Friday, October 19, 2012
POLITICS + PERSONALITY: LOADS OF MISLEADING CRAP: KNOW YOUR FACTS
Fridays at Justin + 6 are Politics and Personality with Washington DC-based gay party guy, and creator and host of Swish Edition, R. Scott Wallis. Expect to be challenged. Expect to be offended. Opinions expressed here are Scott's and Scott's alone.
Are you over all the lying and stretches-of-truth yet? Too bad. With just two and a half weeks left in this election cycle—not to mention next week’s third presidential debate—you’re going to be bombarded with them 24/7 until November 6.
My advice is to go on vacation right this very minute, to a developing country or a tropical island that doesn’t have internet access or television. I thought I’d be semi-immune when I visited London and Paris last week, but the U.S. election is on the tip of everyones’ tongues, even in England and France.
The world is watching to see what happens.
And if you believe the polls, it’s a very, very close race. (Keep your eyes on Ohio and Florida, people. These states WILL determine this election.)
If you’ve read my posts before, you know I’m a staunch independent. I think the elephants and the donkeys have America by the balls. They’re both evil, pretty much run by major corporations and donors with deep pockets, and they’ve passed laws that essentially freeze out third party candidates.
Hell, the mainstream media won’t even cover the Libertarian candidate. And that’s a shame, because he’s on the ballot in 48 states and their candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, has many fresh, intelligent ideas about how this country should be run (including lots of the limited government and personal responsibility stuff I just love…oh…and he’s all for gay marriage).
But we can’t change that this go-around. So, we’ll have to settle for the lesser of two evils. (I have a feeling 99% of you reading this have picked Obama, and that’s okay…but you should know that neither he nor Romney really play by the rules and tell the truth all the time.)
Just a few points, because they are so blatant:
1. Unless you never watch TV, you’ve seen the Obama television advertisement that uses “60 Minutes” interview clips of Mitt Romney. The interviewer asks, "You made on your investments personally about $20 million last year and you paid 14 percent in federal taxes. That's the capital gains rate. Is that fair to the guy who makes $50,000 who paid a higher rate than you did? So you think it is fair?" Romney: "Yeah, I think it's the right way to encourage economic growth." Then a narrator says, "Lower tax rates for him than us. Is that the way to grow America?"
What they don’t tell you in the ad—what is conveniently left out and misleading—is that the 14 percent tax rate is a rate that the Obama administration as well as the Democrats on the Hill have left in place; they had years to change it if they wanted to. And this is the important part, a single person making $50,000 who took a single standard deduction is taxed at a rate of 15.4 percent on straight salary. Not really a huge difference.
But what should be clearly stated is that in the actual CBS interview, Romney went on to say that the 14 percent tax rate was on dividend income, monies that were already taxed at the corporate level. And the United States’ corporate taxes are the second highest in the world, at 35%.
He thinks it’s fair because that money was already taxed once. If Romney had made $20 million in straight salary, he would have paid a federal tax rate of 35%, not to mention local, state, and sales taxes.
I’m not sure why we are supposed to hate wealthy, successful people. But the ad clearly wants you to. Romney took no salary when he ran the Olympics. In fact, he gave the Olympic committee $1 million of his own dollars as a donation. And he gave almost 30% of his income to charity last year. He can hardly be called greedy.
2. Equal time is only fair. In a new Romney approved advertisement on television, the governor claims that 23 million Americans are out of work or have given up on finding a job and that Obama wants to raise taxes on the middle class.
Not so true. According to the federal government, 12.1 million people are out of work; 8.6 million are working part time because their hours were cut back or that’s all they could find; and 2.5 million people are “marginally connected” to the workforce. Marginally connected loosely means that they have given up. (And it’s pretty much been a fact for many years that there will always about 2.5 million people not looking.)
And except for a few conservative think tanks, there is no documented evidence that Obama wants to raise taxes on the middle class. He’s started over and over that he does not intend to do that. The only taxes he’s said that he would change would be those making the most. And to do that, he’s not upping the rate, he’s intending to simply allow Bush-era tax breaks to lapse.
3. In the last debate, Romney said that 580,000 women had lost jobs over the last four years. Not true. It’s more like 283,000. Romney was using very out-dated numbers.
4. In the last debate, Obama said that he called the attack and murders in Libya a terrorist act on September 12 in the Rose Garden at the White House. He did say, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation,” but if you watch and listen to the video very carefully, as I just did, the President was clearly referring to the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 with this statement. His administration didn’t call it a terrorist act for weeks after that September 12th statement, and when he was directly asked on ABC’s “The View” if it was a terrorist act, he would not say yes.
Okay. I hear you screaming. Some of these things are big. Some are small. But what’s important to know is that both sides use tactics to mislead. Both sides use information to discredit their opponent. And it’s important to know the facts.
And you can’t always trust the television “reporters” and talking heads on NBC, CNN, ABC and the like, because after the last debate, I watched a couple of different after-debate wrap-ups and the news people and political experts get the facts just as screwed up as the candidates!
Of course, I suspect most people know who they are going to vote for. I hope to hell you know by now. One television ad probably won’t change your mind. The third debate certainly won’t alter your vote. Right? What could they possibly say now to push you over to the other side?
What I want to know, really, is who ARE these undecided voters?! How can’t they know by now? Have they been living under a rock? The candidates are pretty black and white (no pun intended.)
Ehh! I’m so tired of this and I really can’t wait for November 7. I’ll try to write something gay and light next week.