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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

February 26, 2008


The "Fix" Is In

End Medicare and end Social Security. That's exactly what those on the Right side of the argument want. Sure they speak about "fixing" a troubled Social Security system and "revamping" the near-broke Medicare system, but does anyone truly believe that? The only "vamping - "re" or otherwise - that has been done to any program which benefits the majority of the American people by the Bush administration is similar to that of Dracula sucking it dry.

While those of us who truly have the best interests of the majority of Americans at heart take the recent numbers regarding the Baby-Boom impact on health care costs, Social Security and other social services and say, "Let's fix it and make sure it's solvent for us and our children," those like President bush and his "hopeless heir", John McCain view these programs as a blight on the capitalistic society which they and their "base of haves and have mores" wish to expand, even if that expansion comes at our detriment.

And it will.

BY 2017, a mere nine years from now, almost twenty percent (19.5) of our Gross Domestic Product will be spent on health care. The GOP and their "I got mine - screw you" base will point to that number and tell us there is no way to fix it other than allowing big businesses huge tax breaks in a sort of corporate trickle-down scheme.

Don't let them.

The GDP is expected to rise by 4.7 percent a year (and this is a very generous estimate, if you ask me). To go along with that higher than reality might provide number, inflation should "only" rise by about 2.4 percent each year. At that very same time, health care costs will rise 6.7 percent, far outpacing the others. Taken with the decline if the US dollar, the fall of real wage, the loss of disposable income and the negative average savings of the American family and this news is worse than even one can imagine.

But as long as And the first thing we have to do is get out of the mindset that, "At least, I got mine."

The GDP is the sum of all goods and services products performed or manufactured within US borders, and that number's "growth" at 4.7 percent, is probably well overstated.

Those like President Bush and John McCain will look at the 2017 spending estimate on Medicare ($884 billion) as a reason to sound its death knell. There is no "fix" in their minds because "fixing" it will require real sacrifice, and not by the middle class. the real sacrifice will have to be made by forcing the richest Americans to give back some of their tax breaks known to us all as the Bush Tax Cuts. And although McCain had originally voted against those cuts, citing the stupidity of cutting taxes while waging war, something ever done before in US history, McCain is now taking up that stupidity as his own.


And it isn't just the 47 million Americans without health care which are at risk. It's everybody without a global corporate golden parachute or a comfortable US-middle class-provided Congressional government pension that are at risk. Sure, President Bush, John McCain, Dick Cheney (as long as his ticker holds out) and others at the top of the political and corporate food chain are going to be alright, but what about the rest of us?

A modest increase in the Medicare tax and the removal of the Social Security cap (now at $97,000) is a good start to fixing our nation's already-here and future medical care crisis. Its dismantling only benefits those who are already benefiting the most.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to, "By a margin of greater than two-to-one (65 to 31), Americans think that the Iraq war is being handled badly by its handler, president Bush. And John McCain has taken up his mantle of "Stay the Course," no matter how off course that course may be," David W. sends the following:

October 24, 2004
QUESTION: Was the war in Iraq a mistake?
SENATOR (DR.) TOM COBURN: Absolutely not. I do not believe that the Iraq war was a distraction in the war on terror, as John Kerry and my opponent have argued.

February 24, 2008
"Personally I think it was probably a mistake going to Iraq,

When the religiously insane say the war's a bad idea, how long before the normal Republicans get the message?

In response to Lt. General Carter Ham's "The transfer of responsibility for detention operations has not progressed as rapidly as we would like to the Iraqis, so there's a need to have that force sustained, as well," Robert Scardapane writes:

General Ham (what a name!) that means the "surge" has failed. Hamming it up (sorry for the pun) don't change reality.

In response to, "The Democratic National Committee (DNC) revoked the right of Florida voters to have their votes counted in the primary or to have their delegates seated at the Democratic Convention in August," Robert Scardapane writes:

I beg to differ. The DNC didn't take away anyone's vote. Florida and Michigan decided to capriciously move their primaries up after agreeing to the DNC's schedule. The DNC made it quite clear to them they would pay a price if they did this. The State of New Jersey has played by the rules and waited a long time to get permission to move it's primary up. What makes the Florida and Michigan Democratic Party think they don't need permission?

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-Noah Greenberg