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[Fwd: [A-C] The Bush Agenda: Tax Cuts, Privatization and War]

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  • Pope Snarky Goodfella of the undulating
    Hail Eris! Can we not do the whole flamewar thing about whining donkeys and bullying elephants, and say we did? It s only cause I m Canadian (Oh, I know,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2004
      Hail Eris!

      Can we not do the whole flamewar thing about whining donkeys and bullying
      elephants, and say we did? It's only 'cause I'm Canadian (Oh, I know,
      what's it got to do with me, then? Check out the second or third article on
      www.globalresearch.ca and find out), and more concerned with the situation
      as it stands, rather than what I might prefer, since the sitch I'd *prefer*
      isn't even a possibility, if it ever was.

      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: [A-C] The Bush Agenda: Tax Cuts, Privatization and War
      From: "cort greene"
      Date: Wed, December 8, 2004 10:01
      To: actionla@..., com-news@yahoogroups.com,
      anti-capitalism@yahoogroups.com, stormingheaven@yahoogroups.com

      Socialist Appeal- http://www.socialistappeal.org
      The Bush Agenda: Tax Cuts, Privatization & War
      By David May
      In a stunning confirmation of the inadequacy of American “democracy” and
      the Democratic Party, the most widely unpopular President in U.S.
      history has been re-elected. Not only was Bush re-elected, he was
      returned to office by nearly four million votes in the popular election
      and a comfortable majority in the archaic Electoral College. George W.
      Bush’s election to a second term, as exit polling indicated, was less
      the result of any enthusiasm for his policies than the lack of a genuine
      alternative. Senator Kerry and the Democrats utterly failed to generate
      any real enthusiasm for their policies, which was the mirror image of
      their opponents’. Now the American working class will be faced with a
      Republican Administration and Congress intent on privatizing Social
      Security, making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and an unimpeded
      continuation of the imperialist slaughter in Iraq. Although over
      20 million people were registered to vote by mostly pro-Democratic
      organizations such as “Rock the Vote” and the trade unions, millions of
      these overwhelmingly young voters failed to show up on Election Day.
      When the primary difference between the two candidates is claiming who
      can wage the Iraq War more effectively, the reason the electorate stayed
      at home is obvious. This has greatly boosted the arrogant confidence of
      Bush and his cabinet. Speaking to a press conference after
      Kerry’s official concession, Bush told the audience “I, well, I feel
      like I’ve earned capital, political capital. And now I’m going to spend
      it.” Even though roughly only one in four eligible voters supported the
      Bush / Cheney ticket, the Administration has called its victory a
      “mandate from the people.” This is completely false. But the Republicans
      have already indicated that they will use the two year period until the
      next Congressional elections to sweep in a whole range of reactionary
      legislation through the Republican-dominated Congress. Bush now has a
      blank check to attack the living and working standards of the working
      class at home and abroad. “Staying the (Rotten) Course”
      Immediately after re-election, the Bush Administration announced its
      desire to use its incumbency to implement Bush’s “vision” for Social
      Security and the tax codes. The President’s “vision” is one of giving
      the richest people in the U.S.A a free lunch at the expense of the
      working class. The Administration’s tax cuts alone represent a shifting
      of the national financial burden onto the backs of working people on a
      titanic scale. First instituted in 2001, the Bush tax cuts are scaled to
      shift the tax burden from the wealthiest 1 percent of families to the
      tune of 52 percent by 2005. If made permanent, by 2010 the richest
      families in the world’s wealthiest country will have been given $500
      billion in tax “relief.” While the vast majority of the population
      received a one time $350 per family return in 2002, by 2010 the richest
      1 percent will be receiving all of the tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts will
      effectively shift the vast majority of the national budget, and its
      massive debts onto the working class within five years! This is the
      first item on the Republican agenda. By 2013 the tax cuts taken
      together with the massive annual spending for the occupation of Iraq and
      the “War on Terror” will more than triple the government’s debt.
      Citizens for Tax Justice used Congressional Budget Office data to
      estimate that by 2013 the annual debt will total $1.1 trillion. This
      will mean that one third of all government spending will be paid for
      with borrowed money. The Congressional Budget Office itself estimates
      that by 2009 the federal government will spend more on servicing its
      debt than on all domestic expenditures. The federal and state
      budgets are already in the deepest crisis since the Great Depression of
      the 1930s. Bush’s tax agenda and foreign policy add fuel to the fire of
      a growing crisis that will have long term implications for the U.S. and
      world economies. If these tax cuts are made permanent, the U.S.
      capitalists will not only enjoy the dividends of their already tax-free
      corporations but won’t be paying a dime in property tax either. Not only
      will the U.S. working class be forced to produce the nation’s wealth for
      less pay than 25 years ago, we will now also be expected to pay nearly
      the entire budget of the bosses’ state. What is more, Bush
      & Co. have also stated a desire to “reform” the Social Security
      Administration, the nation’s old age and disability pension plan. Not
      content with squeezing the working class through taxation, the
      Republicans want to take our right to a retirement pension away as well.
      The Bush Social Security plan calls for the conversion of the
      government-administered pension system to a privately-managed scheme of
      “personal retirement accounts” – privatization. GW bases his call for
      “reform” on the prognostications of Federal Reserve chairman, Alan “the
      Maestro” Greenspan. Since 1996 Mr. Greenspan has been issuing dire
      warnings about the state of the Social Security system, calling on the
      government to take “prompt action to rescue the financially threatened
      Social Security Administration.” These “warnings” are false to the core.
      Despite Mr. Bush’s and Greenspan’s self-interested worries, Social
      Security is far from insolvent. Currently, despite the Bush budget, the
      system brought in a $120 billion surplus in 2002. The SSA’s own
      accountants have projected that the systems annual budget should
      continue running with a surplus until 2020. After that, the SSA reserve
      funds, which now total more than $3 trillion would completely cover any
      shortfalls. By 2070 the system would again return to surplus. However,
      Bush thinks that this money is needed more by the billionaire American
      capitalists than by millions of retired workers! The Bush
      Social Security plan is mostly based on the scheme created by the Cato
      Institute Project, a Wall Street ‘think-tank’. The Cato Institute is
      financed by American Express, the brokerage firm of Alex Brown & Co.
      and the finance giant American International Group. Bush’s plan would
      largely dismantle the Social Security Administration and transfer
      millions of pensions to these same Wall Street vultures, to the tune of
      $940 billion over 75 years in “management fees” alone. At
      present, every worker in the U.S.A has 6.4 percent deducted from his or
      her wages to fund their SSA pension, with the employer paying a matching
      amount. Under the Bush plan, 2 percent of this money would be given to
      private banks instead. Young workers today would be given the ‘option’
      of opening a 401k-like pension account that would be chained to the
      stock market. At a time when millions of workers have already seen their
      employer-provided 401k accounts shrink into oblivion this is not a rosy
      picture! As well as dumping the SSA pension system down the Wall Street
      toilet, future SSA benefits received would be tied to inflation, not to
      wage growth as they are now. The plan would also force physically and
      mentally disabled recipients to re-apply every two years, a scheme to
      deny these people their rightful pension and put them onto the labor
      market. The Bush plan would almost immediately create a $2 trillion
      shortfall. While these people wring their hands over the
      financial future of a fully solvent pension system it is their so-called
      “reform” that would lead to crisis! Of course, the dilemma of a public
      fiscal crisis means very little to the gang of Wall Street capitalists
      and their servants in the White House and Congress who stand to make a
      killing. The Bush Social Security committee that drafted the
      plan was wholly bi-partisan. Chaired by the late “arch liberal” Senator
      Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) and AOL-Time-Warner chief Richard
      Parsons, it includes eight Democrats and eight Republicans. Apparently
      the “friends of working families” Democrats are not so friendly after
      all. While decrying Republican policies in public, these representatives
      of the bosses work very hard to undermine our rights and conditions in
      private. The plan to strip the U.S. working class of one of its most
      hard-fought rights is a “bi-partisan” affair, led by Bush and the
      Republican Party with their trusty Democratic side-kicks. The U.S.
      capitalists and their chosen representative, George W. Bush are clearly
      steering a course for even deeper attacks on the working class. They
      have their sights set on our right to old age retirement. They also
      intend to make us bear the entire tax burden of their state. The working
      class is fully under attack at home. Now, with the re-election of Bush
      the attacks on our class abroad will continue as well. War in Iraq

      The situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate. Most of the country
      remains without water, electricity and sanitation. Despite the $87
      billion supposedly earmarked for reconstruction, the Iraqi working class
      has seen only its right to a union denied, its living conditions
      disintegrate and the bloody boot of U.S. occupation. Hiding behind the
      façade of the Iraqi “provisional government” and the unelected “Prime
      Minister” Allawi is the U.S. Embassy, residing in the ‘Green Zone’ of
      Baghdad. Uncounted numbers of Iraqi civilians are killed daily and the
      U.S. casualty toll continues to mount. As of November 2004, 1,150 U.S.
      soldiers have been killed and 8,458 wounded. In addition to this are the
      hundreds or thousands more who have become mentally scarred by the
      experience of war and occupation. These same soldiers have seen deep
      cuts in veteran’s mental health benefits. The War in Iraq has not been a
      war for “democracy” or to find “weapons of mass destruction” as
      President Bush continues to cling to, but a war against the Iraqi and
      American working class by the U.S. capitalists. A great many of
      the enlisted soldiers returning from Iraq have nothing but bitterness
      towards Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. This Administration
      sent them largely unprepared for urban, guerrilla warfare and promised
      they’d be welcomed with open arms. During the build up to the invasion,
      the Defense Department cut the rate of combat pay and veteran’s
      services. This same Administration has forced thousands of National
      Guard and Reserve soldiers to serve on active duty more than a year and
      a half past the maximum. Army and Marine Reserve and National Guard
      forces now comprise roughly 40 percent of U.S. military personnel in
      Iraq. The regular and reserve forces are being strained to the
      breaking point, with near-mutinous results in some cases. As in any
      guerrilla war, the most exposed and vulnerable occupation troops are
      those involved in supply and convoys. On October 19, members of an Army
      Reserve supply company based near Ramadi refused orders to move a supply
      column through dangerous Anbar province. They refused the assignment,
      even after a direct order from the company commander’s superior to move
      the un-armored convoy. All trucks in military usage in Iraq are required
      (on paper, at least) to be fitted with steel plating to offer some
      protection from rifle and machine gun fire. The trucks of the convoy in
      question were unarmored and belonged to a Kuwaiti civilian contractor.
      Wishing to avoid the bad press, the U.S. generals were forced to
      acquiesce to the soldier’s demands and armor the trucks.
      Even though Bush & Co. have done the utmost to deny rumors of a
      reinstatement of the draft, the Iraq quagmire speaks to the contrary.
      The U.S. imperialists can’t hope to maintain the occupation against the
      growing resistance of the Iraq people with the regular Army and Reserves
      already strained to the breaking point. The Joint Chiefs of Staff wants
      to maintain the all volunteer Army. Bush will certainly continue to
      treat this issue with caution – the memories of youths burning their
      draft cards and draftees “fragging” their officers thirty years ago are
      still too fresh. But with a second term and a Republican majority in
      Congress, Bush would have a free hand to bring back conscription. The
      Democratic minority, which could only offer token resistance anyway,
      would not stand in the way of a draft. In fact, the last lawmakers to
      propose its reinstatement were Democrats! Even John Kerry, the
      Democratic candidate who was formerly an anti-war activist called for
      40,000 more troops and declared that the U.S. could not “cut and run”
      from the imperialist occupation. The only defense against the draft
      would be a renewed mass movement of the working class and youth that
      ended the Vietnam War more than thirty years ago. Beat Bush Back!

      The Republican Party and the Bush Administration is without a doubt one
      of the most reactionary bourgeois political machines in U.S. history.
      During its first term, this Administration turned a blind eye while
      billionaire capitalists looted the private pensions of thousands of
      workers in a series of scandals. It left millions of unemployed workers
      stranded by refusing to extend benefits despite the recession. It has
      already brought about the worst fiscal crisis in U.S. history with its
      war spending and tax cuts for the wealthy. It has taken us to war by a
      whole collection of lies, while the Vice-President’s own company makes
      millions off of the war. George W. Bush is the most perfect
      representative of modern imperialism: ignorant, arrogant, and
      short-sighted. The Bush Presidency alone is proof enough of the urgent
      need for the creation of a mass party of Labor. The urgent need
      to defeat the Republicans has been an issue since Bush first came to
      power. But how did the “opposition” Democrats respond? By trying to
      out-Bush Bush! Even after their second defeat to this man, the leaders
      of the party have concluded that instead of offering a program based on
      the needs of working people, they need to focus more on religious and
      “moral” issues! They continue to move further and further to the right.
      They could now justifiably be called the Democratic wing of the
      Republican Party. How can working people ever hope to defeat the
      right-wing policies of Bush with a party that is nearly identical?
      We plainly need our own party to represent and defend our class – a
      mass party of labor, based on the trade unions and armed with a program
      of socialist demands. A party such as this would draw millions to its
      banner and could begin the re-conquest of all of the rights and the
      standard of living we have lost in the past twenty-five years. Far from
      slowing down, with the bosses choosing representatives such as Bush,
      these attacks will only intensify. The Democrats have proven themselves
      completely inadequate for the task. Only by relying on our own forces
      can we hope to beat back the tide and reclaim the old traditions of
      struggle, opening up a new political chapter for working Americans.

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      _________________________________________________________________________
      All Hail Discordia!
      Rev. Clayton Edward McGill, ULC
      Pope Snarky Goodfella of the undulating cable, JM, CK, POEE, KOTHASK,
      DSOCPL, GGGHD, HCNB, EOTHP
      Firewalls, CIA, Flashbangs, MI-17, Guppy
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Cabal_of_the_Holy_Pretzel/
      "Who booby-traps a dead end? That's just not right." -- Cordelia
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