Monday, October 27, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons - Reason #17 - Enough hidden earmarks

Earmarks, in case you've been under a rock, have gotten some deservedly bad press this election season, mostly notably the "bridge to nowhere".

What if there was a way to see what earmarks were included in a bill BEFORE it was voted on?  Or to see how much a company is spending on lobbying your congressman?  Hm, novel ideas . . . wonder which candidate has been talking about them?  That's right John Mc . . just kidding, it's Barack.  Here's the whole plan.

An extra special bonus within there is about opening up White House communications, assuming they don't get lost.

31 days, 31 reasons - Reason #16 - Make college affordable

Back to Education with this post.

College is expensive, crazy expensive in some places, but it doesn't have to be.  A more educated workforce is a more productive workforce and in turn a more productive economy.

The Obama-Biden ticket has proposed a $4000 tax credit (2/3rds of yearly tuition at most state schools) to help pay for college.  The credit would be applicable to the year's taxes of enrollment, to ensure the credit can be used the same year tuition is due, not the year after.  In addition students taking advantage of the credit would be required to give 100 hours of public service each year the credit is used.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons - Reason #15 - Progressives aren't Godless

Barack Obama is a man of faith.

“Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead.”
He understands that God shouldn't be used as a wedge issue if we want to bring real change and success to this country.

“Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America – there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America – there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”
You can read the entire policy page here; http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/ObamaonFaith.pdf.

My favorite part is this quote from his Presidential announcement speech;

“And although government will play a crucial role in bringing about the changes we need, more money and programs alone will not get us where we need to go. Each of us, in our own lives, will have to accept responsibility - for instilling an ethic of achievement in our children, for adapting to a more competitive economy, for strengthening our communities, and sharing some measure of sacrifice. So let us begin. Let us begin this hard work together. Let us transform this nation.”

Monday, October 20, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons - Reason #14 - Colin Powell

Besides the big news over the weekend that the Obama campaign raised$150 million in September, previous record was $65 in August, and had a crowd of 100,000 people in St. Louis there was the big news that Colin Powell will vote for Barack Obama in November.  See the video from MTP here;




Friday, October 17, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons - Reason #13 - A long term energy and climate plan

Barack Obama and Joe Biden understand we can't just fix things for today, we need a plan for the future, every one's future not just the oil companies.  Here's a really simplified version.

1. Acknowledge that climate change is real - America needs to be the leader on this.  There is no reason for us to sit around and whine that we won't do it if China won't do it, that's not leadership that's acting like a 5 year old.  Step up, be a big kid and tell the rest of the world we understand that if we don't take action now we'll pay more for it later and we're ready to get to work.

2. Invest in an new energy economy - Spend $150 Billion over 10 years to train returning veterans, retool companies and create job training programs to build the new energy economy.  $150 is $30 billion less than we spent in Iraq last year and $550 billion less than the government bailout that was signed into law earlier this month.  I think we can find a way to raise the $15 Billion a year to create 5 Million new jobs.

3.  Do something about our gas consumption - We have 3% of the worlds oil reserves.  We consume 25% of the worlds oil.  I'm trying to come up with an example that uses cupcakes but keeping getting distracted by the thought of cupcakes . . . hmmmmmm.  So . . back to the post . . we retooled Detroit from making cars to making tanks in the 40's, why can't we invest to retool Detroit from making Gas Guzzlers to making cheap hybrids?  Cause it's hard?  Most things worth doing ain't easy Susy, suck it up and pay your dues.

4. Acknowledge that drilling and renewable energy are a way forward - Remember that 3%?  Got no problems going to get some of it.  The oil companies have leases on 68 million acres of land and 40 million acres of coast line, that they don't do anything with.  Use it or lose it boys just like my Health Savings account.  But Oil isn't the only solution.  It will be a mix of wind, solar, bio-fuels, nuclear, clean coal, etc. that get us stable, local, clean energy.

OK I'm done typing about energy.  If you want to read more go here; http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/factsheet_energy_speech_080308.pdf.  And if you are too lazy to read print it out, come to my house and I'll read it to you, unless I'm out canvassing ;).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons - Reason #12 - A solution for today's energy crisis

  1. Immediately Provide Emergency Energy Rebate - Through a windfalls profit tax provide a tax credit of $500 for individuals and $1000 for maried couples to help pay at the pump and cover heating bills.
  2. Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation. - Simple regulations to bring some common sense to the market.
  3. Swap Light and Heavy Crude, Release Oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices. - The Reserve is there for times of crisis, if the doubling of the price of gas wasn't a crisis what is?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons - Reason #11 - Charter School policy that makes sense

Charter schools can make sense if implemented correctly, and I think the Obama/Biden plan makes sense.  Provide funding to states for charter schools that outline clear accountability for how those schools perform.   The plan also calls for clear guidelines to close under performing schools like was done in Thornton where several smaller schools opened to provide parents and students choices of where to go depending on their desired area of study.

Schools should be funded, teachers shouldn't teach students to fill in bubbles and schools should be accountable.  Barack Obama gets it and has a plan to make it happen.

31 days, 31 reasons - Reason #10 - Make filing your taxes easier

Taxes suck.  Even the EZ form isn't easy, and the only people that can fill it out are either 18 or 80, maybe.

Barack Obama wants the IRS to pre-populate your tax form with the data they already get from your employer and banks.  This would allow 40 million Americans who take the standard deduction to do their taxes in around 5 minutes, save over 2 billion in tax prep costs every year and save 200 million hours of headache involved with doing those taxes.

Have you tried the tax calculator yet?  We'd be $1000 better off under the Obama plan, you can try it here;http://taxcut.barackobama.com/.

Friday, October 10, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons - Reasons #8 and 9 - Michelle and the kids

I was gonna type up something about Barack and his family and what not but i'm a little pressed for time this morning so just watch this eh?







Thursday, October 09, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons: Reason #7 - Invest in a 21st century military

Battles today aren't fought the way they were 60 years ago, or even 20 years ago. Today we deal again and again with gorilla insurgencies, cyber threats, the resurgence of Russia, potential of nuclear materials getting to rogue states or terrorists among others.  The thinking needs to change about how we equip, train and deploy our military.  Barack Obama has a plan to do this, to properly train and equip troops when they are deployed.  Review current weapon programs, update those that need it and eliminate those that are outdated.  Provide funds to defend the cyber space business needs today as well as deploy sound missile defense.

You can of course find the full plan on the website, where do you think I'm finding all this after all?


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons: Reason #6 - Expand Head Start

I went to Head Start as a kid, so did most of my friends from High Schoool.  My brothers went to Head Start.  My Mom teaches at Head Start/Wyoming Child and Family Development (Go Mom!).  It is a great program and if this country is really dedicated to giving students an when they graduate and enter the workforce doesn't it make sense to do it as early as possible?  Barack Obama supports that plan and wants to increase funding for local Head Start Programs.  Of course you can always volunteer at a Head Start center in your community, find the closest one here; http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/HeadStartOffices.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons: Reason #5 - Support the Vetrans

Let me make one thing clear.  I am absolutely in debt to John McCain for his service to this country.  I have the greatest respect for anyone who has served in the Military and especially for POW's.

That being said I think we should elect the candidate who has a track record of doing right by Vetrans and wants to do more to see them transition easily back to civilian life.  This includes updating the GI Bill, training vets to work in the renewable energy field and improvements to medical care after vets leave the service.  For the full plan read this.

Monday, October 06, 2008

31 days, 31 reasons: Reason #4 - Balance the budget!

Balancing a budget isn't the easiest of things to do, but if you were doing it with somebody else's money wouldn't you at least want to try?  In order to help balance the Federal budget Barack Obama will re-institute PAYGO rules, from the website:

Reinstate PAYGO Rules: Obama and Biden believe that a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue.
Bush ran on the promise that a business man could run Washington better, more like a company, well the Federal Government has increased it's budget 28.8% in the last 8 years while the National Debt has risen from $5.7 to $8.8 TRILLION dollars!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

31 Days 31 Reasons: Reason #3 - Google for Government

Google for Government. Check out www.usaspending.gov. From the press release on Senator Obama's Senate website:

"It's a good-government measure designed to give journalists and average citizens access to budget secrets Washington insiders now try to hide, like that notorious "earmark" done late at night authorizing hundreds of millions of dollars for a bridge to a virtually uninhabited island up in Alaska, the so-called Bridge to Nowhere."

This was the first bill passed by Senator Obama which was co-sponsored by Senator Coborn (R-OK). It just makes sense to see where your money is going and be able to call your Senator or Congressman to raise hell if you don't like it.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

31 Days 31 Reasons: Reason #2

Reason #2

Tax relief for seniors. Under the Obama plan Seniors with under $50,000 of Income will no longer need to pay Income taxes. This means an average yearly savings of $1,400 for 7 million seniors and that 27 million will not even need to file an income tax return.

I think my grandparents would like this proposal, how about yours?

Friday, October 03, 2008

31 Days, 31 Reasons: Reason #1

There are 31 days to election day, I think it's time to start a recurring blog post of 31 reasons to vote for Barack Obama, 1 reason a day* until November 4th.

Reason #1
Jumpstart the economy by providing a $1000 tax credit to middle class families.

I hear you already, how's he gonna pay for it!?  The same way Gov. Palin paid for it in Alaska, a Windfall Profits tax.  See the plan here.

*(note I reserve the right to double post the days up to and around homecoming as I may not have access to a computer, yeah that's it)