies advocated by candidates in either party be said to proceed from these assumptions?

Thinking long term, Michael also adjusts the institutional playing field to the family’s advantage through a combination of accommodation (granting the other families access to the Corleones’ New York political machinery) and retrenchment (shifting the family business to Las Vegas and giving the other families a stake in the new moneymaker, gambling). A similar effort at preemptive institutional reform is vital if America wants to persuade its competitors to resist the temptation to position themselves as revolutionary powers. Doing so now, before the wet concrete of the new multipolar order has hardened, could ensure that, though no longer hegemonic, America is able to position itself, like the Corleones, as the next best thing: primus inter pares — first among equals.

Can any of the candidates vying to become the next president of the United States match Michael’s cool, dispassionate courage in the face of epochal change? Will they avoid living in the comforting embrace of the past, from which Tom and Sonny could not escape? Or will they emulate Michael’s flexibility — to preserve America’s position in a dangerous world?

John C. Hulsman is the Alfred von Oppenheim scholar in residence at the German Council on Foreign Relations and president of John C. Hulsman Enterprises. A. Wess Mitchell is the director of research at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington. A longer version of this article appeared in The National Interest.