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My Hope….

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Please, please, please let John McCain believe that he can win the Presidency by promising to “reform” Social Security; I don’t know if there’s a single issue (even the war) on which the conservative elite consensus diverges so dramatically from the electorally possible.

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  • aimai

    I’m tired of hoping, I just want this thing to be over.
    aimai

  • jon

    Especially since his ‘program’ is to put a new shine on Bush’s privatization plan.
    After the past few years, I’m sure every AARP member will vote to put their retirement in the hands of Wall street.
    McCain needs to be asked lots of detailed questions about his plan, on camera. Should be a laugh riot, since he has no actual plans, programs or policies more than finger to the wind sloganeering.

  • jsg

    I look forward to hearing how his plan to “fix” those pesky “entitlement” programs is completely unlike Bush’s attempt to do the same.
    I also hope he frequently points out that he’s old enough for Medicare or SSN and does just fine without using either.
    Maybe he’ll throw in a few references to the time he spent as a POW. Or am I just being greedy?

  • Jay B.

    Considering the average age of the McCain demographic is probably 58, I think he’s stumbled on a winner here.
    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  • drip

    Be careful what you wish for, the donkey candidate may not be far behind, not that Obama would move to the right on a long held democratic position.

  • Walt

    McCain is running a terrible campaign. Right now the only thing he has going for him is his fluffers in the media. The only winning strategy for him is to run as the most centrist Republican, and hope Americans hate black people enough.

  • drip, McCain wants to privatize Social Security and cut benefits. (Here: “John McCain supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal accounts — but not as a substitute for addressing benefit promises that cannot be kept.”)
    Obama wants to make the Social Security tax more progressive by increasing taxes on individuals making over $250k.
    There are arguments against Obama’s plan, though I haven’t found them very convincing, but it’s light years away from McCain’s and Bushes. Light years.

  • drip

    Oh Matt, McCain is worse. McCain is stupid in every sense of the word that I can think of and I did not intend to say, or even imply, that Obama was going to urge privatization, only that lately Obama seems to be moving rightward on unexpected issues which do not require it.

  • OK, then. No argument with that at all.
    ….eeeexcept I’m not even sure that Obama’s Social Security position even counts as a rightward shift.

  • elm

    Yeah, it’s been a long time since I heard someone suggesting raising taxes on the rich was a rightward shift.
    On the other hand, Sen. Obama’s rhetoric on the social security ‘crisis’ was one of the reasons I was ambivalent about him during the early primary season as he seemed to be buying into some rightwing talking points.
    But this was back before Super Tuesday, so one can’t point to Obama’s social security position as a rightward “shift” as he’s been there all along.

  • drip

    OK, I thought “Sabathia” and typed “Colon” earlier today, so let me take an Obamaesque try at making myself clear: I was not enthusiastic about the creation of a donut hole in FICA taxes, but I understand the impulse. I do not think that Obama’s present position on Social Security, as I understand it, and as I think Matt and elm do, is a rightward shift from a long held democratic position (even including the fumble on SS in february.) What I do wonder about though, is what new position Obama will stake out in an attempt to grab the heartland’s hard working voters in a social security debate. Color me skeptical.

  • snoey

    Obama seems to have a natural reluctance to argue against the CW when there isn’t much to gain by it.
    Most people believe that there is a SS crisis. Most people who study SS say no crisis, but it could use a tweak to raise revenues a bit.
    Obama proposes the tweak and tells the crisis believers that he is solving their problem.

  • Another Chris

    “I don’t know if there’s a single issue (even the war) on which the conservative elite consensus diverges so dramatically from the electorally possible.”
    McCain could run ads showing Terri Schiavo’s comatose face, and promising “More of this!”

  • Y

    I thought the donut hole was just a clever political tactic to raise taxes without worrying about those targeted writing it off with exemptions and credits and what not. The point being that when all payroll and income taxes are considered, the less well off pay a larger percentage of their income when compared to the more well-off who utilize write-offs and tax avoidance techniques. Instead of simply raising taxes and worrying about covering the hole, you raise the social security tax on those making over $250,000 and claim you are doing so to fix social security. You then take the surplus generated after entitlements are paid and apply it to the deficit. I don’t have a background in social security or tax policy and every article and source I read offers seemingly contradictory data, but for what for it’s worth.

  • cleter

    McCain could run ads showing Bush’s comatose face, and promising “More of this!”

  • Y

    I would also attack McCain’s old person vote by empasizing his support of an amendment that would have made the DTV transition effective three months ago instead of 19 months from now. Taking away the bunny ears from old people and making them buy things has a way of losing votes.
    McCain Amendment:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/mccain-amendment-dtv-bill-fails,1586.html
    Old lady wants her Price is Right:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/business/media/07digital.html?scp=1&sq=DTV%20transition&st=cse

  • Y

    Whoops make that 22 months from now. Apologies for the volume of posts.

  • Y

    I cant read a calendar or function today, the deadline is one month after the inauguration.

  • Jay B.

    Also, that “faith-based” handwringing from last week completely obscured the fact that, at its core, its a very liberal program — government funding, means testing, community based and concerned with strengthening the social safety net.
    For those worried about Church and State separation please note that there is some problematic blurring — but such concerns should be coming from the Church end. The state is mandating the terms if they are to receive money.

  • Nomen Nescio

    it’s been too many years since the first DTV deadline went whooshing by, so i need reminding again — why exactly does the federal government need to be involved in whether or not broadcast television ever goes digital?
    (not that it ever will go digital, of course. i’ve seen too many of those damn deadlines go whooshing by, at this point, to take any future ones the least bit seriously. which only sharpens my point; why does the fedgov need to be involved in such a stupid, pointless exercise in nothing useful?)

  • P J Evans

    why exactly does the federal government need to be involved in whether or not broadcast television ever goes digital?
    Let’s see if I can explain it:
    The airwaves are (more or less) regulated by the FCC (a government agency.
    The frequencies are described in terms of bandwidth (Channels 2-13 use one set of frequencies, channels 14 and up use another set, AM radio has a set, FM radio has a set, and so on).
    By requiring digital broadcasting, more signals can be broadcast in the same amount of bandwidth, so there can be more stations broadcasting and thus more money for companies like Viacom.
    Unfortunately, this also has the effect of killing off older TV sets and low-power radio stations.

  • With regard to DTV:
    Each DTV channel will take the same amount of bandwidth as an analog channel. The broadcaster can pack in 4 standard def subchannels, or an HD and SD channel in the same slot. Channels can be in adjacent frequency slots and not interfere with each other as they sometimes do now. Also, the channel numbers are virtual: the channel may broadcast at the frequency slot for channel 30, but the tuner displays it as 5. The idea is to clear out the band that channels 53 through 69 use and auction it off for other uses. Channels 70 through 83 have already been reassigned. VHF is actually two bands: 2-6 and 7-13, with FM radio in between. You can sometimes pick up the audio for channel 6 at 87.7 on your radio.

  • I just want to thank the commenters who used the “more of this” line. You made me literally LOL.

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