Democrats & Liberals Archives

Clinton On Government Reform

Last Friday in New Hampshire, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton aired her ideas on government reform (video - full text). Now, Hillary’s not the most dynamic speaker but her ideas are well thought out, smart and inspiring. Even if you’re not a Hillary supporter, I hope it’s clear that our country would benefit from addressing these ideals and ideas. Ask your candidate about them.

Senator Clinton puts her finger squarely on one of the biggest problems facing the future of our democracy. Speaking of the government's failure after Hurricane Katrina, the awarding of no-bid contracts to corrupt contractors, the criminally poor intelligence and planning that led us into the fiasco that is Iraq, and just the sheer incompetence of this administration and the previous Congress, she says,

When government consistently lets us down like this, we become cynical. We distrust our government -- and grow to distrust democracy itself. We decide that politics is distasteful, and politicians just out for themselves, so why should we trust our government with our hopes, dreams and ideals?

It really is a self-perpetuating cycle. Because this Administration doesn't respect our government, they run it poorly, and it fails our people. They then point to government's failure to prove it's not worthy of respect. And this just makes it harder for us to work on the critical issues that affect people's lives.

Senator Clinton's husband used to say, "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America." Despite the current state of our government, I believe that statement is still undeniably true -- and it's clear Senator Clinton feels that way as well.

Now, we know that government certainly isn't the answer to all our problems -- that's not even close. But we also know that good government -- smart government -- can be a partner for progress. It can help us solve problems and accomplish things together that we could never accomplish alone. ... This isn't about big government or small government -- it's about smart government.

Senator Clinton then outlined a ten-point agenda to start restoring competence to government:

  1. She pledged to permanently bar her cabinet members from becoming lobbyists
  2. She will strengthen whistleblower protections to help government employees who have the courage to speak out against corruption and fraud
  3. She pledged to "appoint the most qualified, dedicated, public-minded people to serve in government" and establish a US Public Service Academy that will "provide a four-year, subsidized college education in exchange for a five-year commitment to public service after graduation," to attract the best and brightest into government service
  4. She will end the abuse of no-bid contracts and eliminate half a million government contracting jobs
  5. She will reinstitute the Office of Technology Assessment to "cut through the myths and the spin" on scientific issues
  6. She will "open up our government's balance sheets so you can see exactly where your tax dollars are going -- and the results they're getting." The information will be available online -- in real time -- for everyone to see. She will also reinstitute the Clinton-era Reinventing Government program that saved taxpayers $136 billion and cut half a million unnecessary bureaucratic jobs
  7. She will insist on adherence to the pay-as-you-go rules that the Democratic Congress recently reinstituted. The rules forbid Congress from borrowing money to fund new programs or tax cuts
  8. She will streamline government and "make it possible for virtually every transaction to be paperless. Every day, Americans read the news online, shop online, chat online, and it's time that our government went fully online as well"
  9. She will run a government that leads by example in areas like energy efficiency, healthcare reform and modernized record-keeping systems
  10. She will reform our election system, making it "more accountable and accessible"
I don't think any of these initiatives are groundbreaking. In fact, the Bush administration could have initiated any of them at any time over the last six years -- but they didn't, and that speaks volumes about their vision of American government.

When I was working on this speech, I remembered a story that former Secretary of State, my friend, Madeleine Albright once told me about a tour she took through the Czech Republic in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. In every town she visited, the Czech people were out waving American flags. But the flags had only 48 stars.

It turns out that American troops had given out these flags at the end of World War II, 50 years before -- and that families had treasured them, had kept them through communists and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and all of the problems they confronted. Through all those years of communist repression, the Czech people held on to them and to the hope they represented.

They wouldn't give up on America's ideals – and neither should we.

Posted by American Pundit at April 17, 2007 2:30 AM
Comments
Comment #216964
They wouldn’t give up on America’s ideals – and neither should we.

The best reason I’ve seen not to vote for a progressive (or one representing the party that they control) as they are diametrically opposed to America’s Ideals.

Thanks AP!

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 17, 2007 3:52 AM
Comment #216984

America’s ideals include no-bid contracts, misuse of science, cronyism, and lack of transparency?

Could you please explain, Rhinehold?

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 8:51 AM
Comment #216995

Lawnboy:

Who made you the arbitor of America’s ideals? The slug-like traits that you listed are not part of any ideals that Americans hold dear. Please spare us your “blame America first” pabulum, Rhinehold need not explain what needs no explanation.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at April 17, 2007 10:02 AM
Comment #216997

AP:
Hillary wants to “re-do” point #6 like her husband and cut half a million bureaucrats. yes he cut them and then replaced them with the more costly half a million government contractors that she pledged to eliminate in point #4. Playing both sides of the fence will not work.

Posted by: Beirut Vet at April 17, 2007 10:09 AM
Comment #216998

Beirut, Spoken like a true Bushie. However we all know the last refuge of the scoundrels dont we?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2007 10:10 AM
Comment #217000

Beirut Vet,

?????

I never claimed to be such an “aribtor”. In fact, it was Rhinehold that did so, and I’m asking him to explain.

I don’t see at all how defending anti-cronyism measures, defending the proper use of science, and defending proper stewardship of taxpayer money is “blame America first” pabulum, unless of course you are using tired and invalid emotional appeals instead of using a logic-based argument.

Nah, couldn’t be.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 10:12 AM
Comment #217011

LawnBoy,

It’s just that conservative “we don’t have to answer to anybody” syndrome.

It sounds like Ms Clinton is attempting to lay out a plan to make government more accountable.

Is that a bad thing?

Posted by: Rocky at April 17, 2007 10:26 AM
Comment #217017

Rocky,

It sounds like Ms Clinton is attempting to lay out a plan to make government more accountable.

Is that a bad thing?

You know, I don’t think so. But apparently for some, such an attempt is “diametrically opposed to America’s Ideals” and ‘“blame America first” pabulum’.

Who knew?

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 10:47 AM
Comment #217018

Let’s see,

1. Better to pledge not to hire any lobbyists as cabinet members also.

2. What if the “whistleblower” has a political axe to grind. Are we making it easier for them to supply disinformation and not be held accountable.

3. She can appoint who she wishes but deciding who is best is still very subjective.

4. Nice sentiment but how is such a thing done. Most abuses are currently illegal. If you get rid of contracting jobs, who are you replacing them with.

5. A lot of the “myths and spin” referred to could be considered healthy scientific debate. Are we creating an agency that makes scientists conform to a popular dogma.

6. I’m all for transparency, but it will never be completely transparent. There are many national security issues at stake.

7. I like this with one addendum, pledge no tax increases also.

8. Interesting idea, wonder if the NY Times would support their own obsolescence.

9. One place the government should lead by example is by walking the walk. They pledge lots, deliver little.

10. If this means eliminating the electoral system, that would be a bad idea. If this means making it harder to restrict illegal voting, then I wonder why. If this means creating a paper trail on electronic voting machines, then, as long as it is an anonymous trail, I would support it.

Just some thoughts.

Posted by: wkw at April 17, 2007 10:47 AM
Comment #217028

WKW:

5. A lot of the “myths and spin” referred to could be considered healthy scientific debate. Are we creating an agency that makes scientists conform to a popular dogma.

Healthy scientific debate? Is that what we have under Mr. “I’m going to veto stem cell research reform” Bush? Is that why “faith-based initiatives” have reached insidiously into schools? Is that why the administrations believes in teaching creation myths alongside established scientific fact? Is that why sex ed. has become so poorly funded and so controversial that more teens than ever are having babies?

If it’s dogma and 18th Century scientific “progress” that you’re looking for, look no further than the leeches brigade in the White House right now.

Incidentally, why not consider alternative energy research for a second too: Bush pledged $500M over the next ten years towards that research. And $500M is about what the oil companies make in profit every day. Now, who killed the electric car again?

Posted by: Jon Rice at April 17, 2007 11:24 AM
Comment #217029

Good thoughts, wkw. I didn’t quote the whole speech, so why don’t you watch the video or read the text — the links are in the article — and get some more details.

LawnBoy, Rhinehold is saying that if Czechs — or any other foreigner, for that matter — admire American ideals, then we’re doing something wrong.

Rhinehold and BV obviously believe it’s better to be feared than loved.

It sounds like Ms Clinton is attempting to lay out a plan to make government more accountable.

Is that a bad thing?

I think it’s a great and refreshing thing after six years of an incompetent administration that treated our government like a prize to be raped and pillaged.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 17, 2007 11:34 AM
Comment #217039

We’ve been hearing these same promises for decades, but little (if any) action.
When will we see results?
What has Do-Nothing Congress accomplished since 7-Nov-2007?
Why should we believe Hillary Clinton?
She’s not exactly a pillar of integrity and truth.

For example (see factcheck.org), Hillary Clinton said abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.
This claim is false.
A 20-year decline in abortion rates has continued even after Bush took office.

Hillary is pretty loose with the tax payers’ money too. Hillary Clinton’s $514,148 per year lease (2001) for her office in N.Y. was one of the most expensive hometown office of any U.S. senator. Also, Citizens Against Government waste give Hillary a very low 17% grade due to all the pork-barrel and waste. With so, so much debt, borrowing, waste, and excessive money printing, and that track-record, what are the chances it will suddenly improve?

I believe it when I see it.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #217041

We’ve been hearing these same promises for decades, but little (if any) action.
When will we see results?
What has Do-Nothing Congress accomplished since 7-Nov-2007?
Why should we believe Hillary Clinton?
She’s not exactly a pillar of integrity and truth.

For example (see factcheck.org), Hillary Clinton said abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.
This claim is false.
A 20-year decline in abortion rates has continued even after Bush took office.

Hillary is pretty loose with the tax payers’ money too. Hillary Clinton’s $514,148 per year lease (2001) for her office in N.Y. was one of the most expensive hometown office of any U.S. senator. Also, Citizens Against Government waste give Hillary a very low 17% grade due to all the pork-barrel and waste. With so, so much debt, borrowing, waste, and excessive money printing, and that track-record, what are the chances it will suddenly improve?

I believe it when I see it.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 12:23 PM
Comment #217050

All of these things should obviously be done. None of them are particularly visionary or difficult to accomplish. Can’t say that I’m impressed, but I would want all of the above done.

Posted by: Max at April 17, 2007 12:49 PM
Comment #217051

Ummm, D.a.n.
If you want to argue Bush’s abortion rates, don’t you think you ought to include numbers past 2001?

Personally I suspect abortions have been reduced, since states like Mississippi now force communist style re-education, long distance travel, and multiple trips for someone to get an abortion in that state. What I’d like to see is what that has done in terms of impacts on child abuse and neglect, problem pregnancies, poverty rates of young women, and orphaned children. Or is it that you only care about infant births and could care less about the impacts felt long after post natum? I don’t think you can argue about national trends since most advocates against abortion are using state’s rights as their wedge issue.

I’m not sure that you can pin or reward Bush solely for this erosion of abortion rights, either.

Posted by: gergle at April 17, 2007 12:50 PM
Comment #217055

gergle,
The graph goes past 2001.
If you want to provide more data, that’s fine.
Go to factcheck.org which states Hillarys claim is false.
I don’t want to get into a debate about abortion, nor am I rewarding Bush for anything.

I’m just showing how Hillary was:
(1) wrong,
(2) and not a good steward of the tax payers’ dollars.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 1:06 PM
Comment #217066

gergle,

d.a.n’s right. The graph also shows 2002. Thus, he can draw whatever conclusions he wants about the full six years of the Bush presidency.

Didn’t you know?

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 1:48 PM
Comment #217078

AP:

Excellent 10 points. In the last point I would include strong public financing of election campaigns and free TV time for candidates.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at April 17, 2007 2:25 PM
Comment #217088

Here’s an issue that should be tackled by Hillary: American poverty created by Bush.

The alternative that hews most closely to the measurement criteria recommended by the National Academy of Sciences yields a 2005 poverty rate of 14.1 percent. That works out to 41.3 million poor Americans. The poverty line for a family with two parents and two children is $22,841.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/opinion/17tue4.html

Yeeehaw! So who’s got all the money?
http://www.faireconomy.org/research/wealth_charts.html

Posted by: Max at April 17, 2007 3:54 PM
Comment #217091

All very good points, but I still don’t like Hillary Clinton because I don’t care for Republican Lite.
As for the Bushies posting here, I think we should ignore them and stick to the points being raised, rather than allow them to derail the thread with that pathetic “Liberals aren’t Americans” BS.

Paul:
“In the last point I would include strong public financing of election campaigns and free TV time for candidates.”

Agree 100%.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 17, 2007 3:59 PM
Comment #217100

Adrienne,

I’m with ya there. I don’t particularly like Republican lite either. Less filling.


d.a.n.

As Lawnboy pointed out there does not seem to be stats since 2002. What’s worse since 1998 several states do not report these stats to the CDC.
Based on this, I find the data shakey at best, misleading is likely.

Another issue is whether states that are banning abortions are simply forcing women to cross state lines to get abortions, or worse that abortion mills are starting up again. It’s been widely reported recently that the “Just say no” to sex program is an abject failure.

I’m curious as to why reporting has stopped, but cannot seem to find any info on that. That makes me even more supicious of the stats.

Fact Check actually states that Hilary misled, but did not lie. She did state that 8 states showed increases while 4 states showed decreases. I think you used that samme tactic with Rahdigly in another thread. Given the shakey data, she quoted a discredited analysis, but who knows whether either is a lie? It doesn’t seem anyone does.

Posted by: gergle at April 17, 2007 4:24 PM
Comment #217108

Max

How can you be poor if you make more money than 89% of the rest of the world. Maybe we should redefine America’s poor. At $22,800 you can’t compare.

Posted by: wkw at April 17, 2007 5:02 PM
Comment #217132

wkw, Is it fair to compare the salary of an American worker to a say Central American or African or Middle East worker whose cost of living is much cheaper? seem we are talking apples and oranges arent we?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2007 6:33 PM
Comment #217133


Looks like Hillary lied.
Even factcheck.org noted how Hillary cleverly used some state figures only, and not nationwide figures.
Anything else?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 6:34 PM
Comment #217134
lawnBOY wrote: d.a.n’s right. The graph also shows 2002. Thus, he can draw whatever conclusions he wants about the full six years of the Bush presidency. Didn’t you know?
The graphs shows 2002, and the other shows 2003. If you have evidence to support Hillary’s claims that abortion increased after Bush become president, then please show it to us. Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 6:37 PM
Comment #217135
Anything else?

Yeah, like maybe you give a source for your graph? You know, so we have any reason whatsoever to credit this information over what Hillary had. For all I know, you’re as proficient with Excel as you are with overusing html, and you created it yourself.

And wow, all the way to 2003. One more year. I guess we have everything we need.

Hillary said some states improved and some states didn’t. That’s accurate (according to the very article on factcheck that you refer to). But I guess you want the big lie.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 6:40 PM
Comment #217138

I for one as a Republican believe that these are almost all laudable goals for any administration.

I particularly like 5, 6 & 8. 7 doesn’t go far enough in either direction. Spending needs to be reduced back to at least Y2K levels and tax rates need to be raised only to reduce any deficit at the level or only to reduce the debt.

1 is fluff, but encouraging fluff.

2 I have concerns about from a managerial perspective. I have seen the whistle blower protections used by sub-standard employees to protect their jobs.

3 I would be ok with, but it would probably be more efficient run through existing top tier colleges and universities, and it should not violate the expanded 7 rules.

4 is good if not taken to the extreme that “curtailing abuse” becomes more expensive than the abuse itself

9 the healthcare reform portion scares me the most of any of the initiatives. We do not need another expensive expansion of “rights”. There are programs out there for national healthcare that I can get behind, but they are vastly different than her first attempt.

10 Other than the use of the bully pulpit, I’m fairly sure that the Presidency does not have a constitutional mandate to do much of anything about election reform. Any abuses should be pursued vigorously via the justice department, but I would hope that any new president is less political in this quest than the current one.

Posted by: Rob at April 17, 2007 6:44 PM
Comment #217139

j2t2,

That’s exactly my point. You can’t compare. A lot, of who we call poor, would not be called so in different areas of the world.

Posted by: wkw at April 17, 2007 6:46 PM
Comment #217148

lawnBOY,

Here’s the source for that graph that you accuse me of creating myself.
Abortion Rate 1960 2003
So, how did abortion rates increase after 2001 like Hillary Clinton said they did?

lawnBOY wrote: Yeah, like maybe you give a source for your graph? You know, so we have any reason whatsoever to credit this information over what Hillary had. For all I know, you’re as proficient with Excel as you are with overusing html, and you created it yourself.
Nonsense.

It’s right there at factcheck.org?

lawnBOY wrote: And wow, all the way to 2003. One more year. I guess we have everything we need.
Hillary said abortion rates increased after 2001. That graph goes to 2003. That’s enough to prove the point. Admit it. You’re wrong.
lawnBOY wrote: Hillary said some states improved and some states didn’t. That’s accurate (according to the very article on factcheck that you refer to). But I guess you want the big lie.
You certainly have a penchant for calling other lairs. Keep it up and seen how long it takes to get banned.

Here’s the story at factcheck.org
Decide for yourself who is lying.

Clinton was careful not to state flatly that abortions were increasing nationally . She spoke only of “some states” in which the rate had increased. But she invited her listeners to conclude that the national trend to fewer abortions had reversed itself since Bush took office. And in fact a few days later, in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press on January 30, 2005, Sen. John Kerry claimed that abortions were up, period: Kerry: And do you know that in fact abortion has gone up in these last few years with the draconian policies that Republicans have…. A Kerry spokesman confirmed at the time to FactCheck.org that Kerry was relying on the Stassen article for his information.

Anything else?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 7:16 PM
Comment #217156

Actually, that source doesn’t help much. Who’s Wm. Robert Johnson and where did he get his data?

So, how did abortion rates increase after 2001 like Hillary Clinton said they did?

She didn’t say they increased nationwide (the focus of that page), but that they increased in certain states. That was accurate given the information she had. I’ll defend that.

Just to deflate you claims of partisanship, I won’t at all defend Dean’s claim. Whether through ignorance or malice, what he said is flat wrong and non-defensible.

Hillary said abortion rates increased after 2001. That graph goes to 2003. That’s enough to prove the point. Admit it. You’re wrong.

Apples and oranges. She said the rates increased in some states, and the graph is for nationwide stats. There’s nothing for me to admit.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 7:36 PM
Comment #217163
lawnBOY wrote: Actually, that source doesn’t help much. Who’s Wm. Robert Johnson and where did he get his data?
I provided two corroborating sources.

If you can refute those sources, please do.

lawnBOY wrote: Apples and oranges. She said the rates increased in some states, and the graph is for nationwide stats. There’s nothing for me to admit.
You overlooked one important part.

Factcheck.org org states:

But she [Hillary Clinton] invited her listeners to conclude that the national trend to fewer abortions had reversed itself since Bush took office.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 7:48 PM
Comment #217170
If you can refute those sources, please do.

I don’t need to. Apples and oranges. Apples and oranges.

You overlooked one important part.

That’s factcheck’s opinion, it’s not a demonstrable or provable fact.

In contrast, you’ve done nothing to really support your initial claim that took us on this ridiculous tangent (sorry, AP):

For example (see factcheck.org), Hillary Clinton said abortions have increased since George W. Bush took office in 2001.

She said they have increased in some states. Look at the quote - it’s not what you claim it is. She never said they increased nationwide.

So, back to AP’s original point…

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 8:07 PM
Comment #217179

And also, d.a.n, please stop misusing my name. We’ve gone over this before.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #217191

lawnBOY
Factcheck.org got it right.
You have provided NOTHING to refute my two sources.
Feel free anytime you want to disprove it.
Please show us your proof if it’s not true.
You’ve probably already been searching and searching and can’t come up with the evidence.
If you had, you would have presented it.

Factcheck wrote:
But she [Hillary Clinton] invited her listeners to conclude that the national trend to fewer abortions had reversed itself since Bush took office.
So, are you saying factcheck.org is lying too?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 9:37 PM
Comment #217194
You have provided NOTHING to refute my two sources.
You’ve probably already been searching and searching and can’t come up with the evidence.

No I haven’t, because, as I said, there’s nothing to refute. Apples and oranges.

Your claim against her is that she claimed that abortion rates nationwide are rising when other statistics show that not to be true. However, from the article that you yourself brought to my attention, here’s the actual quote from her speech:

the rate of abortion is on the rise in some states.

Her claims are verifiable, and her claims are not what you misrepresent them to be. Finally, the two graphs you showed are irrelevant to her claims.

The only thing you have as “proof” is an opinion from factcheck (a source I admit that I respect as unbiased) that she somehow should have been more clear that she was only talking about some states when she used the words “some states”.

I can’t say that I agree with them, but there’s nothing to prove or disprove here - it’s opinion.

Please stop misusing and distorting my name.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 9:50 PM
Comment #217198

lawnB_O_Y

That’s an interesting arguement.

Just repeat “apples and oranges”, “apples and oranges”, “apples and oranges”, “apples and oranges”, “apples and oranges” …

It’s sort of like stickin’ your fingers in your ears and screaming “la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la …”

Yeah, lawnB_O_Y, that proves a lot.

Yeah, lawnB_O_Y, factcheck.org is lying, eh??

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #217200
factcheck.org is lying, eh

No, d.a.n. I can disagree with someone’s opinion without thinking that they are lying.

It only becomes lying when one makes a statement of supposed fact that one knows not to be true. I don’t think this applies in this case.

Please stop misusing and distorting my name.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 10:15 PM
Comment #217202

lawnB_O_Y,
Still calling people liars, eh?

Please tell us exaction how factcheck is lying?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 10:19 PM
Comment #217203

exaction exactly

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 10:20 PM
Comment #217206

d.a.n,

Still calling people liars, eh?
Please tell us exactly how factcheck is lying?

This makes no sense whatsoever. I explained exactly why I wasn’t calling factcheck liars, and why I don’t think they are lying. I won’t bother to accept your challenge to explain to you what I don’t believe to be true.

Until you start accepting logic, facts, politeness, and the possibility that you’re wrong, there’s really nothing more to say here.

So, until you either start being reasonable here, or until we meet up on another thread, goodbye.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 17, 2007 10:25 PM
Comment #217211

lawnB_O_Y,
You directly challenged factcheck.org.

You also challenged the abortion statistics.

Yet, you offered nothing to refute either.

But that did not keep you from calling other people liars.

Then you, lawnB_O_Y, have the gall to question others’ politeness?

Yet, you want me to be reasonalbe.

You called me a liar, among ohter things, and you want me to be reasonable.

Perhaps you should practice what you preach before you start preaching to others.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #217228
In contrast, you’ve done nothing to really support your initial claim that took us on this ridiculous tangent (sorry, AP)

LawnBoy, I just went through a similar thing with d.a.n on a different issue. You can throw facts at him all day, but if it means he has to rethink his position he’s not going to budge.

At this point, my advice is, Don’t feed the trolls. Make your point, and the audience will decide who’s more credible.

Rob, thanks for your perspective. It’s a shame more Republicans can’t acknowledge good ideas on their own merit, no matter the source. And it’s a shame more Republicans can’t clearly articulate their critiques of ideas in the thoughtful manner you did as well.

The healthcare reform portion scares me the most of any of the initiatives. We do not need another expensive expansion of “rights”.

I actually agree, and I think Sen. Clinton does as well. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and she and Gingrich came together on some really good ideas a couple years ago. The main emphasis being a shift from decreeing lower healthcare costs to helping healthcare providers reduce costs.

For example, tax breaks for healthcare providers who modernize their administration and billing systems. These cost providers up to $25 per transaction, as opposed to the banking industry which brought transaction costs down to a few cents.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 18, 2007 12:46 AM
Comment #217231

American Pudnit,
You haven’t even reviewed the facts, yet you took sides merely based on partisanship.

American Pudnit also challenged facts regarding BILL S.2611, Amendnent 3985 and was thoroughly trounced.

American Puntit said he googled it and found contradictory facts.

Yet, American Pudfit refused to show them.
That’s because he had nothing to refuse the facts of BILL S.2611, Amendement #3985.
He didn’t even know anything about it.
And being unable to accept it, he refused to believe it, despite the overwhelming evidence.

Regardless of your party affiliation, making excuses for it, rationalizing its failures and faults will NOT build confidence with the public.

Do YOUR party a favor, and hold YOUR politicians feet to the fire too.
Otherwise, you are no better than the previous IN-PARTY you just replaced.

And your majority is very slim (see graph).
You’re not going to grow that majority by making excuses for YOUR party.
That doesn’t mean you have to roll over and play dead, but fighting the wrong fights will be YOUR parties demise.

The voters are already questioning the do-nothingness of Congress.
Polls only show about 40% favorability to Congress.
That’s not very good.

Congress, regardless, had better start gettting things done, or the independents, third parties, and anti-incumbents will continue to grow.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 18, 2007 1:06 AM
Comment #217236

Yikes, Can anyone say decaffinate?

Posted by: gergle at April 18, 2007 1:20 AM
Comment #217245

d.a.n, Lawnboy, and AP, gergle is right. Please ratchet back from critiquing the messenger, and stick to the message. Other people’s names, intelligence, or unspoken motives are NOT fair game for critique here. Such action violates our rules for participation. Your cooperation in this will be appreciated. Lack of cooperation will result in loss of comment privileges.

Posted by: WatchBlog Manager at April 18, 2007 1:47 AM
Comment #217378

AP,

I have to admit that I’m slightly uncomfortable being in agreement with you, but I guess I could get used to it.

The Healthcare article was interesting. I think it is time to address that subject here again at Watchblog. As much as I hate to see it coming, I think that government-sponsored healthcare is a foregone conclusion sometime in the next 15 years. As Democrats have loved to point out, take home pay has stagnated for the middle class. This is largely due to the horrendus increase in spending on healthcare. Total compensation packages for employees have risen in line with historical rates if you include the employer portion of healthcare. My hope is that we can implement it in such a way that it is managed with as little input as possible from Washington and as much as possible by the market first and states second.

Posted by: Rob at April 18, 2007 8:03 PM
Comment #217445
I have to admit that I’m slightly uncomfortable being in agreement with you, but I guess I could get used to it.

LOL! Don’t worry, Rob. I’m a DLC Democrat — or, Republican-Lite as some around here refer to it. :)

I have no problem with market-based solutions — as long as they work. And that means working for all Americans, not just the healthcare insurers and brokers.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 19, 2007 12:04 AM
Comment #217447

In Clinton’s speech, she says the government shouldn’t rely so much on contractors,

contractors, it turns out, are often more expensive than doing the work in the government — in fact, some contract employees cost twice as much as comparable federal workers. They’re often less accountable and less competent.

I just saw where the Coast Guard fired the contractors managing its modernization program because they ran way over budget and actually degraded the capabilities of some of the ships,

Among the most significant failures of Deepwater has been a project to lengthen 110-foot patrol boats to 123 feet. Eight of the upgraded boats had to be drydocked in December after the Coast Guard found buckling in the structure underneath the main engine of one of the ships. The Coast Guard will announce today that those boats, which cost about $100 million, will be decommissioned, according to congressional sources.

The Coast Guard decided that the government could do a better, more efficient job than Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman.

Last month, the Coast Guard moved to cancel a portion of the program intended to develop a $600 million patrol boat after determining it could manage the effort more efficiently than Northrop or Lockheed.

That blows a gaping hole in the Republican theory that the private sector always does a better job than the government.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 19, 2007 12:15 AM
Comment #217451

AP, I’ll confirm that.

Being involved in Civil Engineering most companies that I have worked for derive the largest share of their income from government contracts. They all charge the government higher rates, and perform more useless testing than for budget conscious private entities. They all particpate in lobbying politicians to gain these contracts.

Gov’t is notorius for pork. This is the inefficiency of gov’t. Privatization is the biggest pork barrel ever invented.

Posted by: gergle at April 19, 2007 12:33 AM
Comment #217456

But, in this case, it turns out that gov’t IS more efficient and less… porky? …than the private contractors.

This is what Sen. Clinton was talking about. The government can do a lot of this stuff cheaper and better than private contractors.

And speaking of lobbying, I wonder who the Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman lobbyists are talking with right now. How long do you think Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the guy who cancelled the contract, will remain in charge of the Coast Guard?

Posted by: American Pundit at April 19, 2007 1:05 AM
Comment #217458

AP,

I agree that in many areas government is more efficient. Rick Perry is now having to explain why Accenture has completely screwed up welfare in Texas and doubling government costs to clean up the mess.

I used to work for the Texas Highway Dept. they are more efficient in building good roads of high quality, but Perry and company have tried to go around them by creating another taxing entity and selling Tollroads to private companies. So now we are not only floating bonds, but will have to pay to drive on what we built to begin with.

Were there lazy employees at TXdot? Sure. But most took their roll as public sevants seriously since they were taxpayers, too.

The argument is, of course, saved money on Gov’t employee retirements and salaries. It doesn’t add up.

When it comes to serving the public, an entity that can be held responsible is much more efficient than a slick contracts designed to aid politicians and executives rather than the public.

Posted by: gergle at April 19, 2007 1:20 AM
Comment #217965

Hillary’s ideas are great. She will end things like:
—-Selling pardons,

—-violating campaign finance laws by selling off the Lincoln bedroom,

—-taking bribes from brokers…say 100K for a 1k “investment”,

—-Sitting on company board taking bribes as a form of influence peddling, say, when ones spouse is a governor.

—-Firing Whitehouse employees to shift money to cronies back home and lying about it, then smearing them in order to cover up the blatant corruption of the act.

Yeah, Hillary’s going to clean up all that government corruption. She’s seen it, it’s been sticking to her like glue. And after she cleans it all up, she will sell you a pardon too, if you can afford it.

Posted by: StephenL at April 21, 2007 11:08 AM
Comment #218617

Don’t forget the dead hookers, the murder of Vince Foster, the cocaine and using State Troopers to score chicks.

What a crock. Where’s the proof, StephenL? All these accusations were debunked years ago.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 27, 2007 1:56 PM
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