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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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2005-02-14 - 2:10 p.m.

He Talks the Talk…

Lately President Bush has been talking the budget deficit reducing talk, but I see little evidence he’s willing to walk the walk. Unless, of course, you’re thinking of the cuts from all the schools in need, child-care assistance, a big 10% from environmental programs, Medicaid, food stamps, veterans’ medical care, financial -aid for students (Pell grants are a joke!), and low-income housing.

His budget plan includes making his first-term tax cuts permanent at a 10-year cost of as much as $2.1 trillion. He’s also introduced some additional high-income tax breaks at a 10-year cost of another $115 billion, plus some new shelters that would ultimately lead to another $30 billion a year when investors cashed in their accounts.

And the Social Security privatization plan would involve borrowing another $4.5 trillion over the next two decades. His budget does not even include a projection of the costs of the on-going war in Iraq. And we all know what this administration’s promises and estimates lead to.

It is easy to PROMISE aid to Africa and to the victims of the tsunami, but remember nobody has ever seen the $15 billion Bush promised to fight AIDS in Africa. No Child Left Behind, while sounding good, was under-funded by $12 billion. The original figure of $400 billion over ten years for the Medicare prescription drug plan has now escalated to $1.2 trillion.

Congress, pay attention! People, the European Central Bank lost $625 million last year to the weak dollar. It is projected it will lose $1.3 billion for 2004. According to the latest figures, Japan’s central bank could lose an estimated $30 billion this year if the dollar weakens further. How long will the U.S. be able to comfortably borrow money (such as the $4.5 trillion over the next twenty years to privatize Social Security)? Our grandchildren and great grandchildren will be paying this off with higher and higher taxes, if we are not more prudent.

The first term tax cuts should be allowed to be a thing of the past. No new tax shelters or cuts should be allowed to begin. There are more important needs of this country than cutting taxes for the rich and undermining Social Security, which is in no imminent danger. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…and a growing national debt. Congress should force Bush to walk the walk!

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