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promises to keep

I got this list from al Jazeera, of all places. I know I saw it elsewhere this morning, but I couldn't find the link. This is what John Kerry promised the American people last night. My question is this: Can he keep all these promises without bankrupting the country?
-Invest in new technology and alternative fuels to lessen US dependence on foreign oil. - Make America "finally and forever" independent of Middle East oil. - Cut the US deficit in half over four years by ending corporate tax cuts, which he called "corporate welfare." - Offer targeted tax breaks for the middle class. - Roll back tax cuts granted by the Bush administration to people earning over $200,000 a year. - Close tax loopholes to companies moving jobs abroad and give breaks to firms keeping good-paying jobs at home. - Pledged not to privatise Social Security or to cut benefits. - Incentives to revitalise manufacturing and investment in technology and innovation. - Pledged that as commander-in-chief he would never lead the United States into a preemptive war, only sending troops to battle "a threat that was real and imminent." - Immediately reform intelligence gathering. - Rebuild alliances with other nations. - Ensure the United States would lead the global effort against nuclear proliferation. - Add 40,000 active duty troops. - Double the number of US special forces. - End the military's heavy reliance on National Guard and military reservists. - Immediately implement the recommendations of the September 11 commission. - Offer incentives that would save families $1,000 a year on health insurance costs. - Allow Americans to buy prescription drugs from countries like Canada, where they are often less expensive.
To quote BFT: bq. The numbers don't add up. You can't raise some taxes, transfer that money to other people through tax cut, spend more on healthcare, protect social security, increase military spending AND cut the deficit in half. In the immortal words of Fugazi, promises are shit. You can list a litany of sweet talking promises from now until November but you better be prepared to answer to the people who are taking those promises to the voting booth when you can't cash the checks your acceptance speech wrote.

Comments

Looks like TweedleDee is well on his way to the politician's hall of fame. At least he didn't say "Read my lips, no...new...taxes!" right?

He knows that he is lying and that it is impossible. If he actually believed what he was saying, he would have paid his taxes at the pru tax cut rates (there is a line on the forms to allow you to do that).

Actually he puts his mouth where his money is rather than the other way around.

OOPS, that came out sounding semiobscene. Sorry about that.

No shank quite the opposite. He said i will raise your taxes and you will like it.

Remember do as Hillary commands: You don't have to love him you just have to get in line.

Baaa Baaaa isn't it nice to be told you are a sheep by one of your party's leaders?

Good point about him not paying the voluntary higher tax rate in Mass. I am still waiting for his wife's tax form to be released.

I would like a pony as long as he is promising everything to everybody.

Pledged that as commander-in-chief he would never lead the United States into a preemptive war, only sending troops to battle "a threat that was real and imminent."

This kind of thing really makes me mad about Kerry.

Honest anti-war people would look at Kerry's record and reject him. Honest people who opposed the way Bush initiated the Iraq war would look at Kerry's record and reject him.

Why?

Given the opportunity to support a US lead Iraq war with a worldwide coalition with support from allies like France and Germany, he voted Against it.

Given the opportunity to oppose a US lead Iraq war which lacked the worldwide support of the first Iraq war, he voted for it.

I'm not saying those people would support Bush; I'm saying they had their chances in the Primaries and chose to back a hypocrite.

John Kerry's plan:
  • raise taxes on the rich
  • raise taxes
  • make some tiny irrelevant tax cuts that don't really matter but sound good if you define an extremely specific "average" family
  • spend more
  • spend more
  • spend more
  • cut the deficit in half
  • President George Bush's plan:
  • lower taxes on the rich
  • lower taxes
  • make some tiny irrelevant tax cuts that don't really matter but sound good if you define an extremely specific "average" family
  • spend more
  • spend more
  • spend more
  • cut the deficit in half
  • My evaluation: they're both full of it. No matter who we elect, they will propose to vastly increase the size of government and grow the deficit up to around 40%+ of the GNP. I support John Kerry only in the forlorn hope that the Republican congress will stop writing even bigger than asked for blank checks if the president is Democratic. I would love to see him crash and burn from these promises in 2008 versus a real fiscal conservative.

    I have always had a rather low opinion of politicians in general. This guy is so bad, though. The Dems support him in the face of blatant flip-flops, pandering and outright nonsense.

    Good choice, folks.

    Well, assuming that this is run through the meat-grinder of a GOP Congress, it will probably come a lot closer than Soli's Plan #2

    As for the initial question, 'without bankrupting the country'? Anyone seen the national debt clock recently?

    What else is new?

    All I have to say about hyperventilating about Kerry's speech which was a typical promise everyone everything deal...."M-A-R-S I said Mars bitches!"

    Hmm, and why would he have to pledge to cut a deficit in half if your lord God and commander in all things, Bush, hadn't run it up faster and higher than any other president?

    I read his list of pledges and recognize that he may be stretching some but at least he's identified the problems and is going to work on them instead of the rubber stamping ridiculousness that Bush engages in. Oh wait, sorry, that's rubber stamping for special interest money that Bush engages in.

    Most of his pledges seem pretty straight forward and easy to implement. Easing prescription expenses on the elderly not only makes sense but it helps to defuse an out of control pharmco industry. Rebuilding alliances that Bush has beat into the ground is a good thing as well, it helps reduce our exposure and expense in both lives and resources.

    And what could possibly be wrong with pledging to only send troops to war to battle a real and imminent threat?

    Instead of attacking Kerry, why not defend Bush, how in the hell is he going to cut his own deficit in half while continuing to spend like its going out of style? And since I'm sure all of you commenters are millionaires that you're excited about having your taxes lowered again.

    The grade school level of assault on anything from the other side speaks volumes about your abilities to think coherently. Its just blind hate most of you spew and then some of you have the gall to call Democrats sheep? Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

    Cognitive dissonance anyone?

    The only difference between these candidates is the constituency to whom they pander the most.

    Otherwise, same suit, different stuffing.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=568&e=5&u=/nm/20040730/bs_nm/bush_budget_dc

    Wow, the Democrat faithful are sure enthused about their canddiate, eren't they?
    Wonder how many of the left will wake up on November 2nd and say "Right, must run out and vote for 'same suit, different stuffing."

    Bush stands to win by a landslide at this rate.

    Hey, Friend: I'll address the Bush spending issues as it gets closer to the RNC. Right now I'm talking about Kerry. Address what I posted. How will Kerry be able to keep all these promises?

    It's like answering a question with a question. Stick to the topic at hand and answer my questions instead of throwing shit back at me.

    Michele,

    When you are objectively critical of Bush, you can expect Kerry supporters to be objectively critical of Kerry.

    One standard for everybody.

    I've been critical of Bush before, especially in the areas of spending and gay marriage. I don't see why each post I make criticizing Kerry has to also have a critique of a Bush policy in it. Who else is held to those standards?

    No, no, no michele. The bar keeps moving.

    They'll only be happy if you get a tin foil hat and drink the Kool-Aid with them.

    Who am I kidding, they won't be happy with that either.......

    They would only be happy if my Kool Aid had poison in it.

    Why can't any Kerry supporter except me just come out and admit that Kerry's monitary policy is hooey? Seriously, what's the issue guys? It may be technically possible if the economy turns rosy and the world suddenly jumps in to take over Iraq. If you think that's actually going to happen, you're under mass hypnosis or something. Is it really physically painful to admit that you're supporting a politician or something like that? I just don't get it.

    And now to the promises of Bush:

    http://www.failureisimpossible.com/needtoknow/campaignslogans.htm

    Once again, Earl doesn't address the issue at hand.

    Discuss, Earl.

    Michele, I wouldn't ever want you do drink poisoned Kool Aid, many of your more rabid commenters, sure. But you at least engage in discussion without resorting to personal attacks and that IS saying something in this incredibly divisive election year.

    As for addressing what you've already posted, Isn't this addressing that? But hey, I'm game to play again.

    - Investing in new technology and alternative fuels to less US dependence on foreign oil. Easy to do, reduce the barriers to developing the technology, provide incentives to those who adopt hybrid cars and alternative energy products like solar, wind, fuel cell technology and the like.
    - Free the US of Middle East oil - see the first point above.
    - Cut the US deficit in half. - I'm not an economist and can't speak to this but ending corporate tax cuts sounds like a good place to start.
    - Targeted tax breaks for the middle class - Nothing too hard to understand here, make it possible for the middle class to take home more money so they'll have more to spend (and not, I'm not an economist so perhaps this isn't so simple).
    - Roll back Bush's tax cuts to the wealthy - easy money here and doesn't need an explanation.
    - Close tax loopholes to try and maintain jobs here instead of offshoring them to India, China and Taiwan and give breaks to companies to keep jobs here - I don't see how this is all that hard to accomplish, its just closing up holes in existing laws.
    - Social security - I wish him good luck on this because Social Security is the clusterfuck of the century.
    - Incentives to revitalize investment in technology and innovation - again, outside of my knowledge but if we can keep the good paying jobs here, we should be able to respark the spirit of innovation that made our nation as great as it is.
    - Not sending troops into battle unless the threat is real and imminent - this seems pretty straight forward. Get hard proof of the danger, not speculation, proof before committing US troops to action.
    - Reform the intelligence gathering - the CIA/FBI et al have needed a serious spring cleaning for a good ten or fifteen years, it won't cost millions or billions and could actually help save lots of American lives, no problems here.
    - Rebuild alliances with other nations - how hard will this be without our present Cowboy in Chief charging off on his own like a lone gunman? Talking to the other nations before acting will help rebuild our alliances that Bush has so wantonly trampled.
    - Nuclear proliferation - we've been doing it already, staying the course here is pretty straight forward (and yes, it is one area that I don't begrudge Bush's leadership on, see, I can support Bush on some things).
    - Add 40K active duty troops - make the military a viable career again and it shouldn't be too hard to make it happen. Also, it helps to treat them with dignity and not lie and continually move back their return to the US dates from their tours of duty.
    - Double the number of special forces - see the item above.
    - End the reliance on Guardsmen and reservists - with the additional troops as noted above, this is doable without much strain.
    - Implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations - I'm not sure what all they entail but I'm sure some of the points above are already in there so he'd be well on the way to doing this easily.
    - Health care incentives - heck, $1K a year saved should be cake compared to trying to overhaul the entire healthcare industry from the corrupt bugger it is now. And note that he didn't say he'd overhaul the healthcare industry, he knows that'd be a huge trick to pull off and damned near impossible given the power of its lobby.
    - Buy prescriptions from Canada and other countries to save money - this is a no brainer and shouldn't be very hard at all to implement.

    Much of what Kerry has promised is simple and easy to implement. The budget is a major snag but come on, who ran up that budget? Kerry will do all that he can to undo the harm that Bush has inflicted on this country but halving the deficit is a tall order, especially since Bush shows no signs of letting up on his spending spree.

    Is that more to what you were expecting to get?

    I've no problem engaging in a civil discussion with you (or any of your other commenters who can discuss the issues and not attack my character since that's not discussion, that's abuse). I've read you off and on for a couple of years now and have found you to be a reasonable woman who happens to attract a rabid and short sighted crowd of shout-you-into-submission commenters who make no counter arguments, they just shout until you stop responding.

    Such as Ray, what do you think you accomplish by being insulting? Angering your opponents? Good plan. And what is the deal with this whole stupid tinfoil hat bullshit anyway? Anything you rant after insulting me is useless garbage. You don't want to debate, you just want to bait and try to piss off. Why not go back to elementary school and get in a shoving match with some children, you've got a better chance of winning.

    Not your friend;

    1) So you support drilling in ANWR, off the Gulf of Florida and building nuke plants?

    2) "I'm not an economist" - no you certainly aren't;

    3) Middle class tax cuts? Hey i'm in the middle class as are most of my friends and we RECEIVED a tax cut. But why sh not everyone who pays taxes receive a cut? Oh that's right.. gotta foster that two America's cliche. Right;

    4) Yeah that's right. Bring manufacturing back to America, so 1) you and i will pay more for goods, 2) it'll slow the economy down and 3) it'll screw up the economies of developing countries, hopefully starting a world wide depression. Hey remember when you said you're no economist?

    5) "Real and imminent"? Like when the Sears Tower is on fire, that is our cue?

    6) Let's see, in Iraq with us are the UK, Australia, Italy, Poland, Japan, S Korea...oh you must be talking about the mighty French. Yes by all means we need to kiss their ass. After all if not for the Frogs where wd we go to get that lovely combination of body odor, anti semitism and haughty rudeness?

    7) Screw it. Way to dreadful to have to pick apart your diatribe. BORING.

    Hen,

    1. Did I say that? No, don't assume I'm FOR anything unless I say I am. Did you read the whole point I wrote, I'm all for exploring technologies like solar, wind and fuel cells, I never wrote anything like drilling or new nuke plants.

    2. And your point? I'm smart enough to know where my skills and knowledge are and not dumb enough to get into a discussion about economics that's beyond me. I'd suggest you do the same.

    3. The rich get tax shelters and tax breaks that the middle and lower classes cannot even begin to access. If anyone deserves a tax break, its the middle class.

    4. I live in California, I'm used to paying more for everything, land, gas, milk, electricity, you name it. Get over the concept of "saving" by sending manufacturing to third world countries where the development taking place is child labor and bare subsistence pay. Out of sight out of mind though, right? A worldwide depression, you mean kind of like the one we've been in already?

    5. Real and imminent as in, not based on bullshit like the WMD's were. Again, don't try to put words into my mouth. I'm all for protecting our country but not at the expense of other people and other countries rights.

    If we are going to pre-emptively attack another nation, regardless of what kind of scumbag the dictator is, we should make for damned sure that our reasons for doing so are positively verified. Or is looking first and leaping second beyond your comprehension?

    6. Oh yeah, that's right, I'm talking about the French. Sure. You keep trying to put words into my mouth that I never said, never intended and don't agree with so you can prop up the straw man to knock it down. You're participating in logical fallacies. No, what about Spain, Germany, Russia, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, India, China and dozens of other countries.
    And no, I didn't go to verify who is in Iraq to reply to you, you're not going to get my point in any case because you're mind is shut.

    7. Diatribe? No, I was engaging in a discussion with Michele that you felt compelled to jump into in a half assed and poorly thought out manner. Defend your beliefs but not by trying to insert words into my mouth. Use your own arguments based on what I've already written not on what you think they mean, go by what is written.

    Dreadful? Why? Because I present some alternatives that you're world view just can't digest? Because I am not only willing but capable of defending the list of promises put up here?

    And its too much for you to defend your beliefs so you give up? I took the time to respond to Michele's request to defend Kerry's promises. You can't take the time to form a coherent response. And calling it boring is disingenuous, I think you got into it and realized that you don't have a chicken leg to stand on.

    Try again, hen. Or don't, your "argument" or lack thereof is no loss.

    Not Your Friend,

    Investing in new technology and alternative fuels to less US dependence on foreign oil. Easy to do, reduce the barriers to developing the technology, provide incentives to those who adopt hybrid cars and alternative energy products like solar, wind, fuel cell technology and the like.

    Easy to do? Obviously you've never had to review grant proposals. Let me give you a hint: for every solid proposal with a 2% change of ever bearing promise (a great investment), there are a thousand dead-enders who write really slick proposals that suck up grant money to buy ipods for grad students. New research grants are definitely good, but it's not easy and it's not going to save the world tomorrow.

    Also, all the most promising fuel cell tech is hydrogen and the standard way to make hydrogen is electrolysis, which takes lots of electricity, which brings us right back to oil or building more nuclear reactors. Wind and solar are not serious alternatives at the current time and there is nothing promising and new I've heard in the pipe that's likely to make them so.

    Everything that Kerry is pledging to do is hard and fraught with pitfalls and even if it all goes amazingly right and he can brow-beat the conservative congress to pass it all, we'll still need an amazing influsion of luck/foreign aid in Iraq/foiled terrorist plots/rebounding US economy/rebounding global economy to pay for it all, before even thinking about reducing the deficit. Also, because health care costs are rising much faster then our GNP, every unbounded promise we make in that area makes our government less sustainable long term.

    "Buy Your Drugs in Canada" would make a great campaign slogan though. Especially if you put it on a t-shirt along with the Canadian flag, except replace the maple with a different leaf :).

    - Buy prescriptions from Canada and other countries to save money - this is a no brainer and shouldn't be very hard at all to implement.

    Meanwhile at the US/Canada border... the Canadian Mounted Police sprinkle their Canadain Mounted Fairie dust on incoming drugs that magically decreases the cost of research, development, manufacturing, testing, and insurance. Thank you, magical Mounted Fairie Dust!

    Price controls? patents? FDA regulations? quality control? Eh. Lets ignore all that and just use Canada. (btw everyone mentions Canada. Why not say : buy drugs from Mexico or India or Nigeria? I consider it rhetorical)

    I see a lot of people all around complaining about Kerry stating that he would not undertake a pre-emptive strike against anyone. You should be APPLAUDING that, not pouring on the derision for it.

    Until attacking Iraq, the U.S. had never attacked another sovereign nation, without being prompted by (a) an attack on the U.S.; (b) an attack on a U.S. ally; © asked to come to the defense of another sovereign nation
    [kuwait may fall under (b) i'm not sure if they were officially an ally at the time or not]

    I'll bite.

    -Invest in new technology and alternative fuels to lessen US dependence on foreign oil.

    Great strides are being made in the efficiency of various alternative energies even with the pitiful funding currently available. But there's a long way to go before any of them can compare to the cost to produce of petrochemical fuel. Unfortunately, outside of Iraq we are pretty much out of cheap oil. I think Kerry will deliver on this one, but I wouldn't bet my savings on it.

    - Make America "finally and forever" independent of Middle East oil.

    Nice goal, I don't see it happening in 4 years.

    - Cut the US deficit in half over four years by ending corporate tax cuts, which he called "corporate welfare."

    What are congressional war chests but the kickbacks given for continuing corporate welfare? I'd love to see large corporations pay their fair share, but this will require massive campaign finance reform, not just a new president.

    - Offer targeted tax breaks for the middle class.

    Sure this is doable. Reversing the Bush tax cuts could easily fund a larger cut targeting the middle class. Cutting payroll taxes on the lower class would be a much more effective economic stimulus however.

    - Roll back tax cuts granted by the Bush administration to people earning over $200,000 a year.

    This would be a no brainer if Congress weren't corrupt. Given the right crisis this could be accomplished I think.

    - Close tax loopholes to companies moving jobs abroad and give breaks to firms keeping good-paying jobs at home.

    Somehow I think the tax break will happen while loopholes will remain. Kerry's been a free trader for a long time.

    - Pledged not to privatize Social Security or to cut benefits.

    This promise should stick. Cutting social security benefits loses elections.

    - Incentives to revitalize manufacturing and investment in technology and innovation.

    This is just a matter of shifting incentives from Bush cronies to a more nuanced group of corporations. This will probably happen.

    - Pledged that as commander-in-chief he would never lead the United States into a preemptive war, only sending troops to battle "a threat that was real and imminent."

    I wish I believed this one. Kerry will at least be competent and subtle at mass murder, whereas Bush is an unprecedented disaster.

    - Immediately reform intelligence gathering.

    Yeah right. The intelligence community is not currently susceptible to oversight. But I don't see Kerry sending Edwards to pressure the CIA. More importantly, Kerry is unlikely to circumvent actual intelligence with something along the lines of the OSP. That would be grounds for impeachment ...

    - Rebuild alliances with other nations.

    Kerry can do this to some degree. Bush can't. I don't think either can keep the Russians from keeping the Iraqi resistance supplied with rocket launchers though.

    - Ensure the United States would lead the global effort against nuclear proliferation.

    Well we could crack down on Pakistan, but its a bit late. Kerry might be able to keep a lid on things. Nuclear bunker busters are a clear recipe for disaster. This is one of the reasons why I think only a nihilist could support Bush with any intellectual honesty.

    - Add 40,000 active duty troops.

    Bah! Lots of kids are willing to protect this country in return for an education. Not so many are willing to participate in an armed occupation for some corporation's bottom line.

    - Double the number of US special forces.

    Sure, but the unintended consequences are the problem here. Doubling the number would lower the quality no matter how much money you dump into training.

    - End the military's heavy reliance on National Guard and
    military reservists.

    Well, if we actually let the Iraqis hold elections then we could declare victory and be asked to leave. That would be easy and solve the overextension problem. But, Kerry hasn't raised a murmur about the selection of Saddam's former enforcer and later car bombing CIA terrorist Allawi. So I'm not holding my breath on this one.

    - Immediately implement the recommendations of the September 11 commission.

    Ah, the 9/11 commission. Someone should give those guys some paintbrushes for all the whitewash. We should get those loose nukes. The rest is all hooey.

    - Offer incentives that would save families $1,000 a year on health insurance costs.

    This is affordable but hardly addresses the problem. Single payer health coverage would save money and bring us up to the standards of the rest of the industrialized world.

    - Allow Americans to buy prescription drugs from countries like Canada, where they are often less expensive.

    Again, a baby step in the right direction.

    In the final analysis there's no freakin' way Kerry can keep all his promises. But what are you gonna do? Vote for Bush? That's suicide. Actually I'm gonna vote for David Cobb the actual Green candidate. But I only have the luxury of not having to vote for the lesser war criminal because I live in a safe state like California.

    The numbers don't add up. You can't raise some taxes, transfer that money to other people through tax cut, spend more on healthcare, protect social security, increase military spending AND cut the deficit in half.

    As a Kerry supporter I have to agree. I listened to his speech and totalled up the numbers and something is gonna have to give. But.

    But Republicans, the current undisputed masters of fuzzy math, have less than no right to complain here. Until they prove that they can accurately cost their programs better than they did with the tax cuts and Medicare I'm going to have to go with the party who had the last two presidents (LBJ, Clinton) to deliver balanced budget proposals to Congress.

    Hen is quite wrong about 'the coalition of the uh, whatever', as someone happily named it way back when it was relevant. Her remarks about the French are straight out of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, and irrelevant to boot. Merkins enjoy saying that the rest of the world showers less often than they do (the last survey of this intoxicating topic named the Germans), but all that proves is that Merkins waste more energy. I'm British and your fragrance disinterests me profoundly. Anyway, to get to the point at issue, it is naive to take campaign rhetoric literally.

    Note: cutting corporate taxes probably won't cut the amount of money they donate to politicians. More likely outcomes are...

    Price increases
    Job reductions (or lack of salary increases)
    Reductions in discretionary capital investment

    Like Walter Williams says, corporations don't pay taxes. You do.

    So, what about it, Michele? You complained about not having any responses, and now you have several.

    Cat got your tongue?

    Wouldn't it be ironic if the only way the U.S. could "finally" be free of Saudi oil was by employing Haliburton?

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH

    Oooh, I hate when I laugh that hard.