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The Democrats 5 point plan for America
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, October 05, 2005

This last Sunday, Rahm Emanuel was on “Meet the Press” and floated a 5 point Democrat plan for the coming elections. Per Emanuel, Democrats want to:
“One, we make college education as universal for the 21st century that a high school education was in the 20th.”


“Second, we get a summit on the budget to deal with the $3 trillion of debt that's been added up in five years and structural deficits of $400 billion a year. “


“Third, an energy policy that says in 10 years, we cut our dependence on foreign oil in half and make this a hybrid economy. “


“Four, we create an institute on science and technology that builds for America like, the National Institutes has done for health care, we maintain our edge. “


“And five, we have a universal health-care system over the next 10 years where if you work, you have health care.”
Now other than looking like the usual liberal agenda financed by smoke and mirrors, I defy anyone to tell me what’s new or exciting about this list?

4 of the 5 involve massive government programs or massive government spending, yet point number 2 gives lip service to dealing with the deficit and debt. A summit? What kind of plan is that? Any guess as to what a "summit" would conclude? Can you say "raise taxes?". Because by looking at the other 4 points, it's obvious that cutting spending isn't a party priority.

For example, when Russert asked who would pay for point one, Emanuel said “the American people …”. Well, yeah. So how does that work in terms of deficit and debt reduction?

Russert also used the “T” word:
MR. RUSSERT: In order to pay for those programs, you'd consider raising taxes?

REP. EMANUEL: I think in this time and age, when we face the challenges we have, everybody has skin in the game. And I think the tax policies we have in place reward the type of culture of cronyism where, in fact, what we're doing is protecting the most well off while we throw middle-class families in front of the train.
Speaking of “skin games” ... note how he just can’t bring himself to say “yes, we’ll have to raise taxes”. And if that’s true of a plan to give away college educations (ok, taxpayer “finance” them, or “invest” in them or whatever euphemism you want to use for tax increase), imagine what will be true to implement “universal health-care” through government (although I’m not sure how “if you work, you have health care” is universal).

Government run science and government run energy aren’t going to be cheap either.

But note: all of Emanuel’s ideas involve government growth and more expense.

Yet he said point number 2 with a straight face.

And not a word about Iraq or the War on Terror.

I’ve got to tell you, if this is the best they can muster, they’re in for a very long election season.

UPDATE: Of course the boyz at Kos think this is the cat's meow. Nuff said.
 
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Comments
Speaking of "skin games" ... note how he just can’t bring himself to say "yes, we’ll have to raise taxes".
I took up the subject of why liberals dance around taxes so much in my last New Libertarian article, which is here.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Don’t forget providing us with the "right" to unlimited free WiFi access!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
See, you complain about GOP spending (which is valid) but thankfully even the GOP doesn’t quite go to these levels......yet
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Stupid liberals just love this kiind of fairy godmother stuff. All that griping about Bush passing on huge debt to coming generations? Wave the magic wand (Democrats are elected) and that problem morphs into "our policies will create such wealth and happiness that they will be glad to pay for it." And, can you just imagine the kind of "college education" the campuses will conjure up to offer the itinerant dishwasher types to keep them in the dorms so that the money continues to roll in? The net effect of a program like this will be to dumb down the college degree so that it is worth about as much as the current HS diploma.
Universal health care? We already know the problems with that. Same actions we are currently taking, only with a new name so that the Democrats can take credit for any progress - that, or a huge boondoggle.
A new government institute [for anything] speaks for itself. Breaking the code: a new source of jobs for the offspring of the liberal elite.
Yeah, and with full satisfaction of the crazed environmentalists, can you imagine how we are going to accomplish the hybrid society? Adolph had the same idea; he called it the Volkswagen. That and huge federal subsidies for alternate fuels.
Stupid liberals will buy a program like this in a NYT minute.
War on Terror? That problem will depart with the Republicans. With Democrats firmly entrenched there are any number of solutions to that problem: summits, the U. N. [Hah!], negotiations, etc.
Idiots.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Point 3 - details, please? A "hybrid" energy economy???

Two big problems today - 1) imported oil for transportation and 2) peaked production of domestic natural gas.

Problem 1 - expect more of the same. There is no current alternative for imported oil to fuel our transport system. Maybe in 20 years we could see some sort of hydrogen-based transport fuel (coming from special nuclear reactors and maybe not pure hydrogen). In the mean time, we need to export more products to justify the imports of oil we need. In other words, we must pay our gasoline bill by honest trade.

Problem 2 - A long, cold winter this year might see people freezing to death in their homes. Natural gas price is triple what it was last year. We’re rushing to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to increase imports of gas so we can then complain about imported LNG just like we complain about imported oil today. The solution? Build lots and lots of new nuclear power plants and maybe some coal plants too. Then you can use electric heat pumps for your homes.

Is the Democratic Party advocating any of this?
 
Written By: Whitehall
URL: http://
See, you complain about GOP spending (which is valid) but thankfully even the GOP doesn’t quite go to these levels......yet
They’ll get there, shark, and probably sooner than you’d think. The only difference is that the GOP says it won’t raise taxes. That’s a lie, of course, because spending like drunken sailors is going to have to paid for somehow.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
See, you complain about GOP spending (which is valid) but thankfully even the GOP doesn’t quite go to these levels......yet.

Heh ... "yet" being the operative word.

To make a point off of your comment, shark, I’m not interested in arguments which say "the Republicans spend less than the Democrats". That’s irrelevant since one only hastens the drop toward fiscal insecurity to a lesser degree than the other.

The only acceptable argument and direction to me is cutting spending. And lest there be any confusion, that means spending significantly LESS money this year than last year and continuing that trend for years to come. "Less spending" does not mean spending less than the Democrats do.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
And it shouldn’t mean "Don’t spend more as quickly"....

Beyond that, I have huge problems with Rahm Emanuel’s list even assuming there were funding for it:

Universal college degrees: Even for people who are going to flip burgers the rest of their lives? A Bachelor’s degree is going to teach me how to weld? Better yet, a High School Diploma wasn’t anywhere close to Universal for much of the 20th century, IIRC.

Summit: As McQ said, So what?

Energy: Um, okay, now HOW does he expect that to work? The same way Dems expect CAFE standards to work? ("I said do it, I don’t care what’s possible!")

Science/Technology: You said it for me.

Health Care: We already HAVE "If you work, you have health care". We even already have "Whether you work or not, you have health care". Health insurance, maybe not, but health care, YES.
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://
See, you complain about GOP spending (which is valid) but thankfully even the GOP doesn’t quite go to these levels......yet
Gee... isn’t that the point I made earlier today, and got trounced for it? And no, I doubt they’ll get to that stage, without a fundimental shift in thinking.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Moving ... the ... goalposts.

McQ constantly - and I mean constantly - complains that the Dems don’t have any ideas. And then they come up with some fairly decent proposals. So they address McQ’s complaint. Right?

Wrong - the goalposts have moved.

Now the problem is that they will cost money. Well, duh.

Here is number 2 on the GOP list of "great" ideas:
2. Waste $400 billion in some Middle East sh**hole in order to elevate a bunch of fundamentalist Islamic clerics to power. In the process, create the conditions necessary for a civil war and strengthen the hand of Iran.


(#1, of course, is to give as much government money away as possible to corporations making record profits anyway - and make sure they are allowed to invest it offshore so the middle class has to pick up more of the tax burden.)

Kinda makes universal health care look pretty good by comparison.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mkultra,

It’s obvious by "ideas", it’s meant "things that haven’t been standard Democratic boilerplate since the Johnson Adminstration".

Raising Taxes?
Increasing Education Spending?
Universal Health Care?
Tougher Emission Standards?

They may be "ideas" in the strictest sense that they may have flitted about the brain of a Democratic Official, but let’s not pretend that this hasn’t been the official policy of the Dems for 40+ YEARS!

How about "new" ideas? Got any of those?!?
 
Written By: SaveFarris
URL: http://
These are all commendable goals and can be achieved easily with a massive tax cut.

The answer is not ’small government’. The answer is not ’big government’.

The answer is ’honest and smart’ government.

For instance, would you trade cost of the War on Drugs for free health care?

Would you trade pork for research assets? Would you trade oil war costs for education costs?

Would you trade less security for more liberty?

I have always believed that Libertarians could achieve all this, with some simple changes. Such as the removal of human rights to corporate entities and term limits; how can a liberal argue with effective spending that results in liberal goals? (I am sure they can, like many of you will find petty arguement against this post)

If you, the reader of this post, were taxed at the current level, or even a 5-10% cut in taxes and achieve what the Demo’s wish for on this list, would you REALLY hate it so much?

Why automatically (in goosestep, no less) turn your backs on each of those Demoublicans ideas? Point taken; its all hot air. At this point. But it is better to dream than to bitch.

And that is all I see on this blog. Belittling, labeling and bitching. Got any ideas what would REALLY work? whinnnne....

Face it. There will always be liberals and conservatives. Always. Forever. Even next election. When you good folk decide you have had enough divisive commentary and get on with the business of the public good, then we will all live a better life.

I am,

Rick D.
 
Written By: Rick D.
URL: http://
Times like this I ponder if rather than approaching this pile of absurdity we call modern politics with a straight face we should switch to a strategy of subversion. After all, under a staunchly moderate (in the wrong way) government technically the reasonable people are all radicals by default.

BTW: I must say, I’m surprised someone on here actually mentioned favorably the removal of human rights from corporate entities. There has never been such thing as a "collective" right, so doing that strikes me as every bit as much of a libertarian idea as does doing away with Social inSecurity. The modern view of corporate status was actually a creation of government in the first place, to defend it in its current form is to endorse government regulation of the market.

***waits to be called a kook***
 
Written By: b-psycho
URL: http://psychopolitik.blogspot.com
How about "new" ideas? Got any of those?!?
Yes - here’s one:

How about doctor-assisted suicide. On this very day, the issue is being argued before the Supreme Court. In Oregon, an Democratic state, voters twice enacted a law saying that a person - with a doctor’s assistance - should be allowed to use a controlled substance in a prescribed manner to end his life if he is terminally ill. The Clinton administration did not attempt to interfere with this law. By contrast, the GOP did. Why? Because the GOP thinks the government knows better than you do about how and when your life should end.

The idea is symbolic because it is part of a larger debate that really is about new ideas: Who is in a better position to decide issues of personal autonomony (e.g., contraception, abortion, sex between consenting adults, Schiavo, etc.)? The government or the person? The GOP believes the government is. Dems tend to believe the opposite.

This is where the rubber meets the road, folks. On fiscal matters, both parties spend. (Although Dems are pay-as-you-go types, where as the GOP wants to put it on the credit card.) Where they differ are on matters of personal autonomy. The GOP is the party of Big Brother, Ashcroft, etc. The Dems, by contrast, think that on these matters, Americans are responsible enough to make their own decisions.

Indeed, it is interesting that on the very day when the Supreme Court is hearing perhaps the biggest case since Roe, or at least since Casey, on the issue of personal autonomy and a citizen’s natural born right to be free from government interference over personal decisions, this blog, a self-styled "neo-libertarian" blog, doesn’t have a word to say. Why? I don’t know. I have my hunches though.

This will be the defining issue of the future, especially given that Christofascists are gaining power within the GOP. Who do you want making decisions about your most personal decisions? If you say yourself, vote Dem. If you say the government, vote GOP.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
As regards point 1. Something many will not notice is that this effectively reduces a college education to no more than a high school education, but way more expensive and keeping the subjects institutionalized four years longer.

Many people are simply not suited or able for "higher" education. That doesn’t mean they’re not good at other things or can’t make a decent life or any such thing - but it does mean that forcing them into college means the school has to cater to the lowest common denominator and the material gets diluted to make sure the less intelligent and less motivated can handle it.

 
Written By: Rollory
URL: http://
How about doctor-assisted suicide
I’ll help you, if you need it... I suspect I’m not alone.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
MK, as usual sidesteps the points brought up in the post with something else, and doesn’t address the counter arguments.

But I’ll take the bait anyways. The biggest problem with doctor assisted suicide is that the onus isn’t on the patient. It’s on the doctor, whose oath forbids these methods. There was a nice thread going on about this awhile back.

If the patient thinks it’s in his own interest to not suffer anymore, there shouldn’t be a requirement that the doctor has to prescribe drugs that will help him die.

Of course, with the laws considering controlled substances, the patient doesn’t have much in the way of other (painless?) options. But that’s another argument.
 
Written By: Bill W.
URL: http://
The GOP is the party of Big Brother, Ashcroft, etc. The Dems, by contrast, think that on these matters, Americans are responsible enough to make their own decisions.
...except if it involves their retirement, their childrens education, their personal health, or their personal security.

We have two parties of Big Brother, the only difference is in the implementation. The arguement about the two is akin to being asked whether you’d like to be shot in the head once or shot in the chest 12 times. MK, you had a point about assisted suicide—it comes down to ownership of SELF, and no force on earth should have the power to tell you "no" if you want to end your life—but you need to convince your party to realize that self-ownership extends much further than suicide and abortion.
 
Written By: b-psycho
URL: http://psychopolitik.blogspot.com
best Comment Award to Bithead. Very, very funny. Of course, we must point out to the comprehension-impaired [you know who you are] that you were only kidding. If the editors [goes with "magazine"] thought like Democrats they would insist on a label to automatically be attached to all MK comments:

Wait! Let’s have a contest. What comment would they believe to be appropriate?

My entry:

CAUTION! The following comment may not be appropriate for readers who are not familiar with the liberal agenda.


OK, not everyone starts a contest because they think they have a great entry. Still, I laughed so much at Bithead’s I felt that I somehow had been repaid somewhat for the time spent reading MKdrivel.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Hey! My first preview posted. Could be my [new] mouse - too sensitive. Oh well.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
The Dems, by contrast, think that on these matters, Americans are responsible enough to make their own decisions

Is this a joke?? The ONLY decision the Dems seem to want to leave the people is the decision to abort on demand. School vouchers? Nope. Privite Social Security Accounts? Uh-uh. Health care choices? No go.

The only acceptable argument and direction to me is cutting spending. And lest there be any confusion, that means spending significantly LESS money this year than last year and continuing that trend for years to come. "Less spending" does not mean spending less than the Democrats do.

No disagreement here really. But it still is indicative of the mindset of the PEOPLE who make up the parties (as opposed to the sellouts who abandon those principles once they hit Washington)

The people in the liberal/moonbat camp believe in the all-mighty govt providing education, WiFi, healthcare and insurance from cradle to grave (ala Europe)

The people in the libertarian/conservative side of things probably still would rather go with the "ownership society"

And that’s a fight still worth going to the mat for, regardless.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Dang, McQ, I was so disappointed when I read this post! And here I thought the Democrats maybe actually HAD a 5-point plan for America. Oh well, one can always dream.

While I think all five "points" are just vague ideas, my big beef is with Point #1, mostly because I teach college. One of the reasons employers nowadays require college degrees is that any idiot with a warm seat can get a high school diploma nowadays. A college degree tends to sort out the men from the boys, so to speak. If (as per this "plan") everybody can get a college degree, then anyone can— and employers will just have to require something else, like graduate degrees, to weed out the slackers.

Post-secondary ed is already rife with problems caused by people confusing universal access to education with universal graduation. At my institution alone, two thousand students (an entire large high school’s worth of students) take remedial math courses each semester— and that’s not counting other subjects, just math alone. While these classes really should be available for re-entry students and the like, the truth is that the vast majority of students in these classes are recent high school graduates who just were not adequately educated at high school. Every year, state and federal resources (not to mention students’ hard-earned dollars) are wasted on this kind of crap.

This, folks, is what it looks like at an institution that rejects hardly anyone in college admissions. Just think what it would look like if we had to PASS them all as well. Actually, we already know what that would look like— it would look just like today’s high schools. A college diploma would be worth, not what a high school diploma was worth in the 20th century, but what it’s currently worth in the 21st— nothing.

Those who fawn on these "ideas" even though they’re clearly half-baked ideas? Give me a break. Just because you can imagine a happy world where everybody is above average and rides down rainbows on the backs of unicorns doesn’t make it mathematically or physically possible. I’m still waiting to hear a real "idea" from the Democrats.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
McQ constantly - and I mean constantly - complains that the Dems don’t have any ideas. And then they come up with some fairly decent proposals. So they address McQ’s complaint. Right?

Uh, no ... I’ve said they have no new ideas. Show me what’s new in that list. Same old crap repackaged as "new and improved". IOW, more government intrusion, more govenment control and more government spending.

Those are’t new ideas from the left, MK.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Robert ...

My entry:

DISCLAIMER: The attached comment was posted by a member of the ’reality-based community.’ An similarity to actual reality is purely coincidental.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
1/3 of Americans pay NO INCOME TAX.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2005/06/percentage_of_a.html

Personally, I think if we made each citizen pay a symbolic minimum tax of say US$ 50, it would not only bring in trillions of dollars in revenue, it would also be fairer. But then again, I may be a real scrooge to think our progressive tax system might be getting too progressive if 32% of tax filers pay ZERO federal income tax. (42.5 million X US$ 50 = 2 trillion dollars and change.)

Of course, they could all be evil Republican millionaires who benefited from Bush’s tax cuts. Or wealthy Democrat scions who have their huge fortunes invested in tax-exempt municipal bonds.

But somehow I doubt those categories add up to 32% of America’s taxable populace, though admittedly, I wasn’t there for the internet boom.

From the original report, you can see various break-downs. (44% are single without children, which went against my guess that these would all be single mothers.) So, even if we implement this symbolic tax only on the single without kids category we could still reap 900 billion dollars in revenue, though I’m sure Miller Brewing and the local weed dealer would be out some sales.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Harun: Unfortunately, 42.5 million X $50 = $2 billion not $2 trillion, so solving the deficit will not be so easy.
 
Written By: dcpi
URL: http://

 
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