My View: Economic Development Bogged Down by Politics and Ridiculous Conspiracy Theories

solar-2Politics runs in interesting cycles.  Just under 20 years ago, right after the Republicans in 1994 took over Congress and Newt Gingrich came forth with his revolutionary idea of shifting government back to the states, Republicans found themselves in the area of being innovators looking for new ways to do things and relying less on the federal government.

At the time, even though it was a vision that I disagreed with, Republican ideas looked fresh while Democrats fighting the rear guard battle looked reactionary and stale.  Twenty years later, the Republicans seem stuck in the same place: they were out-organized in the last election, their demographics are working against them, and the freshest and most innovative ideas are not coming out of their camp.

What I see emerging is a new economy and a new framework.  It is a framework that sees government neither as the ultimate enemy nor government as a complete solution.  It is a framework in which government is still looked at as an important component because it can prioritize the public agenda, but it also recognizes that innovation comes from the private sector.

In an era that will look less toward the false dichotomy of public versus private, we will see the need for state and federal money to be utilized to fund startups and other public-private ventures.  The need to move away from strict public sector employment and toward the creation of jobs in critical areas like the health and life sciences, information and communication technology, agriculture and food production, advanced manufacturing and, of course, clean energy technology represents the future.

It is here that a city like Davis becomes critical, as Davis finds itself in the unique crossroads, not only nestled against a world-class university with research and university spin-offs, but on the I-80 corridor right next to Sacramento.

The Vanguard sees this as a moment of opportunity to bring in the kinds of economic development that fit with what our community is and what it ought to strive to become.

Earlier this week, we covered some of the projects and legislation that Davis’ new Congressman John Garamendi is authoring.  This is the kind of legislation that will help produce good and high-paying jobs and encourage the type of innovation technology that Davis would like to tap into.

HR 1524 does a few things.  First of all, it requires that clean energy goods and equipment be produced mainly from American-made content – the idea there is to keep these manufacturing jobs at home.

At the same time, it invests in the future – high tech and clean energy technology – to help the US invest in the future.

It is hard to imagine that anyone could object to legislation that keeps jobs at home and invests in clean energy for our crumbling infrastructure, but one person tweeted, “OH great. #Thompson was bad enough Forcing #Obamacare Now #Garamendi pushing UN Agenda 21.”

How this bill is pushing UN Agenda 21 is questionable at best.  But this kind of reaction illustrates a critical problem.

Agenda 21 has become the tin foil conspiracy agenda on the right.  Until about six months ago, I did not even know what Agenda 21 was.  It turns out it “is a non-binding, voluntarily-implemented action plan by the United Nations regarding sustainable development.”  It comes out of talks from 1992 about sustainability and other environmental concerns.

Agenda 21 is not a treaty and, because it is not a treaty, it is not binding on any US policies.  But that has not stopped conspiracy theorists from attacking it as an attack on American sovereignty.

According to Wikipedia, the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution opposing Agenda 21.  The Republican Party platform states that “We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty.”

It goes on to note, “Activists, some of whom have been associated with the Tea Party movement by The New York Times and The Huffington Post, have said that Agenda 21 is a conspiracy by the United Nations to deprive individuals of property rights.”

Columnists in The Atlantic have linked opposition to Agenda 21 to the property rights movement in the United States.

And Glenn Beck called it a means of instituting “centralized control over all of human life on planet Earth.”

Even some conservatives recognize this paranoia as problematic: “Nothing about Agenda 21 is binding, and it’s not a threat in and of itself. Instead, the threat Americans need to be concerned about is the one that lies in their own backyard. “

Wendell Cox, Ronald Utt and Brett Schaefer write: “Opponents of Agenda 21 should not be distracted from the more tangible manifestation of the smart-growth principles outlined in that document. If they focus excessively on Agenda 21, it is much more likely that homegrown smart-growth policies that date to the early 1970s and undermine the quality of life, personal choice, and property rights in American communities will be implemented by local, state, and federal authorities at the behest of environmental groups and other vested interests.”

Now what does Agenda 21 have to do with Congressman Garamendi’s legislation that would invest in new green energy technology, but mainly fights to keep the manufacturing jobs at home?  Not even the broadest interpretation here would see a link.

But my point is this: while universities and  innovative research organizations are working hard to develop new technologies, the other side of the fence is getting bogged down in conspiracy theories.

A few weeks ago the Davis Chamber brought forth Roger Niello, who is the President of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce and served as a Republican Assemblymember from 2004 to 2010.

As the Enterprise reported a few weeks ago, Mr. Niello and the Next Economy leaders have a plan that will grow the capital region’s economy in the next five years, molding it into a “sought-after place for business growth and entrepreneurship,” a “desirable place for young professionals to live, study, work and play” and a “diverse economy known for core business clusters that are driven in large part by export activity.”

It was mainly the right message, but delivered by the wrong messenger.  Roger Niello, for example, has been an outspoken opponent against AB 32 which seeks to cut greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020.  The city of Davis has made these goals the centerpiece of its own Climate Action Plan.

In doing so, Mr. Niello has cited as evidence, in a 2010 Sacramento Bee article, an industry-funded study of the costs of AB 32 that probably exaggerated the actual costs by a factor of 10.  The Legislative Analyst’s Office called the “Varshney study” “unreliable” and “essentially useless.”

The real key to AB 32 and all similar efforts is twofold.  First, conserve more and consume less and, second – and I think this is more of an opportunity than a burden – invest in cleaner burning technologies, invest in alternative energies and invest in more fuel-efficient transportation systems.

The problem is that Roger Niello sells cars, so how is he going to push alternatives to cars without harming his business?  There are actually some answers here in emergent technologies and fuel efficiencies, much of which could be researched and developed in a city like Davis.

Still as the Bee’s associate editor, Foon Rhee, wrote back in December, “The Next Economy initiative could be a game changer.”

The idea of moving beyond a reliance on housing and government is solid and he wrote, “If Next Economy works, it could lead to sustained prosperity for the 2.3 million people who live in the region.”

“More than a plan, Next Economy is a movement,” as he quoted Meg Arnold, CEO of the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance.

Still Mr. Rhee wrote, “I’m not a disciple quite yet. The plan looks good, and it makes sense to play off the region’s strengths. It does have more credibility because it is not coming out of government and more traction because there has been such broad outreach already.”

However, he added, “Still, you could fill a library with failed economic development plans. Many other regions are competing for the same jobs and entrepreneurs. In a global economy, it is exceedingly complicated to pick winners.”

Davis could play a central role in this regional transformation as the university and surrounding community have the human capital and resources to drive the innovation.

But for me at least, it doesn’t make sense to focus on the Next Economy without a heavy emphasis on green technology and using public-private partnerships, investment, and grants to develop alternative energy sources, more efficient housing designs, and other high tech and highly innovative technologies.  The people worrying about conspiracies with property and sovereignty rights should focus their energy on figuring out how to tap into the green energy and technology revolution.

We cannot do this if every time the word climate change is mentioned we crawl up into a proverbial ball, get into the fetal position and start worrying about imaginary threats to US sovereignty through a voluntary agreement on sustainability.

While I am concerned that climate change has progressed beyond the point where emission reductions over the next decade are going to mitigate it, I think green technology is the wave of the future and it is something that Davis should become the focal point for in this region.

What is clear is that the overall political environment in this country is toxic.  People want to pin the problems to Washington or, more locally, to Sacramento.  That is the wrong problem.  Washington and Sacramento merely reflect the political division, insecurities, and even paranoia that is based right in the midst of our communities.

We have leaders that attempt to put forward bold and innovative solutions to our problems but get hamstrung in the same fears and insecurities that have locked us into place for the last few decades.

Whether you believe we need to raise taxes, cut government programs, or both, one thing we can all agree on is that the way out of this hole is to grow the economy.  The only way to grow the economy in a stable way is to invest in the jobs and technology of tomorrow.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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27 thoughts on “My View: Economic Development Bogged Down by Politics and Ridiculous Conspiracy Theories”

  1. AdRemmer

    What lessons have we learned from failed “Green” projects?

    The Amonix Solar: manufacturing plant in N. Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20M (fed. tax credits and grants) closed its plant 1 yr. after it opened.

    Solar Trust of America: – Filed Bankruptcy in Oakland, CA, 4/3/12

    Bright Source: warned Obama’s Energy Department officials in 3/11 that delays in approving a $1.6 B U.S. loan guarantee would embarrass the WH & force the company to close. Lost billions, yet is got/getting more $?

    Solyndra: Obama gave $500,000,000 in taxpayer money to Solyndra who shut its doors and laid off 1100 workers in 8/11 [billions in losses] unproven technology?

    LSP Energy: filed bankruptcy protection and a sale of its assets in 2/12

    Energy Conversion Devices: 2/12 ECD & its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy

    Abound Solar: Received a $400M loan guarantee from Barack Obama then announced in 6/12 that it would file for bankruptcy. Donated MILLIONS to Obama’s campaign (Illegal “Democrat Slush Fund?”).

    SunPower: stopped producing solar cells in ’11 [near bankruptcy] restructured w/aid of TOTAL, Inc. [big oil?]

    Beacon Power: filed for bankruptcy protection 10/11 a mere annum after Obama approved a $43M loan guarantee. Struggling, possibly dying a slow death (if not already gone)?

    Ecotality: SF green-tech co that never earned $ & on the verge of bankruptcy [$115M in 2 loan guarantees from President Obama].

    A123 Solar: Received $279M from taxpayers, AFTER the Solyndra bankruptcy [$400M loss – Promised more $?].

    UniSolar: Filed for Ch 11 bankruptcy 6/2012 after laying off hundreds of workers. Yet obtained more Govt $ (little progress/no profits/still failing).

    Azure Dynamics: Filed for bankruptcy 6/12 wasted millions in “Stimulus” $ [Yet got abatement/taxes credits].

    Evergreen Solar: Got $527 Million in Taxpayer $ – filed bankruptcy in ’11. Cut more than 1800 jobs (what came of the factory?)

    Ener1: Obtained $118M to make electric-car batteries but filed for bankruptcy protection 1/12 (defaulted on bond debt).

  2. David M. Greenwald

    “What lessons have we learned from failed “Green” projects?”

    The same lesson we learn from all failure in life – how to do things better in the future.

  3. Davis Progressive

    while you’re stuck in your narrow partisanship, the train is leaving the station. fortunately it appears others have a better vision of the future than you do.

  4. medwoman

    [quote]What lessons have we learned from failed “Green” projects?
    [/quote]

    I would be interested in seeing a similar list of “non green” businesses that have failed over a similar amount of time and your interpretation of what significance the existence of a failed business plan has to the discussion over all.

  5. Davis Progressive

    also there appears to be the conflation between the kind of government appropriates money with what I think the call is here for government grant fund research and joint collaborative project start-up opportunities. To development new technology and innovation takes capital investment. By its nature a lot of projects will fail. But if you’re afraid of failure, you’ll never gain the benefits of economic development no matter the sector you;re in.

    All I see from Growth Izzue is partisanship, I don’t see any real insight into this stuff.

  6. Growth Izzue

    “The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made.”

    [url]http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/president-obamas-taxpayer-backed-green-energy-failures/[/url]

  7. Growth Izzue

    “The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
    1.Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
    2.SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
    3.Solyndra ($535 million)*
    4.Beacon Power ($43 million)*
    5.Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
    6.SunPower ($1.2 billion)
    7.First Solar ($1.46 billion)
    8.Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
    9.EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
    10.Amonix ($5.9 million)
    11.Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
    12.Abound Solar ($400 million)*
    13.A123 Systems ($279 million)*
    14.Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
    15.Johnson Controls ($299 million)
    16.Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
    17.ECOtality ($126.2 million)
    18.Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
    19.Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
    20.Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
    21.Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
    22.Range Fuels ($80 million)*
    23.Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
    24.Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
    25.Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
    26.GreenVolts ($500,000)
    27.Vestas ($50 million)
    28.LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
    29.Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
    30.Navistar ($39 million)
    31.Satcon ($3 million)*
    32.Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
    33.Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)

    *Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

    The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’ business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to “invest” in green energy.”

  8. J.R.

    [quote]I would be interested in seeing a similar list of “non green” businesses that have failed over a similar amount of time and your interpretation of what significance the existence of a failed business plan has to the discussion over all.[/quote]

    This completely misses the point. It is not that the businesses failed. Of course that is a natural part of the cycle.

    The point is that these were government subsidized companies.

    Government economic planning can be successful. But the simplistic and naive approaches supported by David and meds direct money to the wrong places and do terrible harm to the development of sustainable green businesses. The subsidized companies not only failed, but also used their subsidies to prevent the emergence of successful companies in these fields.

    The problem is the foolish and failed idea, so attractive to elitists, that governments can direct investments towards key areas better than markets.

  9. Don Shor

    [i]”…that governments can direct investments towards key areas better than markets.”
    [/i]
    You’re right. Government funding to industry tends to lead to corruption and waste. But we need to jumpstart the work on these energy-related fields. Just like NASA and the TVA and other government-funded and government-driven enterprises, the social need can’t presently be fulfilled by private firms.
    So I think the government should do the research and projects directly, instead of trying to manipulate markets. We need to vastly expand the spending by the Energy Department on innovative energy R&D, and then hand off the results to private companies. For a fee and/or royalty, of course.
    But I’m guessing the same conservatives who oppose federal subsidies also oppose federal spending. In short, they usually either deny the existence of a climate problem, or simply feel that there should be no coordinated federal response to the problem.

  10. SouthofDavis

    AdRemmer wrote:

    > What lessons have we learned from failed “Green”
    > projects?

    Then posted a long list (of well over a Billion in taxpayer money that was funneled to politically connected people that ripped off the taxpayers).

    And ended with:

    > What lessons have we learned from failed “Green” projects?”

    Then David responded:

    > The same lesson we learn from all failure in life –
    > how to do things better in the future.

    We habe not learned how to do things better unless you consider “heads I win tails you lose” (what we have with government funded business where they make millions if they “win” and taxpayers pay millions of they lose) better. The only thing government seems to be “learning” is to make things even worse by passing more laws trying to save doomed companies…

    And medwoman wrote:

    > I would be interested in seeing a similar list of “non green”
    > businesses that have failed over a similar amount of time…

    The list on non-green companies run by politically connected people ripping off regular taxpayers is even longer… I don’t have the time to look them all up but I think everyone remembers “Star Wars” (Regan’s plan to shoot Russian ICBMs out of the sky) that funneled billions to his defense contractor buddies. When Regan nominated his Bohemian Club pal Cap Weinberger to be secretary of defense Cap left Bechtel but took care of his fellow Bohemian-Mandalay friends by sending them billions in no bid contracts (making every member of the Bechtel family his camp mates at the Bohemian Grove billionaires). The same thing happened when Bush asked Cheney to leave Halliburton to be his VP. Cheney made sure his former company got billions in cash to work in Iraq and other projects around the world.

    As long as people who call themselves “conservative” ignore the rip offs on the right and only rant about the rip offs on the left and people on the left ignore the rip offs from their friends on the left and in the “green” industry American will stay split and the people with connections on the right and left will continue to smoke $50 cigars and deink $200 bottles of wine as they laugh at how stupid American taxpayers/voters are…

  11. Frankly

    Government SHOULD invest in economic development. Government SHOULD NOT be attempting to pick winners and losers in business.

    Government SHOULD NOT provide direct funding to business. Government SHOULD partner with private lending and business-support entities that specialize in economic development.

    Government SHOULD NOT give away any money without full public disclosure and documented controls. Government SHOULD establish general policy milestone goals for the money, disclose them to the public, and provide robust oversight to ensure milestone goals are met. All failures and successes should be clearly and directly disclosed to the tax-paying public.

    Government SHOULD NOT set funding targets and levels for economic development as long-term commitments. Government SHOULD make all economic development investment programs that require regular re-authorization. Those programs returning commensurate value based on set and disclosed policy goals should be re-authorized. Those that do not preform or deliver should be killed. Agencies with strong track records for success should receive funding priority, those demonstrating less capability for success should have their programs killed and their discretionary funding for these programs cut.

    Most people do not know that almost every federal agency has some number of government-guaranteed loan programs. Many of these have become long-running institutions that have become fully-integrated into the private economy. Some are very effective and valuable. Some are crap and should be killed. The general problem with all of them is exploitation from politicians with a specific political agenda. The House and Congressional commerce and business-related committees provide some oversight and control; but politics seems to more often drive the agendas. Also, the executive branch of the federal government under Barak Obama, since the House was in Democrat control, and the Senate has been in Democrat control, has hyper-politicized almost all of these programs. Democrats hate fossil fuel, and think the world should run on sunlight and batteries. So, most of the agency loan programs have had modifications made to them to favor these types of businesses. In addition, there have been modifications to reward “green” ideas, and punish those that don’t meet the Democrat’s standards. There other similar modifications.

    This is the “picking of winners and losers” aspect of government-run economic development that often has the opposite impact. With the favoritism and punishment of business based on ideology and political agendas, because these funding mechanisms have become standards in the private economy (replacing private alternatives that might have otherwise developed and thrived), we end up with many types of businesses that cannot find adequate funding. Politicizing of funding narrows the scope of funding while also reducing the options for funding. It is anti-economic development.

    We need a complete overhaul of government-run economic development. Policy goals are fine. And some incentives makes sense to help us achieve those. But the delivery and administration of ALL government lending programs should be done though intermediaries in the private sector working with their respective host agencies in a public-private partnership. To prevent the exploitation of this money by politicians, we should require that all lending programs be temporary with fully-disclosed performance goals and expectations, and a schedule of re-authorization. The GAO, CBO, or ??? can be given the responsibility for collecting data to measure the success or failure of these programs. Those meeting enough of their goals should be reauthorized and expanded. Those failing should be killed and the money should then be allocated to other programs.

  12. Growth Izzue

    “The Obama administration distributed $9 billion in economic “stimulus” funds to solar and wind projects in 2009-11 that created, as the end result, 910 “direct” jobs — annual operation and maintenance positions — meaning that it cost about $9.8 million to establish each of those long-term jobs.

    At the same time, those green energy projects also created, in the end, about 4,600 “indirect” jobs – positions indirectly supported by the annual operation and maintenance jobs — which means they cost about $1.9 million each ($9 billion divided by 4,600).

    Combined (910 + 4,600 = 5,510), the direct and indirect jobs cost, on average, about $1.63 million each to produce.”

  13. David M. Greenwald

    It’s very interesting and I really question how much you actually read of my proposal because you keep coming back to attack things that I never put forward as ideas.

  14. Don Shor

    [quote]Government SHOULD invest in economic development.
    Government SHOULD NOT be attempting to pick winners and losers in business.
    

Government SHOULD NOT provide direct funding to business. Government SHOULD partner with private lending and business-support entities that specialize in economic development. 


    Government SHOULD NOT give away any money without full public disclosure and documented controls.
    Government SHOULD establish general policy milestone goals for the money, disclose them to the public, and provide robust oversight to ensure milestone goals are met. All failures and successes should be clearly and directly disclosed to the tax-paying public. 


    Government SHOULD NOT set funding targets and levels for economic development as long-term commitments.
    Government SHOULD make all economic development investment programs that require regular re-authorization. Those programs returning commensurate value based on set and disclosed policy goals should be re-authorized. Those that do not preform or deliver should be killed.
    Agencies with strong track records for success should receive funding priority, those demonstrating less capability for success should have their programs killed and their discretionary funding for these programs cut. 


    [/quote]

    I agree with all of the above.

  15. Mr.Toad

    What if you applied Garimendi’s idea to the I-phone? Apple designed it but assembles it over seas from parts manufactured all over the world. So where is the location of origin?

    If we did this build it here thing with a car what would it cost? Cars are now assembled from the most competitive parts suppliers for each component in the entire world. Leather seats from Argentina, glass from Italy, mirrors from Sweden, chips from Taiwan, light emitting diodes from the Netherlands and so on. So where is it produced?

  16. Mr.Toad

    Remember Bush declaring he wanted another$100 billion for Iraq. How many times did he say that? So Obama blew some money trying to get us off being so dependent on Persian Gulf oil and you guys are all Apocalypse Now “The horror, the horror.” Grow up, its a drop in the bucket compared to what Bush borrowed shadowboxing phantoms of mass destruction, that just happened to be located on top of one of the largest pools of oil in the world, while crashing the economy into somebody’s home. Also didn’t forget Obama didn’t kill anyone with this folly but how many died in Iraq, tens, hundreds of thousands?

  17. jimt

    re: Don “So I think the government should do the research and projects directly, instead of trying to manipulate markets. We need to vastly expand the spending by the Energy Department on innovative energy R&D, and then hand off the results to private companies. For a fee and/or royalty, of course.”

    I agree something like this makes more sense than forking over money to politically-connected private enterprise–the executives of most of the companies no doubt remain very wealthy after the failure/bankruptcy of their companies–a winning deal for them in any event; which is the way of corporate america; set-up so guys at the top stay fat no matter how poorly the company performs.

    I worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab as a photovoltaic engineer in the mid-1980s; which ran a government-sponsored and managed solar R&D program in which many private enterprises participated–an excellent program; a huge amount of progress was made in photovoltaic panel technology thru an excellent joint government-private enterprise partnership during about a 5 year period in the mid-1980s (of course Reagan made sure the program got axed and diverted more government-sponsored R&D back to big oil).

  18. Frankly

    [I]All these wasted dollars are a fraction of what the Republicans wasted in Iraq.[/I]

    At least the stupid spending mistakes of Repuiblicans end; while the stupid spending mistakes of the Democrats are perpetual, expansive, never-ending, ever growing, and defended to the very end as always righteous.

  19. Steve Hayes

    I may be the only one in Davis who is a bit suspicious of the acronym and buzzword rich prolix within the articles describing the “Cap to Cap” effort in Davis. The Thursday, April 11th article in the Davis Enterprise titled “Davis Leaders Head Off to DC” was the first time I read anything about this complex and far reaching plan that will result in 95 ” policy requests (?)” among other things. What is really going on here?

    From my perspective, the citizens of Davis are being caught in a reactive mode concerning this major project. Is this the time to spring a project of this size and complexity on the citizens of Davis, or play “gotcha” with their futures?

    To read more about the ongoing battle Marin citizens are having to retain their ability to plan for and be secure in their futures, please see:

    http://www.marinij.com/novato/ci_23111050/marin-elected-officials-receive-briefing-30-year-development

  20. David M. Greenwald

    I’m not sure why you would be suspicious of anything Steve. Cap to Cap is an annual occurrence where people from this region go to DC to lobby and connect with Washington leaders. There is not a major project or anything, it’s simply a chance for the region to ask DC for certain needs. What is different this year, I think, is the effort Davis has gone to start bringing tech and other high tech jobs into our community and to work with our leadership in Washington to bring in federal money as a start up.

  21. Mr.Toad

    “At least the stupid spending mistakes of Repuiblicans end;…”

    You mean like the unfunded medicare part D drug prescription benefit that restricts the government from negotiating drug prices. What about the trillion dollars its going to cost for iraq war veteran benefits? That will end when, in fifty years?

  22. Mr.Toad

    Of course the money borrowed to pay for the Iraq war will be rolled over and payed off when? Never. Of course the Republicans could have raised taxes to pay for their war of choice but that would not have broken the bank, “starving the beast” as Republicans like to say, and made it harder to finance the needs of the American people.

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