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When I opened my AARP Bulletin May addition (pg3), I noticed a chart titled "How things change"

(1) Unemployment was 4.5% in 2007 in 2008 it is 5.1%.

(2) A barrel of oil was $64 in 2007 and in 2008 it is more than $115.

(3)  People's confidence in a secure retirement was at 41%, today it is at 29%.

This very short list did not include the war in Iraq, rising health care costs, social security, Medicaid, and the cost of higher education. Do we really want to make this election about Jeremiah Wright, Reverend Hagee, elitism, or the gas tax holiday?  The social issues will not die because they have a venue on hate radio, Hannity & Colmes and Hard Ball with Chris Matthews.  Almost forgot, Keith Olbermann will do his part.  I can imagine tonight,Keith will show an old vid clip of Bill O'Reilly's having a tirade, when he was on "Inside Edition."

Can we afford a major health care program?  Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said this issue would not come up in 2009, because we simply cannot afford it.  Perhaps that is why Barack Obama scaled down his version of universal health care to children this time with no mandates. He ,said he would pay for it by, repealing the 2001 Bush tax cuts. John McCain is supporting Health Savings Accounts, which are portable, but not affordable for most. His first plan did not include pre-existing conditions. John McCain’s plan offers a $5000 refundable tax credit, but as of yet he cannot answer how he would pay for them.What McCain left out. • Workers would be taxed on the value of any employer-paid health benefits, partially offsetting the $5,000 credit for those now covered by such plans.

• Experts say a tax credit plan like this would likely cause companies to reduce or eliminate health benefits for their employees.

http://www.factcheck.org/mccains_5000_promise.html

Preventative care is the answer, no matter how we get to affordable health insurance. Why should heart surgery cost $70,000 in Abilene Texas and $40,000 in San Antonio?  As I have said many times status quo is not the answer.

I see where Kay Bailey Hutchison and the Republican Party are making their final push for drilling in ANWR.  They have been trying since 1995. Jeb Bush and the Republicans have made the coast of Florida, untouchable for years. This is more of a political issue, than a sensible solution. Barack Obama said a leader must tell the country, what they need to hear' not only what they want to hear. We must conserve, use public transportation, and government agencies must include hybrids in their next purchase. Finally, we must raise the CAFE standards, because the unstable Middle East and high grass prices are here to stay, so staying on fossil fuels should not be an option.

Cut Social Security benefits or raise taxes? John McCain vowed he would not raise taxes. Don't really know if he wants to cut benefits, but we will see in the debates. Barack Obama is on record ,saying he would raise the cap on social security taxes from the current $102,000 to about $200,000 but he would not cut benefits. Many options out there to make social security solvent, but it must be solved in a bipartisan way, because both sides must sell the solution.

I, believe we can all agree that Washington is the problem, and we must tear down the way, have been doing business, brick by brick, and start all over. It starts with public financing to limit the lobbyist influence, and find a way to reduce the partisan bickering. If Barack Obama is elected, I hope he would consider Republicans like Chuck Hagel, for key positions in his administration.

I believe if we have a Democratic administration, we would get rid of the protecting the Bush/ Cheney legacy solution to the war in Iraq. Republicans and Democrats would come together to find a sensible solution.

 I can't believe Obama is not using the supreme court justice issue. About 55% of the electorate are women. John McCain recently said he would appoint justices like Roberts & Alito which is code for "We will now have enough to overturn "Roe v Wade"....Maybe Obama is saving it for later.