Kucinich Calls for Censure, Conversation, and Change

© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert


Dennis Kucinich Urges Conversation about Impeachment

In 2004, I had no doubt.  I voted for Dennis Kucinich.  By that time, I felt justified in thinking President George W. Bush must be impeached.  The President had violated many laws.  However, hordes of voters disagreed, or did not care.  Congress clearly rejected and continues to reject my belief; at least they act as they do.  Nothing has been done to prosecute the President  and his pals.  Even today, Progressives have questioned my conviction.  They say, “This “man” and his clan have not committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”  As much as I believe they have, I cannot convince Congress or citizens en mass to take action.  Censure is not assured.

Therefore, I must communicate and cajole.  Yet, I am not expectant.  Change is a challenge. 

I accept I need to carefully consider my vote in each of the upcoming elections.  Actually, I always have.

My own attention to the issues caused me to cast a ballot for Kucinich in 2004.  I am not surprised that Representative Kucinich is speaking out, stating we must indict this insolent Executive officer.  Congressman Kucinich has always quietly though consistently been an advocate for truth, justice, and what I believe is the American way.  Kucinich cares about the people!

It is for this reason that in the last Presidential election, I cast my ballot for principles; popularity is not my preference.  Most of my friends and neighbors mused, “The man is not electable.”  We need to take back the House, the Senate, and the White House.  Vote for Kerry.  Assuredly, he will guarantee us [we the people] a win.

Perhaps it is just I; nevertheless, I do not choose to work with an associate in hopes my image will be improved.  Credentials may be impressive; however, they are not enough.  I do not gravitate to a perceived strength.  I want substance!  If a candidate or colleague says, ‘Trust me.  I will protect you.’  That, for me, is not enough.

I do not wish for a mate so that he might complete me.  I am whole already, me, myself, and I.

I do not purchase shoes knowing they look spectacular; yet, they hurt my feet.  A dress, a pair of pants, or a purse must be more than pretty.  Trends do not excite me.

Having a beer with a likable guy or gal does not appeal to me.  You may recall, for quite a few voters Bush seemed a likable drinking bud.  Actually, I do not drink.  I have been told that drinking either dulls the senses or intensifies what is within.  I desire authenticity in a Presidential applicant, in my associates, and in my allies.  If a President or pal states they are compassionate, I do not what that to be a character trait they only display when with a select few.

Early in 2007, Tom Vilsack captured my attention, for admittedly I fear America is not ready for a reserved, yet real gem such as Kucinich.  I was considering giving the former Governor from Iowa a chance.  I did accept that if Vilsack left the scene for any reason I could and would willingly commit to Kucinich.  Now, again I experience as I did in 04, the mainstream media and even the so-called Progressives would focus on a supposed winner.  Flashes in pans, stars, and the well heeled are popular in political forums.

I have never believed in winning.  The oft-promoted concept of win:win for me is trite.  It is a mere attempt to lessen the blow of a loss for anyone or everyone.  I believe in growth, reciprocal reverence, and shared visions.  I have no desire to be victorious.  Nor do I take pleasure in a conquest.  It is my belief if there is a winner, there must also be a loser.  I trust that we can all grow greater together.

When I say I want no war, I am not intending to fund what I claim to condemn.  I do not believe the world can wait.  Lives are lost; limbs are crushed.  Eyes are missing and the pain is plentiful.  For me, Dennis Kucinich takes a thorough and thoughtful perspective on this war.

The Kucinich Plan for Iraq
Submitted by Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich unveils comprehensive exit plan to bring troops home, stabilize Iraq
Dennis J Kucinich
Monday, January 8, 2007

In November of 2006, after an October upsurge in violence in Iraq, the American people moved decisively to reject Republican rule, principally because of the conduct of the war.  Democratic leaders well understand we regained control of the Congress because of the situation in Iraq.  However, two months later, the Congress is still searching for a plan around which it can unite to hasten the end of US involvement in Iraq and the return home of 140,000 US troops.

There is a compelling need for a new direction in Iraq, one that recognizes the plight of the people of Iraq, the false and illegal basis of the United States war against Iraq, the realities on the ground which make a military resolution of the conflict unrealistic and the urgent responsibility of the United States, which caused the chaos, to use the process of diplomacy and international law to achieve stability in Iraq, a process which will establish peace and stability in Iraq allow our troops to return home with dignity.

The Administration is preparing to escalate the conflict.  They intend to increase troop numbers to unprecedented levels, without establishing an ending date for the so-called troop surge.  By definition, this escalation means a continuation of the occupation, more troop and civilian casualties, more anger toward the US, more support for the insurgency, more instability in Iraq and in the region, and prolonged civil war at a time when there is a general agreement in the world community that the solution in Iraq must be political not military.  Iraq is now a training ground for insurgents who practice against our troops.

What is needed is a comprehensive political process.  And the decision is not President Bush’s alone to make.

Congress, as a coequal branch of government has a responsibility to assist in the initiation of this process.  Congress, under Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution has the war-making power.  Congress appropriates funds for the war.  Congress does not dispense with its obligation to the American people simply by opposing a troop surge in Iraq.

There are 140,000 troops remaining in Iraq right now.  What about them?  When will they come home?  Why would we leave those troops in Iraq when we have the money to bring them home?  Soon the President will ask for more money for the war.  Why would Congress appropriate more money to keep the troops in Iraq through the end of President Bush’s term, at a total cost of upwards of two trillion dollars and thousands of more troop casualties, when military experts say there is no military solution?  Our soldiers stand for us in the field, we must to stand for them in our legislature by bringing them home.

It is simply not credible to maintain that one opposes the war and yet continues to fund it.  This contradiction runs as a deep fault line through our politics, undermining public trust in the political process and in those elected to represent the people.  If you oppose the war, then do not vote to fund it.

If you have money which can be used to bring the troops home or to prosecute the war, do not say you want to bring the troops home while you appropriate money in a supplemental to keep them in Iraq fighting a war that cannot be won militarily.  This is why the Administration should be notified now that Congress will not approve of the appropriations request of up to $160 billion in the spring for the purposes of continuing the occupation and the war.  Continuing to fund the war is not a plan.  It would represent the continuation of disaster.

The US sent our troops into Iraq without a clear mission.  We created a financial, military, and moral dilemma for our nation and now we are talking about the Iraq war as our problem.  The Iraqis are forgotten.  Their country has been destroyed: 650,000 casualties, [based on the Lancet Report which surveyed casualties from March of 2003 to July of 2006] the shredding of the social fabric of the nation, civil war, lack of access to food, shelter, electricity, clean drinking water and health care because this Administration, with the active participation of the Congress, authorized a war without reason, without conscience, without international law.

The current combat is not all that troubles me.  Much that is occurring in present day America and throughout the globe causes great distress.  I want us to embrace every aspect of life completely.  Reform for me is not wise if it is random.  I have no desire to change for the sake of change.  My interest is in encouraging equality for all.  May we live for the Seventh Generation.  As I assess the Kucinich agenda, I believe this Representative has our shared health in mind.  Kucinich states . . .

Issues
I want to inspire America to take a new path, a different direction.

I envision an America which has the capacity to reconnect with the heart of the world; an America which proceeds in the world optimistically and courageously.  An America which understands that the world is interdependent, that it is inter-connected, and that what we do today impacts future generations.

I want to break the shackles of fear which have deprived our citizens of rights.  We need to change the way this country values humanity, so that instead of fear and lies, we can live our lives based on principles of peace and hope.  We need to regain the trust of the American people and we need to have a government which trusts the American people.

It’s time for America to resume its glorious journey; time to reject shrinking jobs and wages, disappearing savings and rights; time to reject the detour towards fear and greed.  It’s time to look out upon the world for friends, not enemies; time to counter the control of corporations over our politics, our economy, our resources, and mass media.

It’s time for those who have much to help those who have little, by maintaining a progressive tax structure.  It’s time to tell the world that we wish to be their partner in peace, not their leader in war.  Most of all, it is time for America to again be the land where dreams come true, because the government is on the side of its people.

Ten Key Issues

  • Universal Health Care
  • International Cooperation: US out of Iraq, UN in
  • Jobs and Withdrawal from NAFTA and WTO
  • Repeal of the “Patriot Act”
  • Guaranteed Quality Education, Pre-K Through College
  • Full Social Security Benefits at Age 65
  • Right-to-Choose, Privacy and Civil Rights
  • Balance Between Workers and Corporations
  • Environmental Renewal and Clean Energy
  • Restored Rural Communities and Family Farms

  • As much as I believe there is a need to arraign this Administration, I fear that will not be possible.  Those that can take action have delayed and deferred their responsibility to the people.  Our nation is suffering.  Much in America needs our attention.  I ask, “If not now, when?”  I can only hope that by 2008, America will be courageous.  Citizens will not choose a candidate for their charisma and panache.  A bankroll will not impress and thirty-second commercials will not sway a savvy voter.  I invite you to travel to Congressman Kucinich’s site.  Read what is more than rhetoric; then decide.  As Hillary proposed, I would like to begin a genuine conversation.

    Furthering the future . . .

  • Bush challenges hundreds of laws, President cites powers of his office.  By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. April 30, 2006
  • pdf Bush challenges hundreds of laws, President cites powers of his office.  By Charlie Savage.  Boston Globe. April 30, 2006
  • The Beer Test, Presidential personalities. By Jonah Goldberg.  National Review. February 21, 2007
  • Dennis Kucinich for President 2008 Channel.
  • Kucinich for President 2008
  • Issues
  • The World Can’t Wait
  • The Kucinich Plan for Iraq
  • Universal Health Care
  • International Cooperation: US out of Iraq, UN in
  • Jobs and Withdrawal from NAFTA and WTO
  • Repeal of the “Patriot Act”
  • Guaranteed Quality Education, Pre-K Through College
  • Full Social Security Benefits at Age 65
  • Right-to-Choose, Privacy and Civil Rights
  • Balance Between Workers and Corporations
  • Environmental Renewal and Clean Energy
  • Restored Rural Communities and Family Farms
  • Call For Change; The Battle Cry Continues ©

    In the spirit of Veterans Day, a revolutionary election, and a society that is now more reflective, I pose this question, “Why Billy; Why?”

    I did ask Donald.  I questioned George.  I queried Dick; I sought answers from my representatives. 

    While the system shows us change is possible, I acknowledge it is slow.  I believe we cannot be solely celebratory.  We must remember there is much work to be done and if we, as individuals, do not do it, who will?  If each of us does not choose to begin independently of what others, think, say, do, or feel, who will start the process.  We must believe and act on our beliefs.

    The war is not yet over.  The issues still haunt us.  Health care, wages, Social Security, voters’ rights, election dilemmas, immigration issues, and education are all beckoning.  Please heed their call.  Please contact Congress; call your neighbors.  Speak to your friends, your family, and familiars.  Write to anyone and everyone.  We never know who might be reading our words.

    I invite you to join in this domestic deliverance.  The struggle did not end on Election Day or with the Rumsfeld resignation.  Please continue to Call for Change.

    Please reflect; ponder this presentation, Why Billy Why?
    I realize, and hope we all recognize, there are still needs, and desires for answers.


    Review the References.  Choose your position.  Pursue, as you will . . .

  • Health, A Right or a Privilege For The Few, Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
  • General Information on the Minimum Wage. The Economic Policy Institute.
  • An introduction to Social Security. The Economic Policy Institute.
  • Introduction To Federal Voting Rights Laws. United States Department of Justice
  • Keeping the Voting Clean, By Richard L. Hasen. New York Times. November 11, 2006
  • It is the Economy [or Education], Stup**!, Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
  • Bush immigration plan has new chance, By Dave Montgomery. Detroit Free Press. November 12, 2006
  • MoveOn 2006

  • “Social Security, When “Never” is Defined as “2042” ©

    When did definitions first become malleable?  At what point did people begin to adjust these for context?  Each time I hear President George W. Bush say that he needs to “educate” America, to tell us the “truth” about Social Security, I wonder.  Mr. Bush claims that he wants to  “teach” the nation.  However, the evidence shows that he intends to “persuade” us.  Since Bush 43 took office, definitions have been destroyed in deference to political or personal agendas.  “Promotion” passes for “instruction,” and the General Accounting Office repeatedly reprimands this administration for such.

    I trust that distortion existed long before the year 2000, or even 1945, when George Orwell first published his political spoofs.  I know that George W. Bush did not invent propaganda; nor did George Orwell.  However, when I listen to this President, I cannot help but think of the relationship between the two.  One wrote of the power of persuasion in political forums and the other is out and about, acting on it.

    As we see, hear, and read, King George II is asserting his power.  He is speaking to the people, repeating his rhetoric, determined to prove that if he says it often enough the people will believe.  He says the Social Security program is in “crisis,” there is a “problem.”  The system is flawed and it will go “bust.”  Yet, I read economists assertions, reports stating that Social security will never go broke.  Experts say, as long as payroll taxes are paid into the system, the program is secure.

    When I hear the administration claim what authorities say is false and unfounded, I think of Animal Farm.  The idea of “Newspeak” beckons.  I remember ??the ruling elites can and do easily use language to persuade those of lesser means; they present incorrect or illogical thoughts as though they were fact.’

    I recall 1984 when President Bush praises a program of privatization and individual accounts, then, affirms that this plan will do nothing to address the dilemma of solvency.  I remember the theory of “doublethink.”  I witness that, indeed, people can hold two contradictory beliefs simultaneously, and accept both of them as truth.

    George W. Bush speaks and the concepts of George Orwell echo in my mind.  I trust that Orwell’s writing did not bring these practices into our lives.  Nonetheless, as our President chatters, I feel as though I am trapped in an Orwellian novel.

    King George is the master of language.  The Bush banter is a carefully crafted combination of “Newspeak” and “doublethink.”  Our President delivers “doublespeak.”  His Whitehouse packages, wraps, covers, and cocoons its message.  They sing their mantra and they convince many to hum along.

    Mr. Bush, wealthy son of a political dynasty, a man among the elite, has sung many tunes since his political career began.  Most popular among these is the current, “The Social Security sky is falling.”  Though many economists have long sung a different tune, “The sky is not falling; nor will it” these experts are barely heard above the hype and hollers of the Bush band.

    In 1977, Texas Congressional candidate Bush began his blitz.  He wrote the melody and the lyrics; then, he went out on the road.  He actively campaigned against Social Security.  He claimed the program was flawed and that within ten years the system would be “bust.”  Now, almost three decades later, we still await his apocalypse.

    Then and now, economists and experts tell a different tale.  Theirs is expressed in a folk song, one that reflects the lives of commoners.  They tell us that the system has its strengths.  They admit that adjustments and augmentations may be necessary; however, they assure us that the system cannot possibly go “bust.”  Nevertheless, Bush croons on.

    “All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way.

    People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes,

    And the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”

      George Orwell [Author, 1984, Animal Farm, and Politics and the English Language]

    Prior to 2001 and the famous, or infamous, Bush tax-cut, Social Security was strong.  We had a budget surplus; there were revenues that, by law, could, only be used to pay Social Security beneficiaries and yet, they were used to cover budget shortfalls.  Yes, it is true; Bush was not the first to use these additional funds to conceal debt.  However, George W. Bush does it better than all those before him.  He has stolen more money from the surplus than other president.  He has increased the speed of our slide substantially.

    In 2001, the Whitehouse proposed and Congress approved a budget borrowing $9 billion from Social Security savings.  In April of that same year, the Congressional Budget Office assessed our nation’s “spending.”  The CBO established that if we continued to pay out as much as we were, we would again need to dip into Social Security surplus.  They projected that by 2003 we would double our dip.  We would need to borrow $18 billion of the tax revenues.  The Budget Office estimated that borrowing against the overage would continue unless we, as a nation, chose to make changes.  We changed.

    We began our war on Terrorism.  We bombed Afghanistan, then Iraq.  Our leaders told us that this was essential.  Saddam Hussein and his ilk had Weapons of Mass Destruction; they were intent on destroying us.  American citizens were told that Hussein was responsible for the World Trade Center attack.  Yet, he was not.  He and his country did not have the capability or capacity.  Misinformation abounds.  However, once engaged, who among us would not be persuaded to spend dollars for our defense?  After all, we would want to support our troops.

    Hence, we spend more frantically.  Thus far, the war effort alone has cost the United States $180 billion, an expense that increases, $122, 820 per minute, $7.4 million per hour, and $177 million per day.  How much of this money was taken from our Social Security reserves?  How much could have been used elsewhere, to improve conditions here in America?  One can only speculate.

    As the conflict progresses, and other programs expand, in 2005, we borrow boldly.  Bush proposes more brazenly and his Republican Congress grants his wishes.

    We, as a nation, have made other changes.  Since 2004, we calculate productivity differently than we once did.  Numbers are adjusted and hence the estimated future of Social Security is altered.  We do not use the same standard that we did in the past.  Conveniently, current computations affirm the Administration’s claims.

    UC Berkeley professor of Economics and research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Brad Delong states, “Had the Trustees used the process that was in place prior to 2004, they would have projected a long-term productivity growth of 1.9 percent per year rather than the 1.6 percent they employ.”  Using erroneous estimations, the Trustees project a growth rate that is  “lower than both the 40-year and 10-year average.”  Bush and his Affluent Association does not tell us this truth; instead they tells us their own.

      “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable,

    And to give the appearance of solidarity to pure wind.”

      George Orwell [Author, 1984, Animal Farm, and Politics and the English Language]

    The truth that the general-public hears is presidential posturing.  We hear of the “problem,” or the “crisis.”  We hear the words of our prophet president.  Mr. Bush states, individual investments will produce greater income for all.  Is this “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”  The Center for Economic and Policy Research thinks not.  In an assessing stock returns and administrative costs, and “using realistic projections” the Center concluded that the Bush proposals were “unrealistic.”

    The fact is that there is ample research that reveals contrary to the Bush repartee.  There are economists that tout a healthy future for the Social Security program, though sadly, their voices are stifled.  In this age of Republican rule, the roars of the “Right” reap greater rewards.  Words are skewed and distortion is in distribution.

    For instance, on March 23, 2005, the Trustees presented a revised report on the status of Social Security.  In writing of this review, Associated Press economic journalist, Martin Crutsinger overstated the facts.  He attributed statements to Treasury Secretary John Snow that were not his.  According to Crutsinger, Snow announced that payroll taxes would need to be increased by 3.5 percentage points or benefits would have to be cut by nearly 25 percent to met the needs of soon-to-retire baby-boomers.  Actually, Snow said, payroll taxes would have to be raised by 1.92 percentage points.  Benefits would have to be reduced by 12.8 percent.  These misstatements make the alleged Social Security “crisis” seem far more ominous then what is.

    “Political chaos is connected with the decay of language.

    One can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.”

      George Orwell [Author, 1984, Animal Farm, and Politics and the English Language]

    Yet, the ominous is what we are told.  Little of the “truth,” and less of Social Security successes are shared.  However, a system that the Whitehouse and its wunderkinds say is going bust has many triumphs.  Currently, there are some 45 million persons receiving Social Security reimbursements.  For most of these, the plan serves as insurance protection.  More than one third of the recipients, some 17 million, are not retired workers!

    In 2003, according to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, there were 3,961,000 children survivors receiving benefits.  Some 29,532,000 elderly and/or retired accepted these needed checks.  Of the disabled, 5,874,000 collected Social Security.  Many widowed mothers, 190,000 also obtained assistance.  Widowers and widows alike, 4,707,000 were helped by these compensations.  Social Security also provided for 2,000 parents.  In 2003, of the total population, 290.8 million, [2005 World Almanac], just over fifteen percent [15.25%] received Social Security benefits.  Proposals to privatize the system would have a profound effect on these millions, and what effects some, affects us all.

    Regardless, President Bush continues to rock and roll on; he tours the nation.  He peddles his doublespeak.  He stands at podiums, pontificates at pep rallies.  He speaks before paid audiences and the general-public looks on.  They see him on television; listen to him on radios, and they read his plan in the papers.  As the message is repeated, people begin to believe.

    The country is convinced, there is a “problem,” and they hope that King George or his knights will provide a solution.  They forget what words can wield; they thought that the ideas in Animal Farm and 1984 were fictitious.  They did not realize that “success” could literally be defined as “failure.”  They did not believe that “never” could be interpreted as “2042.”  Moreover, they never imagined that George W. Bush could be George Orwell in action; yet, he is!

    Stay tuned, THE HISTORY OF HEDONISM, OR SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM © is coming soon.

    Brad DeLong offer his thoughts, Why Oh Why Are We Ruled by These Liars? (Yet Another Bush Social Security Edition).

    Please read Robert Reich, American Prospect, Connect the Dots.  He discusses the suplus.

    Please consider MaxSpeak as he discusses the math used to calculate Social Security MORE MATH PROBLEMS AT THE POST

    Please explore and consider an animated presentation, by Lee Arnold.  Social Security: The Real Connections

    Please refer to the statistics and essays Bruce Webb offers.  In his weblog, Webb discusses Social Security solvency and says, “This site aims to put the debate over Social Security privatization firmly on a numeric basis. There is a lot of rhetoric flowing, but little focus on the economic assumptions underlying the talk of the Trust Fund going broke in some future year, “requiring” some effort to fix the system. Is it really “broke”? Does it even need a fix? The numbers suggest not.”

    You may wish to consider two or more of Bruce Webb’s discourses.

    First the facts, What is the Low Cost alternative? What does it mean?

    Secondly, Social Security: it is about Solvency or about Ayn Rand?

    Increase Wealth, Increase The Deficit ©

    In the year 2000, President Select, George W. Bush, [anointed by Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist,] inherits a budget surplus.  Feeling empowered by his office and wanting to please his constituency, he convinces Congress to cut taxes.  This action increases wealth for the already wealthy and provides a pittance for the others.  The surplus slide is set in motion and the drain begins.

    On September 14, 2001 President Bush travels to Ground Zero.  He wishes to calm the country.  As he starts to speak, a voice in the crowd calls to him.  The caller shouts, that he can barely hear the President’s words.  In response, Bush proudly proclaims, “I can hear you!  I can hear you!  The rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”  King George Bush II declares war on terrorism.  To this end, he elects to attack Afghanistan and Iraq unilaterally.  This decision increases assets for the affluent.  Businesses build; defensive spending is on the rise.  However, financing these conflicts is costly.  Budget shortfalls be damned; we are at war!

    Now, four years later, our current President is actively pushing a program that he and his fellow financiers have wanted for decades.  He is asking the public to privatize Social Security.  He states that if taxes are no longer taken from pay checks and the funds are instead invested in the market, think of how great the capital gains might be; at least for those that have much to invest.  With individual accounts, those that already invest wisely will be able compound their gains.  George and his gang are among those that do invest well; they are practiced and possibly, probably, with privatization, they will increase their gains.  Therefore, he and his benefactors are proposing an ownership society.

    Bush and his band admit that privatization will not bring solvency to the Social Security system, however, they will be happy.  He and his heretics concede that this plan will not create a more secure system.  Nonetheless, Bush, billionaires, his buds, and his base want this plan!  Initially, this program will cost two trillion dollars to implement, and it will increase the deficit further.

    According to the history of similar structures in places such as Chile, individual retirement accounts lack security; the poor become poorer.  The disabled, children, survivors, and the elderly will not have the security that this fund currently provides and what of our budget?  Presently, numbers are adjusted; we borrow from the Social Security surplus so that our budget will appear more in balance.  In actuality, our shortfalls are even larger than reported!  If the true figures were released, we would know that our deficit is much greater than the Administration claims!

    However, Bush tells us not to worry.  He reminds us of the glory of the Bill, Bill Clinton that is.  President Bush 43 conveniently proves that a deficit can be turned into a surplus; after all Clinton did it.  Therefore, there is no need to worry.  We can continue cutting taxes, increase the wealth of the wealthy, and add to the deficit.  All will be fine or will it?

    Our debt and deficits affects us all.  More Americans are declaring bankruptcy than ever before.  Medical bills, low wages, those that do not keep up with inflation, downsizing, and divorce cause fiscal devastation.  The average person is buying on credit, they are not spending frivolously; they are fighting to survive. Bills mount and people pay, as they are able.  However, billionaires and big businesses want more; the bankruptcy of others brings them less.  Consequently, they lobby.  Weeks ago Congress proposed and passed the Bankruptcy Bill.  The benefit of this bill is that the rich will get richer and the poor, well, they suffer, sadly, and too often in silence.  They do this in the ghettos and enclaves that the affluent never visit.  They are out of sight, and out of mind.  Their debt is societies deficit and it increases!

    This past week is as all weeks during the Bush presidency; the beat goes on.  George W., with the help of the “Billionaires Boys and Girls Club,” otherwise known as the United States Congress, chooses to permanently repeal the Estate and Gift Tax.  They have been working to do this for years.  At the start, they realized that that if they called it the “Death” tax people would wish to avoid it.  In actuality, those that die do not pay; those that inherit do.  Even at that, only the smallest percent of the population inherit enough to be affected.  Nonetheless, this small number is among the Bush base; they are the affluent.  Therefore, with silver spoon in his mouth, the President pushed for this passing. George W. Bush and his fellow prosperous pals gain again, and the deficit will grow.  What is it that they say?  The rich get richer, and the poor?  Well, they just fade away or do they too grow in numbers?  If we grow the deficit, they likely will.

    Some economists believe that it is necessary to have underprivileged.  There are experts that think the wealthy need the less fortunate in order to prosper.  Many feel that the deprived further facilitate the rich getting richer and after all, we all wish to be rich.  Therefore, we need to cultivate a lower class.  Others trust in the trickle-down theory.  However, I think that there are other possibilities.  I observe nature and urge us to consider the nature of nature.

    In nature, there is infinite abundance!  All is growing; all is replenishing eternally.  If we take a pail full of water from the ocean, the ocean is not less a container full of water; it renews itself.  If we remove sand or soil, nature will create more.  If we spray insects in our attempt to lessen the population, we will discover that the insect population does not die.  Globally it continually increases, as it has done for centuries.  Nature is abundance.

    If we emulate nature, we can increase the wealth without increasing the deficit, and it is true, Clinton did it.  The rich did get richer; the deficit was diminished and ultimately eliminated.  A surplus was created and the poor prospered commensurately.

    I propose prosperity for all.  Seek abundance, not for a few or for friends and family.  Seek abundance for all, everywhere.  Please President Bush, increase wealth without increasing the deficit!  It is possible, probable; it is the nature of nature!

    The introduction to MaxSpeak seems most suitable here.  Max Sawicky offers the words of a political economist and philosopher, Adam Smith [1723 – 1790.]

    The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.”

    Please take a moment to listen to Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich speak on the Social Security Surplus!

    Please consider The Brookings Institute, Economic Papers. Gale and Slemrod write on “We Tax Dead People

    You may wish to read MaxSpeak, “Eat the Rich”.  Max, discusses the Esate and Gift Tax.

    1984, 1988, The Brave New World. 632 AF [After Ford] ©

    Now, two of these dates have passed with little of the predicted fanfare. You may recall the fears and fiction of 1984 by George Orwell; however, do you recall the folly and fortunes told by George W. Bush?

    It was 1978, congressional candidate George Walker Bush was campaigning. He went out on the Texas stump and began speaking of the inevitable, the demise of Social Security. He predicted its bankruptcy and stated that by 1988, the system would be “bust!” He was not alone in this fostering of fear; there were others. They focused on the faults within the Social Security system and not the benefits. They each presented these flaws as fatal.

    According to many sources, the Economic Policy Institute among them, those fighting against Social Security protections were not the poor, the downtrodden, the disabled, the elderly, dependent children, or those whose income left them little extra for saving. They were not those that needed the protection of a system such as this. For the most part those that protested the structure were persons with ample wealth and prosperity. Their concern was often for having more while here on Earth and leaving more for their progeny. They were interested in their own profits and not in the poverty, provisions, and the potential for those less fortunate. Those speaking out against Social Security believed that any individuals can, and should be able to take care of themselves alone, regardless of the circumstances.

    * Please listen to Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich speak on the Social Security Surplus!

    To read the text of this commentary, please refer to “Connect the Dots,” a piece published in The American Prospect.

    Among those wishing to eliminate Social Security, was and is free-market economist Milton Friedman. In the 1950’s, Professor Friedman presented his arguments for privatizing Social Security, he and others of means, endorsed public policies that stressed individual ownership. Initially, his work was merely an academic exercise. Dr. Friedman developed his theory during his tenure at the University of Chicago, 1946 through 1976. Friedman being a scholar was among the elite; his proposals and papers were highly regarded. Therefore, his thoughts were considered more credible than those of others. His writings gave birth to a serious crusade, the elimination of Social Security.

    In actuality, Friedman was not the first to discuss this. From the time of its inception in 1935, Libertarians throughout the land were protesting the program. Those with copious capital were also against the idea of Social Security. Yet, when Friedman spoke of the same, people listened more intently. His credentials as a successful economist, one that advocates the preservation and expansion of individual freedoms were just what the like-minded affluent and Libertarians needed. As recently reported in the Los Angeles Times, under Milton Friedman’s tutelage, the movement gained momentum.

    When Professor Friedman first wrote of revamping Social Security, he stressed eliminating the “social” and the “security” from Social Security. He was and is in favor of enriching the “individual” and the idea, of “ownership.” However, in proposing his hypothesis he did not consider that, individuals do not exist in isolation. His proponents did not conceive of this possibility either. Nor did he or his followers consider that “owners” do not necessarily have complete control over their possessions.

    Perhaps, many of these persons were and are Chief Executive Officers. Possibly, they have and had a greater sense of authority over their assets than the average American does. For the average American holding stocks, investing in funds, and purchasing certificate shares, is what they or we do when there is extra. Rarely, does our ownership of these yield opulence. Even the wealthy intellectually know that investing in the stock market can be a gamble, a crapshoot, and an action that offers only a small sense of control.

    I ask that each of us, even the well-off, to please consider your own personal history. Whether you are wealthy or not; are you able to completely control your possessions? Do they not break, belie, and burden you at times? Yes, the things that you own may bring benefits, however, you cannot accurately predict when or if these will come. As individuals we work to profit; we postulate that we alone know what is best, not only for ourselves, but for others. We assume that if we invest wisely, prosperity will come. Yet, it does not always, nor does it come easily for most of us.

    Many of us have experienced times when we thought that we were being judicious with our finances and then, later discovered that we had not been. There were aspects and issues out of our control and those that we did not consider. As thinking people, we may wish to presume that if an allotment of money is given to us from our income, we would be able to maximize it. Yet, realistically, the dollars we invest are not ours alone, we invest in a company, a concept, and a configuration that requires that we share ownership. Seldom, is our money solely ours alone. When we buy into the market we are buying publicly traded stocks, bonds, or certificates. Our investments are influenced by a market economy, one that is fickle and can just as easily fail, as it might sail.

    Interestingly enough, any professional financier advises their clients to diversify, to consider the safety of funds, rather than rely solely on individual stocks. They speak of turning to indexes; they state that there is strength in numbers; strength in joining forces, strength in, dare I use the phrase from Aesop’s fables “Bundle of Sticks,” ??There is strength in union!’ Hence, we have the logic of our joint venture into the Social Security System. Safeties and securities are built into this system. There are protections and provisions for inflation; management fees are also considered. There are benefits within the Social Security System that are lacking in the policies that promote privatization.

    Yet, those that wish to maximize their personal investing power choose to ignore these facts. They prefer to deny that not all are equally equipped to invest and to do it well, that if people were given that same fractional portion of their income to invest, some deposits and potential gains would be small, even paltry, in comparison to wealthier others. Those well informed in financing, dismiss the fact that most lack a working knowledge of economic theories, and while it is true that they can learn, who will fund and furnish this education. Functioning as an island, operating with fewer options, having less to draw from or on, is never as fruitful in working in association with others.

    Nonetheless, those that would benefit from privatization, individual ownership, those that would receive greater gains on their capital, George W. Bush and his bandwagon continue to beat the drum of doom. They hype fear and cry of a crisis, or what was once a crisis. The New York Times recently reported that the rhetoric of “crisis” did not poll well; therefore, the term has been changed, What Bush once called a crisis is now known as a “serious problem.”

    “Serious problem” or “crisis,” those against the program are as steadfast as they were decades ago. They now claim just as they did then. They continue to predict and prophesize peril. They persist in gathering for the storm, and for a gloom that did not come in 1988. They neglect to tell us why their earlier forecasts never came, and this information is significant. It is important to know why the system did not fail and to learn from this.

    Social Security did not go ‘bust’ because there were those that chose to recognize what was, to reflect, and then, to resolutely act, rather than react. Many chose to be aware, to acknowledge what was not working well, and then, make corrections. In 1983, Congress came together and worked to improve the structure, to refine the design, and to strengthen the support that Social Security provides. They amended the plan and solvency was restored, actually, a surplus was created. Though the naysayers continue to say it is not so. Please read the amendments enacted in 1983; assess these for your self.

    After evaluating the changes made to the Social Security plan in 1983, consider the most recent report submitted by the Congressional Budget Office on the future of the same. This account offers a more optimistic projection than the President and his pals do. The CBO estimates that Social Security will exhaust its Treasury’s supply by 2052, whereupon the tax revenue it takes in will be able to pay out 81 percent of its obligations. Even at those reduced rates, the benefits that retirees receive would be higher in today’s dollars than those that current retirees are awarded.

    Regardless, the stance of those that wish to scrap the system is as solid as it was decades ago! They are stating that we need to; that we must, obliterate what is working and start anew. This is as people often do, when they do not like what is, when what is does not benefit them personally. Instead of acknowledging what is working well and alter aspects that need reconfiguring, they simply trash it all, in its entirety. When people do destroy what is, eventually, they discover that much of the quality of the original is lost.

    Whether the action is personal or political, it is costly. Millions, billions, and in this case, an estimated [two] trillions of dollars will be spent on seeking a solution, a solution that may be worse than what was. For reactive behaviors such as this are frequently followed by a realization, there are flaws in the new arrangements. The cost to right the new wrong is even greater than a slight correction of the original might have been.

    Yes, there are still concerns in the current Social Security System and these do need to be attended to. However, Bush is not asking us to address these issues, he is requesting more. He is proposing a complete change, asking us to abandon what is, and to eliminate an essence that is of great value to many, to most, and simply not serving the wealthy as well. Trite though true, when we opt for a complete change we often “throw the baby out with the bath water.” To truly learn, we must look at life as a progression, a building, not a destroying. We evolve when we consider our errors and when we use these to educate ourselves. When we reject what is, when we “cut and run” we often create situations that are worst than the first. Yet, this is as Bush and his bunch are proposing to do.

    The administration and its alliances want us to ignore that the Social Security system has secured an income for our less fortunate elders, the disabled, dependent children, disadvantaged, and others in need. Prior to the initiation of Social Security, a large portion of the population was destined to a life of poverty. Without Social Security, over 11 million seniors would not survive. Women comprise sixty percent of all recipients. The majority of these women receive fifty to ninety percent of their income from Social Security payments. Then there are the dependent youth, survivors, and spouses of those whose lives were lost; there are the disabled, the disadvantaged, and others. Social security protects these persons from poverty. Without Social Security as it is, I ask what will become of these people?

    Even President Bush acknowledges that Social Security benefits many and that some are short-changed. He recently spoke of how “blacks” do not receive as much as other races do. He offered the likelihood that African Americans are and will be given less, for their lifespan is shorter. When I heard of this statement, I could not help but wonder why do we not address the issues that would lengthen their life span? Why, for the most part, do they not have equal opportunities for “black” persons and other minorities?  William E. Spriggs, discussed the “truth” Bush proposed. He writes, African Americans and Social Security, Why the Privatization Advocates Are Wrong,Dollars and Sense, The Magazine of Economic Justice.

    Currently and since our founding, we the people of the United States of America have not had genuine equality. Therefore, Americans in their infinite wisdom chose to secure not only their own lives, but also those of others. Actually, when we help others, all reap the rewards. The economy is strengthened when everyone has viable income. We profit, as a whole, when we protect each other from poverty.

    Together, we are the people, the people of the “United” States of America. We know to our core just as Lincoln offered, “United we stand!” Thus, I ask, what of the people? What will we the people, those that work daily, are paid hourly, or have salaries sufficient to support our family and ourselves do? Will we, those that have few profits, those that struggle to survive, will we, those that thrive, though not excessively so, will we let the prediction of Aldus Huxley be what comes? Will we become a Brave New World, just as the world Huxley wrote of? The author surmised that our world was becoming one in which there would be one global-government, a regime of the rich, one that would rise to power, stripping the common people of their freedom. Will we allow our world to be that Brave New World?
    After sharing my own thoughts, I decided to read other offerings on the Social Security controversy.  You may wish to connect to these thoughts as well.

    On February 8, 2005, Mary Lynn F. Jones of Alternet wrote of Internal Bleeding within the Republican Party.

    Farhad Manjo of Salon.com asks, “Does Social Security Shortchange Blacks?”

    Days after my writing, on February 9, 2005, Former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich spoke of the Social Security Surplus!  Please take a moment to listen this Fascinating Commentary!!

    See how the System of Personal, Individual Accounts is working or is not in Chile.  Please read “A Personal Burden; Chile switched to a privatized pension system”.

    Please consider MaxSpeak as he discusses the math used to calculate Social Security MORE MATH PROBLEMS AT THE POST

    Please explore and consider an animated presentation, by Lee Arnold.  Social Security: The Real Connections

    Please consider the Cost. Bruce Webb offers the Social Security Trustees reports What is the Low Cost alternative? What does it mean? Webb discusses the significance of these facts.

    How Many More? ©

    How many reports must credible sources release before we recognize what is?
    How many pills must the pharmaceuticals produce before we accept that these do not cure our ills?
    How many persons will lose Medicare benefits, before we realize that people will die?
    How many persons will not receive Social Security, not for fatal flaws,
    But because we have used the funds to fill in for budget blunders?
    How many children will be left behind, now that there is the false hope of “No Child Left Behind?”
    How many persons will be without the benefits of full employment, now that the economy is expanding?
    How many uninsured will it take til we know, that too many people cannot participate in preventative medicine?
    How many more military industrial complexes will it take til we know that these are not democracy?
    How many worldwide deaths will it take til we know that too many people have died?
    How many gaffes will George W. growl, before we realize that these are as he intends?
    The answer my friend is blowing in the whirlwind, the answer is blowing in the media, political whirlwind.
      – with thanks to Bob Dylan

    Please consider other sources, such as, “Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine”
    Please ponder other presentations, ‘Medicare Reform: The Real Winners,’
    Please read and reflect, New York Times, Social Security Bashing: A Historical Perspective
    Please consider information, such as, ‘Every Child Left Behind,’ By Britt Robson"
    Please contemplate the concerns of many, ‘Coalition Casualty Count’
    Please also consider, “Iraq death toll ‘soared post-war’
    Please peruse another reference, . . . ‘bring ’em on, is the Bush doctrine!,’ By Craig B Hulet
    Please read an MSNBC report, reflect, and . . . ‘Bush regrets language that hurt diplomacy,’