TWO MINUTES WITH THE CANDIDATE

Click here. It’s about your taxes.

Speaking of which:

LESS TIME FILING YOUR TAXES

From his economic plan:

Obama and Biden will ensure that the IRS uses the information it already gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return. Experts estimate that the Obama-Biden proposal will save Americans up to 200 million total hours of work and aggravation and up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees.

ANOTHER REPUBLICAN FOR OBAMA

This comes – via a friend who forwarded it – from a 63-year-old capitalist, John H. Scully, who sits on the board of, among other things, our very own Plum Creek Timber. (Yes, the trees keep growing.)

It’s an email to members of a social and investing club that he and other members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Class of 1968 set up:

Dear Fellow Stanco Member,

Like most of us I have never asked anything of my wonderful classmates in the GSB Class of 1968. I am now. Allow me to make it clear that I write to you as a concerned citizen, not representing Stanco or the Stanford GSB, but expressing my own personal views.

Some of you may share these views and some of you may not. I respect everyone’s right to differ, but allow me mention that I am hardly a political zealot. (I voted for the republican presidential candidate in every election from 1976 up to and including, I’m embarrassed to say, 2000). But as Americans, whose country has been so good to us, I believe we are now all called upon to take action in response to the extraordinary incompetence of the last eight years that has so seriously marginalized our great nation and put us at real risk.

It is very clear to me that we are now in our worst economic crisis since 1929, and the possibility of systemic failure is real. While reasonable men and women can differ on the immediate steps we should be taking, it is demonstrably apparent after eight dreadful years of gross mismanagement and incompetency that we need to expunge from our polity the Bush-Cheney-McCain-Palin axis of ideological pap and judgmental disasters.

With all due respect I ask, indeed implore, that you join me and millions of others in the mission to elect Barack Obama as the next president of these United States. We have a long road ahead of us to reverse the disastrous damage done to our nation in the last eight years, and Barack is the leader with the intellect, character and courage to do it. We are blessed to have his candidacy in this moment of crisis. Smart, inspirational and endowed with superb judgment, Barack is the real agent of change. He’s a man of character and principles, who wants to give back to the country that has blessed him with the “audacity of hope.” And at the core he’s a market oriented moderate, not an ultra liberal – please read the key excerpts from his book that I have attached. Those of you that like to focus on your personal taxes, you will notice that he proposes lower capital gains rates than Reagan’s era and zero for start ups!

There can be little doubt that Bush 43 will go down as the worst president in the modern era. Besides the damage to our economy, our international standing has dropped precipitously, our brave military has been fundamentally weakened and our wonderful sense of limitless potential sadly compromised. Ronald Reagan’s beautiful image of the “shining city on a hill” is in real peril.

Consider the legacy of the last eight years:

  • Huge annual fiscal deficits – $450 B in the current year BEFORE the bailout, which will more than double to over $1 trillion. (Remember the democratic surpluses under fiscal conservative Bob Rubin?)
  • Trade deficits in excess of $600B annually
  • $700B down the drain in Iraq and over 100,000 dead – in a country that did not attack us! Ultimate costs of well over $1 trillion (Couldn’t we use those funds now!). Near exhaustion of our military capacity.
  • Patent neglect of Afghanistan, the source of the real threat, which has lead to the resurgence of our true enemy.
  • Zero energy policy – putting trillions of dollars in hostile or questionable hands
  • Environmental disregard on all fronts
  • China now our lender of last resort holding $1 trillion of US government paper (We had to save Fannie and Freddie because they and others own so much of this “agency “paper)
  • No thoughtful oversight (in fact further liberalization of leverage limits) of the Wall Street casinos. (Lehman had 30x leverage)
  • A decline in real family income of $2,500 in a supposed economic expansion period now ending with a thud.

THESE HORRIFIC DEFICITS AND COSTS OF AN ELECTIVE WAR HAVE PUT US IN A POSITION WHERE OUR RESPONSES TO THIS HIGHLY DANGEROUS FINANCIAL PANIC ARE SEVERELY CONSTRAINED AND THE CORE OF OUR SYSTEM AND OUR VERY CURRENCY ARE AT SYSTEMIC RISK. The Bush republicans have been more effective at weakening our country than any enemy, domestic or foreign, has ever been. And we are supposed to reward this incompetence by reelecting the same party and Bush’s chosen successor? IF YOU WERE ON THE BOARD OF THIS “COMPANY USA,” WOULD YOU SUPPORT THE SUCCESSOR CHOICE AND PROTOGEE OF THE OUTGOING CEO, WHO HAD FAILED SO COMPLETELY?

McCain a change agent? He has 26 years in DC. He has supported Bush 90% of the time. His campaign is run by lobbyists and the ads by Rove wanabees. He admits to a weak skill set in economics. What economic views he has were formed under the tutelage of Phil Gramm, who opposes even prudent government oversight. He’s been pro Iraq war from the outset. He wants more truncation of our tax code to favor the rich and further weaken the middle class. The projections for his policies are massive deficits and, unlike Obama, he has not presented any detailed deficit estimates, only saying the budget would be balanced in 2013! Then there are the total lies in advertising (straight talking express?) in an ad campaign produced by the same attack squad that ironically beat him working for Bush in South Carolina in 2000 with a series of clear lies.

Then he chooses Palin – solely on the basis that she can boost his chances and reverse his sagging outlook, irrespective of her qualifications. Well, at least she is a change. Three prominent conservative intellectuals, led by George Will, have charitably phrased their view that, “She’s not ready.” Yet this is someone who would be a step away from a 73-77 year old president, who has had recurring melanoma. Her finger on the red button. Uncomprehensible and irresponsible risk – what kind of judgement does that show?

Now I ask you to be part of the change that will allow us to emerge from this darkness and support Barrack Obama as generously as you can. A TOTAL OF UP TO $65,000 CAN BE GIVEN PER PERSON, less whatever other federal contributions you have made in the last two years (ask your legal advisor). Regina and I have each done this. Clearly most of you have the capacity to contribute generously. Most of these funds can go directly to the Campaign For Change, all of which is used exclusively to help fund the presidential race in the 18 battleground states. This is a highly focused and efficient way of getting the message out and combating the lies where it matters the most.

I would be delighted to answer any questions and discuss the giving options by email or phone. If you are ready to contribute, please send the checks to me, and I will make sure they get to the appropriate party and promptly.

This is a critical moment in our nation’s history. Just as our class has excelled in so many other callings, I would suggest that we are now called upon once again to lead.

John

☞ Actually, it’s $67,800, not $65,000 (and on questions of federal campaign giving limits, feel free to ask me). But with literally millions of donors, the biggest push comes not from those who give all the law allows (truly grateful though we are and proud though they should be) – like the Scullys – but from those who give what their straitened circumstances permit, whether it’s $20, $50, or $250.

 

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