Sunday, December 18, 2005

Two NYT Op-Ed Pieces Underline the Cluelessness of the Bush Crowd

In the Friday, December 23, 2005 New York Times

Krugman's column, "The Tax-Cut Zombies" concludes that:

. . .the starve-the-beast theory - like missile defense - has been tested under the most favorable possible circumstances, and failed. So there is no longer any coherent justification for further tax cuts.

Yet the cuts go on. In fact, even as Congressional leaders struggled to pass a tiny package of mean-spirited spending cuts, they pushed forward with a much larger package of tax cuts. The benefits of those cuts, as always, will go disproportionately to the wealthy.

Here's how I see it: Republicans have turned into tax-cut zombies. They can't remember why they originally wanted to cut taxes, they can't explain how they plan to make up for the lost revenue, and they don't care. Instead, they just keep shambling forward, always hungry for more.

Friedman's column, "A Shah With A Turban," concludes as follows:

After the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, the Iranians knew they needed an insurance policy. So they did two things: they concentrated on developing a bomb and went out and struck gas deals with one-third of humanity - India and China, the world's two fastest-growing energy consumers. So it is highly unlikely that China would ever allow the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran.

The whole world seems to be getting bought off these days by oil. Gerhard Schröder, the former German chancellor, just became chairman of a Russian-German gas pipeline project - controlled by the Russian government - that he championed while in office. The man just stepped down as the leader of Germany and now he's working for the Russians! I guess Jack Abramoff was not available.

The word from the White House is that President Bush is trying to figure out a theme for his State of the Union speech and for his next three years. Mr. President, what more has to happen - how many more Katrinas, how much more reckless behavior by Iran, how many more allies bought off by petro-dollars - before you realize that there is only one thing to do for the next three years: lead America and the world in an all-out push to conserve energy, reduce dependence on oil and develop alternatives?

Because three more years of $60-a-barrel oil will undermine everything good in the world that the U.S. wants to do.


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