Third Presidential Debate: Subliminal Message Counts

So, my favorite phrase is back: New Direction (see previous blog post). This phrase is a favorite of those who like to play in the subliminal playground, because it's an attention getter. Say it fast, and the brain trips over whether it's "New Direction" or "Nude Erection".

So let's see the tally shall we?

In tonight's debate, McCain said it 5 times. Obama said it twice.

Other tricks:

Handed to McCain on a silver platter was the "quote someone else" trick. This is where you quote - say - Joe the Plumber - because it doesn't matter what you say if you're saying that someone else said it. The message comes from you still, and it sinks in in the same way, but it bypasses the bullshit filter because you're not asking people to believe you - you're asking them to believe someone else. However, the end result is the same thing - the message is delivered.

Needless to say, Joe the Plumber came up a lot in the talks as a foil for McCain's arguments.

Obama played back a little by bringing Warren Buffet into the fray.

McCain then went on to talk about tax rates. US corporate tax rate? One of the highest in the world at 35%! (Never mind that a study came out yesterday which shows that most US corporations don't pay ANY income taxes). He then went on to talk about Ireland, where the tax rate is 11% (insinuating that this is commonplace). In fact, this is one of the lowest in the world - although a little higher than Uzbekistan and Serbia.

Ireland also is a little different here in that in Ireland they have a 25% Value Added Tax (kind of like a sales tax). Their payroll taxes are higher than in the US. (16.75% vs. 15.3%). And income tax in Ireland ranges from 20-41% - whereas in the US it's from 0-35% (federal) and 0-10.3% (state).

As for the actual US Corporate tax rate? That's actually between 15-39% (federal) and 0-12% (state). Of course, again, most US corporations pay 0% in income taxes.

The average corporate tax rate world wide is in fact 25%. The lowest is in the British Virgin Isles, Nepal and the UAE - all of which pay 0%. Most "1st world" countries are sitting at about 30%.

I've been to Ireland. It's mostly green hills.

(OK, so this whole bit isn't subliminal, but it still bugged me).

I could go on, but frankly, I'm really annoyed by the whole debate. Grrr.

About the author

Simon Cooke is an occasional video game developer, ex-freelance journalist, screenwriter, film-maker, musician, and software engineer in Seattle, WA.

The views posted on this blog are his and his alone, and have no relation to anything he's working on, his employer, or anything else and are not an official statement of any kind by them (and barely even one by him most of the time).

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