The Sovereign Mind

Free thought on politics and real life

For Sale to the Highest Bidder: My Vote

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I don’t believe in voting for self-interest. For one thing, it’s selfish. But for another, what’s in my self-interest is not always as simple to figure out as some try to make it. Some people can’t understanding why anyone in the middle class wouldn’t vote for Obama. Don’t they know they will get a tax break (assuming he does as he has promised, and ignoring the fact that he would not unilaterally write the laws)?

No, we don’t all exist in a vacuum. The poor do benefit, to some extent, from cutting taxes on the rich. After all, it does increase the chance of finding work. On the other hand, the rich do benefit from cutting taxes on the poor and middle class, since it gives the rich more customers. Clearly, our economic system is intertwined, so determining what is in my best interest (even if I were to vote that way) is not so easy to figure out and certainly involves more than a simple calculator.

But, as an experiment, I decided to suspend whatever intellectualism I have and determine how I would vote if I truly were to yield to my most primal instincts (give me more money!). I don’t wish to disclose the details of my financial situation to the world, but if is sufficient to say that I am doing pretty well. I am one (of the apparently few) that is actually better off than I was four years ago. But I am still solidly middle-class, and certainly not anywhere close to Obama’s definition of rich (which he says is $250,000).

So, with that in mind, I expected Obama to win my auctioned vote, given that he has championed the cause of the middle class, and has painted McCain as only caring about the rich. I had heard of a tax calculator on Obama’s website, so I checked it out. Sure enough, I would get 9 times more of a tax cut with Obama than McCain. Hmm… maybe there is something to this “vote for my own self-interest” after all.

But then of course, I couldn’t resist yielding to at least a little bit of intelligence in my decisions process. So I decided to see if there were any more independent calculators. I found this one which is promoting Obama, but at least claims to be based on independent numbers. I filled out the form and found out that apparently I will be getting even more with Obama than even Obama’s website claimed! Cha-ching! But…

…I would get even more with McCain.

Apparently I would get 14 times more under McCain than what Obama’s website told me I would. Let me repeat that: Obama misrepresented McCain’s tax cut by 14 times! Of course I shouldn’t be surprised by that, but it is appalling.

It’s bad enough that Obama tries to appeal to my selfish side by putting up a tax calculator. But to make matters worse, he blatantly lies about the tax cut I would see under McCain, in order to make his tax cut appear more appealing. In my opinion, this is more than just a typical politician who misrepresents the facts. He directly lied to me in order to persuade me to vote for him.

Beware, self-interested voters.

(By the way, I already know McCain frequent misrepresents Obama’s tax policy. I had given Obama the advantage in terms of honesty on tax policy. No longer.)

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Written by Mike

November 1, 2008 at 10:18 pm

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