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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2005-01-11 - 6:25 p.m.

Excuse Me!

The government allocated $240 million dollars in federal homeland security grants to protect Washington, D. C., which obviously is among the places at highest risk of a terrorist attack. Now the Bush administration is refusing to cover the expenses associated with next week’s inauguration, breaking precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from already earmarked for other security needs. It seems to me this amounts to an unfunded mandate, similar to what happened in New York with the Republican convention.

An Unfunded Mandate - So what else is new?

In an article in today’s Washington Post,
U.S. Tells D.C. to Pay Inaugural Expenses:

“ The $17.3 million the city expects to spend on this inauguration marks a sharp increase from the $8 million it incurred for Bush's first. According to Williams's letter, the District anticipates spending $8.8 million in overtime pay for about 2,000 D.C. police officers; $2.7 million to pay 1,000-plus officers being sent by other jurisdictions.”

Manipulating the Facts Again

Hard to believe, but it seems the Bush administration is at it again - manipulating the facts to achieve their goals. This time at the expense of Social Security. An article,
For the Record
is one that sets the record straight.

"At a recent press conference, Mr. Bush exaggerated the timing of the system's shortfall by saying that Social Security would cross the "line into red" in 2018. According to Congress's budget agency, the system comes up short in 2052; according to the system's trustees, the date is 2042. The year 2018 is when the system's trustees expect they will have to begin dipping into the Social Security trust fund to pay full benefits. If you had a trust fund to pay your bills when your income fell short, would you consider yourself insolvent?"

In the same issue of the N. Y. Times,

The Iceberg Cometh
, Krugman tells it like it is - "invent a fake crisis, bully people into doing what you want" - that's the Bush/Rove way.

It's the standard Bush administration tactic: invent a fake crisis to bully people into doing what you want. "For the first time in six decades," the memo says, "the Social Security battle is one we can win." One thing I haven't seen pointed out, however, is the extent to which the White House expects the public and the media to believe two contradictory things.

The administration expects us to believe that drastic change is needed, and needed right away, because of the looming cost of paying for the baby boomers' retirement.

The administration expects us not to notice, however, that the supposed solution would do nothing to reduce that cost. Even with the most favorable assumptions, the benefits of privatization wouldn't kick in until most of the baby boomers were long gone. For the next 45 years, privatization would cost much more money than it saved.

Checks and Balances - Where are you?


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