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October 14, 2008


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Your constant not-so-subtle attempts to disparage the Democratic nominees for president and vice-president have become tiresome. Anyone who reads Fox News as a credible source of information cannot be taken seriously. Congratulations--you've just lost a reader.

See ya

"they've got a chance for success too"

Yeah, what do I get out of this bailout (other than inflation)? I paid my mortgage, got a house I could afford, pay my taxes, and work hard. Seems I get nothing at all. Why doesn't someone reduce the amount of principal I owe on my house?

I just wonder why we're bailing out both rich, greedy people and slackers. What's the incentive here to be a straight-up, honest, hard-working person?

I read Free Money Finance for insight in how to best manage my own money, not to hear your personal political views. I will be unsubscribing today.

I just wanna to say thank you for this. It's amazing to me that people get upset with you about it. Um, this is a blog about finances. It's right there in the name. I would hope you have an opinion about the candidates stance on financial issues. You haven't attacked Obama's family or race or past failures. You are actually talking about the issues.

Keep up the good work.

Ha! I find it interesting that no one is disputing the fact that Obama said that (he's not even disputing it.) So what's the problem? I can only assume the negative commenters agree with this position.

As far as pointing to Fox News, it's as credible as MSNBC, which I link to MUCH more frequently despite it's often far-left viewpoints.

And as for the "I come here to manage my personal finances" comment, I suggest you look at your personal finances. Check the top of your expenses and you'll likely see TAXES up there somewhere. In other words, what happens in Washington concerning taxes DOES impact your personal finances -- in a major way.

And a personal note to Cherly -- feel free to post your article links on your own blog and quit spamming up mine please.

I think you have the most fascinating personal finance blog around (and there are a TON of them around). Keep up the good work!

I am sorry,

I was not trying to spam your blog. I was trying to comment (as everyone does) but an error kept occurring (maybe because of the links).

I've been reading your blog for years and this is the first time I feel a negative undertone from you towards one of your readers.

As you can see, my comment was not negative in any way.

* now you can't see, as my comment has been removed.

My original comment just included articles that caught my attention, with links to NYT, Rolling Stone, Politico and LA Times article.

I was respectful and did not include any negative comments towards you or your blog.

FMF: I happen to agree with Obama's statement. His proposed tax plan would be VERY helpful to me. It's okay if you do not agree, but a statement like "Robin Hood rides again" is far from educational or informative. THAT is why I have unsubscribed.

I find this all very amusing. Do you people all make more than $250k a year? If so, then I can understand why you think Obama will raise taxes and I can understand why you woult not want to vote for him for purely financial reasons.

However, if like 90% of the US citizens you make LESS than 250k a year then perhaps you would welcome the taxation of the top 10% to offset some of the bailouts wallstreet and the banking institutions are receiving.

Just a thought.

I don't make more than 250K, but the people who pay my salary do. The people who sell me the stuff I want to buy probably do too. Do you really think that it just stops with the rich? They are surely going to pass their expenses down to me in the form of fewer raises and more expensive goods and services. The only difference is how much the government gets their hands on it.

If someone is doing something illegal to gain their wealth, then that's something worth investigating, but it doesn't make sense to me to punish (i.e. tax unfairly) everyone who makes over a certain amount. As much as I like free money, I'd much rather everyone just pay their fair share.

FMF, please keep up the good work and continue posting your opinions whether I agree with them or not. I feel I'm smart enough to make up my own mind. I can't imagine a finance blog that left out politics completely. They're so intertwined.

Heh, Dan. It's the ol' "some day I will! honest!" I guess. Hope springs eternal!

I agree with quite a few that decisions in the election are very important to our financial future and freedom.

Dan's post - The problem with raising taxes on anyone is that it is the beginning of things to come. Tell me - Why should we have ever raised taxes in the first place? Shouldn't we be more concerned of why our government can't live within it's own means? We are all here to learn how to or continue to live within our mean and the government continues to tell us to do so... yet, why the heck can't they?

One of the main reasons we decided to become the USA is because someone else was trying to tax us... Think about it!

Unsubscribing over one post??? That's ridiculous, this blog's full of great information and advice on finance, and to dump all that because of this? Do you also "unsubscribe" your friends and family because they upset you in some way just ONCE, maybe over a simple misunderstanding of one or two statements? Am I missing something here?


I don't think its punishment or even unfair to tax higher wage earners more, since they can afford it afterall. And I don't believe your boss is going to cut your salary if his taxes go up nor will he give you a raise because his taxes have gone down. It doesn't really work that way. People are paid based on their market value not by the generousity or lack thereof of their employers.

Have you ever had a boss give you a raise because he got a tax break?

I agree with you 100%, wages are based on market value. Although, everyone should take a look at any of their bills at home and skim through to the taxes section. I am sure you will see many taxes that have been put on those businesses that just get passed through to all the classes.

You can't take water out of just a portion of the bucket.

Why can't the government just spend less than they make. No one needs a tax cut or increase. I haven't heard either candidate talk about cutting federal spending in a serious manner. It's always "we'll look into that" or "we need to cut with a scalpel, not a hatchet".

That's why I'm still undecided in this election, neither candidate is giving me much hope for change even though it seems like that is all they talk about.

BTW - can we raise Simon Cowell's taxes please? He owes us that much for exposing the world to more Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and horrible music.

I surprised that anyone would drop a blog for one political opinion. For the commentors, just remember it doesn't matter what you opinion is, you can almost always find someone who will disagree with it. I think it's great that FMF would take a stance (if that's what it was). That is more admirable than trying to please everyone.

Bottomline is that someone has got to pay taxes. If you listen to Sarah Palin's comments later in the video you will here her say (i paraphrase), "We can't have a president who will raise taxes." We know that is misleading because they will raise taxes too. It's inevitable. The question is who is going to pay them?

Spreading the wealth is not a great way to say it. But what's wrong with people earning more shouldering more of the tax burden? This needs to be structured in the right way ofcourse to prevent the pass downs Andy was referring to. (if that's possible)

I do believe without some "redistribution" the gap between the have's and have not's will be larger and larger. Just look at the curve of compounding interest. The more you have the faster your growth happens. Free market will not balance that out.

In an ideal world, the government would be a lean mean operation and wouldn't need any tax increases. I think that is a pipe dream.

"I don't think its punishment or even unfair to tax higher wage earners more, since they can afford it afterall."

I probably would have agreed with you Dan several years ago when I was a poor graduate student looking up at people earning "real" money. I got married to a guy who by dint of hard work makes between $150-180K/year. So we're not quite in the $250K range, but in a couple years and when I enter the workforce we'll be realy close.

On some level "we can afford" those taxes. I mean, we pay them and we're debt free. But we live in a major metropolis and we value a short commute. So we're living in an old 2 bedroom apartment and we drive old subcompact cars. We're looking to buy a place, but it'll be a condo and we'll have to have a huge downpayment to make the mortgage reasonable.

I have some health issues so we always have to have extra savings for that. We're about to have our first kid, so we have been socking away for that. In addition to forced wealth spreading through taxes, we believe in personally giving to charities important to us. We give about 15% of our gross income away annually.

So, Dan, on this side of things you'll forgive me if I don't feel like I'm just living in a sea of wealth with money to throw around. I realize we're living in the top 5%. I don't worry about having enough for food and rent like I used to. But the low six-figures is a solidly middle class life out here in Big City whether it's statistically in the top 5% or not.

Cherly --

My apologies if I came off harsh. I get a TON of spam here that are links and thus I'm hyper sensitive to them. (That's probably why you had problems too -- Typepad thought you were spamming me.) Anyway, I'm more than fine with readers expressing their thoughts and opinions, but that's different than dumping several links in a comment section. If you would, please leave your thoughts and forget the download of links.

Anne --

Wow, you're looking for me to be educational and/or informative? You probably should have left a long time ago if that's how you were measuring me. ;-)

Seriously, I do sometimes get a bit carried away (it's a hazzard of "live blogging" and saying what you think), so maybe the Robin Hood comment was out of line. My thoughts aren't really Obama specific -- it's the line of thinking that I dislike (taking from one group and giving to the other) -- and he's just the current advocate for it. I'm willing to oppose any politician with this philosophy.

A couple other thoughts for you (and the others):

1. The shocking part of this piece to me was that he said it outright. Most politicians won't be this blatant about what there doing and I don't know if I can recall one ever being this clear about it. That's what made the admission interesting to me.

2. You have to admire Obama for saying clearly what his plans are. Agree with him or not, he seems to be very clear with his intentions, something we usually don't see from those in D.C.

Dan --

My point exactly! Which is why it strikes me as strange that so many would be upset by me printing the Obama quote. Seems to me they should be saying "That's right! That's what we believe and are voting for!!!" Instead they seem offended at the suggestion that Obama is taking from one group and giving to another. Why be upset with it -- that's what HE said he is planning to do. In other words, it's not my interpretation of his thoughts, it's what he said.

Andy --

"FMF, please keep up the good work and continue posting your opinions whether I agree with them or not. I feel I'm smart enough to make up my own mind. I can't imagine a finance blog that left out politics completely. They're so intertwined."

THANK YOU!!!!!! You've summarized my position exactly. I certainly don't think my readers will agree with everything thing I say and I do give them credit for thinking for themselves -- that's why I post things I find interesting/compelling even if I think others (and I myself sometimes) disagree with what's being said. I guess not everyone thinks that way.

Shawn --

Thank you too!

Kevin M --

GREAT point (about the govt. spending less than they earn)!


Wages are based on market value, but overall market value is affected by tax policy.

If raising taxes on people making over $250,000 a year means that entrepreneurs find it less worthwhile to expand an existing business or start a new one, there will be fewer employment opportunities. Less demand for labor means lower wages throughout the job market.

The argument is similar when looking at it in terms of the cost of goods and services. Again, there's a market that determines the price. But when people making over $250,000 are taxed more, some will choose not to start a new business or expand an existing one. Fewer goods and services will be offered, and prices to consumers will rise.

If all it meant is that when we try to pass the tax burden off to the rich, they find a way to pass it right back, it wouldn't bother me much. But taxation targeting high income earners, capital gains, imports, etc. is inefficient. In other words, when we try to shift wealth around like this, we destroy some in the process. It also has a pernicious effect on our politics. When a large majority of taxpayers get to pay less than their fair share, it will lead to an electorate that constantly clamors for more government spending because they figure someone else is picking up the tab.


Let me get this straight. You want good advice about personal finance, advice that largely revolves around taking responsibility for your own financial decisions, and you want the person who dispenses it to be a socialist like Obama? Good luck with that!

Kevin M,

You're right to focus on spending. That's the true measure of our liberty.


If anything, I think you'd be justified in posting quite a bit more on politics, at least as it relates to economics and personal finances, especially in the next few weeks!


Perhaps by raising the tax on those who make more than $250k a year will ease the tax burden on those of us who make less so that we can start our own businesses. You don't need to be super-rich to start a new business.

What this all comes down to is this.. Do you believe in trickle-down economics?

Do you believe that the economy will grow as the ultra-wealthy's bank accounts do? Or should we let the lower income earners keep more of what they make? Everyone is entitled their own belief.


You are correct in saying you don't have to be super-rich to start a new business. There are examples on the net of people who have invested the $9.95 it takes to register a domain name and built businesses off their hard work.

My question to you is simple. If I work hard starting my own business and increase my income to over $250,000, what right do you have a to it? Why should I be punished for being successful? If you have a job that you enjoy and work hard at, great. But why should the government take more of my money because I wanted to strike out on my own and was successful at it?


It's true, you don't need to be super-rich to start a new business. ($250k/year qualifies as SUPER rich?) But higher income earners are more likely to be the ones running successful small businesses, the kind that create the most jobs. It's hard work running a business, and if there isn't enough extra money in it, they might just decide to take a job doing something less stressful--but also less productive--that lets them spend more time with their families. Of course this applies beyond people running their own business; lots of highly compensated wage earners have jobs that are very stressful. Even people who would sacrefice a lot for money won't do ANYTHING for it, particularly if it would take a lot of extra work to make just a little extra money. That's the problem with high marginal income tax rates. It destroys the incentive to produce.

I doubt anybody believes in "trickle-down economics". I can't possibly explain it better than Thomas Sowell, so I'll just link to his column:

I think we should let people at all income levels keep more of what they make by reducing government spending. In fact, I think income level shouldn't even be a consideration.

I do not earn $250,000 a year or more. I am smack dab in the middle class.

That said, Obama's plan is, plainly, punishing success! He says it is. He doesn't want to punish your success, he HAS to in order for others to have a chance. That's complete GARBAGE. It should be your own personal responsiblity to take chances, not the government's to give them to you.

Please keep religion and politics off this blog. Neither is very interesting or logical for that matter.



When Charles Gibson asked Obama in a debate ( why he wants to raise the capital gains tax, even though historically revenues from the tax go up when the tax rate is lowered and go down when the tax rate is raised, Obama responded, without challenging the premise of the question, that he wants to do it for reasons of "fairness".

So let's break it down. As a liberal/socialist, presumably Obama believes that one of the missions of government is to help the poor through various social programs. Making a change to the tax code that causes tax revenues to drop, especially a tax thought to hit people mostly in the middle class and above, would diminish the amount of help that the government could give to the poor. So apparently punishing the rich for their success is more important even than helping the poor.

el cheapo,

Please keep yourself off this blog. Religion and politics have been part of this blog for quite a while, and there's no reason it should change. It doesn't belong to you. I myself am not religious, so I just don't read the blog on Sunday. If something doesn't interest you, don't read it, much less comment on it. How hard is that?

The government wants a welfare state,they tell you what to do when and how.Just like the army.

FMF- keep up the good work, you have a right to post your opinion on your own blog, i would think. Obama is advocating a form of socialism, by redistributing wealth as he has said in his speeches. It's not surprising since he has been known to be part of or working with a socialist party in Chicago. Some people have no problem with that. Others do. I think its fair to point out what he is advocating, however.

let small business alone, and everyone will win!

Only in America are the rich so resolutely defended by the lower-middle to upper-middle classes. Part of our fairy-tale syndrome, I suppose?

I'd rather see everyone live modestly than than some live really well and some live really poorly.


"I'd rather see everyone live modestly than than some live really well and some live really poorly."

If only there were such a thing as a law of conservation of wealth that stated "wealth cannot be created or destroyed", your utopia would be possible through socialist redistribution.

But in fact, wealth is created by hard work and individual initiative, and destroyed by governments when they try to shield people from the consequences of their actions (or idleness). Redistribution removes incentives, and so a lot of productive work just never gets done.

It's not about defending the rich (in the sense of defending the people who happen to be rich at the moment). It's about defending everyone's right to keep more of what they earn, so that anyone who is willing to work for it can improve their standard of living over time. It's about defending the incentive structure that creates wealth.

I used to advocate a roughly flat tax. But then I see how much the ultra-rich are in cahoots with the government and how many benefits they get from this position. Think of it this way. How much of this $700 billion bailout plan will go to you personally, and how much will go to the executives and other people who made this mess in the first place? And how much of this will go to those who made poor choices by buying houses they couldn't afford? Lehman Brothers approved $100 million in bonuses just 3 days before going bankrupt. And even though the government did not bail out Lehman Bros, if they had opportunity to do the past few weeks again, you can be sure they would.

So, even though I am a very strong fiscal conservative, I generally support Obama's tax plan. I now advocate taxing the ultra-rich a bit more, now that I see how much they get from the government. These higher taxes would go to support things like the bailout plan.

That said, I do not support Obama's overall goal of wealth redistribution. Too often, many people think the "American Dream" is to own a large house, a boat, 3 cars, 2 kids, and a dog. But this is not the American Dream. The American Dream is the *opportunity* to do this if we want. The opportunity to live our lives and achieve our goals. The opportunity to make for ourselves what our parents didn't have.

And I believe that American does have these opportunities. Not everyone will get rich. But everyone does have the opportunity to work hard and become rich. And there has to be some kind of reward. If those who don't work very hard get just as much money as those who do work hard and take risks, there will be no incentive to work hard and take those risks. That is the promise of American capitalism. That is the American dream.

So in conclusion, I would support taxing the ultra-rich a little bit more, but I would also work to massively decrease government spending and lower the taxes of the middle class. And rather than giving out handouts, the remaining government spending should be focused on infrastructure -- transportation, alternative energy, education, etc. Unfortunately, neither of the primary presidential candidates agree with me, and that's why I will be voting third party this year.

Hi everybody,

Great thread and comments! Just to chime in, I make just above $250k per year and I can say that I really have to work my butt off to the bone and expect this in most jobs that pay at this level. Nothing wrong with hard work and I'm sure most people work as well. It's just that for the pressure and effort I'd like to have something saved to show for my efforts, because I believe over time jobs like these can wear you down. So I'm not pleased to be 'punished' for this. My response will be to work 6 months out of the year, if it's possible to keep finding work like this or to set up a special situation with my employer.

I'd rather earn less and take time off than be punished by excess taxation because I want to save for my future. I wonder how many others share my opinion?

Remember life is not about staying on a treadmill, you have to take some time to enjoy your free time on this wonderful planet.

Big C

Big Cheese -

I'm calling BS on you. Unless you're being taxed at 100%, every extra hour you work should provide you with "something to show for your efforts". I haven't seen either candidate advocate a 100% tax, so I fail to see how your choice to work less is related to this. You say you're being punished by "excess taxation" that's causing you not to be able to save for the future, but then you are effectively cutting your income in half by only working 6 months out of the year. That will affect your ability more than a couple percentage point tax increase by either side.

Big/Kevin --

I'm between what the two of you are saying. I think there is some level where taxes impact you so much that it's not worth working more, but that's way above 50% of what most people currently make -- even someone who makes $250k per year.

Personal responsibility gets trumpeted around a lot, but let's face facts: there are systems in place in this country to keep the rich rich and the poor poor. Yes some people raise themselves from their bootstraps and achieve great things without any "silver spoon" opportunities or the like. They are newsworthy because most do not. Obama did and yet he still wants to give a hand to the poor, which I hope people appreciate for the real character that shows.

I suppose its an optimism/pessimism thing. A lot of people are for welfare because people need a helping hand to get by. A lot of people are against welfare because people will scam the system and/or "I didn't need it to succeed, therefore no one does."(Which isn't pessimistic but more black/white fatalistic which, like pessimism, does not go hand-in-hand with hope). My viewpoint is optimistic, namely if you give disenfranchised folk the opportunity, generally(<--) they will use it for good things and make society better. My belief, and feel free to disagree, is that most people in the world want health for themselves and their families, i.e. a stable place to live with food on their tables. I'm for any plan that gives them this, and I believe Obama's is much more likely to do so than the other side's.

Noah --

The only thing I'd add (that I didn't already cover yesterday in this and the tax post we discussed these issues on) is that most of the people want someone else to foot the bill for "their" own charity.

See this post for details:

Kevin M,

I'm calling BS right back on you. It's your position that high income earners will do anything to earn just a little extra money? Money is all that matters to them? Only a 100% marginal tax rate would be enough to stop it?

What about the top marginal rate before Reagan cut it, 70%? If people in the highest tax bracket only get to keep 30 cents of each extra dollar they earn, it should come as no surprise if more decide to take cushier, less productive jobs. That 30% of the difference in pay may not be enough to afford something that would make the extra effort worth it, like private school for their kids or a house in a better neighborhood.

Even less extreme differences in marginal tax rates will still cause some effect. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition. Did you ever take an economics course? Did the supply curve in your textbook look like a slope or a sheer cliff?

How thin-skinned are some readers of this post??? Life is tough, buy a helmet or go hide. So is it their contention that he never said it and FoxNews is lying or are they just burying their heads and avoiding the comment? I honestly don't care what the source of the statement is so long as he did, in fact, say it.

If the point of increasing the taxes is to help people then, if taxes are raised, then there should be a larger deduction for charitable contributions. If it all about helping people and not sticking it to those who make more than you, this should not be objectionable.

As some have pointed out about the bailout...why bother even bringing it up? It had to be done, plain and simple. It was that or total economic collapse. I am not happy about it either but to harp on it is useless.

Last, to El Cheapo: "Please keep religion and politics off this blog. Neither is very interesting or logical for that matter."

This is FMF's blog. How can you not discuss finance without politics? As for religion, considering it is religion that does the vast majority of charitable work in this country (which reduces our overall tax burden and hence has an effect on finance) it too is pertinent. If you seek logic, go to a math blog. Logic does not really pertain to finance.

Matt -- Countries exist where the average standard of living isn't so high, but neither are the wealth disparities; the poor aren't so poor and the rich aren't so rich. Sure there are losses of efficiencies but, imo, the reward of less wealth disparity is worth this cost.

I guess beyond that, i think the notion that the richest are those who work the hardest is a fallacy. Having us believe that is what keeps the lower to upper middle classes voting in the interest of the top 0.5% of income-earners. I think the real estate and tech bubbles are examples of that. I think most of the financial sector is an example of that. Wealth creation is less about hard work and more about organizing people to do hard work for you, but I digress.

You mentioned that I was suggesting some sort of utopia. Of course not. Part of my ethic and political leanings are in tune with the concept that there are more rewarding pursuits than money and that the pursuit of money and desire to retain vast quantities of money (from a historic standard) are the cause of all sorts of social ills and problems with our society. I don't hold ambition to be a great human characteristic, but instead a characteristic that needs to be balanced with the goodwill of family, community, and tradition.

I could continue my 'rant,' but I won't. I am just trying to explain the underpinnings of my support for a strongly progressive tax.

Matt H --

Sorry, I didn't mean to post under your name. For some reason I typed the name of the person to whom I was replying in the "name" field. The post above is from AdamCO, not Matt H!

I have to chime in here.

To all of the people talking about taxes in general: The question shouldn't "what is my tax rate" or "why do I pay so much", but rather "what am I getting for my taxes". This is akin to the idea that it's not how much you make, it's how much you spend in relation to how much you make that determines whether you are handling your finances properly. If the tax rate is 100%, but everything about your life is covered by the government (everything you spend money on, from food to the parking meter to satellite TV) then you are quite literally free to pursue any sort of profession you wish. You want to be a banker? Go fer it. Want to be an artist? Paint away. Want to counsel troubled couples? Have a go at it. No longer would pay have any bearing on what you really wanted to do with your life. Granted, a lot of people would choose "bum" as their occupation and just live fat off the labor of others, but no system is perfect. Now flip it around - 0% tax rate, and the government does nothing for you. Think of all that money you'd have! You actually start making a profit from your labors on January 1st instead of sometime in March. More money to spend, more to save, stimulating the service economy like never seen before. Jobs created, standards of living increased across the board. The little matter of defense ("Okay, Bill - it's your turn to spend a week in Iraq") and infrastructure ("Wednesday is your turn to do road repair, Mary.") might need a little attention, though.

Just asking for more services or less taxes isn't working; we're getting tax cuts and bigger entitlements, with a side helping of a $10+ trillion dollar debt. We need to demand greater transparency in government spending AND taxation; demand a simpler tax code and a simpler budget, without stripping the real data. Yes, this would mean an engaged and educated electorate, but people might actually be willing to pay attention to this whole finance/economics thing with what's been going on.

As for the middle class bearing the brunt of the tax burden (Dan, et al) just remember that with taxes comes tax credits - something that the middle class especially relies on, otherwise they really would be feeling the brunt. I make less than $250k (my household makes less than that) but I do make over $100k and I average an 18% tax rate paid thanks to tax credits (and my accountant) and not the 28% rate bracket that I fall into due to my household income.

Todd - I am not a believer that the bailout was necessary. No real change is going to happen to the economy, no failures offset, markets propped or credit flows increasing; our problem has always been one of solvency, not liquidity. All that has happened is we've slowed the process down a bit, allowed some executives time to shift assets around to protect thier wealth, given unprecedented authority to the Treasurer and added an awful lot to our debt. Speaking of, looks like we're going to have to raise the ceiling again soon - and we just raised the ceiling to $11.3 trillion (we're currently at $10.3 trillion). That's three raises in under a year (Sep 07, 9.8 / Mar 08, 10.2 / Sep 08, 11.3).

Rod --

We could have used you here yesterday. ;-)

Good thoughts.

Noah said:

"Personal responsibility gets trumpeted around a lot, but let's face facts: there are systems in place in this country to keep the rich rich and the poor poor. Yes some people raise themselves from their bootstraps and achieve great things without any "silver spoon" opportunities or the like. They are newsworthy because most do not."

That is silly. The rich stay rich if they want to (or if they hire someone to keep them that way... which they have to want to), and the poor can change if they want to. There are plenty of examples of people fulfilling the American Dream. My husband, for one. And my best friend grew up middle class, and she's now headed well on her way to "rich." And once I get my PhD (first in my family, which was middle class), hopefully I'll be headed that way too. And none of us is "newsworthy." We're just doing the best we can.

Like someone else said, I'm glad Obama is speaking clearly. But I don't want my wealth to be redistributed, and I don't want charity, even from the gov't. I'll make it myself or I won't make it all.

Obama's comments aren't surprising, as the Democrats have advocated wealth distribution for decades. Bill Buckley remarked nearly 60 years ago that the salient assumptions of liberalism are socialist. Punishing success and rewarding failure and sloth is par for the course for Democrats.

Most disturbing to me, however, is the candidates' pandering with obvious nonsense about what they are "going to do" about the economy when, in fact, they can do very little. Both candidates are pitiful and I wish could vote against both.

I might throw in the argument that democrats have to raise taxes to clean up the republican's deficits. Anymore it is only during democrat presidencies that our budget is balanced.

Robin: Your "the poor can change if they want to" is precisely the flawed logic I spoke about.

Can you believe some people believe that those with depression can just "snap out of it" if they have the will, if they really, really want to? Luckily most people today are educated enough to know that a disease like depression is a systematic illness that has far more factors than just "will" or "desire." Likewise, economic realities have a lot of factors beyond "laziness" or whatever slur poor people regularly get assigned.

Yes, some people can swim against the current of economic reality and come out well on the other side. But why not calm those waters and allow more people to cross over? I simply fail to see why the advancement of desperately poor citizens diminish the rest of us.

And if it does somehow diminish us, why that's not a price worth paying.

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