Big stuff Dean said at TBA conference. Ignored.
by concerned democrat, Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 06:49:13 PM EDT
As far as apologies go, Biden might be another story. However, as both a moderate and probably the only person in history to have been a Senator for the majority of his life, he seems to live for the Sunday morning talk shows. Such places are about the only forums in the world where this stuff matters. Anyway, we shouldn't have been spending so much time discussing this, since discussion on these sorts of topics are almost always self-defeating.
As far as what Dean actually said, I think these comments speak for themselves--Chris
Of course they had to ignore it. It was too important. So they all jump on one statement which I will put in the next post. Here is part of the transcript from TBA, when all hell broke loose because Howard Dean criticized Republicans.
SNIP..." And it wasn't enough for the president to try to wreck the public pension system that we had. It wasn't enough for him to try to turn over Social Security to the same people who brought us Enron -- his good friends and political contributors -- that wasn't enough. Now we find out that under this president's watch, private pension plans have been grossly underfunded. What does this president want? Don't Americans deserve, after a long life of work, don't they deserve a retirement with dignity and security? I think that they do. (Cheers, applause.)
This week the Labor Department estimated that in 2004 underfunding of pension plans grew to $450 billion. Sixty percent of companies take advantage of outdated accounting rules to avoid making annual contributions. The president wants to take away our Social Security, and then he's going to take away the private pension plans too? What does he think ordinary Americans live on after they get to be 65 years old? We need a president who understands working people in this country, and we will have one after 2008. (Cheers, applause.)
We ought not to allow people like Ken Lay to loot the pension plans of America while their companies are going down. Pension plans ought not to be controlled by companies. They ought to be controlled by the people who those pensions belong to, that's the working people of America. (Cheers, applause). Enron began around the time the president took office. Forty thousand Americans lost their pensions; another tens of thousands, just last week when the courts took away the United Airlines workers' pensions. This is a serious problem. The president has had his time; he has done nothing. Let the Democrats try to fix the pension program. We have a positive plan with portability and independent control outside these corporations who abuse the money. This is stealing to let pension plans go down. That money does not belong -- (cheers, applause) -- that money does not belong to these companies who are bailing themselves out of bankruptcies; it belongs to the people who they promised it to in their contract. It has been set aside. We want these pensions in America to be independently run so that they are not looted in the throes of bankruptcy while CEOs make $30 million and $40 million a year. That is wrong. (Applause.) They have had their chance.
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