NADER

A message from 74 of his 113 top supporters:

We, the undersigned, were selected by Ralph Nader to be members of his 113-person national ‘Nader 2000 Citizens Committee.’ This year, we urge support for Kerry/Edwards in all ‘swing states,’ even while we strongly disagree with Kerry’s policies on Iraq and other issues. For people seeking progressive social change in the United States, removing George W. Bush from office should be the top priority in the 2004 presidential election. Progressive votes for John Kerry in swing states may prove decisive in attaining this vital goal.

☞ Please note: this does not mean that the remaining 39 members of Nader’s top 113 supporters disagree. Some have presumably died (out of heartbreak over how badly things turned out?) and others have presumably not yet been reached or decided whether to participate. To see the current list – ranging from Ben Cohen and Susan Sarandon to Bonnie Raitt and Phil Donahue – click here.

KERRY

Jack: ‘You trashed Bush. Now can you ‘see’ Kerry with the same eyes? Show us why Kerry’s last 50 years qualify him to be Pres.!’

☞ Well, I can make a start, anyway (even if I can’t make the items on this list grammatically parallel [hey: YOU try it!]):

  • Superb education, which he took seriously.
  • Volunteered for and fulfilled four years’ service to his country, which he also took seriously – volunteering for the most dangerous duty, earning the respect of his crew, awarded Bronze and Silver Star, saving at least one man’s life.
  • Principled leader who helped end a bad war – a very serious business.
  • Prosecutor who worked successfully to put bad guys away.
  • Fought for victims’ rights and rape counseling.
  • Experience as Lieutenant Governor.
  • Leader in the U.S. Senate (voted FOR every weapons appropriation Ronald Reagan signed into law), with 19 years experience on the Foreign Relations Committee.
  • Would appoint moderate, mainstream judges and Justices, preserve separation of church and state.
  • Is jazzed to make health care more efficient, affordable and available . . . to promote stem cell research, fund education initiatives, work toward a sustainable environment.
  • Would not be a puppet of the gun lobby, tobacco lobby, oil industry.
  • Would make most folks, not the wealthiest few, his main priority.
  • .. Would not ignore CIA warnings of an “immediate” and “tremendous” threat to the United States. Would not have let bin Laden escape Tora Bora or recklessly rushed into war without a plan for winning the peace. Would not have inflamed an entire region, created thousands of new terrorists, and turned a massive surplus of global goodwill on September 12, 2001, into a massive deficit.
  • Would give us a fresh start in the eyes of the world, which has come to distrust and dislike George Bush.
  • Listens to a wide range of opinion.
  • Reads the newspaper.

I’m not saying he’s perfect, but in the words of the Seattle Times, which endorsed Bush in 2000, “he is head and shoulders above the incumbent.” Thanks for asking.

In case you missed this in the Fairbanks, Alaska, News-Miner:

If results matter, just look
By Alex Prichard

George W. Bush’s new campaign slogan is “Results Matter.” As the election approaches, I suggest we examine the record to see how well President Bush’s results have matched his promises over the last four years.

George Bush and Dick Cheney promised to cut health-care costs. The Bush-Cheney 2000 Web site stated, “There are 43 million uninsured Americans. … George W. Bush will reverse this trend by making health insurance affordable for hard-working, low-income families.” In reality, under Bush, the number of uninsured Americans has grown and health insurance premiums have increased by 12.5 percent per year.

The budget-busting $530 billion prescription drug bill will provide little relief and prohibits Medicare from negotiating for lower drug costs.

They promised to be fiscally conservative. The Bush-Cheney 2000 Web site stated, “As president, Governor Bush will … pay the debt down to a historically low level.” In reality, they have turned a record surplus into a record deficit of $445 billion this year alone.  [Over $600 billion when you include their spending rather than saving the Social Security surplus.]

Much of the debt has arisen from increased discretionary spending by a Republican Congress and irresponsible tax cuts focused on the richest Americans. The Bush tax cuts alone account for more than half of the 2004 deficit.

They promised to protect Social Security. Their Web site stated, “The Social Security surplus must be locked away only for Social Security.” Instead, they spent $159 billion of the Social Security trust fund in 2002 alone. Because Social Security taxes were used to pay for tax cuts and the war in Iraq, Alan Greenspan is now warning that Social Security benefits will probably have to be cut.

They promised to create jobs. In 2002, they claimed that tax cuts would provide an “economic stimulus” and create 300,000 jobs per month. In reality, they only created 32,000 jobs in July and Bush is likely to be the first president since Herbert Hoover to have a net loss of jobs during his watch.

Because the tax cuts were heavily tilted to the very rich, took years to implement and shifted the tax burden from investment income to wage income, they were poorly designed as an economic stimulus package.

A more effective and cheaper economic stimulus package would have been short-term tax cuts for middle-class workers and financial aid to states. For most families, the benefit from the Bush income tax cuts will be more than offset by increases in local taxes, health-care costs, gasoline prices and college tuition and by cuts to services.

They are still making unrealistic promises. They are now promising to cut the size of the deficit in half by 2009, but their forecast includes unrealistic domestic budget cuts, doesn’t include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ignores the costs of implementing their own proposals to make the tax cuts permanent.

Even under these very unrealistic budget forecasts, the size of the deficit decreases only until 2009, then increases rapidly as the baby boomers start to retire in 2011.

Since the last election, the country has had to deal with corporate scandals, the attacks of Sept. 11 and a lagging economy. Not all of these factors were under President Bush’s control, but he came into office with a massive budget surplus.

He could have chosen to spend money on rebuilding our roads and schools (fixing school buildings alone is estimated to cost $127 billion), stimulating job creation, paying down the debt or addressing the looming health-care crisis.

Instead, he chose to spend the surplus and more on tax cuts that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, have shifted the overall tax burden from the rich to the middle class, and to pay $200 billion for the war in Iraq.

Whatever your views on the war in Iraq, everyone should agree that we, not our children, should pay the costs. The current deficit spending means that our children will have to pay for the cost of the war in Iraq on top of their own defense needs, which likely will include the continuing threat of terrorism.

This massive debt puts the U.S. economy at the mercy of foreign investors, endangers Social Security and Medicare, increases our interest payments and limits our ability to react to future economic crises.

Despite the fact that the Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency for four years, the reality has consistently fallen far short of the promises. This year, don’t believe the rhetoric, look at George Bush’s record and hold him accountable, because “Results Matter.”

Alex Prichard is a 10-year Fairbanks resident.

Tomorrow: Reassuring Prasanth

 

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