Man Without Qualities

Friday, August 16, 2002

On to 2004

Matt Miller writes:

Howard Dean ... is the little-known governor of Vermont who is running for president. From a recent conversation it’s clear he’s the only Democrat aspirant so far willing to discuss an agenda bold enough to challenge Bush. ... Dean, a physician, wants health coverage for every American. .. When you ask Dean how he’ll pay for this and his other priorities (like early childhood programs), he doesn’t hem or haw. “By getting rid of the president’s tax cut,” Dean says. Not freezing it, mind you — getting rid of it. All $1.7 trillion worth.

Actually, if the point is to have a balanced federal budget (which Dean seems to say he wants), universal health care and lots of government-funded "other priorities" like childhood programs, "getting rid of the president's tax cut" would hardly make a good sized downpayment. Direct deposit of most paychecks into the government till would be more like what would be needed. Has anyone reminded Mr.Dean that the standard of living in Sweden is now less than the standard of living in Mississippi? Or that the average Swede now does not live as well as the average African-American?

Mr. Miller seems to think Mr. Dean has a reasonable chance, at least of the Democrat nod. If so, that would give the nation a clear choice - and maybe at least break up some of the gridlock in Washington.

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