I was recently forwarded this internet email virus, with the questions at the end of this post added to it in a variant and I have now edited them (9/6, 2pm) to reflect more reality than the original email.
Here's my reply:
I realize that it is popular to “tax the rich” and, if Obama follows through on his plans as snopes describes them, our family stands to do slightly better than under McCain, but, I ask, at what point should we stop taxing the rich? Would any of you support a tax of 100% on any income above $250k? Above $1M? At what point do “the rich” have enough and we should take every penny of their money? At what point will “the rich” decide they have had enough and take their money, their investments, and their businesses elsewhere? Let’s face it, “the rich” are the most mobile members of our society, and while I know most of them love this country, it’s an increasingly global world. I realize it scores some cheap political points to vilify them, but I have yet to hear of a poor man giving anyone a job.
As for the questions at the top of the list, they are all a matter of your personal political views.I will make a point for Obama here – that some of our most successful presidents have had no military service at all (Lincoln, FDR) while some of the worst were in the military (Grant, Andrew Johnson, Carter),and there were successful military men (Washington, JFK, TR). It certainly is not a prerequisite for the presidency – but it does say something about character, particularly in McCain’s case.
REST OF EMAIL (updated 2pm, 9/6/08):
Favors new drilling offshore US
Yes - McCain - supports plans to open off more off-shore sites for drilling immediately
No - Obama - doesn't generally support offshore drilling, but has indicated a recent wilingness to speed the exploitation of currently allowed drilling spots, as part of a "comprehensive" energy plan and with restrictions (the cynical can still interpret this is a No).
Will appoint judges who interpret the law not make it
Yes - McCain - supports judges who will interpret our Consitution, who recongnize that the legislative branch legislates, and not the bench
No - Obama - pretty much standard Liberal fare expected here. Not able to get what you want through your elected officials? Your friendly non-elected judiciary will do it for you.
Served in the US Armed Forces
Yes - McCain - though certainly not a prerequisite
No - Obama - but has great experience as a "Community Organizer"
Amount of time served in the US Senate
22 YEARS - McCain - not sure this is a good thing
173 DAYS - Obama - likewise
Will institute a socialized national health care plan
No - McCain - Will support increased use of health savings accounts and tax credits for those unable to get insurance through their employer. Supports making health care more portable, and allowing residents of states to get insurance from out-of-state insurers. Will NOT put government in the position of being a health care insurer.
Yes - Obama - While his plan ostensibly won't lead immediately to a single payer, socialized system, its long-term effect, by placing the government in competition with private health care plans, and requiring coverage, will eventually force more and more employers to drop their health care plans and push people into the public system, essentially creating a government run system.
Supports abortion throughout the pregnancy
No - McCain - supports restrictions on abortion and the repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would place this issue in the hands of the states to decide at the state level. A return to Federalism, how novel.
Yes - Obama - has never voted to restrict abortion, when he wasn't voting "present". While an Illinois state senator, refused to support legislation to protect infants who survived abortions.
Would pull troops out of Iraq immediately
No - McCain - pushed the "surge" strategy and the recommendations of General Petreus, which has put us on the verge of victory in Iraq, and is enabling us to significantly reduce our troop strength in Iraq, has allowed the Iraqi government to push reforms, and take control of their government, and will leave a functioning Islamic democracy, friendly to the US, in the Middle East.
Not really - Obama - Well, we now know what he said to Moveon.org and the General "Betrayus" crowd wasn't true, he really didn't mean an immediate pullout. Refuses to admit the surge worked and has demonstrated an unwillingness to respect the capabilities of American military power.
Supports gun ownership rights
Yes - McCain - record speaks for itself
No - Obama - typical Liberal position on gun control. This "Constitutional Law Professor" supported the unconsitutional DC gun ban before he was against it.
Supports homosexual marriage
No - McCain - but does support civil unions and the right of states to allow civil unions. Has not favored a federal marriage amendment, preferring the states to decide for themselves.
Yes - Obama - favors it if states decide to permit it. Would not be an advocate in his administration against this. His judicial appointees would likely be inclined to overturn laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Proposed programs will mean a huge budget deficit or tax increase - read the link - neither candidate has a real plan to reduce the budget deficit, though McCain's probably isn't as unfriendly to it as Obama's.
Probably - McCain - has stated he will eliminate earmarks and veto any bill that comes to his desk with earmarks in them. Has been a pretty consistent opponent of government waste in his time in the Senate. Pledges to push legislation requiring a supermajority vote to raise taxes.
Probably - Obama - either huge tax increases, or massive deficits. Take your pick.
Voted against making English the official language
No - McCain - though his position on immigration has, to be generous, "evolved."
Yes - Obama - told us we need to learn Spanish. For the record, Obama knows no foreign languages himself, not that it's important.
Voted to give Social Security benefits to illegals
Mixed - McCain - McCain has actually voted for this but now is against it. We know McCain's stance on illegal immigration, and while his 2007 conversion may be sincere, he has a long record of being for amnesty.
Yes - Obama - The Democrats see illegals as an important voting bloc, and are beholden to agriculture interests in some "leaner" farm states (Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri) and California, so it's no surprise that they're for amnesty. If you think we need to control the borders, in this election McCain is an imperfect choice, but Obama is obviously rotten.