Diatribes of Jay

This is a blog of essays on public policy. It shuns ideology and applies facts, logic and math to economic, social and political problems. It has a subject-matter index, a list of recent posts, and permalinks at the ends of posts. Comments are moderated and may take time to appear. Note: Profile updated 4/7/12

02 November 2008

Facts for Last-Minute Deciders

Here are a baker’s dozen facts for late-deciding voters to consider, with links to primary sources:

1. Barack Obama would not raise taxes on Joe the Plumber; he would lower them (unless Joe makes more than a quarter million a year).

2. According to the Wall Street Journal, John McCain’s health-care plan would rob seniors’ health-care lifeline—Medicare and Medicaid—of $ 1.3 trillion.

3. Barack Obama is no friend of terrorists. Fifteen months ago, he proposed the most comprehensive plan to fight terrorists of any candidate in either party. It’s still our best plan.

4. A prominent Republican described McCain’s attempt to “solve” our economic crisis by “suspending” his campaign as follows:
“[McCain was] the least creative person in the room at the President’s White House meeting. He simply had no ideas. He didn’t even have any good questions.”
5. According to our own Energy Information Administration, a “drill here, drill now!” policy will not bring any significant new oil production for over a decade, and the new production will have an “insignificant” effect on oil prices.

6. Barack Obama has longer experience in statewide and national elective office than Abraham Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had when elected president.

7. Barack Obama’s proposal to negotiate with enemies (if possible and productive) is not new, and it’s not his. American presidents have done the same thing for the last fifty years.

8. Barack Obama is not a Muslim. He’s a baptized Christian. He became one through his own spiritual search in the early 1990s, before his political career began.

9. Barack Obama graduated from Harvard Law School and was elected president of the Harvard Law Review, our most prestigious legal journal. John McCain graduated 894 out of 899 [search for “899”] in his class at Annapolis, where he was nearly expelled [scroll to bottom] for undiscipline and insubordination.

10. John McCain became rich by ditching his first wife and marrying into money. He dated his rich wife, with whom he now shares seven homes, while living with his first wife.

11. Barack Obama came from a lower-middle class background. He makes his money from royalties on his books, which he wrote himself, without a co-author. He’s had only one wife, and his marriage is rock solid.

12. Michelle Obama rose from humble origins to earn a Harvard Law degree and a prestigious law-firm job. Everything she has, she made herself or with her husband. Cindy McCain made it on her family’s money. When times got tough, she became addicted to prescription drugs.

13. The actuarial chance of someone John McCain’s age dying in office and leaving Sarah Palin as our president is one in four.

[For discussion of Barack Obama’s strategic vision, click here.]


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