Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Sad Veto History Likely to Worsen

George Bush is threatening to do it again.

First he vetoed the stem cell research bill. Then he vetoed the bill with a withdrawal timetable for our troops in Iraq. Now President Bush is at it again and is ready to veto the Children's Health Insurance Bill this week.

Within the next two days, Congress will pass legislation to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health insurance for millions of children whose parents can't afford it on their own. But President Bush's veto will cut millions of children from the program.

Every day, countless parents live in fear that their sons and daughters may get sick or injure themselves, and then won't be able to pay the medical bills. A sudden illness or a broken arm shouldn't mean financial ruin -- but this is the price that hard-working families have to pay when Republicans put their own interests before the needs of the American people.

For the billions of dollars we spend in Iraq each month, every uninsured child could have access to the health care they need. Our society should promise every family that no child in America will be denied access to good medical care.

That's a huge difference between Democratic priorities and Republican priorities.


Ceroill said...

All I can say is: Yup.


The sad thing about Bush's veto history is that he didn't use his veto pen more, much more. The Republican Congress spent more taxpayer money than any Congress since LBJ. These Democrats in power now want to do the same in their name(living up to their reputation, in other words). When Bush vetos any of these current bills it makes me wonder, if Republicans had tried to enact them if he would veto them. Is this the political game of "who gets the credit"; who gets to boast to their constituency about how much pork they can bring home. Now that the Dems are in power, Bush is all over the reducing the deficit mode, fucking transparent twit.

As far as the poor and health care are concerned, I have no problem with the government(I would prefer state governments for this, but...)doing the subsidizing. I would do it by setting up health savings accounts for the poor; money which is theirs to spend and if at the end of the year they have some left over it would be theirs to keep. I would provide them with education on the ins and outs of our healthcare system so they will be better able to make wise choices. The problem some get into is thinking that health insurance equals access to healthcare. If Medicare/Medicaid were to cut reimbursements too much you will have many providers getting out of the program, which in essence is constricting the access to health care, for example.

Two other points I would like to make: One, if the government in its infinite(or is that finite) wisdom were to come down with the edict it would purchase ALL vehicles for it's citizens no matter what the cost, would citizens be more likely to go for Jaguars or Corollas? People make better financial decisions, generally, than governments when it is their own money they are spending. Spending their own money is the best way, IMHO, to lower health care costs for our citizens and healthcare savings accounts, whether provided by the government, employers or in the case of the wealthy, themselves is the way to provide this situation.

Two, one thing which gets lost in this arguement(especially for those in the "healthcare is a human right camp")are the rights of providers to charge what they wish for the services they provide. Plumbers can charge what the want. Electricians too. And if your power is out or your water is off at your abode you don't think about much else until those situations are rectified. Does anyone here know what a air-conditioning repairman charges for repairs in the middle of summer here in Arizona? I bet you can imagine. If people would let citizens spend their own money(through HSAs) and provide market forces to do their wonders, healthcare costs would come down and I would bet service would get better through competition and innovation. The converse(universal healthcare) is long lines for services, fewer providers and less choice. This should be a no-brainer.

csm said...

Well, Bawdy, I can't say I agree. Bush didn't use his veto pen because Congress was doing exactly what Bush wanted, so why would he veto anything?

It will be interesting to watch what happens when the military funding bill hits his desk because it is attached to a hate crime law. Will W's head explode as he tries to figure out if he should sign the bill to get his filthy lucre for the war or should he veto it because, well, he just can't stand those gay people?

You do make some good points about health care and how it should be provided - and reasonable people can discuss different approaches. I tend to fall more closely into the health care is a right camp than the free market camp... but I am not 100% dead set on it. Kucinich actually has some good ideas on health care... I'm guessing you probably won't agree with them but check them out here.



Bush had campaigned time and again(and never one to be very truthful)about deficit reduction and smaller government. If this was really the case he surely would have vetoed many spending bills even though Republican co-conspirators held Congressional office.

I am interested in your views, csm, on what we should do NOW about Iraq. We all agree(the three of us, I guess)the war was a collossal mistake, but I am on record as saying we cannot fully leave Iraq because of security arrangements with Arab neighbors of Iraq and to keep a block on Iran's desire to stretch its influence in the region. Where do you stand? Do we pull out totally? Do we pull out slowly? Do we worry about the governmental evolution of Iraq? Do we worry about partitioning? Anybody who reads this that really thinks ANY Democratic candidate(except for Kucinich, maybe) for President will pull out ALL of our troops and do it quickly has got their head in the sand. They will use the cover that Bush got us into this, it isn't their fault we are there to begin with and we just have to deal with it, because the one thing Bush has been truthful about is the aftermath in the Middle East if we were to just pull out totally.

csm said...

Yes, of the Democratic candidates for president only Kucinich seems to be for a quick pull out. I find this truly unfortunate. I am for pulling out of Iraq as rapidly as possible. We cannot simply withdraw in a day or a month, but in 6 months we can.

I know that many think this would lead to disaster. But hell, what we have over there now isn't far from disaster already. We can't keep paying $180 billion (with a B) to fund our "mission in Iraq."

So what would happen? Perhaps Iran would get more involved in Iraq, perhaps Iraqis will "step up" to run their own country, perhaps Iraq will separate into multiple countries. Let it happen as it will.

We wouldn't give a good dog damn what happened over there if it weren't for oil (Darfur anyone?) so let's take those billions and use them to address our true problem - alternative fuel.



I went with the link you provided to Kucinich's website and I had to laugh. He actually starts one paragraph with, "To cope with the endless bureaucracy of private insurers...". Do you see the humor in that? When most people think, in word association, of the word bureaucracy, do you think they imagine a governmental entity or a market based entity? Can insurance companies get in the way of smooth operation of a health care system? Fuck yeah they can. You are talking to someone who deals with it. I call insurance companies every month to find out where my payments are and I have to deal with telephone trees and stalling tactics and fucking rude and neglectful customer service people. But do you think I am going to have a better time of it with some government lackey on the other side of the line. Hell no. They will have MORE power to tell me tough luck. Medicare does it to me now! They deny claims on technicalities(even though there is no argument that the services were provided). They make arbitrary decisions on our cases(which aren't easy to appeal). They change the rules and procedures at the drop of a hat(Congress is very reactionary about this shit and that shit flows downhill to hit me and others like me in the face). Anybody out there who thinks a government system is going to be more efficient hasn't a clue. The Medicare Fiscal Intermediary I have to work with uses a DOS-based computer system, black background and monochromatic type. Now that is efficiency.

I believe Kucinich is for real. Misdirected, but for real. I believe he is kind-hearted and actually would like to see fairness and compassion for fellow Americans. Do I think he has the right answers? Fuck no. His head is in the clouds and his reasoning is dreadfully flawed. My fears are with the other Democratic candidates though, as I feel they are only interested in the consolidation of more power in Washington and you must know how I feel about that.



Where do I start? I have much respect for you, but sometimes I have to laugh. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it, Iran wants Iraq. As much of it as they can get ahold of. My opinion is that they were instrumental in getting us to invade Iraq in the first place. Do you remember Chalibi and how enthralled Bush and his droogs were with him? Iran and Hussein's Iraq were mortal enemies for a multitude of reasons and they share a border. They had an eight year war. Iran wanted nothing more than to get rid of Hussein and they saw their opportunity in the USA. Iran is holding the winning hand in Iraq and they see the finish line right now. All they have to do is wait out our political situation and Iraq is theirs. This isn't just a game involving Iraq. Every single country bordering(and some that don't border) on Iraq are involved. Some are our allies(Turkey, Jordan, Israel, etc)and some are not(Iran, Syria and lets throw Russia in this camp). This is much, much more than just Iraq.

Iraq is incapable of "stepping up". As I have posted before, most in Iraq have loyalties which have very little to do with the nation state of Iraq. For this reason Iraq cannot/will not come together for a long time.

Your example of Sudan has its problems too. One reason we tread lightly over Sudan is the fact the Sudanese government has been very instrumental in our intelligence gathering on Islamist militant groups and since these groups have had much more activity in North Africa, this intelligence will be more important. And I hope you don't think that Sudan DOESN'T have oil. Why do you think the Chinese are defending(in a sense)the Sudanese so much?

As far as "alternative fuels" are concerned(and as you might guess)the markets will be much better for this problem than our overreaching government will be. Do I have to say more than "ethanol"? Ethanol, without government subsidies(and man, do our farmers love those subsidies-corporate welfare in the first degree)ethanol would be much more expensive than gasoline or diesel oil. Add in the fact we are taking food off our tables and screwing even more with our environment(in more than one way), ethanol doesn't seem to me to be the answer to our problems. In the future(when we can use agricultural scrap)maybe, but not now.

csm said...

RE: Iran/Iraq, Bawdy, I can't say I disagree with much of what you say. Iran may indeed want Iraq, and if so, they will get it. They have more interest in that area of the world than we do. Are you proposing that we stay over there just to keep Iran from taking over Iraq?

RE: alternative fuels, I think a Manhattan Project-like effort in this area (yes, that mean government sponsored) could reap benefits. It would have to be free of oil company interests though, so that is where it could fail, because hell, the current government is bought and paid for by those fuckers.

I have better hopes for ethanol than you, it would seem. If ethanol would be more expensive then it would generate more money for farmers and it would not necessarily take food off our tables. More farms would become feasible due to farming fuel so we could have enough to eat and to burn. And I personally think that spending more on a resource you own would be more cost beneficial in the end because the Middle East could be ignored (for the most part) instead of taking up so much of our time and effort. Leave Israel to fend for itself and withdraw from the region (except to truly hunt down Bin Laden and eliminate Al Qaeda) and how much do we save?

Anonymous said...

I hope this doesn't seem impertinent but I've always had pretty good success with pulling out completely. It gives you time to have a little chat, a snog and a cuddle. Afterwards, if the feeling is unanimous, you can always get right back into fucking one another over again.


csm said...

I think that is an apt metaphor, dERF.

csm said...

It will be interesting to watch how this one turns out. Seems like a coalition of groups backing the bill (HR 976) scheduled a Monday launch of a weeklong television and radio ad campaign targeting 17 Republicans they see as potential swing votes on the veto.

And it may work because even though many Republicans are sticking with President Bush on Iraq, more and more are deserting him on domestic issues sure to figure in 2008 contests.