Set Priorities: We Can't Let Republicans Repeal the Estate Tax

This is my first diary here, and I wanted to use it to highlight a very important issue coming up for a vote soon in the Senate.

I'm working with a group called Coalition for America's Priorities.  We're a coalition of progressives and responsible business groups who are fighting to ensure that Bill Frist and his boys in the Senate don't eliminate the Estate tax.

For those who haven't checked in a while, yes America is still in debt.  Yes, we are still running a huge deficit each year.  Yes, more money is still needed to rebuild from Katrina.  Yes, America still has pressing monetary needs including body armor for our troops, better schools, a better health care system etc.

Yet despite all these needs that America has, Bill Frist wants to vote to permanently repeal the Estate tax and cost our treasury over a trillion dollars in the next 10-15 years.  

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Resolution & Rage: Call Your Legislators

Bush sent his new budget proposal (blueprint) to Congress on Feb. 6th, demanding new cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Blueprint in hand, our Senate agreed in March to reduce these programs while funding more tax breaks mostly beneficial to millionaires.

Congress also intends to cut essential programs, like job training, childcare, home health, food assistance, housing, and health care. For example, it will cut health benefits for veterans by nearly $7 billion. Fees veterans pay out of pocket for healthcare will triple.  

Outlay for war will be much greater. Bush calls for $50 billion more for the occupation of Iraq. We know Bush will come back for many more billions for Iraq before year-end, like he has each year...

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Republicans Strong on National Security?

Tom Maertens from VoxVeraxIt's been repeated so often that it's now accepted as true: Republicans are strong on national security.  Even the Bush administration believes it, despite their record.But look at the facts.  In pursuit of its preemptive strategy to establish U.S. dominance everywhere, the Bush administration has gotten us bogged down in Iraq on phony pretenses and created more terrorists than it has eliminated.  In the words of Brig. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, the Pentagon's deputy director for the war on terrorism, "We are not killing them faster than they are being created." How is it strong on security if your policies lead to a greater terrorist threat?The U.S. involvement in Iraq has damaged our military and wasted resources.  The U.S. military is stretched so badly that, as Gen. Barry McCaffrey expressed it, the wheels are coming off.

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Bush Presidential Priorities, Debt and Defense ©

Never was there a doubt. President George W. Bush said, "Bipartisan education reform will be the cornerstone of my Administration." Yet, it never was.  It is not that the Democrats did not wish to work with Mr. Bush to improve our schools and to set a standard of excellence for the nation's children.  It is that Baby Bush had a truer mission, that of spreading Democracy throughout the world. This goal has always distracted King George.  

This President has "war" on his mind.  For him, "conflict" is the definition of the democratic process.  He promotes it in his daily travels.  He may speak of erudition; however, he acts on combat.

George W. strives to be the one that unites nations; however, he divides them.  He destroys nations aboard and at home.  He battles, blames, and builds walls, not bridges.  

This President speaks of being a "compassionate conservative," and just as his father, he envisions himself as "kinder and gentler;" however, the truth is he is leaving millions, billions, and trillions behind.  The rich are getting richer, the poor, poorer; and the children . . . they are left behind.  

* Please Read, Children Left Behind,Washington Post and The Children Left BehindThe Institute for Women's Policy Research

According to the Congressional Budget Office, "The government will spend $217 billion on interest on the debt this year. By contrast, federal spending for the Department of Education is $83 billion."

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Welcome to December… let’s watch Congress drag us further into misery.

We are starting December with a very heavy rain… it began around midnight last nite and was still raining five minutes ago when I brought the dogs in from their 10:30 AM walk. I expect it to keep raining most of the day. The low spots on our back lot are flooded already and I imagine groundwater rises are happening all over town. I’ll find out when I go out to the store a little later.

December begins the three or so weeks that Congress has remaining in the Lame Duck Session before all the overpaid and underaccomplishing elected officials head home for the holidays to brag about what they did or didn’t allow to get passed and beg for money. 

Perhaps they will leave after making at least one or two progressive legal advances get through before the Republicans take over the House and add to their seats in the Senate. Taxing the Wealthy would be one legal wonder. I don’t count on it as Obama seems, as usual, getting ready to cave. To me, the best thing would be for nothing to happen and the taxes go back in place for everyone.

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