Author Archives: ewoods37

Change

As Barack Obama was elected on November 4th, one could not escape the excitement in the air. Horns, screams, cheers, and clapping could be heard all around downtown Denver. On T.V. people were crying tears of joy at Obama‘s acceptance speech. Even I, Elizabeth Woods, the conservative from this elections course, felt proud to be an American as we progressed even further on our journey for equality. This election was arguably one of the most exciting we have ever had. People from all across the world celebrated with America as Barack Obama was elected. During the election, the results spoke to the fact that American’s are just ready for change. Even those who will be taxed more as a result of Obama’s reform, are joining the “spread the wealth” mentality of the Democratic party. The consensus is that Republicans need to get out and Democrats need to get in. The GOP is definitely not popular these days, and the Dems are clearly gaining the public’s approval. For this blog I thought it would be interesting to do a little research on how people voted this year as opposed to the 2006 election.

This year people voted Democrat more across all age groups except 65 and older. This especially pertained to people in our age group with 66% of 18-29 year old Democrats voting compared to 32% of 18-29 year old Republicans. In 2006, 18-29 year olds voted 60% Democrat. I wonder if this reflects that our generations values coincide more with Democratic values, because as the age group increases the gap gets narrower, and Republicans vote 53% to 45% in the 65 and older age group. More so, as new voters are concerned, 69% are Democrats and only 30% were Republicans this year.

Of other interest, is how people voted according to their income. As discussed in class, people who earned an income of under $50,000 voted for Obama. However, once the income bracket reaches middle class earnings (50,000-75,000) people voted for McCain. Then surprisingly, those who earned an income of $200,000 or more voted for Obama. This is contrary to how people voted in 2006. People in the income bracket of $50,000- 75,000 voted 48% Republican and 50% Democrat, and those in the income bracket of $200,000 or more voted 53% Republican versus 45% Democrat. Those with a college education are also increasingly voting Democrat. In 2006, people with a higher education voted equally Republican and Democrat, but this year it increased to more people voting Democrat. This election, even those without a high school diploma voted Obama 63% to 35%, also suggesting a new set of values in the younger generation that align more with the Democratic party. I got all of these statistics from http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#val=USP00p7 for 2008 and http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/results/states/US/H/00/epolls.0.html for 2006. I tried to put some charts in the blog itself, but it didn’t work out, so sorry if it’s a bit overwhelming to read them. There are many other statistics you might find interesting in these exit polls.

I think it’s clear that this year people voted for “different,” and as we have discussed, our country may be heading in a new direction that puts the Democratic party at an advantage. I think it’s interesting that people voted differently than they have in previous years. Looking at these statistics, you can see that voters who used to vote Republican on certain issues are now voting Democrat. Either people are really sick of the way our country has been ran the past eight years, or there really is a new shift in generational values. As we all know the Republican parties unpopularity is a result of a variety of problems, and the GOP may have to change it’s tactics in gaining back its approval, especially with young voters.  With the millennia’s showing up to vote, and independents voting Democrat, plus the minority vote, it’s no surprise that Obama is the new president-elect. You never know, maybe Obama will be the next Abraham Lincoln…

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Filed under Democratic Party, Obama, Republican, Uncategorized, Voter Demographics

Arguments For and Against Amendment 46

Elizabeth Woods

Amendment 46 is one of the more controversial Amendments on the Colorado ballot this year. It acts to “prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in employment, public education, or public contracting.” This amendment sounds like a civil rights movement, prohibiting discrimination of any person in the hiring process, but many argue that it would further discrimination. Those against amendment 46 argue that minorities and women would suffer. As of recent polls, amendment 46 seems to be supported by Coloradans. In fact, one poll shows that more democrats support the amendment than republicans, but it is argued that this is because of the language used to describe the amendment. A lot of supporters think that for the most part we are past discrimination, and that a person should be hired based on their qualifications. Is this true? Are we at a place where we can abolish affirmative action programs, and still reach equality?

One could argue that we have made many milestones for equality among minorities and women. Take for instance Obama who is about to become president of the United States, and Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin who ran in this election. Supporters also argue that giving people preferential treatment based on their gender, race, ethnicity, color or national origin discriminates against people who are qualified. They argue that qualifications should be the deciding factor for job hiring or getting accepted into a university. In recent reporting’s, females have outnumbered men in undergraduate and graduate programs. Women are also increasingly graduating at higher rates than men, and causing some colleges to consider establishing affirmative action programs for men. If we once created these programs for women, and are now considering them for men, it would appear we are moving in circles.

Still, arguments against amendment 46 are that women and minorities are still discriminated against and need these programs to reach equality. Findings are that although minorities have made progress in the strife for equality they are still enrolling in college at lower rates than their white peers, suggesting that we may not be ready to get rid of affirmative action programs. People against this amendment cite that California and Washington who have both passed amendments like 46, have seen a decrease of minorities and women enrolling in college, and a decrease in business opportunities. Furthermore, they argue that this would decrease diversity that so many value in college communities, and would put outreach programs and summer and after school programs at risk.

So are we still a long way from equality? Does the support of this amendment further discrimination? Although we have made a lot of progress, there is obviously still more to be made, and unfortunately discrimination will probably always be an issue. One things for sure, arguments on both sides are both about achieving one thing: equality

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Well Kept Secrets?

Elizabeth Woods

With only 29 days left until the “big day” it looks like Obama is pulling a big lead. The boost from Palin has slowly dwindled down and Americans are refocused on the crisis of the economy. An attempt at redirecting voters attention from the economy by the McCain camp has made it evident that when it comes to the economy, more Americans trust Obama over McCain. My question is why? My guess is that if you asked the average Joe about what has caused our financial meltdown he wouldn’t have a clue.

 

What the average American doesn’t know may be shocking. If we look back into the history of our political decisions over the years, it is fair to say that both parties have played a role, but what get’s me is that the Democrats refuse to take any responsibility for this disaster. Democrats refuse to acknowledge that the Community Reinvestment Act may be partly to blame. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)  was first put into effect by Carter in 1977. This bill had good intentions of allowing lower income households to qualify for loans, but expansion of the act allowed a vast amount of people to acquire loans that couldn’t afford them.

In 1995, Clinton strongly reinforced the CRA. In affect, banks were mandated to give loans to lower income communities, enforced by the Fed, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Non compliance to give out loans to lower income communities, resulted in prohibited bank mergers, branch expansions, or new branch installments, all regulated by these agencies.  Consequently, banks were pushed to increasingly lend out more subprime loans.

What’s even more interesting is that left-wing non profit organizations, such as ACORN, with whom Obama has been affiliated with, were receiving billions of dollars from these banks so they could shell out more subprime loans. In turn, CRA allowed these non profit organizations to collect a fee for marketing these loans to low income families. Barack Obama has received $126,349 from Fannie Mae over a four year period. While Fannie lent out more and more loans that couldn’t be paid for, Obama looked the other way. Meanwhile, McCain co sponsored a bill that would regulate mortgages.Democrats denied this bill. Maybe because fellow Democrats Chris Dodd and John Kerry also received thousands from Fannie Mae. It doesn’t seem right that the Republicans should take all the criticism for the economy taking a fall, but with election day right around the corner you can bet they will continue to take this position.

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Filed under Democratic Party, McCain, Obama, Republican, Uncategorized

Bad Economics

By Elizabeth Woods
For those who thought Obama was going to win this election by a landslide, recent polls are sure to scare them. With the “Palin effect” still sweeping across the country, polls are swinging in the direction of McCain, and with only 49 days left until a candidate is selected, Obama supporters should indeed be worried. Obama’s campaign has responded by trying to reinforce the message of “change” and the bad economy, emphasizing it’s likely to get worse under the McCain administration. In his speeches given today in Grand Junction and Pueblo Colorado, Obama focused on the economy and attacked McCain’s position on this issue. It seems that this has become his major tactic to fight against the “Palin effect.” I can’t help but ask: is this a good tactic or a bad one for the Obama camp? That all depends on what people know about the economy and what they know about the economics Obama is really subscribing to.
The economy is definitely a main issue that voters are paying attention to this election, and for those who think the economy under McCain will likely be a repeat of the Bush years, this tactic will probably bode well. But, to those who are paying attention to the election, we have also noticed an increase in T.V. ads that also show Palin and McCain hitting on the economy and what they will do to reform it. Their policies also agree with lowering taxes, lower health care costs, and opening new markets to create more jobs for Americans.
Obama’s tactic of blaming all the economic problems on the Bush administration won’t go over well for some who are knowledgeable of how the economy works. A lot of the economy’s problem can be blamed on high gas prices and widespread foreclosures. The rise of gas prices doesn’t necessarily put Democrats in a positive light, considering they have consistently been against offshore drilling, drilling in Alaska, and have been opposed to nuclear energy. The mortgage crises is more of a result of legislative congress than actions by Bush, and was inevitably progressed by greedy lenders . May I point out that congress control most of federal spending and legislation, and Democrats have controlled congress for the past two years, so where is their accountability when it comes to our financial problems?
Obama wants to decrease taxes for the lower income earners and tax the top 5-10% of high income earners. To 90% of Americans this sounds good, but where is he going to get all of the money for all of his big changes? While Obama talks of change, what he really wants to do is subscribe to the same old “liberal” agenda, incorporating more government into society, and increasing taxes. Under Obama’s plan, people who earn over $250,000 a year will see significant tax increases, not just the super rich.
According to the website of fiscal facts, in 2006, the most recent available data showed that under the Bush Administration the economy was robust. Hmm… a time when congress wasn’t dominated by the Democrats. From this website we can see that the top 1% of earners paid 40% of all federal income taxes, and we also see that there was an overall increase in individual incomes across all income groups. The top 25% earners, classified as people earning over $65,000, paid 86.3% of federal income tax. People with an AGI (adjusted gross income) of $154,000 or more were constituted the nations top 5% earners. So just who is Obama going to tax? According to this it‘s middle class Americans who make around $154,000. You can also compare the two candidates and where each one stands on taxation. You can see that Obama is planning to significantly raise the taxes on those people that are already paying 80% of the federal income taxes. Obama is also planning on increasing the estate tax. Nearly 50% of a persons estate will be taken after death. This person who has worked hard their entire life, and who has paid the majority of the federal income tax will get half of it taken away by the government. This is an absurd form of double taxation. Why should the government be entitled to this persons money?
Maybe the cornerstone of Obama’s economic plan is to redistribute the wealth to help those who need it, but what about the people that have worked hard for their money. Should they be punished for having ambition and motivation to succeed? Some people do need government aid, but that is not the majority of Americans. If people take a closer look at the economic plan of Obama, it may not be a very good strategy for him after all.

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Filed under Colorado, Democratic Party, McCain, Obama, Uncategorized

It’s a Horse Race

While Obama’s campaign “change we can believe in” is resonating well with the young demographic of the United States, and favoritism for the GOP has significantly dropped under the Bush administration, the polls are showing a tight race between McCain and Obama.One might think that with skyrocketing gas prices, record inflation, the sub prime debacle, an economy teetering on the brink of recession, and an unpopular war, the democratic candidate would hold an insurmountable lead. Although Obama does tend to have a slight lead on McCain in recent polls, it is a slight one at that.
Other than the fact that Obama has the ability to swoon voters with his broad and generalizing rhetoric, he does not have a large passionate fan base. In fact, neither of the presidential candidates are largely popular with the general public, and this may be one of the reasons this election seems to be pulling a fairly close race. In this election we can’t write off the Reagan Democrats, or the Southern states. The Southern Democrats have known to be in favor of strong national defense issues, and McCain’s foreign policy stands well with these voters. Another issue that may swing the votes of the South in McCain’s favor are the rising prices for gasoline. McCain’s proposed policy of increased drilling, energy reliance, and nuclear energy gives him an edge on Obama’s wavering policy on this issue, as he was first opposed to offshore drilling and now says that he supports it.
The independent voters are also key in this election, along with the “swing states.” Although some say that independents are leaning toward the democratic party, it’s not set in stone. Many of these voters may lean toward McCain because he has more experience in politics, is the “original” maverick and there is also the story of his time as a prisoner of war. Let’s not forget that Obama attended Reverend Wrights church for twenty years without hearing his anti-American message. If McCain chooses to play dirty he could swing these voters by using the tactic of fear. Playing up this “church scandal” and scaring American’s into questioning his American nationality.
But let’s not forget that among the young voters, Obama pulls way ahead of McCain, and if these voters show up to the polls like they did in the primaries, this could bode well for Obama. We’ve seen him really advertising to this young demographic during his campaign. He continues to do so, as there has been talk of him announcing his VP pick via text messaging.
One thing’s for sure: this race is not over. With the race being so close, one can’t rule out McCain for presidency just yet.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Voter Demographics