Monday, July 19, 2004

MY UNRINGING ENDORSEMENT. I have read the Democratic Party Platform, and found it full of the bland generalities and meaningless catch-phrases that have made America great. Nonetheless I am impressed with some of the concrete proposals, such as:
More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia still has nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons and enough nuclear material to produce 50,000 more. For most of these weapons and materials, cooperative security upgrades have not been completed. The world is relying on whatever measures Russia has taken on its own. At the current pace, it will take 13 years to secure potential bomb material in the former Soviet Union. We cannot wait that long. We will do it in four years.
Best of luck, President Kerry, especially after the Congress rushes for the exits when President Putin, in whose soulless, murderer’s eyes President Bush II found such deep reservoirs of fellow-feeling, turns out his pockets to dramatically indicate his complete inability to assist in this badly needed project.

But let us absent ourselves from pessimism awhile and consider some platform boilerplate that does indeed gladden the heart:
Today's tax law provides big breaks for companies that send American jobs overseas. Current "deferral" policies allow American companies to avoid paying American taxes on the income earned by their foreign subsidiaries. John Kerry and John Edwards will end deferral that encourages companies to ship jobs overseas, and they will close other loopholes to make the tax code work for the American worker…

President Bush and the Republicans in Congress have ignored the middle class since day one of this Administration. They have catered to the wealth of the richest instead of honoring the work of the rest of us. They have promised almost everything and paid for almost nothing. And the middle class is shouldering more taxes, earning less money, and bearing higher costs. The bottom line for the middle class under President Bush and the Republican Party is this: Instead of working hard to get ahead, the middle class is working hard just to get by…

First, we must restore our values to our tax code. We want a tax code that rewards work and creates wealth for more people, not a tax code that hoards wealth for those who already have it. With the middle class under assault like never before, we simply cannot afford the massive Bush tax cuts for the very wealthiest. We should set taxes for families making more than $200,000 a year at the same level as in the late 1990s, a period of great prosperity when the wealthiest Americans thrived without special treatment…
While this falls far short of the alicublog plan, which involves the entrails of priests and the necks of tyrants -- and what is this "middle class" to which the authors refer, and how may I, a humble salaryman with no hope of owning a home or car anytime soon, join it? -- it is still refreshing to hear of mainstream politicians with some hope of attaining Executive power address, however feebly, the savage inequity in relations between the haves and the have-increasingly-lesses. Saint Ralph may be more pure, but the Big Stiff and his charismatic teen sidekick have at least some shot at adjusting the machinery of power a little more in favor of us hapless unbillionaires, and in these parlous times that will have to do.

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