October 31, 2008

The Truth About Obama

Sorry, but I just have to do this. A friend of mine keeps sending me these ridiculous e-mails about Obama. It's so clear to me that they are nothing more than conspiracy theories and attempts to scare people but she actually believes them--and she's really smart. So I feel the need to get political (again) and get the facts out.

The number of lies being spread about Barack Obama and his policies are staggering. At snopes.com if you search Barack Obama you will find 29 claims that have been proven false, starting with claims that he's a "radical muslim" who was sworn into office on the Quran to claims that he "plans on officially doing away with capitalism and replacing it with his much favored system of socialism."

Search John McCain at Snopes and you'll find only 5 claims that have been proven false.

Barack Obama's website has an entire page dedicated to stopping the lies. John McCain's website has no such page because spreading lies has not been a tactic the Obama campaign believes in. (I'm not saying they're perfect. I'm not saying they don't stretch the truth but compare the two and you will find the most blatant and oft repeated lies fall on the McCain camp.

It seems to me that the McCain campaign thinks Americans believe everything we hear. Perhaps they think we care less about issues than we do about gossip. Jerome Corsi obviously feels that way.

Okay, let's start with something that matters...

Obama's Tax Plan: Truth vs. Fiction


Fiction: Obama would impose a 28 percent tax on the profit from all home sales.

Fact: Both Obama and McCain would continue to exempt the first $250,000 of gain from the sale of a primary residence ($500,000 for a married couple filing jointly) which results in zero tax on all but a very few home sales.

Fiction:
Obama is proposing a 28 percent capital gains tax rate.

Truth:
It's true that Obama favors raising the top rate on capital gains from its present 15 percent to 20 percent or more. He specified that the rate would go no higher than 28 percent saying, "my guess would be it would be significantly lower than that." Furthermore, he has said only couples making $250,000 or more (or singles making more than $200,000) would pay the higher capital gains rate. That means the large majority of persons who pay capital gains taxes would see no increase at all.

Fiction:
Obama proposes to raise the tax rate on dividends to 39.6 percent.

Truth:
Dividends currently are taxed at a top rate of 15 percent. Obama would raise that to the same rate as he would tax capital gains, somewhere between 20 percent and 28 percent but likely "significantly" lower than 28 percent. This higher tax also would fall only on couples making $250,000 or more or singles making more than $200,000.

Fiction:
Raising tax rates on capital gains or dividends would result in higher taxes on investments held in Individual Retirement Accounts or in tax-deferred college funds.

Truth:
Tax-deferred funds would still be just thst--tax--deferred. The whole point of such plans is that dividends and capital gains are allowed to accumulate and compound tax-free. Neither Obama nor McCain proposes to change that.

The bottom line: Any capital gains or dividend income from stocks, bonds or mutual funds owned outside of tax-deferred accounts would continue to be taxed at current rates except for couples making over $250,000, or singles making more than $200,000.

Fiction:
Obama proposes to restore the inheritance tax.

Truth:
The previous statement is false, as are the claims that McCain would impose zero tax and that Bush repealed the "inheritance tax." McCain and Obama both would retain a reduced version of the estate tax, as it is correctly called, though McCain would reduce it by more.

The tax now falls only on estates valued at more than $2 million ($4 million for couples able to set up the required legal and financial arrangements). It reaches a maximum rate of 45 percent on amounts more than that. It was not repealed, but it is set to expire temporarily in 2010, then return in 2011, when it would apply to estates valued at more than $1 million ($2 million for couples), with the maximum rate rising to 55 percent.

Obama has proposed to apply the tax only to estates valued at more than $3.5 million ($7 million for couples), holding the maximum rate at 45 percent. McCain would apply it to estates worth more than $5 million ($10 million for couples), with a maximum rate of 15 percent.

In addition, Obama
has not proposed a tax on new homes with more than 2,400 square feet, or a new gasoline tax or a tax on retirement accounts. Nor will he tax water, as one e-mail claims.

There is some truth to the claim that Obama would impose "new taxes" to finance his health care plan, depending on your interpretation of "new." He has said he would pay for much of his plan "by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for people making more than $250,000 per year, as they are scheduled to do." That would certainly be a tax increase for those high-income persons, compared with what they are paying now. But whether that's imposing a new tax, or just letting an old one come back, depends on your point of view. It may well be that Obama will eventually propose tax increases to finance some of his health plan if the cost savings that he says will finance much of his plan are don't materialize, but it's wrong to say that he's proposing such taxes now.
I got this information from factcheck.org.

What is ACORN?

This from the ACORN site:

ACORN is the nation’s largest grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country. Since 1970, ACORN has been building community organizations that are committed to social and economic justice, and won victories on thousands of issues of concern to our members, through direct action, negotiation, legislative advocacy and voter participation. ACORN helps those who have historically been locked out become powerful players in our democratic system.

In addition to community organizing ACORN members across the country work on issues that will raise the minimum wage or enact living wage policies; eliminate predatory financial practices by mortgage lenders, payday lenders, and tax preparation companies; win the development of affordable housing and community benefits agreements; improve the quality of and funding for urban public schools; rebuild New Orleans; and pass a federal and state ACORN Working Families Agenda, including paid sick leave for all full time workers.

ACORN and its allied organizations provide extensive services to its members and constituency. These include free tax preparation focusing on the Earned Income Tax Credit; screening for eligibility for federal and state benefit programs; and, through the ACORN Housing Corporation, first time homeowner mortgage counseling and foreclosure prevention assistance, and low income housing development.

Since 2004, ACORN has helped more than 1.7 million low- and moderate-income and minority citizens apply to register to vote. The claim about voter fraud comes from workers who made up names and registered people that don't exist. It turns out the organizations quota of 20 registrations per day has caused a few people to lie in order to appear they were doing their jobs. The cases that have been taken to court have shown there was no intended voter fraud. No one was ever planning on casting votes for these made up people--it was more about appearing to have been working when they weren't.

And how is Obama related to ACORN?

His connections to the group are few. In 1995, Obama helped represent ACORN in a successful lawsuit to require the state of Illinois to offer "motor voter" registration at DMV offices and he was on the board of a group that gave them (and many other organizations grants). Obama was never an ACORN community organizer. ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee. And ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992.

Check factcheck.org for more a detailed account of the ACORN smear that McCain is sadly perpetuating.


I'll leave you with something I'm taking word for word from 80 - 20 Initiative:

How R*cism Works

This was a piece that I found in my inbox. Shocking! However, every fact mentioned below has been independently checked out by 80-20. It helped me see things clearer.

"What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said 'I do' to?
What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Obama were a member of the Keating-5 (a past scandal)?
What if McCain were a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

You are The Boss... which team would you hire? With America facing historic debt, 2 wars, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc.

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:

Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations. Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude
Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science. Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

versus

McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899
Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Now, which team are you going to hire? "

All facts have been independently checked out by 80-20. If you like it please forward it to others.

Respectfully yours,
S. B. Woo
Member, Executive Comm., 80-20 PAC, Inc.
Please, don't be fooled by the lies. Visit snopes.com and factcheck.org and barackobama.com and discover the truth for yourself.

One last thing:
It's expected that two Supreme Court Justices will retire during the next four years--the two most liberal justices. Please don't put women in danger of losing their reproductive rights.

Please feel free to copy this and send it to your friends that might have fallen prey to the lies!!

Okay, no more politics. I swear!

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