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Howard's Lies

Howard Dean's lies keep piling up.

On This Week he once again restated the lie that he is the only one in the race who has balanced a budget, but Dick Gephardt, as House Minority Leader, was instrumental in balancing the federal budget when Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House and Bill Clinton was President. Even if Dean was more important to his process than Gephardt was to his -- I don't know how it works in Vermont -- Gephardt still balanced the budget.

Then again, Gephardt pointed out this lie at the debate last week, and apparently Dean wasn't damaged by the revelation enough to make him stop saying it. He even said it again in tonight's debate.

Along with this, he continued to deceive on taxes. He said there was no middle class tax cut, because "the average person in the bottom 60% got $304 (in tax cuts), while their property taxes, their college tuition, and their health insurance each went up more than $304."

This startled me for many reasons, apart from the obvious fact that there is a middle class tax cut, and further that increases in property taxes are largely not attributable to federal policies, but to state policies. And by far, the largest percentage of state shortfalls had nothing to do with decreases in federal funds, but decreases in expected revenues from other sources, so to blame Bush for this is ludicrous.

What startled me was that it sounded like he was saying increases in tuition and insurance are tax increases. But no, he couldn't have meant that, I thought. He must have meant the tax cut wasn't enough to cover increases in cost of living. But then he reiterated: "You got $304, but college tuition went up much more than that: there already was a middle class tax increase."

So first, he says increases in college tuition, and medical insurance, are tax increases. He might as well have said that Mars is the Blue Planet. Or that the book of Job is in the New Testament. It's a lie.

Second, if you got $304 of a tax cut, you do not have a child going to college. You would have gotten an extra $400 just in the child tax credit increase alone. It's a lie.

Third, he uses the average tax cut of the "bottom 60%" to talk about middle class tax cuts, but the bottom 60% not only includes many poor people (who don't pay any taxes at all, and get no tax cut, thereby really skewing the scale), but it excludes much of the actual middle class, which goes up to -- according to most people, at a minimum -- the bottom 80%. So he includes poor people and excludes the top part of the middle class in order to get a smaller tax refund number. It's a lie.

But the biggest whopper I've seen lately is one that is slowly coming to the forefront, though it was reported months ago: that Dean was against the war on Iraq, while his opponents were in favor of it. It isn't true. It's fiction. Dean was no more against the war than Kerry or Gephardt or Edwards. And, for what it's worth, the same goes for Wesley Clark.

Both men favored the alternative war resolution sponsored by Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), which was essentially the same as the one that was passed, but required a new UN Resolution requiring disarmanent and compliance with past resolutions, and required the President to return to Congress to certify that Iraq is a threat, should diplomacy in the UN fail.

If this resolution had passed, as Clark and Dean favored, nothing would have changed. Bush went to the UN and got a resolution requiring disarmament and compliance with past resolutions, just as the resolution required. Bush tried and failed to get UN support for action, just as the resolution required. Bush justified action with the threat of WMD, just as the resolution required.

The resolution only would have required one additional thing, that Bush send a letter to Congress. It may have been significant in its political effects, but it would not have done anything to prevent war.

Realize this simple fact: Dean supported giving the President the power to do exactly what the President did in Iraq. If Howard Dean had his way, as a member of Congress, Bush would have gone to war anyway. He is lying when he says otherwise, as he often has. Make no mistake about this.

And then ask yourself 1. how much of an anti-war candidate he truly is, and 2. how much of an honest, straight-shooting, no-nonsense, alternative to status quo, he really is.

In the Iowa debate tonight, John Kerry pressed Dean on this again. Dean responded: what really matters is that people are dying in Iraq, and that it is Bush's fault. That's a valiant effort to change the subject, but no, Howard, what matters in this primary campaign is that you've been lying to the public, telling them that you were against the war while your opponents were for it, telling the public that you were an alternative to what they did, while you supported the same thing they did.


Lieberman was asked in the debate tonight if he would give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, if elected President. He said yes. The notion that this would probably be an unconstitutional and unsuccessful infringement on states' rights was left unmentioned.

Then Lieberman said he favored amnesty for illegal immigrants. Gephardt echoed the sentiment, saying, "If people have been here, obeyed the laws, ... they deserve the right to get into legal status."

To Lieberman and Gephardt: someone who is here and does not have legal status is not obeying the laws. It's like saying that people who drive 100 mph, but don't violate any traffic laws, should not be given tickets.

On The McLaughlin Group, Lionel Barber from the Financial Times said that the Bush immigration plan was designed to benefit corporations, and I think he has a strong point. How is an individual worker aided significantly by getting 3-6 years of work, when right now they get an indefinite number? How is the community of immigrants helped? Who is really helped here?

Wal-Mart and other corporations (largely agriculture, maybe?) are the ones who hire these illegal immigrants, who have to deal with skirting the laws, and who -- though they may pay more to the workers themselves -- perhaps stand to benefit.

I just don't see any real benefit to anybody in this plan, except for businesses. Not that I am against helping businesses, but to convince me to forgive the breaking of the law, I need more. It doesn't help the people who are fighting an overcrowding influx of illegal aliens (it only hurts them by encouraging an increase in illegal immigration), it doesn't significantly help the illegal aliens (it forces them to leave after 3-6 years), and I don't see how it helps the economy significantly.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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