Is Frist *clinically* insane?

Okay, the more I think about this, the more pissed off I get. Seriously, I can't even attempt to be genteel about this--it's an outrage. For anyone who doesn't know this already, here's what Bill Frist is up to these days:

Senate Finance Committee members were informed this morning that Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday, ThinkProgress has learned.

And, to me, the most outrageous part is that more people aren't outraged.  A national tragedy (in the form of Hurricane Katrina) has hit that even Bush has to admit is going to be more devastating than the September 11 attacks when all is said and done, and what is this doctor's top priority? Pushing through a permanent tax cut that only benefits Americans who are in the top two percent in income. ASAP! I must admit that I haven't watched hours of video of Bill Frist, so I can't make a definitive diagnosis. But he must be some kind of nuts if he thinks--with all these bills coming in--that cutting an important source of revenue is a good idea right now.

Check out the Cost of War web site and see how fast that counter is moving. You can get a counter to put on your own web page--I've added one to the Shadow BFA Blog. It doesn't move as smoothly as the one on the Cost of War site, but it still gets the point across. That's only what we're spending in Iraq. Current estimates suggest that Katrina could cost the economy $100B. Enough zeroes and my eyes just glaze over--I can't wrap my mind around the meaning of numbers that big. But there's more--education, healthcare, roads and public transportation, researching and implementing new sources of energy so that we don't remain so dangerously dependent on foreign oil.

It's maddening how hard it is to get this simple concept across--or to have it heard over the constant shouting of "Taxes bad!"--but STUFF COSTS MONEY. The more stuff we need, the more money we need to pay for it. Right now my husband is working on repairing our roof. On the way to the gym I saw an ad for a local roofing company on the back of a bus and thought "Man, that'd be sweet--being able to pay someone else to do that!" But, again, stuff costs money, and we've had to spend a lot of the green stuff lately--what with back to school supplies and clothes for the kids, and the recent vet bill was quite impressive, even though it was just for a "routine maintenance" visit.

So we cut costs where we can, and part of that is that my husband does a lot of our home and auto maintenance. We're also working on figuring out how to bring in more income, because it is vitally important to keep X (money coming in) at a greater value than Y (money going out). Around here it might mean me teaching an additional evening class, or it might mean my husband picking up more graphics/animation work. Or I get a call to do a temp project. Sometimes, when things are getting pretty harried around here, we may be tempted to turn down a project, but we don't even make that decision lightly, because it is vitally important to keep X greater than Y.

Just like we have to balance income and bills, so does our government. And, with the expenses I mentioned earlier, it seems nothing short of insane to say to the wealthiest two percent of Americans, "No thanks--you can keep your money!"

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Priorities
I've been seeing this ad on blogs for a few days, but I hadn't clicked it to find out more because, well, I don't click ads.

But, looking at it today, I realized, "Ohhh--I wonder if that has anything to do with cutting the estate tax." As I mentioned in last night's entry, Bill Frist has chosen this time of national tragedy to "move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday". Don't we kinda need that money right now?

Anyway, the ad turns out to be for the Coalition for America's Priorities , and yes, that's exactly what the site is about.

Right now the U.S. Senate is considering an issue that will have a huge impact on the future of our nation: the future of the estate tax. Repealing the estate tax would cost $75 billion a year in federal revenue and over a trillion dollars overall. In order to make up that lost revenue either taxes will need to be raised or programs like Social Security and Medicare will need to be cut. Fewer than 2% of Americans have to pay the estate tax.

The Coalition for America's Priorities wants to ensure that Americans have the facts they need to make an informed decision on what they think should be done about the estate tax. There are a lot of misperceptions about the Estate Tax, and a lot of misinformation. This site will help you to gain a better understanding by helping you to separate the myths from the facts. Find out how estate tax reform affects your state. Read media coverage, scholarly papers, and other websites about the issue. Most importantly, you can contact your Senators and tell them why you support real reform, not repeal, of the Estate Tax.

Click here to visit the site. There's a map where you can find out how the estate tax affects your state, and you can also see ads the coalition has run.

by Renee in Ohio 2005-09-03 01:20PM | 0 recs
The real agenda? Destroying charities?
This gift to the very rich will, by all accounts, dramatically reduce giving to charities (the main purpose of which is avoiding the 'death tax')

meanwhile, ironically, many orders of magnitude more people.. many, many many people, are being hit by the Medicaid 'death tax'.. the seizure by the government of the estates of people who found themselves depending on Medicaid because their insurance ran out or they lost their jobs..and their insurance, and then died..

This effects (takes away) the equity of the middle class..  And its not because of irresponsibility.. people don't choose to get sick.. and often their losing their insurance happens when they can least afford it.. when they get ill and get fired..because they can't work...

Its a huge transfer of wealth from the middle class to corporations, money wise.. a much larger death tax.. This also means that many, many 'family farms' will be sold.. not passed on to the next generation. - to use an ironic and sad example of how the real-world facts - not the lie machine really works..

by ultraworld 2005-09-03 10:08PM | 0 recs
It's Simple, Really
The nation is focused on New Orleans and the effects of Katrina.  The nation's secondary focus (which is asking a bit much of a nation that collectively suffers from ADD) is on the astronomical price of gasoline.  The nation does not have enough attention-span (think: digital bandwidth) or emotional energy left to be outraged by anything that the Senate does right about now, so from a strategic standpoint, this is the opportune time to sneak the most outrageous bill possible - transportation bill notwithstanding - through the Senate.
by Oscar In Louisville 2005-09-03 03:14PM | 0 recs
I am outraged..
But is anyone at all surprised? Nothing they do surprises me anymore.. they are greedy beyond the pale..
by ultraworld 2005-09-03 10:10PM | 0 recs
I may be wrong,
but I read somewhere that the Estate Tax will be shifted to those of us not in the top 2%.  That is, unless I misread it (always possible), now everybody except millionaires will have to pay Estate Tax.
by SusanD 2005-09-03 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: I may be wrong,
In about 50 to a 100 years The Estate Tax would effect more people if it were not index to inflation, but that can be taken care of quite simply.
by Painter2004 2005-09-04 09:52AM | 0 recs
I saw a video of Bill Frist
In my expert opinion Bill Frist is clinically insane.

Dr. Buddah

by Gary Boatwright 2005-09-03 06:41PM | 0 recs
Several possible explanations . . .
  1. The GOP has become so politically tone-deaf that they have no idea what voters will actually think about a given piece of proposed legislation. Now you might consider this explanation a stretch, since this is the party that currently controls all 3 branches of our government, ergo they must be doing something right (I mean that in the Machiavellian sense, of course). But since their utter -- and utterly predictable -- flop with the Social Security Reform plan, I think it's plausible to posit that their heads are so full of hubris that they have lost all sense of reading the electorate.

  2. An alternative explanation is precisely the opposite of the first one. Poll numbers show the public's regard for GWB and the whole GOP agenda is crumbling, and the Katrina debacle will prove to be the last straw -- you can read posts on redstate to see that even a good number of the faithful know that Bush is taking a pounding on this, and his poll numbers were already at all-time lows. I think it is highly likely that this will prove to be the GOP's high-water mark (no pun intended). They may be aware of it -- or aware of the distinct possibility, at least -- and therefore figure that they better pass as much of their agenda as possible in the next 14 months before the Great Correction comes. And it's coming. Hopefully their preparations for that hurricane are as terrific as the ones for Katrina.
by scottso 2005-09-03 06:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Several possible explanations . . .
Here's another one. They know they control the black boxes that count votes, so they don't care what the polls say.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-09-03 06:56PM | 0 recs
They are paying their investors back for the $$$
If anyone doubts that our democracy has been stolen by the effect of money on common sense.. here is your proof..

Actually, the disease that I always think they have is narcissistic personality disorder..

Look it up.. it is SO TRUE..

To them, everything important, truth, human needs.. are like nothing..They only seem to care about power.. No substance.. Words, not actions.. appearances over substance...

Even big disasters like this one seem to them, so used to getting their way..as just another 'public relations problem' they can throw money at..

:(

by ultraworld 2005-09-03 10:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Several possible explanations . . .
They do it all with smoke, mirrors, computers. After all, the Windows operating system logs everything you do in its vast jungle of files, objects, connectoids, cookies, etc., etc., etc. -- AND IT WAS DESIGNED TO BE EASILY HACKED !!! And yes -- it will be most pleased to count your precious little vote. Just step right up! (sucker)

The entire situation is more than frightening. I am afraid that many, many returning troops will have radically severe depleted uranium poisoning. Whole cities will be gone. 17 people will own 99.9% of what's left.

Tell your state officials that the time has come to burn the school-houses and ban the boob-tube -- NOW !!!

by blues 2005-09-04 11:50AM | 0 recs
Historians who write about this empire's fall
Will open their accounts with this very episode. While the poor drown, the rich raid the treasury. Our democracy is sick unto death.

Thanks for this post, Renee. You're one of democracy's Florence Nightengales.

by Glenn Smith 2005-09-04 05:39AM | 0 recs
Howard Dean's response
I saw the story in Booman Tribune about how Al Gore arranged for a plane to fly 130 Katrina survivors to Tennessee, and it occurred to me to look and see if there were any stories about Howard Dean related to this issue. Turns out he has issued a statement saying much of what I did, but better. He didn't sound all "angry" like I did. ;-)

Both stories are posted here
http://shadowbfa.blogspot.com/

by Renee in Ohio 2005-09-04 11:02AM | 0 recs

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