Disturbing Political News 2

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The amount of disturbing news this last week has been a bit overwhelming. Water, Inaugural, Money, and Reform were all key stories that deserve more scrutiny and should be raising alarms. Water - President Clinton is seeking $45 million to provide clean, safe drinking water to Tsunami victims in the Indian Ocean region. That should is good news. But, this week also saw our government pooh pooh reports of airline diesel fuel in American drinking water nationwide.

Here is a quote from the Washington Post article:

Perchlorate has been found in at least 35 states, and more than 11 million people have significant levels in their drinking water. The Food and Drug Administration also recently found the substance in milk and lettuce.
At high doses, perchlorate can interfere with the thyroid gland, which helps regulate many bodily functions. Animal studies have suggested it could cause thyroid tumors. In children, the thyroid plays a major role in development, raising fears that exposure to perchlorate by pregnant women and young children could cause brain damage.

How is it we can afford other nations clean, safe drinking water and fail to do the same for Americans?

In December, the Assoc. Press reported in an article entitled "Energy Firms Lavish Funds on Inauguration", that "More than $4.5 million from the corporate world has flowed to President Bush's inauguration fund, much of it from the energy industry and some of its executives in contributions of $250,000 each." They sure must love what Bush is doing for them. The total is somewhere over 8 million dollars now. One might think Abraham Lincoln had been resurrected for office from all the pomp and circumstance.

Now, one would think that with all that money flowing in, the President would have enough heart to help the tax payers cover the costs the city is going to incur for this gala. One would be wrong. The Washington Post reports today:

D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush administration is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.

Which brings us to money and reforms. It seems the President is lavish with tax payer dollars but stingy with money "donated" (kick backed is more like it) to his inauguration. The President is planning to add another trillion dollars to the National Debt over these next 4 years with deficits. Of course, the President couches this fact in terms of 'reducing the deficit in half', but, it still amounts to at least another 1 trillion. Add the 2 trillion dollars deficits Bush proposes to add to the Social Security Trust Fund by diverting revenues to Private Savings Accounts, we get 3 trillion dollars added America's charge card as a result of Bush's lavish tax payer dollar spending. But, he won't reimburse D.C. for his inauguration. That speaks volumes about Bush's priorities.

Other money news reports "U.S. spending on health care rose 7.7 percent to 1.7 trillion in 2003, outpacing overall economic growth by nearly 3 percentage points, according to an annual government report released on Tuesday." Elaine Chao, a Bush appointee, reports in an article by ABC News that:

The nation's pension plans are underfunded by an estimated $450 billion because of what she called the "perfect storm of declining equity markets … and low interest rates."
The article also says:
Companies that have not sufficiently paid into employees' pension funds would have to catch up within seven years under a Bush administration plan to address a multibillion-dollar shortfall.
Financially strapped companies also would be prohibited from promising their employees retirement benefits they cannot afford, under the proposal announced Monday.

While the ABC article includes a quote of praise for President Bush's response, there is a larger picture. Private Pension plans are in trouble. The President proposes to gut the insurance plan against poverty called Social Security. The bulk of baby boom generation retirees over the next 20 years did not work high paying jobs, and many women did not even work continuously over the course of their lifetime.

Finally, the NY Times reports:

The new chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, said he and other fiscal conservatives wanted to establish "enforcement mechanisms" to "put the brakes on the growth of entitlements," which pay benefits to millions of Americans according to formulas set by law.
Does the President not see the big picture, here? The elderly in this society, is enroute over then next generation, to become the new poverty class. Unless a comprehensive plan is put in place, America is going to enlarge the scope of its 'throw away lifestyle' to include its elderly. Is this compassionate conservativism at work?

Reform - The President reportedly wants to reform the tax system, the Social Security system by gutting it, the Pension Guaranty program by delaying its solution. He has already reformed the Medicare System which is costing Americans far more than was necessary or reported to cost. He has reformed environmental laws resulting in water stories like those above and the Sierra Club's reporting Bush is directly responsible for threats to our Sequoia forests in California some of which have been alive for 1500 years. He has reformed our foreign policy positions and we all know where that has taken us. He called for federal reform to our educational system which now has teachers cheating on tests in order to insure federal funding dollars.

There is no question changes are required. Adaptability is necessary for survival. But, all of these stories beg the question. Can America and her future survive any more of President Bush's reforms?

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on January 11, 2005 11:21 AM.

Russia proving error of voting for Bush was the previous entry in this blog.

Can Americans Afford Tort Reform? is the next entry in this blog.

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