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Bob H

The Democratic Perot is also going to have to insist, like Bill Clinton, that revenues have to be raised to match expenditures. And I think the country will be ready for it.


could you add a link to some information about the Clinton 2000 plan, or other Dem alternatives?

i thought at the time that a bill that focused on catastrophic protection & low-income subsidies, with little or no first-dollar coverage (maybe just some guidelines for medigap drug coverage), would do the most good at the least cost. it would be minimally disruptive to existing coverage arrangements, could be easily integrated w/ private drug benefits (in fact it would make those benefits much cheaper to provide, and therefore probably more prevalent), and would focus the help on the people who really need it. even better would be to combine it with some steps to collect & build drug purchasing power to contain drug cost inflation, and a comprehensive overhaul of cost sharing under medicare (which would appropriately be designed to help offset the cost of the new benefit, too).

but i never saw any concrete plan along those lines. The Progressive Policy Institute put out a couple of briefs that talked about some of these ideas, but not a plan as far as i know.


Please note that this reinforces the idea that Brooks isn't stupid, but seriously dishonest.
As the saying goes, if he says that the sun is shining, grab your umbrella.

Rick (Centrist Coalition)

I was a volunteer for Perot in '92, before he dropped out and in again. Perot ran an Independent campaign, so if there is "another Perot" it might well be an Independent again.

I like Warren Buffett, but he'll be 78 in 2008. He has the wisdom to run the country, but not the time.

Any Democratic billionaires out there (not counting those born overseas)?

Larry Y.

Good catch. I didn't see that line. The other line for which Brooks was paid by his handlers was the conclusion:

Before too long, some new sort of leader is going to arise, especially if we fail to reform Social Security this year. (emph. added)

That's the key to this Brooks piece. 700 reasonable, implicitly anti-Administration words, capped with 100 words which let current Party Doctrine pass as uncontroversal truths.

Brooks reminds me of what I imagine it must have been to read Stalinist publications such as the Yiddish-language Morgen Freiheit in the 50s. Smart people determined to advance a Party line that they swore loyalty to but couldn't quite believe.


what bothered me about the "new leader" was that he is described him as a "millionaire". As if being a millionaire was a requirement to have ideas about public policy.


You're full of it. Really. Kerry was on the campaign trail saying, over and over, that the government should spend much more on both health care and education. Who do you think you're fooling by denying this obvious fact?


This very discussion somehow refutes itself. Bush can get away with selling the hugely expensive prescription drug program precisely because A) he lies about the real cost and the corporate media covers for him and B) the program redistributes wealth (via regressive taxation and importation restrictions) from lower- and middle-class taxpayers to corporations. These same corporations will always, always, always miscast any "responsible" Democratic alternative becuase that alternative doesn't put money directly in their pockets. The idea that another Ross Perot could sneak up on them again anytime soon is naive. The Democrats will not soon regain their footing until they A) move social liberalism from the top (but not off) of their agenda and B) they promote plans that are so loaded with enticing benefits and funded by such steeply progressive taxation that no lower- and middle-class voters will be licking their chops. Look at the New Deal, which was funded by a very few wealthy Northeasterners. Today, Democrats offer programs that are A) so complicated, B) of such marginal benefit, and C) funded by flat or regressive taxes that it's a wonder anyone ever supports them. It's just another sign of what happens when people who aren't in touch with those who really worry about how their going to pay for health insurance or their children's college when they get laid off end up running the Democratic Party.

Liberal AND Proud

That sentence in the Brooks article didn't pass me by, and it made me just as angry as you were.

What that sentence does state clearly though, is the long road the Democratic Party needs to travel to undo the damage to its reputation (some self inflicted), and to convince...once again...that they are the best hope for fair fiscal policy and fair and equal application of the Constitution.


Are you guys certain that Cheney voted for Bob Dole? You shouldn't be worried. We have no principles or platform or party activity, right? No need for any Democrats to debate me about this, I'm just Reform Party.

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