Remember "Trickle Down" economics? Now we have "Ownership Society". It seems to amount to the same thing - making adjustments to the "safety net" to pay for tax cuts.
The thing about nets is, safety or otherwise, they have holes. One way to look at the difference between the Republicans and Democrats is that the Republicans would make those holes larger and the Democrats would make them smaller.
The Republicans claim that if taxes weren't so high, the individual would have more material to close those holes the way they see fit, without interference from the government. The Democrats claim that the individuals who need that material won't benefit enough from tax cuts, and more will, most likely, fall through the enlarged holes.
Tax cuts while waging war is bad economics. It's like increasing you're spending on food, clothing, housing, transportation while taking in less money.
To cover yourself, you start using your credit cards more. All credit comes with interest and that interest, along with what you actually spent, needs to be repaid. The longer you take to repay it, the greater your deficit and the more difficult it becomes to make ends meet.
Since you can't make more money like the government can (which, by the way devalues what you already have), you A) have to find other ways to bring in revenue; or B) spend less.
Now imagine that scenario in 4 out of every 10 houses in your neighborhood. Multiply that by the number of neighborhoods in the country and pretty soon you’ve got a big mess on your hands.
As an individual, you could declare bankruptcy but that just causes creditors to increase the cost of borrowing money for everyone else to cover and spread out the costs (remember this is a capitalist society despite what other want to call it). Of course, declaring bankruptcy isn't an option for the government.
Since bringing in additional revenue is difficult at best, and few can really do that, your only other course of action is to reduce your spending. You start buying cheaper cuts of meat, less fish, more pasta and beans. Y ou let your house and car go without needed repairs a little longer (of course you know it will cost more by the time you get around to it). Maybe you cut back on your insurance coverage – risky business. Clothing must last longer; you buy less and cheaper clothing when you have to. Y ou stop going to the movies and buy fewer gifts. What do you think the ripple effect of that is?
To begin with, you and your family are less happy and little arguments begin to escalate into larger ones. Because you're spending less, the places where you once spent your money have less coming in, so they have cut back inventory and lay off people. With less money coming into homes and businesses, fewer taxes are collected. The deficit grows larger and the economy slows or even reverses.
History shows us that those who benefit most from tax cuts are those who pay the most in taxes and can afford to pay for their own healthcare and invest for their retirement.
What would you call that, "Trickle Up" economics?
Three long years since our government failed to prevent the darkest day in United States history, the shroud of secrecy under which the George W. Bush administration thrives, continues to cast a dark foreboding shadow on truth and justice.
And the really scary thing is that all too many Americans remain tolerant.
Despite all the unanswered questions swirling about the Bush White House, by now we know enough of the facts, figures and flat out lousy calls on domestic and foreign policy that have plagued Bush's first term, to plainly see he is little more than a sideshow barker selling a smoke and mirrors act to an alarmingly gullible public.
The Bush cabal's perpetual sleight of hand is so far reaching that it's mind boggling.
As the bloody hell of Iraq spins further out of control daily, leaving more than 1,030 U.S. soldiers and counting dead, a neatly packaged war profiteering scheme signed, sealed and delivered by the epitome of arrogance himself, Vice President Dick Cheney, has dumped billions of dollars into the coffers of the company Cheney formerly ran, Halliburton.
Cheney's Halliburton cronies not only had the luxury of landing the lucrative deal for oil and gas services in Iraq without going to bid, but have pushed the envelope that much further, reportedly overcharging the government by more than $200 million and accepting $6 million in kickbacks from its subcontractors.
That's taxpayers' money lining the pockets of greedy insiders.
But all that's okay with at least half of Americans, according to most polls, who still insist on Cheney's puppet, Bush as their man.
More than 40 million people still can't afford health insurance. Prescription drug prices are double what they are anywhere else in the world.
The richest one percent of the country get the biggest tax breaks. And the Bush administration, by the end of its four years, will oversee the nation's first job loss in 72 years.
The poor state of affairs at home, however, didn't stop Bush and company from funneling in excess of $200 billion into this misbegotten war and growing the national deficit to a projected year-end $422 billion -- the largest debt in the United States' history.
Another first for the Bush administration.
As Coalition forces absurdly attempt to introduce democracy into a land that couldn't be more foreign from our own ideals and understanding, large areas of Iraq -- including parts of the supposedly liberated capital of Baghdad -- have come under the control of a growing number of fundamentalist Islamic insurgents.
And the hypnotized masses continue to mistake their alleged illustrious leader's abundant ignorance and arrogance as "courage and strength."
In the meantime, to conduct its supposed "War on Terror" in a relatively placid Iraq, the U.S. government yanked troops and intelligence resources away from Afghanistan's mountainous region and off the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the slime responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
And still, three long years and a bunch of rhetoric later, bin Laden is a free man.
Bizarrely, a loyal Bush crowd is still fooled by our presidential impostor, whose criminal assault on Americans' rights and reputation at home and abroad didn't start with Iraq or 911, but has plagued this country ever since he first highjacked the United States presidency nearly four years ago.
The list of the Bush administration's scandalous infractions against Americans' sense of truth and justice, what's right and wrong, has found it's way into new laws at home, such as the Patriot Act that works to compromise our freedoms, and grave injustices faraway, like the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal which is responsible for at least 30 Iraqi prisoner deaths.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld can take credit for that one. He authorized a secret pentagon operation condoning physical abuse and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners to gain intelligence.
The Iraq war itself enflamed the Islamic fundamentalist world. The Abu Ghraib pictures of prisoner abuse poured gasoline on the flames.
Are we Americans really safer as soldiers and civilians die by the handful daily in Iraq and acts of terrorism around the world are on the rise?
On Tuesday morning (Sept. 21) Bush had the gall to appear on national TV before the United Nations and talk about the importance of a Democratic government being accountable to the people it represents and how U.N. member countries must work together, rather than go it alone if they want to promote peace.
Who was that guy who ignored calls for level level-headedness from the United Nations and turned a deaf ear to U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix -- the man most familiar with Iraq's potential threat?
Who was that guy who purposely mislead the American public and the entire world with his feigned purse-lipped sincerity on those "imminent" reasons for invading Iraq?
A year and half later, an estimated 20,000 innocent Iraqi men, woman and children, who had as much a right to life as anyone have been wiped out as the U.S. government has alienated many U.N. countries and much of the world, which now view us as a bully nation.
Despite what some misguided folks think, appearances do matter.
Let's face it. Bush is an outright liar or a clueless pawn for more sinister conspiring minds in Washington. Whether it's one or the other -- or both -- he can't be trusted. Period.
Further evidence that this war was a major blunder lies in the coalition's overall lack of preparedness, strategically and equipment wise. Not until this past June did the Army make sure all its soldiers were supplied with Kelvar bullet-proof vests!
How many more soldiers lives could have been spared if the government equipped them properly from the gitgo?
And remember, many of the 7,000 some U.S. troops injured in Iraq need more than a simple head bandage, arm sling or pair of crutches; they no longer have an arm or a leg to patch up.
Really. Let's cut through all the crap! What's it going to take for Americans to see how the Bush administration has shamelessly preyed on their lingering pain and fears from 911 to ply its illegitimate schemes across the board?
How many more people have to be kidnapped and beheaded?
How many more seedy scandals of death, torture and blatant theft condoned by our government's top officials do we have to endure before we realize something is very wrong?
Of course, something has been very wrong since the Republican majority United States Supreme Court called a halt to Florida's hand recount of votes in the 2000 presidential election, disenfranchising thousands of voters in key Democratic counties of that battleground state -- which just happens to be governed by W.'s brother, Jeb Bush.
Partisan politics aside, there were simply too many suspect accounts coming out of Florida -- the supreme court's ruling, illegally disqualified votes, substandard voting equipment and reports of voter intimidation of black people to simply fluff them off.
If all vote ballots had been counted legally, results of a subsequent media consortium study suggests, Bush would have lost his bid for the presidency.
In light of recent problems with electronic voting machines in Florida and other states, and knowing the twisted tactics the Karl "Catastrophe" Rove-led Republicans are capable of when it comes to dirty politics, this is anything but a dead issue.
Plainly, the 2000 election shenanigans laid the ground work for 911 by delaying the new president's move into the oval office and forcing a changing of the guard from a Democratic to a Republican White House -- and all the distractions that brings -- while terrorist scum took their places, rubbing their clammy palms together in delight.
Once Bush was comfortably seated behind closed doors, mysteriously he still made it clear he didn't want to hear anything about Al Qaeda. Why?
Bush hasn't yet adequately explained why 44 morning memo intelligence reports mentioning Al Qaeda during those crucial months leading up to 911, failed to get his attention.
And why did Bush repeatedly blow off Richard Clarke -- clearly the government's most experienced counter-terrorism expert by virtue of serving three different presidential administrations -- who since the spring of 2001 had been urgently trying to get the president's ear on the snowballing threat of an Al Qaeda attack in America?
The swindling of the 2000 presidential elections shook this nation's very foundation, at first setting off imperceptible hairline fractures to our constitutional integrity, which three plus years later have given way to fully visible cracks.
Our current compromised state will most certainly result in the crumbling of prized ideals we once held dear, if Americans don't take a stand against Bush and the sinister warmongering cabal that controls him.
Americans are in this together. This country belongs to the hard working factory workers and farmers just as much as it is does to Bush and Cheney and their fat cat pals.
We have the power to take the first step in defending our privileges by voting on November 2, for Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry.
Bush must not only be defeated, but given a good ol' fashioned Texas whoopin' on election day. The more soundly he is thumped, the greater the chance we have of convincing the world that we know Bush was a mistake. Hence, the greater chance we have of reclaiming our God-given, constitutional rights at home and our reputation as a respected fair country abroad.
When weighing all the evidence -- what we know and just as importantly, what we don't -- an ugly picture begins to take shape. A picture, whose not-so-subtle textures and ominous shades of gray initially are unappealing, but eventually beg for consideration simply because they're there.
The picture's theme: greed, power. The subject: A nasty little war that stakes a claim on Middle East oil and lines the pockets of gluttonous corporate slugs who buy Bush's loyalty -- and ultimately his soul -- with hefty campaign contributions.
Oil is money. Money is power. And power corrupts. And corrupts. And corrupts.
The looming question now isn't how deep Bush's campaign of public deception ran throughout his first term, but if he is allowed a second, what dark road will he lead America down next?