all the difference in the world

There’s hope on the horizon with Howard Dean at the helm of the Democratic National Committee. The first thing we have to do is stand up for what we believe in, Dean asserted in his acceptance speech.
And, at the recent DNC convention, Nancy Pelosi pretty much laid out the difference in what the Democrats and Republicans believe — as the following, taken from DailyKos— reports:
To see the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, just look at the budget the President sent to Congress this week. Democrats believe that the budget should be a statement of our national values. But does the President’s budget keep faith with the values Americans hold dear? [delegates: NO!] You be the judge.
Is it a statement of our American value of fairness to give tax breaks to people making more than $500,000 a year while drastically cutting children’s health care? [delegates: NO!]
Is it a statement of our value of opportunity to give tax cuts to the wealthy few while underfunding Head Start, No Child Left Behind and student loans and grants? [delegates: NO!]
I didn’t think so.
Is it a statement of our commitment to security to give those tax cuts while severely cutting funding for the community police and local firefighters who are vital to our homeland security? [NO!]
I didn’t think so.
Is it a statement of our respect for those who serve in uniform to give tax cuts to the wealthy while restricting health care benefits for veterans? [NO!]
The President’s budget is not only financially reckless; it is morally irresponsible. Instead of being a statement of our values, it is a blueprint for financial disaster. When President Clinton was president, we had three years of surpluses. Those surpluses allowed us to save Social Security first. President Clinton, under his leadership, we repaid nearly $400 billion back into the Social Security Trust Fund. By contrast, President Bush’s reckless tax cuts for the wealthy have driven us deeply into debt, and his answer is to raid Social Security first.
Much discussion has been going on about how we strengthen Social Security; well, you can begin by paying back the money you took out of Social Security to give tax cuts.
Now, he wants to make matters even worse: he wants to privatize Social Security. The President knows that privatization isn’t popular, however, but instead of changing his plan, he just changed the name: now, he’s calling it personal accounts. He can soften the language, but that doesn’t soften the blow to seniors, the disabled, widows and orphans. Democrats recognize that Social Security does face a challenge. We are prepared to meet that challenge with ideas that are entrepreneurial, innovative, and will indeed strengthen Social Security. But we will not let President Bush turn this proud legacy of the New Deal into a raw deal for millions of Americans. Democrats insist that any changes to Social Security must not add to the deficit, must be fair, and must not slash benefits.

So, the big picture begins to glimmer with hope.
Not so much for the little picture, however, as I sit around trying to get rid of a bout of bronchitis and sinus infection while my mother goes through bouts of panic, paranoia, and plaintiveness.
I’ve got a massage appointment for next week — a little help for the little picture.
Meanwhile, a better big picture, for me, depends on Dean and the Democrats.

Leave a Reply