October 11, 2003
Thanks for your kind remarks about our serendipitous meeting at Sam's and welcome to the growing company of empty nesters. We have been in that large societal group for a number of years now. Interestingly, in regards to that reality, Dana is down here visiting, in the same fashion that her brother Jon was last weekend. We had a marvelous trip today with some Israeli distant cousins up to Cold Springs and West Point. Meanwhile I appreciate your effort to respond to my letter and to expostulate your political and philosophical positions. There is no doubt, from your perspective; you have made some telling points. But I would like to reiterate some of my points that you did not answer, and to add a few more observations that reflect on your argument.
First of all you did not address my statement regarding your claim that the 50%, who you do not believe pay FIT, would be against the tax cut. I am sure that you do not know that or cannot prove that assertion. Your chart regarding which economic group pays or doesn't pay income taxes begs the issue. The graduated income tax, and its current structure is not perfect, but certainly flat taxes, sales taxes and value added taxes are not perfect either. If you believe that a person making less than $25,000 should pay at the same rate that a person making $25,000,000, I pity you. We try in America to make the “playing field” a bit more equal, not more skewed to the super rich. In regards to the “middle class” being burdened by a disproportionate percentage of the tax burden, who should pay the “bills?” The middle class receives much of the services. If you taxed the bottom 13.2% of all wage earners at 100% of their income, the amount of money they would contribute would make very little difference to the rest of the budget. The upper wage earners have the ability to “shelter” much more income than any amount of tax liability you could burden on the13.2%. Also note, that sales taxes, social security taxes and property taxes (on some) certainly take a higher percentage of their gross income than those taxes do on the upper income groups. Personally I am for a minimum Federal tax on every one, but for sure Federal income taxes, on the rich and the upper earners have been cut dramatically. Again I believe that the recent Bush tax cut for the upper earners and his previous inheritance is just relief for millionaires. For that hypocrite to preach, “let no child fall behind” is a “sick joke.” Better be stated “let no millionaire be left behind.”
In regards to Clinton; yes he was not a “Boy Scout.” In regards to his peers, he is and was not alone. I think that you have forgotten that Reagan, under oath, in the Iran-Contra trials of one of his subordinates, and I do not recall which one (Admiral Poindexter, Bud McFarland or Col. North) said that he forgot over 400 times! Who's the bigger liar? For better or worse, Clinton created 22 million jobs and had created a $189 Billion surplus for his successor. Reagan created jobs, no doubt, but at the cost of trillions in debt and left us with the legacy of the “Savings and Loans” boondoggle, of which one of the Bush sons was up to his neck in with the Silverado Bank. Remember it was his buddy Ken Lay and their gang who bought his primary victories over John McCain. Bush said be barely knew them! Who's the liar now? In regards to the Bush “State of the Union” address: he lied through his teeth about everything regarding Saddam Hussein's power.
1) No real weapons of mass destruction- now 15,000 troops assigned to the search, have not located anything.
2) Iraq's power degraded by 9 years of over flights
3) No real connection with Al Quiada (if there was a real connection we should have nuked Baghdad)
4) Used unsubstantiated scare tactics over the phony Niger uranium story
5) His Secretary of State's report on mobile weapon factories was also “red herring.”
6) The “outing” of the Ambassador Wilson's wife, for political and punitive reasons. Exposing hundreds of her contacts and friends to potential abuse, and possible harm. Without much embellishment I supported eliminating both the Taliban and deposing Saddam Hussein and his Ba'athist regime.
Where I disagree is with the following:
1) Terrible tactics by General Franks in Afghanistan.
2) Allowing the “paper tiger” Taliban forces to hold us up while we fiddled with the Northern Alliance and their idiotic artillery war for weeks, allowing Osama to escape!
3) B-52 bombers turned around the so-called “front” in days, and they melted away.
4) Franks, who commanded from Tampa has been roundly criticized in all circles for his “out of the loop” command.
5) No “end game” for Afghanistan, and it is now almost a complete disaster as a country.
Bush and Powell completely blundered with the UN and our NATO allies. In our rush to fight a war with a 4th rate nobody force, just to take advantage of the full moon and to beat the hot summer, we alienated the UN (for whatever use they are) and our Allies. So what are we left with?
1) An unruly public in Iraq
2) A money pit that will suck up billions
3) The possibility of a democratically elected Shi'ite theocracy, modeled on Iran.
4) A steady stream of casualties
5) No allies, and no other countries contributing troops
6) The stretching thin of our troops
7) The abuse of the reserves and the National Guard
8) A plan to grant Iraq billions, it should be a loan against oil revenues
We overrated their military and should have let the Turks come into Kurdistan, and completely failed at sealing off the Syrian Border. (Where much of the missing leadership has probably fled to, and we probably know it.) We handled the Turkish situation idiotically and then tried to “bribe” them into joining our coalition. By the way it is Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran that have been probably much more responsible regarding terrorism and Al Quiada. Where is the pressure on Syria? Who was:
1) Smuggling Iraqi oil out for years
2) Sponsoring Hezbollah
3) Controlling Lebanon
d) And arming Hamas in the West Bank
We allowed their infrastructure to be looted, their schools, police stations, museums and their power grids to be destroyed. We cannot even get their oil production back to even basic working order. But we are in a “fantasy” world about democratization and “nation-building”. If the US military kills Saddam Hussein, we will run out of that “swamp” in three months and let civil war ensue, and not care a fig. So much for “nation-building.”
Even with the best of intentions by Tom Ridge and A.G. Ashcroft, their heavy handedness regarding the Muslim American community has accomplished very little. From my perspective they did too little and they did it poorly. All that was engendered was probably legitimate criticism from civil libertarians of the right and the left. Just ask the states where is the homeland security money? The White House has promised and has not delivered.
1) It hasn't delivered to NYC what they promised after 9/11!
2) The financial burden on the States have been pushed onto the local taxpayers
3) Almost every state is in deep deficit, reflected of the Bush economic plan
4) No job recovery, 3 million jobs lost, a sluggish economy and the first administration to have a net job loss since Herbert Hoover?
5) Bush has under-funded many of the programs that he promised in many of his speeches.
6) In fact Bush lied about his whereabouts on 9/11.
7) His dopey “reading” lesson in the classroom while we were under attack
8) His “made-up” and “mixed-up” stories regarding his actions regarding the FAA and the orders to ground all flights.
I want to “roll-back” the tax cut on the top 1% to pay for his request for $87 billion. Their tax relief will not create new jobs except for their friends. You did not address:
1) Continued and massive manufacturing job loss
2) Tech job loss promised by that industry to the tune of 3 million to be exported to India and China
3) Degraded national “infrastructure”, no money to fix up our roads, bridges and power grids!
4) The sex scandals involving our hypocritical “blue noses” of the right
5) Bill Bennett's gambling addiction. That fatuous hypocritical blowhard!
6) Rush Limbaugh's pill escapade. What else is new with the hypocritical right?
7) Rudy G's affair while his wife and children were holding down the Gracie Mansion fortress. His scurrilous annulment of his first marriage.
In regard to “income mobility,” I have no idea what you are talking about. The “inheritance” tax removal will be a disaster to the budget of this country. It will impact only:
1) The very rich, who do not need relief
2) Charities that will be gutted
3) Reinforcing the aristocratic power the “super rich” now enjoys!
4) In fact, many billionaires are totally against it and many of the super rich have sign petitions opposing its repeal.
5) In fact, again Bush lied when he stated that family farms and businesses were lost because of the tax. That is a fabrication!
6) If they are so concerned let people plan better by taking out life insurance! Which they presently do!
I do not consider myself a liberal under any stretch of my imagination. But I would like to state the following:
1) I would definitely support John McCain over Bush
2) I support the death penalty
3) I am against partial birth abortions
4) I support a strong military and the overthrow of both the Taliban and the Ba'athists.
5) I am for internal passports
6) I am for sealing off our borders
7) I am for removing every illegal alien in the US
8) I am against allowing further immigration from the Middle East
9) I am not against the ownership of long guns
10) I am against further gasoline taxes
11) I am for making English the official language of the United States
12) I am against social promotion in schools
13) I am for rights with responsibility
14) I support the need for private and parochial education
15) I am against parole involving egregious cases
16) I am opposed to the insanity defense
17) I am for stiffer jail penalties that involve: drug and alcohol abuse
a) Drug and alcohol abuse
b) Monopolization and price-fixing
d) False advertising
e) Mail fraud
f) Murder and rape
What I am for:
1) Prosecution of Enron, World Com and other corporate brigands
2) Investigation of the NY Stock Exchange give-away to Richard Grasso. He was a regulator?
3) Investigation of the Cheney-Halliburton deal in Iraq
4) Continued separation of Church and State
5) Continued and sustained prosecution of pedophile priests
6) Environmental protection
7) Safe nuclear facilities
8) Energy independence
9) Conversion of local, state and Federal vehicles to solar, gasohol hybrids
10) More wind and solar power supplies
11) Use of our strategic oil reserves to lower gas prices when OPEC uses cutbacks to squeeze the marketplace
12) The answer of why our gas, in NY is $2.10 for 89 octane
13) Better rotation of out troops in Iraq
14) A smarter policy with North Korea, they are the real danger!
15) Better relations with our allies
16) Less trashing of worldwide agreements