Thursday, May 15, 2008


Welcome to Fantasy Island!
John McCain, looking through a crystal ball to 2013 and the end of a prospective first term, sees "spasmodic" but reduced violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden dead or captured and government spending curbed by his ready veto pen.

The Republican presidential contender also envisions April's annual angst replaced by a simpler flat tax, illegal immigrants living humanely under a temporary worker program, and political partisanship stemmed by weekly news conferences and British-style question periods with joint meetings of Congress.
In other words, the tax burden will be shifted to the poor, who will be forced to pay the same amount as the wealthy even though it’s a much greater percentage of their income. Social welfare programs will be cut back or eliminated as the Bush tax cuts McCain made permanent drain the treasury. Corporations will have a ready supply of cheap, disposable labor, driving down wages for everyone. Unrest and the presence of American troops will continue in Iraq, but we somehow will get the upper hand in Afghanistan, even though we are already overextended in Iraq and probably soon will be at war with Iran, too (God, I hope not). And Osama bin Laden will either commit suicide or just turn himself in. And weekly press conferences will end partisan bickering for some reason.

And everyone will be able to obtain affordable health insurance, because the free-market approach that led to skyrocketing prices and the lack of access is also the solution to skyrocketing prices and the lack of access. And gasoline will once again cost $1 a gallon because the Chinese suddenly won’t need any more fuel and oil companies will grow tired of record-shattering profits year after year. And global warming will reverse itself. And money trees will grow in every back yard. And each day, Americans will be awakened by adorable songbirds and bunny rabbits, who will dress them and make their coffee. And everyone’s poop will smell like roses. It’s Morning in America again, folks. Don’t worry that John McCain doesn’t offer anything resembling an explanation of how he’s going to make any of these fantasies of his happen.

Look at his policies:

• A free-market “solution” to the healthcare crisis — including a $5,000 tax break that will barely cover a third of the cost of the average health insurance policy — that does nothing whatsoever to expand access to healthcare to people who now cannot obtain health coverage because insurance companies refuse to offer them policies.

• Staying the current course in Iraq for another 100 years.

• Making Bush’s tax cuts permanent, meaning the rich get even richer and the poor get jack shit, while the national debt continues to grow.

• A gas-tax holiday that will do nothing for consumers but make the oil companies even richer, if that’s still possible.

What about education? How are we going to expand spending on education programs when tax revenues are falling due to tax cuts that make the rich richer?

What about Jim Webb’s GI Bill? When exactly did “supporting the troops” come to mean sending them into harm’s way without body armor and unprotected vehicles, not having an exit strategy, cutting their health benefits and, now, screwing them out of an education?

If you scratch the surface with McCain, this so-called “maverick” who has voted in favor of Bush policies 95 percent of the time in 2007, you find pretty quickly that there’s no there there. If you want leadership that’s going to turn this country around, look elsewhere. If you want fantasy, rent a video.



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