October 26th, 2008


In which I make a loser ass of myself...

So I was doing the automatic calling thing for Barry O tonight. This is pretty low impact -- they have some sort of gonzo Jesus computer in upstate New York, so you put on a logitech headset and it auto-dials until you get a live one, then you ask them who they're planning to vote for. You have a little script in front of you, which gives you something to say when you run out of your own blarney.

But I get this one guy on the phone, and he's concerned, as a small business person about his taxes, and I say well, under Obama's plan, unless you net out 250K from your business then you will do better under Obama than under McCain, and he said 'but what difference will it make whether I'm sub-chapter S or a sole proprietorship?" and I had to say "well, I don't know, but I can have someone from the campaign get back to you after some research." Then he said "but aren't a lot of Obama's ideas socialist?" To which I said "since we just nationalized the banks, the piggies are out of the barn on that one." To which he went off on how after all the taxes he ends up clearing 38 cents on the dollar of his pre-tax net, and who's to say they'll change from $250K to $100K a year. I point out that both McCain and Obama's plans are aspirational, the legislation hasn't even been written yet, and he says 'so I make more than $250K from my business, why should I pay more money to give to poor people?'

And then I say if the tax code is progressive it means that those who gain the greatest reward from our society and can best afford to pay more taxes. And he says 'why are they going to take away my wealth? Are we going to be like Denmark? And I said they have universal education and health care in Denmark, they live longer and according to studies they're the people most contented with their lives." And then he said "but the have 35% unemployment! Their kids get out of college and can't get work!"

At this point my son Sean walks up (he's paid Obama staff and organized this calling shift), and as much as starts making the slit-throat 'cut it off' motions, and I realize everyone in the room has stopped making calls and are listening to me argue with this guy. OOOPTH my bad. I tell the guy on the phone that I understand his concerns and encourage him to do research on the web and thanks for his time and hang up.

So I feel like a real idiot for getting drawn into this losing battle with a guy who'll probably vote for McCain anyway. Right up until I look up the unemployment rate in Denmark: 3.5%.