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9/22/08

The Obama Plan

I wasn't really sure how to feel about Barack Obama. His supporters are so smitten with him, that I was mostly concerned that he was another charming, smooth talker. I was actually a Hillary supporter, though, and then backing Obama first and foremost because anything would be better than having John McCain. Basically, my place in politics was starting to feel like the unrequited lover- I'm afraid that if I put too much faith in someone, I'll just get my heart broken again. And I was concerned with the burden that will surely befall him in his historic opportunity.

But I finally watched his 2-minute ad on some ways he plans to help fix the economy. Most people find it shocking and unprecedented because of it's length (2 minutes, about 4x the usual), but I found unprecedented in its lack of pretension and for it's overwhelming sincerity. Though clearly reading from a prompter, he gives the impression of speaking to you, not down to you, through you, at you, but to you. He seems to assume that you & I are real, intelligent people who are capable of not only understanding the situation, because we are in it, but of being able to make real decisions. WOW. How's that for unprecedented? A candidate that thinks I, a regular, non-rich American, am smart! The whole thing made my wet messef a bit*.

Then I went to his site and looked through the plan. The first part that I like about it is the "problem" is only 1/16 as long as his solution. Rather than spending the entire time listing everyone else's faults, he opts to talk about how we can actually do something. McCain talks about change, but not what and how to change. He just says the word a lot. I don't know if he knows what it really means.

My favorite parts are the bits about giving tax cuts to people who actually need them, like, working families, the elderly and the middle-class. I'm not sure though if the middle-class needs it as much as the lower-class does, however. One the one hand, middle-class is considered the backbone of the American economy since it became a class and they've been hit rather hard in the last decade. But the poor always get screwed and do most of the work. ALWAYS. But I like that the tax cuts will benefit real people who need it, rather than the $1million/year and over set. He also wants to simplify filing taxes , so it's not so gruelingly painful and you're not as likely to get screwed. Sounds great...if it works.

I also appreciate that he mentions how much we send jobs overseas to use cheap labor, but don't seem to consider that as a reason Americans don't have enough jobs. Most people like to ignore that subject because all the big companies use overseas sweatshop labor. Or at least, 95%, the 5% being the companies that are proud to be ethical and make a big thing of it. He wants to get the government protecting workers' rights again: good, good. And...what's this?- Teach people how credit works do they don't keep working themselves into debt!? WTF! Why didn't anyone ever think of that? Oh, right, cuz if they did, their bank-owning buddies wouldn't be able to get rich off of the ignorantly enthusiastic poor-living-above-their-means set, which is most people I know. These are the same banks that set up in the poorest neighborhoods and offer payday cash advance loans.

But I feel good that even if only a third of this plan works, it will be the most a president has done for poor folks since...oh...I dunno...the last Roosevelt we had. They were both pretty awesome. Though, the more he tries to help the non-rich, women, people of color and workers, the more I become concerned that the ones currently holding the power will do anything at all to keep from relinquishing any to him. The richest industries, companies and individuals in the country ain't gonna take kindly to this. It makes me nervous but also optimistically thrilled. I'm starting to become a real Obama fan, and not just one by default.



* I realize how much this sentence cancels the previous one.
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1Ygp5vxLJ

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