February 2005 Archives

Why is President Bush pushing for Social Security reform which would add to current and future deficits given the fact that there is no Social Security crisis today, while the Medicare and Medicaid programs pose an extremely serious economic and financial threat now? There is a deep schism occurring between the nation's state governors and the Whitehouse. Regardless of party, the nation's governors are challenging the Whitehouse's proposed cuts to Medicaid and lack of action on Medicare.

First, let's define what we are talking about. The Medicare Website states :

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers Medicare, the nation's largest health insurance program, which covers nearly 40 million Americans. Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people 65 years of age and older, some disabled people under 65 years of age, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant).
And The Medicaid Website states :
Medicaid is a program that pays for medical assistance for certain individuals and families with low incomes and resources. This program became law in 1965 and is jointly funded by the Federal and State governments (including the District of Columbia and the Territories) to assist States in providing medical long-term care assistance to people who meet certain eligibility criteria. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with limited income.

The Washington Post reports on a new US Submarine capable of tapping sub-ocean laser communications trunk lines all around the globe. The Wash. Post states: According to intelligence experts, it can tap undersea cables and eavesdrop on the communications passing through them. The military has just opened the door to trade, business, and economic espionage on both our allies and enemies.

This submarine opens the door for the intelligence community to feed commercial communication by not only governments, but, corporate enterprises in foreign lands as well as here, to various agencies of the US government. Such espionage could prove very useful to the Commerce Department, State Department, and trade and tariff agencies within the US. Satellite communications espionage has been around for awhile, but, the safe haven of ocean bottom laser trunk lines will no longer be safe. Since the US has already demonstrated its intent to interpret treaties and international conventions for its own purposes (e.g. Geneva and Kyoto), there is no authority on earth capable of halting misuse of the USS Jimmy Carter communications taps for any purposes the White House dictates via the intelligence community.

I respected Ralph Nader immensely and he got my vote, which made me one of the few, one of the proud. But, many voters who respect Ralph Nader and his attempts to break up the duopoly and reverse the extremely dangerous road President Bush has put us on financially and internationally, could not justify voting for him given their desire to unseat Bush with a vote for Kerry. As we now know, a vote for Kerry instead of Nader made no difference. But if voters respect Nader and want to see him involved in 2008, it is time put up, or he will be shut up for good.

Nader's campaign incurred a fairly sizeable debt. Nader and his campaign folks have been tireless in their efforts to generate sufficient contributions to qualify for matching funds from the US Government. They have achieved 2/3 of their goal. Now, a deadline looms for the matching funds. The Nader campaign must raise the other 1/3 by March 1, just 12 days away, or face losing the matching funds. If that happens, America may not hear from Nader again in 2008 as the debts will be too large to launch another campaign on behalf of non-Bush supporters. Now is the time to save Nader's intelligent and pragmatic voice for the 2008 election. Now is the time to put up to demonstrate that third parties in America will not be denied. Now is the time to go to Nader's contribution web page make that contribution to insure third parties will still have a voice in America.

Quality of life and even life itself depends directly in America upon money. President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans are going to cost other Americans dearly in terms of quality of life and even life itself. Whenever an administration puts foreign affairs ahead of domestic priorities, it will increase tax payer dollar spending in foreign lands and decrease the services and benefits to the tax payers here at home. This is in fact an accurate depiction of the President's 2006 Budget which again will set a new record deficit.

According to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing this morning, the President's budget seeks to cut Veteran's benefits in some ways to include a two year limit on eligibility for health care and reducing VA health workers by 3700 even as patient load is expected to increase. Long term care Veterans will be booted from the system by the President's Budget as the per diem funding to states is reduced at the same time most states are scrambling desperately to keep their budgets from sinking. Should the wealthy keep their tax cuts while Veteran's go without?

The President is yet again proposing a tax payer busting budget. But his advisors' sophistication has grown. In a snapshot of revenues and expenditures, the President may show on paper a deficit cut in half by 2009. But, as anyone who balances a checkbook and has credit cards knows, a snapshot does not give an accurate picture of financial well being. The 2006 spending budget is going up about 8% over last year's. And while the President proposes increasing the spending budget, he at the same time is asking for permanent tax cuts. Anyone who can add and subtract will understand when we are already spending more than we are taking in, cutting our income and raising our borrowing must increase our debt, not lower it.

There are many ins and outs of the budgetary process which can and will lead to endless point - counterpoint debate over the details and priorities. But, the overall picture of the President's fiscal policy is now in fairly sharp focus, and the frightening picture is clear. The Bush Administration's fiscal policy has two long range goals, escalate military and foreign spending, and end Social Security and Medicare.

Given the history and immense strides the religious right have made in politics since being invited into the Whitehouse in the Reagan Administration as advisors to policy, American government is at a turning point and her future will have much less in common with her past.

What candidate running for President or Senator can now afford to alienate the religious right? Virtually none! If they are running with an intent to win, they cannot alienate the religious right with their campaign platform (which the Democrats have just discovered). And if they seek reelection, they cannot afford to alienate the religious right in policy and law making.


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