Tuesday, January 04, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

Mark Hyman is back, and so are we!

The Point thinks the following dozen topics should be resolved for this year.

And The Counterpoint thinks the following suggestions would be much better.

1. Capitol Hill will pass and the President will sign legislation that restructures Social Security that preserves benefits promised to today's seniors and offers investment choices to new workers.

The President and Republicans in Congress will stop repeating the lie that Social Security is in immediate danger as a way of opening the door to doing away with the program entirely, and they will be truthful about the fact that “privatization” equals a drastic cut in benefits to today’s seniors.

2. Medicare and Medicaid spending will be brought under control.

Conservatives will admit that “controlling spending” is a euphemism for cutting benefits and recognize that covering all Americans is the best healthcare investment we could make as nation.

3. The U.S. adopts a sensible immigration policy that allows continued immigration by those who will contribute to American society. And keep out the riff-raff that engages in crime, terrorism and is a burden to the American people.

Mark Hyman will stop trading in the rhetoric of racism and admit that perhaps his own ancestors were considered “riff raff” by a number of narrow-minded commentators when they arrived in America a century ago.

4. The partisan press will report only facts in the news and keep opinion in the editorial and commentary sections of their papers and newscasts.

Mark Hyman will say the words “Sinclair Broadcasting” during one of his commentaries this year and identify himself as a corporate vice president during “The Point.” And Sinclair will apologize for passing off discredited anti-Kerry propaganda as “news.”

5. Congress will pass a budget resolution and all 13 appropriations measures on time.

President Bush will propose a balanced budget.

6. We'll win the peace to go along with having won the war in Iraq.

Donald Rumsfeld will resign and apologize for sending far too few troops with an appalling lack of proper equipment to Iraq, assuring the ongoing insurgency that’s taking place.

7. Washington will come to its senses and rescind the abusive McCain-Feingold legislation because no one should have a gag order placed on them when it comes to political speech.

Washington will address the loopholes that allow groups like Swiftboat Veterans for Truth to receive money from allies of a presidential campaign and air innumerable attack ads shortly before an election. And for good measure, the FCC cracks down on broadcasters who label self-interested political propaganda “news.”

8. Doctors and medical professionals can perform their jobs to the best of their abilities without first having to consult with their lawyers and get approval from the insurance company bean-counters.

Conservatives admit that malpractice insurance plays a negligible role in medical costs and stop trying to limit the rights of patients who suffer when insurance providers or doctors make negligent decisions that harm them.

9. A comprehensive energy policy is put into place.

Dick Cheney meets with a truly representative group to construct an energy policy instead of creating a policy solely with and for companies such as Enron.

10.America dumps its tax code that punishes entrepreneurship, investment and risk-taking and replaces it with policies that reward economic growth and savings.

America returns to a progressive tax system that gives more spending money to those who most need it (and will most likely spend it) and make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.

11.Congress will not give its members a raise in any year they are unable to pass a balanced budget.

Congress will stop wasting time debating issues that are merely symbolic and actually addresses the underlying problems facing the nation.

12.Researchers find a cure for at least one currently, incurable disease.

The Bush administration takes science and its value seriously and funds it accordingly.

The reality is we should rejoice if just any one of these resolutions comes to pass. Happy New Year.

You can say that again.

And that's The Point.

And this is The Counterpoint.


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