Thursday, January 03, 2008

Caucus Night

My first Iowa caucus! What a night. It's a downright balmy 21 degrees outside, but windy. Brr. Our precinct, 4-2, met at Oak Ridge School with four other precincts. Precinct 4-2 shared the gym with Precinct 4-3, packed with probably 250+ people. Here are the results of the votes by these two precincts:

Precinct 4-2
Huckabee 52
Romney 30
Thompson 23
McCain 15
Giuliani 11
Paul 10
Hunter 0
Keyes 0

Precinct 4-3
Romney 41
Huckabee 35
Thompson 25
McCain 17
Paul 13
Giuliani 7
Keyes 2
Hunter 0

Local news stations are reporting the following numbers right now with 78% precincts reporting (9:10pm CST):

Huckabee 34%
Romney 25%
Thompson 14%
McCain 13%
Paul 10%
Giuliani 4%
Hunter 0%
Tancredo 0%

Obama 36%
Edwards 31%
Clinton 30%
Richardson 2%
Biden 1%
Dodd 0%
Gravel 0%
Kucinich 0%

This is shaping into a very interesting election come this fall, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Iowa caucus and the UN-"Fair Tax"

Okay, the Iowa caucuses are coming in two days and I'm going.

However, I'm alarmed--I thought I finally found a candidate I could support until I learned this week about the "Fair Tax" legislation backed by some of America's presidential candidates (and click here to see who in Congress supports it from the Fair Tax Web site).

If you haven't heard about it, the "Fair Tax" act will eliminate income and business taxes BUT replace them with a 30% national sales tax. Supporters claim it makes taxes "fair," but analysis by shows it will help only those who make more than $200,000 per year. How is this fair? It's not.

Don't be fooled--just because it's called a "Fair Tax" does not make it so. We all know this is a favorite tactic in politics--to name bills the opposite of what they really are in order to fool voters.

Under the "Fair Tax," all food is taxed. We will pay 30-34% tax on gasoline on top of current taxes (these will not be repealed). If you get sick, your visit to the doctor is subject to this 30-34% tax. If you buy a new house, you will pay a 30-34% tax on the purchase price. Everyone with a mortgage, credit card, or car loan will pay a 30-34% tax on all interest. How many low- to middle-income families can afford this?

"They assume spending will remain at current levels," Russ Gollnick said. "The fact is, a 30% jump in price will affect spending. I'm concerned the impact it will have on our economy--it will cause a severe recession, even a depression."

Ah, but the "Fair Tax" proponents say salaries will go up--because they calculate their numbers by assuming salaries will go up when businesses are freed from paying social security taxes and revenue taxes. Have they learned nothing from Enron? Businesses today do not pass along increased revenue to their employees by increasing salaries! That just doesn't happen. As a former human resources director I can tell you that corporate management hires employees at the lowest salaries they can to keep costs down and profits up. Supply and demand controls salaries as much as consumer prices.

So as Sir Francis Bacon declared, "Knowledge is power." Question the assumptions of the "Fair Tax" and empower yourself. I invite your comments.