hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, June 14, 2002

"20 years ago, the Republicans gave us a good-looking
man with a nice voice, pushing a big tax cut mainly
for the wealthy and a plan that didn't add up. Reagan
was elected, and his big tax cut passed, and
immediately the government went deep into debt and the
problem just kept getting worse and worse throughout
the 80's and early 90's. Future generations will
suffer a long time to pay off the interest and
principal on the debt accumulated during the 80's.
After a very difficult time cutting spending and
raising taxes, mostly on the wealthy, we were finally
able to bring the deficit under control and begin
paying off our huge national debt.

Now its the year 2000, and the Republicans are giving
us a good-looking man with a nice voice pushing a big
tax cut mainly for the wealthy and a plan that doesn't
add up. As I will show during this debate, Gov. Bush's
proposals don't add up. He doesn't say how he's going
to pay for his Social Security proposal, he doesn't
save enough for the future costs of Social Security
and Medicare. He raids the Medicare trust fund to pay
for his big tax cut, and he doesn't budget enough
money for paying down our national debt, because he's
promised too much to all his wealthy campaign

*America, don't let them do this to you again*.

During the time the Republicans were in power, from
1980-1992, middle class take home pay went up [insert
figure]. Earnings for the wealthy went up[insert
figure] Under Reaganomics, the rich got richer and the
middle class got screwed.

Under new Democrat policies, the poor have done
better, the middle class has done better, and rich
have, you know, gone into the stratosphere. Now is the
time to use our prosperity mostly to pay off our
debts, and partly to invest in health, education and
the military, to keep building a better, fairer,
stronger America, not squander all our money for a big
tax cut mainly for the wealthy, and a risky Social
Security scheme, where Gov. Bush has mysteriously
chosen not to give any details. Under my Social
Security plan I tell you where every penny is going
for the next fifty years, based on bi-partisan
numbers. There's a multi-trillion dollar hole in
Governor Bush's plan, which, just like Reagan, he has
refused to give any details about.

There was a business cycle recovery during the 80's
too, but over the long term, from 1980-1992,
Reaganomics was not good for working people. The
question of this election is, are we going to continue
to push for broad-based growth that benefits all
people, from the lowest to the highest, or are we
going to go back to the failed politics of the past,
where the wealthy rigged the system for their benefit.

*America, don't let them do this to you again*

If I am elected, My job will be to be President of all
people, President of the business class, President of
the middle and working class, and President of the
poorest of us as well. Gov. Bush's job will be to be a
front-man for the Republican establishment, basically
to smile and look happy a lot, and to sell any
legislation which the special interests and the
powerful want, and to prevent any legislation the
special interests and powerful don't want. The
powerful already have all the senators and congressman
they need. They don't need a President as well.

Good example: mccain and firestone tires.

If Bush says he's on McCain's side, respond "Well,
that's what he says now, but character is what you do
when nobody is looking, and when nobody was looking in
Texas, Bush was always on the side of the corporations
and the wealthy. [Bring up a good example of this,
perhaps SCI funeral fraud?]"

a good fact to use: 15%[check the exact number!] of
your tax dollar goes to paying the interest on debt
accumulated when Ronald Reagan and George Bush were in
office. Running big deficits *felt* good during the
80's and early 90's, but we put a big burden on
ourselves and our children.

if Bush says Gore is trying to scare people into being
afraid of reform, Gore could say "I'd have respect for
a serious, honest reform proposal, but you're not
proposing reform. You're proposing a gigantic,
trillion dollar party at the Social Security Trust
Fund's expense. And you're telling people "Don't
worry, everything will be fine for the next fifteen
years", and don't think about what will happen after
that. I have no respect for that kind of politics. A
President has to prepare people for the future, and
you're telling people "Don't bother about the future,
just enjoy these goodies in the present""

also: "There is no crisis in the Social Security
system, if we do the right thing. If we save enough
money and pay down enough of the national debt instead
of squandering it in a big tax cut, then based on
bipartisan projections the Social Security system is
paid for for the next fifty years."

In sum,
you have to attack your opponent and defend yourself,
but you have to do it in the right kind of way, over
the right issues, and using the right arguments.