Monday, March 15, 2004

The Medicare Lie

Richard Foster,Medicare's Chief Actuary says he was threatened into silence about cost of prescription drug Medicare bill. In fear for his job, he allowed Congress to proceed upon the bill without the full and correct information about the cost of the program.

This is yet another example of the Bush Administation's habit of leading with lies and threats. Strong arming a public servant with the threat of termination if he told the truth to Congress is reprehensible and possibly illegal. Congressional Democrats are calling for an ethics investigation and a re-vote on the legislation. They should call for Bush's head on a platter.

This is just the latest instance of leadership by deception and threats by this Administration. Internal documents and admissions by the Administration make it clear that the White House knew of the higher cost estimates for months. It is also clear that they expect to pay no political cost for their mendacity and thuggery.

One has to wonder how far this Administration has to go to really outrage the public? Public assassinations of American citizens? Nope. Did it. No outrage. Torture of prisoners? Nope. Did that. No problem. Agressive war justified by lies, and costing hundreds of American lives? Nope. Did it. People liked it. Toppling peacful democratic governments? Did that; working on yet more. Not a peep. Outing national security assets for base political purposes? Uh-uh. Tried it. Worked well. Can probably avoid any indictments. Disappearing hundreds of innocent citizens and residents? In spades. No repercussions. Domestic spying against the poltical opposition by computer intrusion? Check. Counter-attacked, and will likely get away with it. Intruding on the privacy of American citizens. Natch. Not an issue. Carrying out undercover ops, including incitements to violence, against domestic political opposition groups? Co-intel Pro is back. No outrage. Beating and intimidating peaceful protestors? Miami rocked, man! The city counsel deliberately passed an unconstitutional law banning public gatherings and repealed it right after the FTA protests. No public response.

Is it any wonder, given this PARTIAL accounting of the unethical, illegal, and anti-democratic actions of this Administration and its allies, that they think they can get away with any outrage? They can. They have. One has to wonder if, like a victim of spousal abuse, we have begun to comply with our own victimization. The first time we failed to stand up for ourselves, it was forgivable. But each time we failed to walk out on our abusive government, it became easier and easier to make us victims, and harder for us to reverse the course of our subjugation. Lucky for us, the marriage contract has an option to renew at 4 years. Perhaps we can pluck up our courage and marshall our outrage sufficiently to refuse to renew for another 4 years of abuse and degradation. If we don't throw the bastards out, statistics will tell you that there is a very high probability of our ending up terminally victimized by our abuser.

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