Saturday, February 12, 2005

Dude, Check Out My Social Security Plan

To make his case, Mr. Bush held two town-hall-style meetings with younger and older workers, events that recalled some of the most carefully orchestrated, and successful, moments of his re-election campaign last year. There were teachers, preachers, recent retirees and a widow, all embracing elements of his message.

But when he got to the details of his plan, he warned his audience that he had been a history major, and a middling student.

So when the president, in Raleigh, introduced Andrew G. Biggs, the associate commissioner for retirement policy at the Social Security Administration, and asked him to frame the issues, he added, "Andrew has a Ph.D., and I got a C." Then, smiling, Mr. Bush said, "And look who's working for who."'re like, working for the corporations and stuff?
It's All Dean

I found an article with some interesting info about Howard Dean, and what he thinks our priorities should be as a country. One interesting factoid:

HEALTHCARE: Everyone knows that universal healthcare is one of the cornerstones of Dr. Dean’s campaign. According to Cici Connolly of The Washington Post, census bureau statistics show Vermont to be the best state for insuring children. Doctors who have private practices know how health insurance should work.

Dean doesn’t believe we should immediately begin a total overhaul of the system. Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Bill & Hillary Clinton all tried and failed. People need insurance now. In Vermont after trying and failing to develop a single payer system, he went with a Medicaid-like state funded program. It covers all citizens under the age of 33 who are not already insured. All people over 65 get covered by Medicare and get prescription benefits. The folks in between, aged 34-65, if not covered at work, can buy into the same program that the U.S. Congress uses and it will never cost more than 7 1/2 % of their adjusted gross income. He knows it’s not the perfect solution, but it covers almost everyone right away and leaves time for the total overhaul. And the cost…87 billion dollars to insure everyone in the country. Familiar number?? It should be. We just spent this on Iraq [late 2003 article].

Yeah, it's also less expensive to cover that healthcare than it is to pay for the annual cost of Bush's medicare program over the next 10 years....

Medicare Drug Benefit May Cost $1.2 Trillion

Wed Feb 9, 7:29 AM ET Politics -

By Ceci Connolly and Mike Allen, Washington Post Staff Writers

The White House released budget figures yesterday indicating that the new Medicare prescription drug benefit will cost more than $1.2 trillion in the coming decade, a much higher price tag than President Bush (news - web sites) suggested when he narrowly won passage of the law in late 2003.

Health care for everybody, every year, for less than Bush's Medicare "reform" alone? I'm on board. The article also has info on Dean's positions on other issues of importance.
Warmonger and FEARMONGER

“If you're 20 years old, in your mid-20s, and you're beginning to work, I want you to think about a Social Security system that will be flat bust, bankrupt, unless the United States Congress has got the willingness to act now,” he said Tuesday at a forum on Social Security. The stark choice of words was hardly a slip of the tongue – Bush used the word “bankrupt” five times in the 45-minute session.

He also warned of a potentially “bankrupt” system in a radio address last month, referring to demographic changes that signal a “looming danger.”

“In the year 2018, for the first time ever, Social Security will pay out more in benefits than the government collects in payroll taxes,” Bush said.

That is just plain wrong. In 14 of the past 47 years, including 1975 to 1983, Social Security paid out more in benefits than the government collected in payroll, with the gap reaching $10 billion in 1983. So the projected “crossover” point in 2018 is a relatively meaningless milestone, say opponents of Bush’s privatization plans, even as they acknowledge the system faces long-term problems.

Remember how Bush and Cheney starting talking DOWN the economy and triggered a recession to get their tax cuts passed?

Your fearmongering isn't so easy now the Democrats have gotten a spinal transplant from the good Doctor, is it Mr. Bush?

Joshua Micah Marshall:

Second, what the president said today almost certainly violates his oath of office in which he swears to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

That would be the Constitution which reads (Am.XIV, Section 4): "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

Were any of the military governments that destroyed Argentina's economy actually foolish enough to actually spread the word that their government was on the verge of default? What's more incredible is that these guys started doing this shit when the economy was in great shape, and actually fooled people into thinking that it wasn't so that they could get their tax cuts, which, combined with the Enron et al merde, actually made what they were saying true.

What kind of President boasts about the unsoundness of government finances, especially when they have gone from stellar to absolute rot on his watch? Is that patriotic?

Bush pushes for large tax cut this year

March 28, 2001
Web posted at: 6:04 a.m. EST (1104 GMT)

KALAMAZOO, Michigan (CNN) -- President Bush on Tuesday took issue with a Democratic push for an immediate tax rebate, saying the "winded but fundamentally strong" U.S. economy needs more than a one-time tax cut.
"Our economy needs more than a pick-me-up, more than a one-time boost," he said. "We must put more money in the hands of consumers in the short term, and restore confidence and optimism in the long term."

When you say restore confidence, you imply that it is missing. It wasn't before you got there:

Clinton declares economy sound, trumpets fiscal discipline
January 12, 2001
Web posted at: 8:19 p.m. EST (0119 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton released his eighth and final economic report to Congress on Friday -- a massive 402-page analysis that declares the nation's economy strong, but counsels that continued budget discipline is the best way to safeguard against a much-feared recession.

"The message of this final report is clear: The economy remains strong, on a sound foundation with a bright future," Clinton said during a new conference on the White House South Lawn.

The "2001 Economic Report of the President" credits remarkable advances in computer hardware, software and telecommunications as the catalyst for the unprecedented economic boom the United States has enjoyed under Clinton's tenure in office.

Clinton, seeking to safeguard his economic legacy in the history books, told reporters Friday: "We have resisted politically attractive but economically unwise temptations to veer from the path of fiscal discipline."

That last sentence: Did Clinton know exactly what was about to happen...did he want to remind Americans one last time that at that point in history, they had a chance at a future that was more....well....Canadian?

Wait a second...maybe we're not being fair here. Maybe Clinton was trying to scare and mislead people when he began his second term as well....

NBC - Professional March 7, 1997, Friday (from lexis-nexis database, no link)

Copyright 1997 FDCHeMedia, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 1997 CNBC/Dow Jones Business Video, a Division of CNBC/Dow Jones Desktop Video, LLC
All Rights Reserved
NBC - Professional

March 7, 1997, Friday

Today we learned some very good news about the American economy. Our nation has created almost 600,000 new jobs in the first two months of 1997, almost 12 million since January of 1992.

At the same time, the deficit has been reduced by 63 percent. Investment in our peopel has increased. Inflation remains low. Our economy is on the right track.

But to stay on that right track, we have to balance the budget while we go forward with the work that leads to continued growth and low inflation.

CLINTON: That's what our balanced budget will do, eliminating the deficit in five years and strengthening critical investments for the future of all of our people.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office certified that even under its assumptions, because of the protections we built into the budget, it would be balanced by 2002.

So I am hopeful, and I want to say again, that the talks that we have been continually having with congressional leaders in both parties will produce a balanced budget agreement this year and in the not-too-distant future.

I also want to talk a moment about our commitments to our Gulf War veterans. And I thank Secretary Brown and the other veterans leaders who are here, including Elaine Larson from the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses; the leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other veterans organizations; and the Persian Gulf veterans who joined with us here today.

Two months ago, when I accepted the final report of the presidential advisory committee on Gulf War illnesses, I pledged to the committee and to all America's veterans that we would match their efforts with action.

Pretty scary stuff (not the part about balancing budget and helping veterans).

Bush created a fake economic crisis for his political gain that turned into a real one.

Then he created a fake new front in the war on terror for political gain which turned into a real one.

Now he wants to create a fake social security crisis for political gain....

What's next: a "fake" nuclear showdown with Iran/N. Korea right before the 2006 Congressional Elections?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Then why the FUCK did you vote for it?

"The Medicare Prescription Drug bill should have been an opportunity to help America ’s seniors afford their prescription drugs, not to provide the pharmaceutical companies with a massive government-sponsored subsidy,” Feinstein said. “When it was clear that the bill didn’t include provisions for the government to use its purchasing power to negotiate for lower prices, I knew there was a major problem.

When it was clear? What, you didn't read it until after you voted for it?
In Marriage Hatin' Gay Lovin' Pot Smokin' Iraqi Freedom Hatin' French...(you get the picture)...Canada, Abortion Rate Continues to Decline

Abortion rate continues to fall, Statscan says

Friday, February 11, 2005 Updated at 1:22 PM EST

Canadian Press

Toronto — The number of women seeking abortions across Canada appears to be continuing a downward trend, although in some provinces rates remain the same or are slightly on the rise, figures from Statistics Canada suggest.

Meanwhile, in America, where we value life, the abortion rate is going up.

Although in the U.S., the Federal government mysteriously stopped reporting comprehensive data after 2000, which was the last year of a long term decline...

Under Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would have been expected...

I don't know why, but no one seems to have noticed this. In 1993, both the US and Canada elected center-left governments after years of right-wing rule, then at almost exactly the same time, they balanced their budgets, and had record surpluses and economic growth.

They also both experienced declining abortion rates. Then a strange thing happened. Both countries had an election in November of 2000. In both countries, the center-left parties said if you go back to the right, you are going to go back to the days of economic stagnation and deficits.

Gore, in St. Louis, says Bush would put U.S. back in record red ink
August 14, 2000
Web posted at: 8:43 p.m. EDT (0043 GMT)

[...]Gore said his Republican opponents would lead the country back to the policies of the 1980s, adding, "What they caused last time were record deficits, repeat recessions, high unemployment."

In one of those countries....people didn't buy it.

Since then, Canada has continued to have record surpluses, just like the US....

President Clinton announces another record budget surplus
From CNN White House Correspondent Kelly Wallace

September 27, 2000
Web posted at: 4:51 p.m. EDT (2051 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year's record surplus of $122.7 billion.

"Eight years ago, our future was at risk," Clinton said Wednesday morning. "Economic growth was low, unemployment was high, interest rates were high, the federal debt had quadrupled in the previous 12 years. When Vice President Gore and I took office, the budget deficit was $290 billion, and it was projected this year the budget deficit would be $455 billion."

OOPS, wrong quote....

Budget office projects U.S. deficit to hit $477 billion

Budget numbers likely part of election battle

Monday, January 26, 2004 Posted: 1:22 PM EST (1822 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal deficit will hit a record $477 billion this year and get worse if lawmakers cut taxes or increase spending, the Congressional Budget Office projected Monday in a report sure to become ammunition in the election-year fight over red ink.

Man that old Al Gore....he was willing to say anything to get elected.

Monday, February 07, 2005

This is it, America!

OK, so there weren't any weapons of Mass Destruction, but aren't we trying to liberate the Iraqi people and spread freedom? Well, NO, but in addition to the fact that the US has concluded Iraq abandoned its WMD program in the early 90s, and the fact that Iraq got many of its WMDs from the United States, the United States


U.S. Redesigning Atomic Weapons

Published: February 7, 2005

Worried that the nation's aging nuclear arsenal is increasingly fragile, American scientists have begun designing a new generation of nuclear arms meant to be sturdier and more reliable and to have longer lives, federal officials and private experts say.

What's the problem here? We invented the weapons that are capable of destroying the entire world, and we'll be damned if we don't continue to create new weapons that are even more capable of destroying civilization. I mean look, we've gotta fight the terrorists, and that's hard work. Why? So we can spread freedom. You don't hate freedom, now , do you?

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.