Thursday, October 20, 2005

GOP = Hoodwinkers

Today's GOP = Hoodwinkers

My grandchildren will benefit from the destruction of the jihadists and the rebuilding of the Gulf region, so it’s fair they bear some of these costs.
Jerry Bowyer - NRO
Will 'the grands' benefit from us owing our economic existence to China? Will they benefit from a wrong-minded foreign policy that will result in China securing cheap fuel from nations that we sanction and alienate? Will we be so beholden to China in our grandchildren's lifetime that we will have to make compromises in foreign policy that will be a certain bane to Human Rights? The looming U.S. inflation rate has been theatening to force us to make difficult consumer spending decisions. We can't afford the gas to get to work, let alone to take a vacation. Working their asses off for the few millionaires (at the expense of the many), the Bush administration isn't budging on putting off their precious tax cuts, ignoring the fact that tax increases might have offset the rise in spending from emergency bills for post-hurricane Katrina reconstruction. While the GOP is refusing to stall tax-cuts to their richest campaign contributors, squeezing us consumers will only make things worse, especially when there's no room to reduce government expenditures in "non-essential" areas. The poor in America are going to become poorer - and millions of the working poor will face abject poverty. Let's face reality - the budget deficit is going to seriously deteriorate. We'll be looking to China and some other Asian nations for funding of our increased requirements. The Fed is tightening their belt - which means we will have to tighten our belts. As global interest rates rise, so will costs of borrowing from China.
If we reduce spending elsewhere in order to fund Katrina rebuilding, then we’re borrowing money to build long-term capital assets.
If the GOP can dismantle the social safety net by "reducing spending elewhere," we are going to have a society that has lost the American dream of individual opportunity. If we continue to reward only the few with economic policy, we only raise the boats of the rich few while the many poor are sucked under the waves.
What would happen if the Asian central banks should suddenly refuse to add to their dollar holdings or even reduce them and instead decide to invest their surpluses in euros? Surely, such a reaction would lead to much international turbulence and severe economic crisis.....The present situation of American deficits and foreign credits may continue as far as the eye can see. After all, an old monetary order, which had been created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, withstood much international disorder for more than thirty years. Some economists and their friends in government like to note the similarities of that order with the new. But this economist does not see the semblance. With his eyes on huge trade deficits and foreign debts and on grave international conflict and strife he braces for more commotion and crises to come. [Dr. Hans Sennholz - Daily Reckoning]
Following the current economic-policy direction of this country, a few of our grandkids will wind up fat and cozy. The vast majority of them will wind up making minimum wage, living from paycheck to paycheck, and clinging to a mythic American promise that today's GOP never intended to keep.

How much worse does it have to get before even the Freeper-types and Bush "Stepford town-hall-ers" discover that the Republicans have hoodwinked them?

Harvard: Keeping Children Safe, Healthy on Halloween

Keeping Children Safe, Healthy on Halloween
Tips from Harvard Health Publications

It's that time of the year once again.
There are some good common-sense tips for Halloween child-safety here from Harvard Health Publications. Excerpt:
Costumes are an essential part of Halloween fun, but hazardous situations can arise if a costume is made from the wrong materials or does not fit properly. "Every Halloween we see children brought to our emergency department with problems related to costumes. Masks that are ill-fitting interfere with vision, and outfits that are baggy or extend beyond ankles lead to trips and falls," said Harvard Health Letter advisory board member Dr. John T. Nagurney, who is an attending physician in emergency services at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Have you heard Bobby "Boris" Pickett's re-make of The Monster Mash?
We were hiking past the White House late one night
When our eyes beheld an eerie sight
The president appeared, with folks very strange
The zombies and vampires of global climate change

...sings Bobby Pickett in the Climate Mash.

Big Government Conservatives

Big Government Conservatives
Could there be a more frightening thought?

The belief that a child born into poverty is not trapped by the economic circumstances of his (or her) birth remains an ensconced part of the American dream, yet real numbers inform us that the American dream of exceptional opportunity may not be as true as we'd once thought. The gap between rich and poor has widened since 1970, and has particularly accelerated since the economy slowdown in late 2000. There is a significant link between federal tax policies and the well-being of the poorest living in America's cities. Hurricane Katrina revealed a lot of previously-hidden truths about poverty and the failures and shortfalls of federal and state legislation to help the working poor. We might have expected to see the Bush administration reconsidering the path they were taking on economic policy after Hurricane Katrina. Instead,
The Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center reports that the households with incomes more than $1 million a year are receiving tax cuts averaging $103,000 each this year, and two new tax cuts primarily benefiting the same group are slated to take effect Jan. 1. As the federal budget moves toward finalization, the Senate and House of Representative appear to continue to move forward on the pre-Katrina plan for $13 billion in proposed cuts in Medicaid and Food Stamps.
Journal Star - Lincoln, Nebraska

Should the nation proceed with these tax cuts at a time when many Katrina survivors remain in difficult straits, when huge sums are being discussed for Katrina relief and recovery, and when cuts in domestic programs — including programs for the poor — are slated for Congressional consideration this fall as part of the reconciliation bills?
In a nonpartisan Diageo/Hotline poll taken Oct. 12 to 16 and released this week, only 4 percent of people named cutting "spending for domestic programs, like health care and education" as the best way to pay for problems caused by Hurricane Katrina. But 31 percent said "delay or cancel tax cuts," and 27 percent said "cut spending for the war in Iraq."....So, as Republicans get pulled in several directions over the fiscal future, the party could also end up finding itself pulled toward trouble in next year's midterm elections. [Terry Neal - Cutting the Cost of Spending - WaPo]
See Center on Budget and Policy Priorities New Tax Cuts Primarily Benefitting Millionaires Slated to Take Effect in January (pdf)

Because of heavy Federal cuts to programs intended to alleviate poverty, the individual State governments have been under intense pressure to close their budget gaps in a weaker economy. Decisions forced upon States about decreased allotments for social programs have had a direct impact on lower income families, especially on the issues of unemployment, child care, and health/disability insurance. These decisions have made the poorest in our society less mobile.

Michael Harrington wrote about "The Other America" over 40 years ago. Even then, he realized that "the state governments in the U.S. have a political peculiarity that renders them incapable of dealing with the problems of poverty. They are, for the most part, dominated by the conservative rural elements. In every state with a big industrial population, the gerrymander has given the forces of rural conservatism two or three votes per person. So it is that the state legislatures usually take more money out of the problem areas than they put back into them. So it is that state governments are notoriously weighted in the direction of caution, pinchpenny economics, and indifference to the plight of the urban millions." Harrington said that it was a "noble sentiment to argue that private moral responsibility expressing itself through charitable contributions should be the main instrument of attacking poverty. The only problem is that such an approach does not work."

The Republican party is going to begin to come apart when Americans catch on to the fact that they are currently a party of narrow values, BIG government and radically Conservative politics. After Hurricane Katrina, moderate America is already beginning to shiver and give the cold shoulder to the GOP's hypocritical rhetoric.

Republicans are losing control of runaway deficits and the Iraq War (and the monster-sized spending accompanying it - with much of that money mysteriously disappearing in the appearently corrupt "new" Iraq). Gas prices are through the roof. Health care, even if you can obtain it or afford it, has a rapidly increasing price tag. Republicans in Washington have passed a Medicare bill that will create $139 billion in profits for pharmaceutical corporations, yet produces inflated prices for elderly consumers. No one bought the Bush line on privatizing (ie: dismantling) Social Security.

We need a new direction. The Democrats know it. They've been saying it for a long time now. The American people are agreeing. They want America to be governed as one America - not just for the few, but for everyone.

As for the failure of the GOP's policies, the proof is in the poverty.