I consider myself something of a political junkie and I have enjoyed following the 2008 Presidential Campaign during the last several months. At the same time, I hate many parts of politics and political coverage. It pains me to hear cable news anchors claim one candidate is in some kind of elevated position over his opponent if he has a 2-point lead in a poll with a margin of error of 4.5%, with 10% still undecided and the election (the only poll that matters) several months away. It pains me when Hillary Clinton blatantly panders for votes by saying that the overwhelming consensus in the economic community is that suspending the federal gas tax will not lower gas prices is "elitist talk." It generally pains me when candidates in general pander to isolationist sentiments by blasting free trade agreements and globalization in general without acknowledging the wonderful effects of globalization for nearly every American.
I was watching CNN today and heard Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a national co-chairman for the McCain campaign, talking about John McCain's and Barack Obama's plans for taxes. He criticized Obama's plan to raise capital gains taxes, saying anyone with a 401(k) account or IRA would be negatively affected. This is simply not true, bull, crap, whatever you want to call it. The whole point of these accounts (as surely the governor of a state should know) is that they are tax deferred, with withdrawals after age 59 1/2 being taxed as regular income. Capital gains taxes in no way affect 401(k) accounts or IRAs, but Pawlenty's blatant lie only serves to breed fear about Obama's plan (which may actually be a worse plan, but it should be debated with actual facts).