Hopefully, you've been watching the debates and staying current on world events so you know WHO you are voting for and more importantly WHY.
In case you haven't been keeping up on the debates and other election news, let me summarize what you've missed.
Presidential Debate #1
Mitt Romney came out swinging. He looked the American voter straight in the eye and said he would NOT raise taxes on the middle class. He would simplify the tax code, protect our country with better foreign policy and he would create more jobs.
Obama looked annoyed to be at the debate. He rambled and didn't really answer the questions he was asked. He blamed his inability to keep any of his campaign promises on the congress and senate (which were democratically controlled for the first 2 years of his term) and blamed Bush for his poor economic performance.
Later he blamed the moderator and the "altitude" for his poor performance in the debate.
Vice Presidential Debate
Joe Biden was alert and alive in this debate. This counts because Obama was incoherent in debate #1. However, Biden came across as arrogant and disinterested in making any actual changes in Washington. He was unclear about foreign policies and played the same blame games as Obama.
Paul Ryan was also attentive and alive for this debate. Unfortunately, he tended to speak with a lot of detail, that while important and accurate, were probably above the understanding or interest of the average American. He did reiterate that the Romney/Ryan administration would NOT take away medicare/social security for seniors, that they were NOT proposing a voucher system or trying to decrease taxes for the rich.
Ironically, Biden and Obama talk about the rich with such disdain when they themselves are extremely wealthy. Obama routinely hob nobs with celebrities and ditches foreign dignitaries to appear on talk shows like The View.
Presidential Debate #2
This debate was long and boring. The moderator spoon fed questions and answers to Obama and allowed him to ramble way beyond his time limits. Obama loves to redistribute the debate minutes just like he loves to redistribute your hard earned dollars.
Romney again reiterated his plan to grow the economy, keep taxes low for middle class Americans, and protect our people/economy from foreign countries. Unfortunately, he was routinely cut off by the moderator and also gave way too many details/numbers/economic specifics that the average Jane/Joe would not understand or know anything about.
Obama dominated the debate with endless rambling and question dodging. I don't know that he answered a single question that was posed to him.
And some of those questions were extremely important, so I'll highlight a few areas from these debates that everyone SHOULD know about and research before they choose a president based on appearance/religion/race/political affiliation/or celebrity endorsement.
The Attacks on the Embassy in Libya
On September 11, 2012, the Embassy in Libya was attacked. The Ambassador and 3 others were murdered. President Obama went on television and blamed the attack on an "anti-muslim" video and apologized to the Arab world. He then hopped a flight to a fundraiser.
Mitt Romney then blasted Obama for apologizing and running off to a fundraising event when our embassy had obviously been attacked. Coincidentally, attacks were taking place at US embassies around the world on this day, and Obama did nothing but apologize for this "video."
The UN Ambassador, the President, and other White House officials went on the talk show circuit and reiterated that this was a protest over the video and "America apologizes" for the insult.
14 days pass before the White house finally admits that this was a planned Al-Qaeda attack, there were no protesters and the US Embassy in Libya (which was also attacked in May and June of this year) requested greater security this summer. The Ambassador's journal revealed he was afraid for his life and was receiving no help from the administration.
Now Obama claims he knew nothing about the terrorism attack until 14 days later. What kind of intelligence and security does the US have?? Right before the debates, the scapegoat was named. Hillary Clinton took the blame (the fall) for the mess up in Libya.
But during the debate, Obama said he knew it was a terrorist attack and said so in "the rose garden." If he knew, then why did he and the others lie on television and apologize for this "video." In the debate, he then asked the moderator to back him up. Really?
This doesn't sound like someone who cares or is on top of our National Security. We all know he doesn't care. That's why he went on the View instead of meeting with the leaders of Iran and Israel during the summit. That's why he keeps doling out money to his rich investor friends and taxing those of us that work....but that's another section.
Your Tax Rates
If Obama is reelected, your tax rates will either stay the same or get worse. They will NOT improve.
In the best case scenario, there will be a temporary extension of the "Bush Tax Rates" for some people. This will most likely be temporary or your taxes will be increased subversively. Deductions will disappear, the alternative minimum tax will hit more people, you will find yourself paying more for health care premiums and services, or he might just flat out call for a tax increase at any point over the next 4 years.
Speaking of deductions disappearing, most people are annoyed that Mitt Romney is not giving a lot of specifics regarding his tax plans. You need to understand how the government works to know why not all of the details can be laid out.
First, taxes are complicated and the majority of people wouldn't understand the minutia. That's why Romney made it as simple as possible. A 20% reduction across all rates. Then the loopholes and deductions would close for those making over $250,000 a year.
Pretty simple and GOOD for most Americans. So you can't deduct your $8000 in mortgage interest, right? Does it matter if you have a $25,000 standard deduction (which Romney addressed) and your rates are 20% lower. You can do the math with your own income, but most people will come out ahead.
The specifics on which loop holes will close need to be debated in congress and the senate. If you put those things out in the open before the election, certain representives will gang together to block any action from happening. Or will plan to add their earmarks and demands before coming to any sort of resolution.
Plus, it just muddies the waters. Let's say Romney is for sure going to close the education deduction. All that would happen is Obama would go on the attack and say that he doesn't care about education. That it will cost families X number of dollars, blah, blah, blah. When in fact, it wouldn't matter at all for most families because that $2000 or $4000 deduction is nothing compared to the $25000 standard deduction he's proposing, on top of a 20% decrease in overall tax rates.
It's just spin to keep you distracted on the real issues. One candidate has proven over the last FOUR years that he does not know how to improve our economy. One candidate has proven over a lifetime that he knows how to efficiently manage businesses, cut waste, and create jobs.
Medicare and Social Security
Obama has already slotted a decrease in Medicare spending to help pay for his Obamacare legislation. He wants the government to decide who gets healthcare and what services they can receive.
He may or may not change the age or distribution amounts for Social Security. It's all up in the air. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he is not going to raise the age you can receive Social Security, and let's pretend we're not worried about the deficit or insolvency of Social Security and Medicare.
Start reading about the Federal Reserve. Understand that they have more than tripled the money supply over the last 3 years. What does that mean? Where is the money? The money is held in bank reserves. Once that money flows out into the economy, it will cause inflation. A lot of inflation.
That means the government can keep paying Social Security and Medicare payments at their current rate, but they will not keep up with inflation. In other words, you will still get your $2000 a month (or whatever it your payment is!) from Social Security, but now it will cost $400 for a loaf of bread. Keep on collecting the same money, but now it won't buy you much. Get it?
It's the same way Obama plans to pay for the deficit. It's not so hard to pay $16 trillion dollars worth of debt when you devalue the dollar so much that it's really like paying $2 trillion. Read up on it. You'll learn things you never knew you never knew!
What will Mitt Romney do? It looks like he'll do a few things. First, create more jobs so more people are contributing to the Social Security coffers. Second, raise the eligibility age for the younger generations (boo!). He'll also establish means testing, which means if you have enough money, you won't get Social Security. This sucks for all of us that have paid over the years, but we knew it was coming.
He'll also give seniors a choice of shopping around or using Medicare, which ever saves them the most money. Not a "voucher" which is an ugly word Obama uses to freak people out, but a choice.
Speaking of choice....
Women love to think Obama is "on their team." I call bull. More women lost jobs over the last 4 years than men. Is that the president's fault? I don't know, but it sure doesn't make him seem like the savior of women.
But his health care plan offers free contraception or at least coverage of contraception, right? Big deal. Birth Control is cheap and you can get an inexpensive generic prescription. Thanks for saving women $8 a month (while costing an additional $3000 in insurance premiums per year.) Wahoo!
He supports Planned parenthood....financially. The truth is, Planned Parenthood could and would survive without government support. But why would they even try when the gravy train is flowing. People who are passionate about what it represents would donate money. Corporations would donate money. And they could charge for their services. Oh my God - did someone just suggest that people should have to pay for their abortions and contraception. Shut the door!
Mitt Romney is not anti-abortion. Would he stop funding to Planned Parenthood? Maybe, but read the above paragraph and get over it. Women can still get contraception. It's not that hard. It's not 1912. And yes, people can still get abortions.
And in case you're wondering (from an editorial perspective) I am PRO abortion and PRO life. I am 100% pro choice and I do not see Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan as a threat to those options. I think the media and the activists just want something to take your focus away from the lousy economy and potential problems in foreign policy.
Doesn't anyone remember how President Obama told Vladmir Putin that he'd have "more leeway to make concessions after the election" when he thought his mike was off?
What more is he willing to give away? He's already wreaking havoc on our maritime control in the Pacific and degrading our presence as an economic and military leader.
Look, I'm glad Obama hasn't sanctioned any large all consuming wars while he's been in office, but it hasn't been all roses. He extended the stay for 10,000 troops in Iraq and has continued the war in Afghanistan. He is responsible for numerous drone strikes throughout the Arab world and has been supplying weapons to Syria and Egypt. He is funding and fueling wars, but not actively engaging in an "all out war."
He is no prince of peace. He also isn't making an effective effort against Iran. If they really are a nuclear threat (WMDs anyone?) then why did he fight the sanctions against them for the last 4 years and only recently agree to watered down sanctions.
Either the threat isn't real or he's not a strong military commander.
What about Mitt Romney? Let's be honest: neither of these guys has military experience. I don't know what Mitt Romney will do. I do know that he has international business experience and that it's hard to imagine he'd do a worse job than Obama. I'd hope that he's smart enough to default to the generals and commanders that do know about war and foreign policy.
Obama and Biden love to crow about the 1%. Guess what - They ARE the 1%. They are both extremely wealthy and have no idea what it's like to be you or me. They don't know what it's like to have to work for a living and have 40-50% of your money taken in taxes.
Think I'm exaggerating? Do the math. 28% federal income tax, 8% state income tax and about 8% FICA/medicaid/Social security taxes come to 44% of your income. Then add in 7% sales tax, 2% property taxes, and all the little fines/fees/tariffs and you're paying a lot in taxes. At least that's what I pay in taxes.
For generations, the government has taken from those who work and given to those who do not. That includes all the money Obama has given to his friends in government jobs, grants, and "alternative energy" loans. The companies Obama has invested in have defaulted and taken off with millions in taxpayer dollars.
The rest he gives away to those who don't work at all. Food stamps, welfare, and unemployment benefits have all drastically increased under Obama's reign.
To be fair, unemployment benefits are paid to those who worked. But he extended it to be a 2 year affair. Why? Because he stomped the economy so badly that there aren't enough good paying jobs for those people to get. And why would they work, give 40%+ back in taxes, and end up in the same place? It's easier to take the free benefits. And that's why so many people are doing it.
Obama is creating a society of takers. Well, thanks to his policies, the pot of workers is also decreasing and it's getting too far out of balance. That means more taxes for you if you work, and eventually it will mean less "freebies" for those that don't. Go back to the section on Social Security (above) and read about inflation.
Besides, do you want to be the type of person that lives off the government? Surely, if you've read this far into the article, you are smarter and more capable than that.
But Mitt Romney is uber wealthy, so he must be evil? Seriously, get over your jealousy. I wish I had Mitt Romney OR Obama's money. I'd never be able to spend it all. But that's not the point.
Mitt Romney made his money by working for it. Maybe you don't call financial negotiations and business deals "working", but you'd be wrong. Go back and read up on Mitt Romney. He gave up a lot of hours with his family, travelling and working hard to try to make something of himself.
And he succeeded. So don't be jealous. Understand that he could do the same for our country. He could streamline it, make it more productive, and get it running well again.
Those are attributes to be celebrated, not attacked. Okay, so he only paid a 14% income tax rate. Yep, those are the rules we live by. Would you pay extra or follow the rules of our tax code to pay as little as possible? It sucks that those that make their income passively are taxed less than those that sweat for it. Who do you think makes those rules? Yes, the 1%. The Obamas, the Nancy Pelosis and Harry Reids.
And yes the Bushes and Reagans and ALL OF THEM. Be happy that Romney says he will reduce middle class tax rates. Obama is NOT planning to reduce taxes at all. At best, it will stay the same as it is now and that's pretty bad.
Nobody wants to hear it, but teachers are paid pretty damn well. The Chicago teachers were just on strike demanding an 18% pay hike. They got it - that's an 18% increase to their average $94,000 a year salary. And they only work 9 months out of the year! (That means their new salaries are almost $111,000.)
Now, I'm not saying their salaries are or are not out of line. I know teachers that are worth their weight in gold. But not all teachers are created equal and those that suck should be able to be fired.
Teachers unions are a big part of the problem. But nobody wants to address the other part. Parents.
If you want your kids to succeed, you have to be involved and you have to care.
This is a fundamental problem with our entire society because a lot of parents just don't care. They don't want the responsibility It's why we have rampant crime, teen pregnancy, illiterate children, and mental health issues.
Both candidates say they care about education. Fine, but throwing money at the problem does not fix it.
It doesn't fix it in higher education either. The cost of tuition has skyrocketed because the government is subsidizing it. By making loans easier (and less expensive) to get, there is no limit to the amount that colleges can charge.
Unfortunately, this saddles new graduates with enormous debt. Student loan debt is the fastest growing liability in our country (with the exception of the national deficit - thank you Obama!) and it's a bubble that's about ready to pop.
People are defaulting at an enormous rate and Obama even worked out a deal to allow default after 20 years. Guess who gets to foot the bill when the students default. I'll give you a minute.
It's the taxpayer.
Mitt Romney wants to control the cost of college tuition. He will still offer loans and grants, but the schools need to be held accountable.
I heard so much whining after the first debate that neither candidate addressed minority or women's issues. Really? Is this 1912? Is this 1893?
People only have to be segregated if they choose to be and apparently, many people still want to single themselves out. As a women, I am here to tell you that there are no Women's issues.
There are American people issues and that's it. There is nothing that affects me that doesn't also affect my husband and vice versa.
Joe Biden just said that 25% of the students in American schools are Latino. That means the other 75% are some mix of Asian, White, and Black. Who's the minority? And does it matter?
In 2012, when we have had a "minority" president and so many of our top officials and a great percentage of the 1% (who not only own money but also power) are "minorities," aren't we passed all of this garbage?
This is by far the biggest waste of a conversation in the entire election. Obama uses this issue to take the focus off the economy and things that really matter.
Here's the gist: NOBODY cares if you want to date a male or a female. Nobody cares if you want to call yourself "married." Most companies will even give you the same benefits as a married couple.
What's the problem? You just want to attack and be labeled? Or is it that you want the marriage tax penalty? If that's the case, then file as married and pay the extra money in taxes. Awesome!
Otherwise, give it up. Just date who you want to date. Get "married" or don't and shut the hell up.
Stop forcing your agenda and pick a new hobby.
The preceding paragraphs pretty much sum up all that was discussed in the last three debates. Of course, you missed hours of Obama rambling in circles and avoiding all issues and pertinent topics, but the synopsis above should give you a pretty good idea of what this election is actually about.
If you are not happy with the current economy, then get out and vote! You may belong to a state that will go to Obama regardless of your one vote (thanks electoral college!) but if enough people who are fed up with this government get out and vote, we might actually get a change in the White House.
And if you voted for Obama last time and would vote for him just because he's a democrat or just because he's a minority or just because you like the way he looks, then stay home. Those aren't good reasons to vote.