artwork by 73

get out the vote

this year’s election has proven incredibly inspirational for many of the artists that i follow regularly. artist bishop lennon sent over a link to this beautiful limited edition print by cody hudson. regardless of your party affiliation, i think it’s a super cool print. click here for more details.

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Dangling Vestige

Too bad nobody will be able to afford all of this design stuff when Obama wins and taxes the crap out of everyone.


Dangling Vestige-

As someone who was very worried about taxes being raised by either candidate, I’ve done a lot of research on this. It’s easy to spout off generalizations, but the facts are:

-Barack Obama’s tax plan proposes to raise rates on couples making more than $250,000 or singles earning more than $200,000 per year.

I personally feel that if I’m earning over $200,000 in the current economy a small increase is fair to help those who are having a hard time making ends meet.

If you’d like more information on either candidate’s tax plan, The Washington Post did a great story on the breakdown of each candidate’s plan. Perhaps this will help people who’d like to read some facts on the issue:



Oh Grace… you handled that questionable comment with, well, grace :)

And the original post was diplomatic, but still very brave.

Great stuff.

ellen Crimi-Trent

I have seen what happens during a Republican gov’t to my paycheck and it isn’t pretty. As an artist who licenses her art for product this shaky economy will affect my job greatly, especially since many retailers will go under like Linens n’ Things which just went. I did extremely well when Clinton was in office and since the Bush administration it has gone down hill. I am looking forward to having Barack Obama as the next President of the United States!


I hear ya Dangling Vestige! So Obama will tax those making over $200,000….it’s fair to penalize those who are successful? I don’t think so. Raise taxes on those perhaps business owners ,who then WILL pass those costs onto consumers, so we will pay more for our belongings. If a businesses taxes go up, will they have to lay off employees to cut costs, cut back on benefits??? It’s important to think through all the consequences of a tax raise on anyone…


Right, I’ll turn down a $250k job because I don’t want to pay the extra taxes? Give me a break. I’d kill to make $250k a year and the few extra thousand I pay in taxes will be pennies compared to my income.

I love how Obama is inspiring artists and causing people to invest in art. This is a great print — out of my price range, but still great.


“I personally feel that if I’m earning over $200,000 in the current economy a small increase is fair to help those who are having a hard time making ends meet.” Grace, i believe you just defended socialism, which doesn’t work.

People that aren’t making ends meet usually need to be better managers of their money. There are unfortunate cases, but the majority of people are just living out of their means. You can’t spend more than you make.


thanks for the post grace. it is a beautiful print. it takes courage to open the dialogue. speaking for myself i appreciate it very much. :)


thanks for sharing grace – i agree, some beautiful art has been inspired by this election. i am in love with all the election related prints yee-haw is producing.


Good for you for posting this Grace – a lot of bloogers would have steered clear. And to the moaners – this isn’t a politics blog, it’s a design blog. Gripe about the design all you like and the rest of us will happily engage with you.


Sigh — I come here to get away from this kind of back-and-forth over politics. Design sponge is supposed to be my happy place. I appreciate the print, Grace, as I do all of your posts, but I like the sponge so much better when it’s politics-free.


Beautiful poster! Like Lucy, I also love the Yee Haw Industries election prints. Just ordered one today!

I’m amazed by all the beautiful art inspired by this election. I’m even more amazed by how many people throw out the term “socialism” without having any concept of what it means :)


Thanks for posting this Grace. Some incredible posters have come out of this election. It’s too bad these comments had to get political, and we couldn’t just enjoy & comment on the great design. (though kudos to you Grace for your eloquent comments)


“People that aren’t making ends meet usually need to be better managers of their money. There are unfortunate cases, but the majority of people are just living out of their means. You can’t spend more than you make.”

Yes the Republicans have been spending more then they make these past 8 years. If the economy was good and we cut WAY WAY back on spending then maybe, just maybe we could get back to a balance budget and work on paying down the debt. But we are in a huge hole and the economy(and therefor tax revenue) is shrinking. Americans need to wake up and take resposibility for this mess. Taxes have to be raised and any candidate who tells you otherwise is lying or planning to send us deeper in the hole.

If taxes are raised for the wealthy and reduced for everyone else than the assumption is middle and lower class people will have some money to spend and it will kick start the failing economy. It’s sort of the opposite of what Reagan did. Funny when tax breaks are given to the rich it’s called trickle down economics but when it’s given to the middle and lower classes it’s called socialism.

Thanks for the post Grace! I respect you even more!


very nice poster!

i’ve been VERY impressed with the work done by artists and designers inspired by obama and his campaign :)

re: tax issues–it best to grant more relief to the multitudes than the privileged few; trickle-down economics has proven itself to not be the best standard as greed, obviously, has stunted the “trickling” to the middle class.


Hi and thank you for this post. I am happy to report that I waited on line y’day for two hours to vote. No one left the line. There was a vibe of elation in the room (a line circling a community center lobby) with lots of smiles. I asked the black guy in front of me if I could ask a personal question. He said yes. I asked if he ever thought he’d see this day. He said no. I said me either. Then I got goosebumps. I said he will take the USA into the 21st cent, if he wins. I am not rich, so I have been subsidizing their tax breaks along with the rest of the middle class for the last 8 yrs. I used to think it was impossible for people to vote against their own economic interests, but stupidity and willfull ignorance trump logic and reason. That’s a painful truth.
Go Obama


Oh and a tv station from France was there! Interviewing voters. B4 anyone ignorantly bashes France, please note that France financed the American Revolution, so we wouldn’t be here without them.


Grace, thank you for posting. It is a beautiful piece of art. I never usually make comments, always just an avid reader. I agree with the other post..that Sponge is my happy place, too and I’d rather not see politics in it. But I’m glad this was posted and that people are commenting from both sides. It’s why I live in this country, for that freedom to think and say whatever I want.

Regarding taxes, I am disappointed to hear that there are folks who think Obama’s tax plan is a “redistribution of wealth” or some sort of welfare initiative. Think of it this way. If you are fortunate enough to make more than $200K a year, you probably own your own business or work for a company that is very successful. How does that success come…most likely by having lots of great customers willing to pay you for what you are asking. Well, what if your customer base dries up because like 95% of this country, those customers are middle class and below and now can no longer afford to pay you? Would you rather just keep that 3% tax increase in your pocket, which will average $7.5K more in taxes. Or do you want to the potential of keeping all your middle class customers as paying clients in the future so that you can continue to earn $250K+ a year? Perhaps I’m oversimplifying the math…but if 95% of this country continues to hurt economically, there will be very few of us who can count on making $250K+ a year.

Julio Muao

Inspiring artwork. Thank you for sharing. This election affects us all which is why it’s important that we discuss it no matter what the venue. Throughout the history of design, politics has had an impact on artists. The current political and economical crisis will no doubt inspire artistic interpretations that will forever mark this generation. For example, an Obama presidency would inspire intelligent and timeless designs whereas a Mccain presidency would give way to increased production of portal pottys and polyester pants. Let’s all hope for the former.


love the design too! good for you grace. many non-political bloggers won’t mention the election, but the blogs i love all have an individual, strong voice.

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

Grace, I’m a little surprised that you would use your blog to endorse a candidate. But since you opened the door….

For those of you praising Obama’s tax plan, you should probably take a closer look, as the views here are an oversimplification of the plan, and fail to accurately demonstrate the potential harm it will cause to small businesses.

Obama’s tax plan would increase taxes for S Corporations from a current rate of 32% to almost 40%, and it would increase taxes on sole proprietors from a current rate of 37% to a rate of…….51%!!!!! Plain and simple, this will cause businesses to either lay off employees or shut their doors completely.

And I don’t care how much a person makes, whether it’s 250,000 or 250 million…I cannot even fathom the sheer arrogance and audacity it takes for Obama to think that our government deserves over 50% of a small business owner’s hard-earned profits.


Nice response Grace :-)

Unfortunately, I think this election has brought extreme ugliness in people that I never thought was possible.


maybe if McCain was inspiring to artists & designers (as both a person & a politician) in the way that Obama and his campaign have been, maybe there’d be some stunningly beautiful things for design blogs to post about for the other side – and all these angry folks would have something to gush over, instead of posting up flagrant & gratuitous political comments every time a blog puts up a beautiful product or piece of art that just happens to be in support of (someone else’s) political candidate.



I hate to harp on this, but the information posted by Kristi is just plain incorrect. Businesses pay federal taxes on net profit, not gross receipts. You’re only paying taxes on what’s left over after all other expenses are paid, including the owner’s salary, payroll, cost of goods sold, advertising, everyday expenses, etc. And, if you still have $250,000 left over after all those expenses are deducted, your tax rate under Obama’s plan will be 39% instead of 35%.

I’m really tired of all the scare tactics being used to claim this tax plan will hurt small businesses, because it’s just not true.

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

I forgot to mention…with sole proprietors, there is no “owner’s salary”. All business profits are considered “owner’s salary”, and the business owner is taxes on ALL profits the business makes.

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

My original comment didn’t go through, and I keep getting error messages when posting my comment.

Jamie, let me just say that your information is absolutely incorrect. I am a small business owner and have done extensive research.

My comment was based on fact, and has absolutely nothing to do with “scare tactics”.

As this is not a political blog, I would be more than happy to engage in conversation with you on another forum. You may click on my name to contact me.

I would suggest that you educate yourself on the issue using MANY sources, including non-partisan sources, rather than simply using the Obama website as your source of information, as it has been shown by several fact-finding organizations that much of the information on his website is misleading.


Wow people, all this ugliness just took a huge dump on my day and on my enjoyment of all the pretty design. Let’s make 2009 the year of DIY– we’ll save money and express ourselves through design! Don’t buy corporate design! Make it yourself! Keep it positive! Yeah!


Kristi, you need a better accountant to get you using some of those loopholes in the tax code. Save you some money.


Kristy – It would be helpful if you posted your source for Obama’s tax plan for small businesses. I’ve found nothing that agrees with your figures in a 2-minute Google search. Just repeating the opposition’s views won’t cut it. If you want to spread the truth, you’ve got to show us where you found it.


great post grace, so glad to see the dialog open here -it’s good to see that people are actually paying attention and getting involved!

the poster and other artwork which has surrounded Obama’s campaign has been inspiring indeed.
as a small business owner, we are voting for the change Obama offers.


First, I really think both candidates are shameful and abhorrent, but I still really like the poster from the design point of view.

As for Obama’s tax policies, remember what Bill Clinton promised in 1992. Essentially, the same thing. And what happened in 1993, he raised taxes on people making as little as $25K per year (probably around $45K per year in current dollars). Why? Because the stock market crashed and the government wasn’t getting enough revenue. Part of the issue is that there really aren’t that many people making over $250K per year and those that there are, are already paying a huge share of the taxes (thanks in no small part of the Bush tax cuts). Obama plans to take even more people of the federal income tax rolls.

Also, the US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world and Obama wants to go after the corporations. When you raise taxes on them, who do you think pays? And where do you think they will go? Germany, for example, where corporate tax rates are a lot lower.

As long as people think that Obama provides “hope” and “change we can all believe in”, there is no point in having a rational discussion. Because, you know, he’s JFK, and Lincoln, and MLK, and Jesus, all in one.

But you can’t criticize McCain either because you know, he was a war hero which means if you criticize him, you’re a terrorist and a socialist and you hate women and think that Sarah Palin is a pig.

Julio Muao

Kristi & Gene
I question your conclusions regarding the effect of Obama’s tax plan on S-corps and sole proprietorships. In both an S-corp and a sole proprietorship, the business income flows directly to the owners and the owners are then taxed based on their personal income tax bracket. There is no corporate tax rate for either entity. This effectively avoids corporate taxation on the business income thereby preventing what many characterize as double taxation when a business has to pay corporate taxes on its income and then the shareholder has to pay individual taxes on his dividend income. Since there is no corporate tax rate on an S-corp where did you get the 32% tax rate figure you quoted let alone the increase to 40% you claim Obama’s plan would have on such a corporation? Likewise, since a sole proprietorship does not have a corporate tax rate, where did you get
the figures relative to your claims about the effect Obama’s plan would have on a sole proprietorship? I am certain we are all willing to review any reliable information you have, however, I believe it is incumbent upon you to provide us with reliable and accurate information when you make assertions about Obama’s tax with the use of numbers. As I understand the Obama plan, there will be an increase in personal income taxes for those who have taxable income in excess of $250,000.00. Moreover, the greatest increase will be reserved for those in the top 1% of income earners. Philosophically, this is a very palatable concept because those fortunate enough to earn so much in our country should want to perpetuate the continued stability of our nation. After all, their continued wealth is linked to our entire nation’s financial well being. They can best afford the taxation and their taxes will help maintain the government that runs
the economy from which they derive their wealth. Rather than looking at it as a re-distribution, why not view as an insurance premium made to protect their source of income; the United States of America? Finally, please share with us how Mccain’s plan would be better for not just small businesses but for the overall economical welfare of this country.


this print is just so happy and lovely! it really captures some of the spirit of the election – the hope that a (relatively) left-wing president, and also a large step against racial discrimination.

that being said there is also (as some have mentioned) TONS of ugliness as well… in the candidates, campaigns and general public. I was on Threadless and followed a link to a republican blog, and was absolutely appalled at the hate and unwarranted anger that was there. i was also surprised by all the ugliness here..

.. wish i hadnt looked at the comments now, it’s detracted from the feeling of the print.

(i do admire you for posting it, though, and also for your response.)

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

sittingbull and julio, unfortunately, it is when I try to attach URL’s to my sources that I get error messages when posting, which is why I invited Jamie to contact me directly.

As this is not a political blog, I find it incredibly inappropriate to continue hijacking this blog for political discussion. I would gladly engage in political discussion and debate in an appropriate forum.


Can’t make comments of a political nature and then go back and say it’s wrong to do so. Maybe because you don’t know as much about what you’re talking about as you wanted us to think, and don’t wish to continue the discussion now that you’ve been questioned. Sounds like we got a future Senator on our hands. Or maybe the Gov. of Alaska?

Julio Muao

Sample url link:

I had no problem providing a link.
My objection to your proposal is that your initial post was intended to influence all the readers on this thread of your “facts”, therefore your sources should be shared with all of them so that they can evaluate the legitimacy of your claim. I do not wish to engage in a political discussion with you in private. It serves no purpose. Simply provide your sources via a link or spell it out for us to verify. Allow Design Sponge to moderate this discussion at their discretion not yours.


Julio, I don’t think I ever claimed anything about S Corporations. I was talking about regular ole corporate tax breaks. I think it’s no secret that Obama wants to increase those.

His proposal sounds all nice and pretty, but there’s no way he’ll be able to derive as much revenue from it as he thinks (which is what Bill Clinton realized when he backtracked on his 1992 campaign promises… his economists told him he had to raise taxes on the middle class… there was no choice).

And then there’s the issue of Obama’s healthcare plan driving out private healthcare and forcing all of us into a government plan. Incidentally, McCain’s healthcare plan was actually written by Jason Furman, one of Obama’s two main economic advisors (along with Austen Goolsbee). Look it up, he had proposed the same idea years ago.

As for Obama inspiring artists, that’s great, but that says nothing more than what we all already knew. Artists tend to be pretty liberal. You can go back to, say, Italy’s Divisionist painters who painted scenes of anarchist strikes and socialist rallies in Milan at the end of the 19th century, sympathizing with the proletariat. Pablo Neruda wrote a glowing obituary to Stalin. etc. etc. No surprise. I can still appreciate the art without necessarily ascribing to the political message (though as someone whose family members died in the Holomodyr and were sent to concentration camps by Stalin, I have a hard time swallowing Neruda’s mostly pedestrian work).


Why do people keep insisting Obama’s health plan will “force us” into a government plan? As far as I can tell, that is not the case. The facts are, if you want to keep your healthcare that your employer offers you, then do so. If you don’t want to, you can join the same group as our members of gov’t (who assuredly get the cadillac of plans- much more in benefits than I get, and here I am paying for THEM to have these great benefits)…isn’t that the idea? Doesn’t sound like anyone is forcing me to do anything. I can keep my crappy employer based healthcare with Aetna if I want it.

Gene, are you comparing Obama to Stalin? Stalin was a liberal? wha?

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

Julio, I’m not sure what you would have me do. I just tried submitting a comment WITH links again, and got the same error message.

And to be clear, I did not invite you or anyone else here to have a PRIVATE conversation with me. Read my comment again. I said “another forum”. Forums are generally public, with others involved.

But since you are so adamant about discussing this here, and I can’t include links, I will simply suggest that you:

1. search for “And argument against Obama’s tax plan” on

2. search for “European Levels of Taxation: Barack Obama’s Tax Plan”

And again, I would warn against getting all of your information from EITHER campaign’s websites.

I’ve already said that Obama’s website has been shown to be full of misleading information. A case in point is the information provided by regarding Obama’s tax calculator located on his website, about which they “issue a “Buyer Beware” and rate the Obama tax calculator Half True.” They’re quite generous with their wording. I’d rather call it a “half false.”

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

I just wanted to add…I was accused of using “scare tactics”, when in fact, my comments were based on evidence on a topic that I’ve carefully and thoroughly researched.

However, I will agree that “scare tactics” are all-too-often used in politics. But just in case anyone here has been misled into thinking that it is one-sided (something that only Republicans do), you might want to check the facts.

Obama himself uses this same technique, and has done so as recent as Friday, and is now doing so in a new ad, in which he insists that “John McCain would pay for part of his (health care) plan by making drastic cuts in Medicare–$882 billion worth.”

That statement has been shown to be completely FALSE by, however, Obama continues to use it. Why? Because of the number of baby boomers currently worried about the state of Medicare. It’s nothing but a scare tactic.

I know we will all never agree when it comes to politics, but when one side is painted as “evil” while the other side is seen as completely faultless and full of virtue–that’s dangerous.

Let’s all get real and realize that there’s nothing new here, and regardless of what you’d like to think or believe about your candidate (whichever side you’re on), this is politics as usual, and it’s as dirty as ever–on BOTH sides.


I think it’s no secret that, being a communist, Stalin was on the left. Much of the academic left defended the guy during his rein. Even Einstein was an apologist for the guy. In no way, however, am I claiming that Obama is like Stalin. I’m just saying that artists defend those on the left.

As for the healthcare point, it’s not that Obama’s plan directly requires that we all join government-run healthcare. Rather, the commissions that he sets up in order to force private insurers to do certain things will eventually drive private healthcare out of business. It’s not that he mandates it, it’s that the effect will be that there will be nothing left but government insurance. For example, in states like Massachusetts, where the state did essentially what Obama now proposes, private insurers left the health insurance market. It’s important not to take what people say at face value, but to look one or two steps beyond. Also remember, with a Democratic Congress and Presidency, will there be any restraint shown on regulations of and mandates to private insurers? Highly doubtful.

Finally, Obama’s claims that the current crisis is a result of deregulation and the Gramm-Bleach-Bliley Act portray a level of ignorance or untruthfulness that is pretty incredible. No one has been yet able to explain how deregulation (or what aspect deregulation in particular) led to the current problems.

Despite my preference for McCain’s healthcare plan, I don’t like the guy. His style viscerally frightens me. I am not yet sure who I will vote for, if at all. I think that the two choices offered are pretty abysmal. Though hard to imagine anyone worse than George Bush. Maybe if Biden was at the top of the ticket.


For further evidence on Stalin being on the left, in the 1930’s and 40’s, there was an actual split within the American Communist Party between those who supported Stalin and those who considered themselves Trotskyites. To say that the American Communist Party was not leftist or liberal, would be a major revision of history. Even The Nation, ran pieces at the time supporting Stalin. Walter Duranty, the NYTimes’ Moscow correspondent filed reports saying that there was nothing wrong in the Soviet Union and that the Holomodyr (the mass starvation in the Ukraine in the 1930’s) was not happening.

I am using, of course, a slight shorthand here where by liberal in modern-day language, I mean “on the left.” In the 19th century and even for a while afterwards, liberal actually meant what we consider modern-day libertarians.

Or is your definition of “liberal” just basically, “good, cuddly, and a person I like”?


I’m not in any way convinced that as Gene says, under Oabama’s plan “there will be nothing left but government insurance”. but so what if that were to happen?
i’m from Spain where we have nationalized health care. it actually works and everyone gets free health care. medicine has not become a “profits first” business — there is still respect the hyppocratic oath, unlike what has happened in this country.

oh, and there are many private insurers in Spain for those who choose it over the government plan. for about 90 euro a month premiums – it’s actually something one can consider.

Julio Muao


Well, I gave you the benefit of the doubt and visited as you suggested. I entered the search terms you provided word for word and was unable to find anything to support your claim. I then typed in “European levels of taxation: Barack Obama’s Tax Plan” in google and guess what I came up with as the sites for that search term? 3 right wing conservative sites , free and Are these your so called “non-partisan” sources? Where are your facts???? Alas, your arguments go unverified.
However, is it possible for you to at least clarify if your “source” actually discussed the tax rates of S Corps and Sole Proprietorships? I suspect you cannot since you’ve already led me on a wild goose chase. Again, there are no tax rates for S Corps or Sole Proprietorships. If you do not support Obama simply because you are a faithful Republican then be honest and forthright and say so. Stop posing as someone who made a decision based on un-bias facts.

My response was collectively addressed to you and Kristi; I know you did not mention S Corps or Sole Proprietorships. You indicate that Obama’s tax plan won’t be able to raise as much revenue as he thinks but you do not assert that McCain’s plan will raise as much revenue as he thinks. The economic crisis either candidate will likely have to make tax plan amendments to deal with the situation. Nevertheless, at least Obama’s plan starts with an attempt to shield the middle class from tax increases .
McCain will continue the Bush tax breaks that exist for the rich. Clearly, those tax breaks have not helped our economy. How is Obama’s plan going to drive out private healthcare? I have not had an opportunity to confirm that McCain is receiving healthcare plan advice from Obama’s former advisors, however, how does that fact support your contention that Obama’s plan will drive out private healthcare? How do you propose insuring the uninsured?
What point are you trying to make regarding politics and artistic inspiration? You reference the influence of fascists and dictators on the arts. That is not germane to the inspiration of the progressive politics of inclusion that are the hall mark of Obama’s platform. Artists have always represented free thinking which is a progressive value. You profess a shared abhorrence to both candidates, but your strident attacks on Obama and your vituperative posts belie an apparent preference for McCain.


No, my definition of a liberal is not a good cuddly person that I like. I am not a registered democrat, nor do I think that all democrats are “liberals”. I just think it’s funny the way words get tossed around these days. And it was hilarious to me to see a reference to Stalin while we were discussing Obama and his supporters. Though I feel compelled to point out to you that I am not an Obama worshiper either. I just happen to think he’s smarter than McCain. And McCain, these days, disgusts me, too. But that’s just so you know I am not a “cuddly liberal”, for perspective’s sake.

I think you know a lot of facts about history, and surely Obama’s (or even McCain’s) plan will change healthcare in this Country. But for anyone who has actually USED our current system, they know it sucks and it is broken and in need of changing. Flat out. Something is wrong when someone with kidney disease is denied coverage because it’s an existing condition. Something is wrong when insurance doesn’t cover a medication for a cancer patient, so that person must fork out $2,200 for something that will LITERALLY keep their eyes from rotting out of their head. Something is wrong when my coverage is changed to cover no birth control, and on top of that now my regular Dr. is considered a specialist so I have a $50 copay- just because he actually knows me and knows what he is doing. I’ve given thousands of dollars to my insurers. And when I actually need something they don’t cover it.

Healthcare in America WILL have to to change. Bottom line. So who would you rather see tackle that problem.



Right, progressives are all about inclusion and inspiration. It’s just like the Republicans are all about happy families. Both are just slogans that are pretty much meaningless. Progressives used to think that the “progressive thing” is to support Soviet-style dictatorships.

No McCain didn’t get direct advice from Jason Furman, but read Furman’s work from when he was at Brookings (there’s good references on Greg Mankiw’s blog and at NYU. McCain’s healthcare plan is nearly identical.

As for McCain’s tax policies and how unrealistic they are, McCain doesn’t claim to provide tax cuts to people who pay almost no taxes. To make himself budget neutral, he’d merely have to not give more tax cuts to the upper class. Obama’s tax projections are so unrealistic that he would not only have to cancel the tax cuts on the middle class, but perhaps even raise taxes as well.

Are there major Spanish pharmaceutical companies? Why do Spanish students in biological sciences come to the US to study and or do postdoctoral fellowships? Does the Spanish system do anything to control costs? I would be surprised if not, since everywhere else in Europe they do things to control costs that most people in the US would find really objectionable (e.g. in the UK, if you’re above a certain age, you can’t get dialysis from the NHS since you’re going to die anyway… and their private insurance is at least as expensive as that in the US). I don’t know much about the Spanish system (I know a bit about other European countries), so I could just be wrong and things in Spain are wonderful when it comes to healthcare. But please, don’t call it free. Money doesn’t grow on trees. People just pay punitive taxes for their healthcare system. It’s also not clear if the US had a nationalized healthcare system, it would look like Spain’s rather than the UK’s or worse.

To queenpretty, of course the current healthcare system sucks. But the government helped create it. Employer-sponsored healthcare is one of the major culprits, as most economists agree. It really perverts the costs of healthcare and makes it totally unaffordable for everyone else since the user of healthcare feels only minimal change in their healthcare costs. This is caused by perversions in the tax code, which McCain is going to eliminate. This is, by the way, essentially the same argument used by Jason Furman in his academic papers about the issue. In New York state, for example, insurers are not allowed to pool risk by age group. That’s why insurance rates for young people (even for fairly minimal insurance) are way higher than even in nearby states. Young people are healthier than old people, but the benefits of this lower risk category are minimal when it comes to cost. There’s also a lot of people who choose not to buy insurance even though they can afford it. They just think that having a Blackberry or new shoes every month is more important. Not saying they’re wrong. It’s just their choice. But, just because the current system is highly problematic and something must be done, that doesn’t mean that Obama’s proposal is the thing that must be done. It’s like saying, “Something must be done. This is something.” It doesn’t have to work that way.

Don’t get me started on McCain. But it didn’t appear that there are that many intelligent people, especially on this blog, who worship McCain in the same way people do Obama. No one thinks that McCain is a harbinger of hope and progressiveness and inclusion and hugs and puppies for little children. Most of my friends are Obama supporters, some of them are Ph.D.’s and extremely well-educated, but to hear them speak the way they do about the man makes me wonder if their brains were switched off in those moments. As I said, McCain is insane and I don’t trust him. But yes, I would slightly prefer the guy only because I fear what would happen with Democrats controlling all branches of government (just as it was awful when the Republicans did). And at least during McCain’s Senate career he cared about spending and budget deficits.

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

Juan, search for the first one in Google…not on Politico. But the article is on Politico. Also, you can visit Americans for Tax Reform, which is a non-partisan organization.

The fact of the matter is, you already have your mind made up. It doesn’t matter what information I provide. No matter the source, you will claim that it’s invalid because it’s written by a conservative, or a Republican, or it’s a source you’re not familiar with, or….. and therefore must be full of lies, blah, blah, blah.

But you’re all too willing to take Obama at his word, even though he’s been shown to be a typical politician who will do and say whatever he needs to in order to be elected.

Unfortunately, his charm has blinded this country. You think you’re getting “change”. You think you’re getting something new…a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, the facts prove otherwise. It’s politics as usual with him.

And let me clarify…the issue of taxes is not the only one I have with Obama. There are many, MANY others.

One BIG one is the fact that he says we need to stop spending 10 billion dollars a week in Iraq in an effort to build the Iraqi government, and instead, we need to start spending that money here rebuilding America. But then HE SPONSORED a bill that would send $845 billion of American taxpayer’s money to other countries, mainly in Africa–a cost that’s about $200 billion MORE than the cost of the Iraq war.

That bill that he sponsored, called the Global Poverty Act, also calls for America to adhere to the UN resolution. That UN resolution requires all participating countries to ban handguns and small weapons. It is fact that Obama is not a supporter of our Second Amendment rights.

I’m also furious that Obama laughs at allegations that he’s a Socialist. However, he said himself that he believes we should “spread the wealth around.” Also, Obama actively CAMPAIGNED FOR Bernie Sanders, the first Socialist elected to the US Senate. There’s a video of him campaigning for Sanders on YouTube.

I’m also concerned that Obama is shrouded in secrecy. There are even questions surrounding his citizenship, and therefore, his eligibility for office. It could easily be solved if he would release a CERTIFIED birth certificate. However, he absolutely refuses to do so. Why? What is he hiding? And three separate forensic analysts have concluded that the BC he has on his website is fraudulent. I just want to know what he’s hiding. And it causes curiosity…and doubts…when his own paternal grandmother says that she was present at his birth…IN KENYA. If that’s true, that would mean that he as born outside of the country to an African father and an American mother under the age of 19, and therefore, American citizenship would not have been passed on to him, according to the citizenship laws on the record in the 60s.

I’m also curious as to how a politician who was practically unknown four years ago has come to be the most popular politician in recent history, and has raised the most money of any candidate in US political history. Where is his money coming from? It could be completely above board, but we’ll never know. Why? Because again, HE REFUSES to release those records. Again, I ask….why? What is he hiding? McCain has released ALL of his campaign contribution records. He has nothing to hide. But again, Obama is shrouded in secrecy.

I could go on and on…and on…and on. But I’ll leave it at that. I won’t be continuing this conversation. It’s a waste of my time. The information is readily available. The problem is, it takes EFFORT to find it…something that most American today seem unwilling to do. Most Americans would rather form their political opinions based on the 10-second soundbites that the media spoon feeds them each night. That’s sad.


tax rates in Spain (central govt. plus autonomous, similar to federal and state) for someone w/ an income of up to 53K euro (US$ 66K) are 37%. Guess what? in the US, tax rates for the same income (federal plus state) for someone who, like myself, lives in California are 37.3%. So YES i do call it free when i pay the same amount of taxes and ZERO for health care.

I can tell you that all my doctors in Spain have been educated in Spain. many scientists go abroad to specialize in fields like microphysics, but certainly not for family medicine or oncology. we have excellent universities and extremely competent doctors, to the point where people w/ private insurance who need major surgery will opt to go to a public hospital b/c all the best doctors and technology are in the public sector.

can you explain to me why you would choose a private system like we have here in the US that denies coverage to young or middle aged persons w/ pre-existing condition, versus a public plan that denies dialysis to an elderly patient? in Spain that elderly patient would be able to contract a private plan and receive dialysis for a tiny fraction of what a healthy person would pay for a private plan in the US.

Spanish pharmaceuticals grossed 1 billion euro last year, making them the 5th largest industry in Europe and 7th worldwide. your point is?

any public health care system is better than what the US has now which amounts to government sanctioned euthanasia for those who don’t have insurance or cannot obtain health care, whether it be b/c of their income or pre-existing conditions.


ratita, speaking of euthenasia, that is actually a practice more common in Netherlands where old people will have the plug pulled so that the government doesn’t have to pay for their very expensive care.

As for grossing 1 billion, that’s less than the gross of Amgen, BristolMeyersSquibb, PharmaciaUpjohn, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Proctor and Gamble.

I’ve never heard of microphysics. But, I do know a number of microbiologists, biochemists, and neuroscientists who are here in the US as postdocs.

Perhaps the Spanish model is one we should aspire to. I will take your word for it. But given how most US government agencies function, I’m not so sure that we could do that well.


Gene, please do not make misleading comments about euthanasia in the Netherlands, I have lived on the border of Belgium and the Netherlands for many years and the countries are extremely similar. The government does not sponsor euthanasia, it simply allows it. It is chosen by the patients or the patients’ family to end the suffering, so for personal reasons, not because the government doesn’t want to pay for them, please, no lies.

Also, the medical care Belgian citizens receive through a government sponsored program is AMAZING and something that we in the United States really need to aspire to! Because my family still holds Belgian citizenship, anything that is not covered through our extremely expensive US health insurance here (which is about 75%) gets sent to our insurance in Belgium which has so far covered everything we have sent in the past 7 years. Beat that.

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating

Regarding health care….

I completely agree that something needs to change. Our system is broken, and it fails many people. However, simply changing how we handle insurance coverage,while ignoring all of the other problems with our system, is kind of like treating a compound fracture with a bandaid.

I don’t know anything about the Spanish model of health care, but just today (Sunday) CBS did a story on the French health care system, which has been hailed as “the best in the world.” The info provided by CBS can be substantiated by the case study information on the website. It might be more accurate to take a look at this system, since it is a hybrid of a government system and private care, which is what Obama supports.

First, medical education is free in France. In the US, medical education can cost up to around $400,000.

Second, the average pay for doctors in France is $55,000 per year. If you offered that kind of pay to American doctors, who spends up to 15 years of their lives in undergraduate study, med school, and specialization/residency, generally ending their education with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, and then being required to carry an exorbitant amount of liability insurance annually due to the fact that Americans are the most litigious people in the world, there would be ABSOLUTELY NO incentive for people to become doctors in America.

Third, even with the low pay for doctors, the French health care system is billions of dollars in debt, suggesting that there needs to be a restructuring of “the greatest health care system in the world.” If the French system is “the best” and is still billions of dollars in debt, there’s absolutely no way our government can do better, when they’ve shown themselves completely incompetent and incapable of handling the government-run programs that we already have, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA health care system.

Again, I agree that we need a major overhaul. Unfortunately, Obama’s plan simply won’t cut it, and it doesn’t even touch on the CAUSES of the problems we see today.


fyi, microphysics is the physics of molecular, atomic, nuclear, and subnuclear systems. a very practical application of it is in the field of semiconductor design, one that Spain is not strong in.

i know that the Spanish health care system may very well not be perfect. but i guess my point is that even an imperfect model is an improvement over what’s happening here in the US. gotta start somewhere and even if it’s not perfect off the bat it can be tweaked and improved over time.

if you read the study about the “happiest place on earth” you know that the study found that “a nation’s level of happiness was most closely associated with health levels.” the #1 nation on the list turned out to be Denmark. Danish people pay some of the highest income taxes of any nation. so perhaps it’s time to re-examine this aversion to paying taxes and re-direct that energy toward ensuring that our government spends that revenue on pertinent matters.


Kristi, you have made it clear that you get your “facts” from World Net Daily. Even Fox wouldn’t touch the propaganda you are spreading.

Chocolate and Steel

Beautiful design! I love it:)

My 2 cents – I find it interesting that everyone is commenting about the “ugliness” of the comments from this post. I don’t think it’s ugly to disagree. It’s American to have different opinions and allow people to speak about them.

Although I think there is probably a better forum to discuss your disagreements:)

woohoo for Obama!! can’t wait til Tuesday!


After working at the polls this morning, and being inspired by the people I met and (wow-voting!!!), I remembered this post and the interesting dialogue it sparked (though I hadn’t seen the most recent back and forth). Just want to say thanks for acknowledging that politics DOES affect everything, and shouldn’t be taboo. I love that this blog (and my other favorites) have an independent voice that spans professional interests, personal lives, and you know, the real world. Maybe, just maybe, politics can also be a thing of beauty, or a thing that inspires beauty.

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