Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rick Santorum's Plan To Destroy the Country

This is the character who whined on a Sunday talk show that he'd have "vomited" to hear the words of JFK in 1960, when he addressed a convocation of Protestant ministers in Houston, that he would not be beholden or obliged to any prelate and regarded the separation of Church and State as "absolute". So for that, little Ricky wants to puke! Well, let him, since JFK was exactly correct.

There is no place for religion to exist under any formal banner in government, either as a special department or as employed by high powered officials to push their agendas, including taking marching orders from padres, popes or bishops. Does this mean religious people aren't entitled to enter the public square and debate, present their views? Of course not! But it does mean that those views aren't to be granted any special protected status by government. They have to compete openly in the marketplace of ideas and devil take the hindmost.

But Rick's heinous plans should he get in, such as universal intra-vaginal ultra sounds for all women of child-bearing age who insist on an abortion after being raped, are merely one aspect of his agenda. (Bearing in mind the need for the abortion likely arose after Santorum and a Reep congress made all contraceptives so expensive that virtually no woman other than a one percenter could afford them).

Rick's other plans were laid out in detail in the WSJ yesterday ('My Economic Agenda', p. A15) and it behooves me to share the most extreme parts with blog readers. Just be sure before you read you've already had your breakfast.

The plans are laid out as bullet points, and removed of political BS and Goop-speak, embrace the following:

1) The full approvial of the Keystone Pipeline ....for "jobs". Well I already discussed the terrible downsides of this in an earlier blog:


The fact is that the jobs Santorum speaks of would be for the very few (maybe 21,000 if that) and major hellacious environmental costs that would be a hundred times greater than the Exxon Valdez disaster if major leaks of this crappy tar sands-based stuff leached out to the surrounding environment.

This pipeline will also wend through drought-prone regions some of which are still suffering, and the water costs will be enormous. During the tar sands oil extraction process, vast amounts of water are needed to separate the extracted product, bitumen, from sand, silt, and clay. It takes three barrels of water to extract each single barrel of oil. At this rate, tar sands operations use roughly 400 million gallons of water a day.

There'll also be no assurance there won't be mature ruptures, despoiling the landscape (see map in earlier blog link) and spewing toxins far and wide. We already know TransCanada attempted to cut corners by seeking a safety waiver to build the pipeline with thinner-than-normal steel and to pump oil at higher-than-normal pressures. Thanks to the pressure exerted by Friends of the Earth and allies, the company withdrew its safety waiver application in August 2010. We also have NO assurance, none ...nada...that this pipeline if it ever does come through won't also have pressure-wall thickness issues.

As the toxins insinuate into local water supplies look for breast and kidney cancer rates to soar.

2) Santorum will ensure the Environmental Protection Agency is totally gutted - cutting $100 million of regulations that currently protect against mercury poisoning our air (from coal-fired power plants), even as other asthma -causing effluents are allowed to soar to exponential concentrations. Kids across the country better be well stocked with inhalers and other apparatus to ward off attacks.

Food and water regs will also likely be sliced, so don't be surprised to find all sorts of hideous diseases or maladies popping up...from E Coli outbreaks, to salmonella to cryptosporidium (which sickened 400,000 in a Milwaukee outbreak in 1994), to Listeria. Cancer rates will also be on a tear as each reg is abandoned, and lung diseases will go through the stratosphere.

3) Santorum plans only two tax rates: 10% and 28%. He claims that "in order to help families, I will triple the personal deduction for children". In fact, this is a ruse to get parents to accept many more kids and stop using birth control, which of course he plans to place on the highest drug tier in terms of costs. Santorum reasons that families will accept this tradeoff, and thereby do without the costly contraceptives if they're given compensation for the extra kids that will inevitably result. Not stated is that this triple indemnification will likely have to repealed after a year because his tax rates will be so low they will add more than another $5 trillion in deficits.

4) Leading to this next step where Santorum promises "$5 trillion in spending cuts over five years". These will likely be cuts to all the social programs, including Medicaid (which he will likely try to farm out to the states) Medicare, stopping the doc fix and making access cuts and Social Security(changing the COLA). He also makes it plain he wants to "cut the non-defense work force by 10%"

That means he wishes to add another 2 million unemployed to the rolls, and who knows if these folks will be able to get other jobs.

5) This leads to his next noted step to "reform entitlements". According to Rick:

"I plan to cut entitlement programs by 10 percent across the board"

In addition: he plans to "freeze their costs for four years, and block grant them to the states"

In other words, folks on Social Security and Medicare will expect to see their share of premium costs soar (i.e. if program costs are frozen and health inflation continues as expected, beneficiaries will have to pick up the tab). As for Social Security, with a less generous COLA and higher Medicare premiums (maybe $225-250 a month) it will essentially amount to a de facto cut to benefits.

Meanwhile, "block grants" means Santorum allows about $10 million per state, and that amount has to be divvied among all the Medicaid population for benefits. In Colo. this is nearly 1/2 million needy people, so we are talking about $20 benefit per person on average. Obviously this is much too low to get any care so that the entry thresholds will have to be made more rigorous to weed out most current beneficiaries, e.g. income less than $200 a month and 2 dependents, or what ever.

6) Repeal and replace "Obamacare": so look for your young adult kids to have to buy and pay for their own insurance which under Obama's Affordable Health Care plan they simply got under parents' policies. Also, if Santorum succeeds, look for insurance companies to go back to defining "pre-existing conditions" in order to cull the numbers in need as well as services.

7) Halve the corporate tax rate: Santorum insists he will drop it to 17.5% from its current 35%. But as I noted in a previous blog,


According to a special report in TIME (Feb. 20, p. 16), no corp. actually PAYS 35%. Rather, the effective corporate tax rate is now 12½ %.

This means if Santorum gets his wish, the effective rate will likely go down to 6% or less. In effect, granting corps. even vaster stories of money with which to ply our congress critters in lobbying efforts, not to mention to purchase "free speech" via super PACS.

Ah yes, Rick Santorum's economic agenda...one that only a Satan could love!

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