Friday, December 23, 2005

merry Christmas Mr. Scrooge

Senator Boxer (D CA) — accused of waving the white flag because she calls for a responsibly rapid draw down of U.S. forces in Iraq — held up the mirror this week to an administration for whom saying the right thing is sufficient.

Medical studies reveal that 17 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq are suffering from mental health problems including depression, anxiety and PTSD. The VA says that 17,000 Iraq and Afghanistan vets have been diagnosed with mental disorders through February.

Despite this huge problem, the American Legion says that mental health programs are being under funded by $500 million a year. I offered an amendment to provide these critical resources by canceling future tax cuts for millionaires. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, it failed. The President says he loves our military, but he loves tax cuts for millionaires as much or more.

Let’s be clear: To finance a war that has already cost $251 billion, this Administration did not ask the wealthiest in our own country to sacrifice.

Under the Bush tax cuts, millionaires got $242 billion dollars back over the past five years. In the first two years of the Iraq war, the average millionaire received $112,000 in tax cuts.

And the President did not secure enough real financial commitments from other countries. Instead, our needs our being sacrificed and our children and senior citizens are paying the price.

Talk about waving a white flag of surrender? The Republican Congress and this administration are waving a white flag over
our children, cutting their after school programs by 1.3 billion from what this President and Congress authorized. No
Child Left Behind was funded at 13.1 billion less than what their own legislation asked for.

They are waving a white flag of surrender over our seniors, causing them anxiety and threatening their social security and Medicare by using those trust funds to finance the war and the tax cuts.

They are waving a white flag over fiscal responsibility by creating a debt which is more than $8 trillion. Of the total
debt held by the public, 45% is in foreign hands. That means that approximately $92 billion is leaving this country every
year to pay off the interest to foreign entities.

And, they are waving a white flag over our homeland security, instead of making it a top priority. The Administration says
all the right things in public, and then shortchanges homeland security at every turn.

It’s been four years since 9/11. Why are we still dangerously unprepared for another terrorist attack?

Why haven’t we provided the additional $555 million needed this year to better secure our ports?

And, why in the world, haven’t we provided the $14.3 billion still needed to make sure that our firefighters, police officers, and health care providers can communicate with each other in a time of crisis, whether it is a terrorist attack, a hurricane, or an earthquake?

So this is Christmas, the late Mr. Lennon wrote.
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas War is over
For weak and for strong If you want it
For rich and the poor ones War is over
The road is so long Now
And so happy Christmas War is over
For black and for white If you want it
For yellow and red ones War is over
Let's stop all the fight Now

War is over if you want it
War is over now

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