Four years ago today, our nation was attacked by right-wing religious fanatics. Three thousand innocent people lost their lives to an extreme, unbalanced political and theocratic ideology that approves of violence to achieve its twisted goals. We should never forget what an acceptance of death and destruction as a tactic means for average, ordinary people ... anywhere on this globe. It is sad to say that part of the unfortunate results of the September 11, 2001 atrocity has been the increasingly unbalance political environment here in the United States. Bush and his cronies lied us into an unnecessary war against Iraq, and their belligerent attitude has isolated us in the world community. Their manipulation of fear for crass political advantage has given us the biggest increase in power for the central govenment that we may have ever seen in this country. And just as sadly, the botched federal response to Katrina has demonstrated that Bush and Cheney are incompetent and irresponsible in their administration of the national government. All that needs to change if we are to save the republic from further decline.
This Sunday morning, upon reading David Broder's column in the Denver Post, the consequences of five years of radical Republican rule was highlighted to me. I've linked here to the Washington Post where Broder's article originates. Imagine ... since Bush has been in office and nearly as long as Bob Beauprez has been in Congress, we have witnessed "a 50 percent increase in the cumulative debt from all of America's previous history." That is the record of radical Republicans in managing the federal budget. They will try and claim that the economy is growing because of the extreme Bush tax cuts, but it may be closer to the mark to say that we have had what little improvement in the economy there is because the federal government has engaged in the biggest amount of deficit spending ever.
It is remarkable that there is so little fiscal responsibility in Washington, D.C. ... that in just a week's time, the Congress passed and Bush signed spending of $62 BILLION for Hurricane Katrina relief without constructing any means to pay for that spending. I am in favor of doing what is required to relieve the suffering that has resulted from this calamitous natural disaster, but we have got to re-enter the world of reality and start making decisions about how all of these grandeous government schemes are going to be paid for.
Bush and Cheney and the extremist neocons suckered this country into a war in Iraq that is costing billions and billions of dollars, but not once have they proposed any way to pay for this war. This same gang has created the Department of Homeland Security -- the biggest increase in the size of the federal government since World War II -- and they have never said how they are going to pay for it. These fiscal radicals have enacted a prescription drug plan -- and lied about the cost -- and never explained how we're supposed to pay for it. And these people want us to believe that they are the economically responsible bunch? Bob Beauprez voted for virtually every bit of these unfunded government programs that are drowning the federal budget in red ink ... and he wants to be governor of Colorado in charge of our state budget? Just how nuts is he and how crazy are his supporters?
In my opinion, it is just plain immoral to engage in this kind of government borrowing ... it passes trillions of dollars in financial obligation on to the next several generations -- that is wrong. Why should our great grandchildren have to pay for the mistake of the Iraq war? If the neocons believe it is so worth it, why aren't they there fighting it and why aren't they willing to pay for it now?!
It is also very sad and pathetic, in my view, that the national Democrats have voted to go along with much of what Bush has proposed and that they have not insisted upon fiscal responsibility ... because they get campaign contributions from pretty much the same economic special interests as the radical Republicans. This is why our future prosperity may depend upon a break with the politics that has gotten us to this sad state. The Green Party and Green candidates are leaders and innovators in this effort to reclaim our democracy.
I'll put this very simply for my part as a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives. If I am elected, I will support repeal of all of the Bush tax cuts. Then we can start over again to enact tax policy that makes the elite pay their fair share and is equitable for the working people in this country. I do not believe that middle income and working Americans are paying too little tax ... they are paying too much -- but the corporate elite and the non-laboring so-called "investor class" are definitely paying too little! Furthermore, I believe progess towards a balanced federal budget, and subsequent genuinely low interest rates, are good for America and the vast majority of our people.
So here is another challenge to the other candidates in the Seventh Congressional District: I will say up front and forthrightly -- I would vote to repeal the Bush tax give-aways -- all of them. Will Perlmutter and Lamm make that pledge? Will O'Donnell and Paschall make that declaration?
Or is talk of balanced federal budgets and fiscal 'conservatism' just that ... talk?
The scale of the failure is measured by a set of numbers that Rep. John Spratt of South Carolina, the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, carries with him. They chart the annual increases passed by Congress in the national debt limit. In 2002 it was $450 billion; in 2003, $984 billion; in 2004, $800 billion; and this year, the House has passed an increase of another $781 billion, on which the Senate has yet to act. That totals a stunning $3 trillion in additional debt in four years -- a 50 percent increase in the cumulative debt from all of America's previous history. When you look at that record, the self-congratulatory tone of the Republicans who have been running Washington seems absurdly unjustified. ... Now those pre-Katrina estimates have been rendered even more ridiculous. In the first 10 days since the storm hit, the president asked Congress for emergency appropriations of $62 billion -- and the bills are just starting to come in. The question is whether this will force the president and congressional Republicans to suspend their obsessive drive to reduce the revenue base of the federal government, or whether they will finally start paying the bills their government is incurring. ... Treasury Secretary John Snow reportedly told congressional Republicans in a closed meeting that Katrina strengthens the case for making the Bush tax cuts permanent. ... The warning signs of impending economic calamity are every bit as evident as the forecasts of ruin for New Orleans when a major hurricane hit. The runaway budget deficits are compounded by the persistent and growing imbalance in our trade accounts -- jeopardizing the inflow of foreign funds we have used to finance our debt.