Granny Rant
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
::: Greenspan Completes The Betrayal :::

Greenspan suggests we make the President's tax cuts for
the rich permanent
, but only if they are paid for offset by
an estimated $1 trillion in spending cuts.

Wonder where they will trim the $1 trillion from? Hmmm ... lets see,
how about entitlement programs. If they do that, we can invade
a few more countries, get more contracts for Cheney's Halliburton.
Never mind that Halliburton is under criminal investigation.

And then the real kicker ....
With an eye toward balancing the budget to avert a financial disaster after baby boomers start retiring in six years, Congress should consider cuts in all spending programs -- including the politically sensitive entitlements Social Security and Medicare, he said.
"I am in favor, as I have indicated in the past, for continuing the tax cuts that are in dispute at this particular stage. But I would argue strenuously that it should be taken out on the expenditure side," he said.

"Everyone is looking at the issue only of the discretionary spending part of the budget," he said, but simple "arithmetic" dictates that benefits will have to be trimmed.
Social Security, with more than $450 billion in spending a year, is the most expensive program, followed by defense at $400 billion, Medicare at $260 billion and Medicaid at $150 billion.

"The arithmetic doesn't work," Mr. Greenspan said. "I raise these issues largely because I think we have ... constructed a good deal of the benefit structure over the last quarter-century without a real, firm look at whether or not the real resources were there to meet those benefits."

While many senators at the hearing said they want to balance the budget and curb spending, no one voiced support for the curb in entitlements suggested by Mr. Greenspan.

Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, Maryland Democrat, was incredulous that Mr. Greenspan advocated $1 trillion in spending cuts to make Mr. Bush's tax cuts permanent.

"How do you take it out on the expenditure side?" he asked. "At this point, even if you just froze expenditures -- and we have all of these expenditures, in Iraq and homeland security -- you'd still be running up an additional over $1 trillion deficit."

Extending the tax cuts "will undermine our future fiscal strength in terms of dealing with the very problem that you just spent a few minutes outlining for us," Mr. Sarbanes said.

Now I don't mind telling you ... this really burns me up. After we, the largest
generation to carry the Social Security program on our backs and pay in the
taxes necessary to do so.

The Medicare Bill, which is a total fraud, will NOT help seniors and
will destroy Medicare as we know it has already jumped to over $500
billion and I am sure it will do so again.

The Republican bill passed late last year in the middle of the night by
holding open what would have normally been a 15-20 minute vote
for several hours while Republicans raced all around the senate
scrounging for votes and having doubters speak to Bush personally
on the phone.

Then another story of sleeze and possible misconduct broke ...

WASHINGTON (CNN) --The House Ethics Committee announced Wednesday it started an investigation almost two months ago into
allegations Rep. Nick Smith was offered a bribe to vote for the Medicare prescription drug bill.

It was the first public acknowledgment the committee was looking into the matter, following public statements suggesting it was not.

On the night of the Medicare vote in November, Republican leaders worked hard to persuade Smith, a fiscally conservative Republican from Michigan who opposed the $400 billion price tag of the measure, to support the bill. In the end, he did not. (Full story)

Days later, however, he wrote in a column on his Web page that he was offered financial support for the campaign of his son, Brad, to succeed him when he retires at the end of this term.

"This is the end of a Medicare program that forces seniors to choose between food on the table and the medicine that they need," Frist said.

Opponents, however, vowed that the fight isn't over. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle predicted that once seniors learned how the bill worked, they would mobilize as they did 38 years ago for the original Medicare bill.

I was struck by how vacant the galleries were and so few seniors citizens looking down," Daschle, D-South Dakota, said after the vote. "What you saw instead were lobbyists packing the halls. They will do well. Our seniors will not, and that is why the fight will go on."

Shame on the administration for running TV ads that do not pass the
sniff test and should trigger a suit for truth in advertising ... if they
have not trashed that law to suit themselves as well. The statements
made in those ads are just the nearest breath to lies. Only the
precise wording saves the ad from a legal standpoint. But that does
not excuse the attempt to pull the wool over seniors eyes and make
claims they can "keep their Medicare the same as it is" and that will
include the prescription benefit. That is not true.

The entire bill is a sham start to finish, was written by the drug companies
and the insurance industry who stand to benefit in $billions. It is the same
kind of legisation we have come to expect from the Bush administration:
think Energy Bill.

From the premium estimated (not set) at around $35 per month (in truth,
the insurance companies could change that figure to whatever they please
to the "gap" in coverage and a few other detail not mentioned in the ads
... such as if a senior signs with an insurance company that provides
prescription coverage, their regular Medicare coverage is terminated. It
is a blatant move to privatize Medicare and the administration should be
ashamed of themselves for duping seniors desperate for rx coverage.
The bill is so fraught with pitfalls for hopeful seniors.

But, of course, they are NOT. There is hope though, seniors in America
have become wary of complicated plans and understand far more of the
insidious details than the framers of this bill realize.

Personally, when AARP sent me a surprise card in the mail, I tore it to
shreds and wrote them a scathing, informative note with instructions
where to keep it.

WOW, Granny is mad now!

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