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The 1st 28 Questions For Kerry
Washington Post ^ | 02/15/04 | George F. Will

Posted on 02/14/2004 8:57:16 PM PST by Pokey78

In the more than 250 days until Nov. 2, John Kerry can answer questions that linger despite, or because of, all he has said so far. Such as:

Other than denoting your disapproval, what does the adjective mean in the phrase "special interest"? Is the National Education Association a special interest? The AFL-CIO?

You abhor "special tax giveaways for the privileged and special interests." When supporting billions in ethanol subsidies, mostly for agribusinesses, did you think about corn-growing, caucus-holding Iowa?

Is the National Rifle Association a "special interest"? Is "special" a synonym for "conservative"?

When you denounce "lobbyists" do you include those for Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club? Is "liberal lobbyist" an oxymoron?

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; doublestandard; georgefwill; kerry; lobbyists; specialinterests

1 posted on 02/14/2004 8:57:16 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
In 1994, the year after the first attack on the World Trade Center, you voted to cut
$1 billion from counterterrorism activities. In 1995 you proposed a $1.5 billion
cut in intelligence funding. Are you now glad that both proposals were defeated?

I'd like to see President Bush ask Kerry this during a debate when the country is watching.

2 posted on 02/14/2004 9:05:24 PM PST by jigsaw (God Bless Our Troops!)
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>>When supporting billions in ethanol subsidies

Why do they call not taxing something a subsidy?

The simple fact is ethanol is not taxed at the same rates as petroleum based fuels. It's just DemonRat new match where spending 10% more than last year on a program is a cut.
3 posted on 02/14/2004 9:09:06 PM PST by Keith in Iowa (The only good news for Democrats is they could save $$ by switching to Geico.)
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To: jigsaw
I think Bush will cream Kerry in a debate.
4 posted on 02/14/2004 9:09:08 PM PST by js1138
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To: Pokey78

5 posted on 02/14/2004 9:10:44 PM PST by counterpunch (click my name to check out my 'toons!)
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To: jigsaw
Another good one:

You oppose immediate termination of U.S. involvement in Iraq, and you opposed the $87 billion to pay for involvement. Come again?
6 posted on 02/14/2004 9:11:50 PM PST by Choose Ye This Day (Then: "Ask not what your country can do for you" Now: "You sit down. You had your say.")
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Prepare for a deer-in-the-headlights response when Kerry is clocked with this one:

"You say the rich do not pay enough taxes. In 1979 the top 1 percent of earners paid 19.75 percent of income taxes. Today they pay 36.3 percent. How much is enough?"
7 posted on 02/14/2004 9:14:48 PM PST by Choose Ye This Day (Then: "Ask not what your country can do for you" Now: "You sit down. You had your say.")
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To: Keith in Iowa
Federal Ethanol Subsidies: Status and Benefits

Donald L. Van Dyne
Research Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics

Government subsidies for the production and use of ethanol from grain in the United States have always been controversial. Subsidy advocates describe the increase in jobs, personal income, tax base, reduction in petroleum imports, plus the cleaner air resulting from increasing ethanol production and use. Moreover, it provides an additional market for grain -- mostly corn. Those attacking the subsidy cite the large "drain" on the treasury, plus the fact that most of the financial benefit has gone to a few large agribusiness conglomerates. Both sides have good points. The purpose of this is to explain briefly how the federal subsidy works and some benefits of ethanol production and use.

First, the federal subsidy is a blender's tax credit of $0.54 per gallon of ethanol. Under current law, it is scheduled to expire at the end of the year 2000. The subsidy is not paid directly to those who produce the ethanol. Rather, it accrues to the business or company that blends ethanol with gasoline to form gasohol (10 percent ethanol and 90 percent unleaded gasoline). For example, each gallon of ethanol blended with gasoline by a petroleum distributor or retailer results in a $0.54 income tax credit from the tax owed to the federal government. If that company has an income tax obligation, the credit can benefit them directly. If they have no income tax obligation that year, the $0.54 per gallon credit cannot be used and is of no benefit.

In reality, the subsidy is divided between the ethanol producer and the blender by altering the ethanol price based on ethanol demand relative to supply. If the supply of ethanol is high relative to the demand for it, the bulk of the subsidy will be kept by the blender. Or, as ethanol supplies become tighter, the ethanol producer can demand a higher price and a larger portion of the subsidy.

Next, while all admit an ethanol subsidy results in payments from the federal treasury, some choose to ignore the benefits to a community, state or to the U.S. resulting from such an industry. These benefits are in various forms. First, ethanol produced from grain in Missouri would reduce gasoline imports. Missouri currently imports more than $10 billion of energy annually, with much of this expense being to import gasoline. Secondly, ethanol production in Missouri would increase jobs, personal income and tax base. A study conducted by Van Dyne and Braschler estimated that operating each of the two 15-million gallon ethanol plants proposed for North Missouri would result in slightly over 200 new jobs, plus an increase in personal income of almost $28 million annually. Some of these jobs and increased income would be for those working at the ethanol plant, but most would be for other businesses and sectors that would result from increased economic activity in the community. These benefits would be for operation of the ethanol plant. Additional jobs and income would also be realized during the plant construction.

Additional benefits include taxes that would be collected at the local, state and federal levels. Income taxes would be collected on at least some of the increased personal income by the state and federal governments. Sales taxes would be collected by local and state governments on expenditures resulting from much of the increased personal income. State sales tax rates are 4.225 percent, plus the local tax rate which is 2.75 percent in St. Joseph (the site of one of the proposed ethanol plants). Additional revenues would be collected in the form of excise taxes on increased gasoline and diesel fuel sold as the result of an ethanol plant. Excise taxes for both gasoline and diesel fuel in Missouri are $0.17 per gallon of fuel sold. Federal excise taxes for gasoline and diesel fuel are $0.184 and $0.244 per gallon, respectively. Finally, real and personal property taxes would be collected by local governments on the increased investment in the ethanol plant and other purchases such as automobiles, homes, etc. Van Dyne and Braschler estimated that tax collections (local and state, but not federal) could be up to $3 million annually from the increased income resulting from each of the two proposed ethanol plants in North Missouri.

Another benefit to the farm and agribusiness sectors would be the additional demand for grain, with the strengthening and stability of grain (primarily corn) prices directly related to the size of the ethanol industry. Other studies have estimated changes in grain prices that would result from introduction of an ethanol plant and/or an ethanol industry into an area.

One last potential benefit of an ethanol plant in Missouri is something economists call "economics of agglomeration." That is, if an ethanol plant is built and operated in a community, other businesses might be attracted to the area as the result of the ethanol plant. For instance, the wet milling ethanol plant operated by Cargill at Eddyville, Iowa, has attracted at least two additional plants that use output from the ethanol plant. These plants include one that produces lysine which is used as an additive for animal feeds and a plant that manufactures monosodium glutamate. Collectively, the wet milling ethanol plant, the lysine plant and the monosodium glutamate plants have provided a very significant economic stimulus to the Southeastern Iowa economy. Other potential industries that might be candidates for locating adjacent to an ethanol plant in Missouri include increased cattle feeding and/or a packing plant, primarily because of our large beef cattle industry and feed grain production in Missouri.

While this paper has not provided clear evidence of the value of subsidies for ethanol production, it does identify many issues that are critical in evaluating the societal value of such subsidies. It is fully expected that ethanol subsidies -- both state and federal, along with many other controversial issues, will continue to be debated well into the next century.
8 posted on 02/14/2004 9:17:33 PM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: Keith in Iowa
because any money the gov't 'lets' you keep is a subsidy.</sarcasm off>
9 posted on 02/14/2004 9:22:29 PM PST by vbmoneyspender
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To: js1138
I plan on taking the phone off the hook, and making popcorn if and when Senator Kerry debates President Bush.
10 posted on 02/14/2004 9:25:14 PM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: stylin_geek
Oh no. I think Bush wil crush him. He pretty much beat the human wonk, Gore. Now Bush has won two wars and revived the economy. As a conservative you don't want to hear this, but when the debate camera hits Bush, he's spent more money on "welfare" than clinton. Why do you suppose he did this? Not to make the dems love him, as Rush speculates.

All that is to disarm the dem candidate in the debates. Bush and his advisers think ahead.

11 posted on 02/14/2004 9:32:40 PM PST by js1138
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To: Pokey78
Kerry and Kennedy are joined at the hip.

If we conservatives can't beat John Kerry, we have bigger problems. We are heading to that Western Europe version of Democracy. If we don't get a McGovern like victory, I'll be disappointed.

12 posted on 02/14/2004 9:37:02 PM PST by lawnguy
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To: js1138
I agree, I think President Bush will shellac Senator Kennedy. And I want to watch, uninterrupted, if possible. As for spending, that is a good point. It really cannot be brought up, because the spending is on programs favored by Democrats, and about the only position they can take is to spend more money.
13 posted on 02/14/2004 9:40:01 PM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: stylin_geek
Bush isn't winning any friends or gaining any votes by spending money. The object here is to neutralize the welfare isue in the debates. I hate to be cynical about this, but there it is. the object is not to be perceived as a blue meanie. Once the questioning turns to othere issues, Kerry or whoever is toast.
14 posted on 02/14/2004 9:44:38 PM PST by js1138
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To: stylin_geek
I hope the Bush campaign picks up on this. It is really good. They should make parts of it into campaign ads and work it into the debates.
15 posted on 02/14/2004 10:11:00 PM PST by DestroytheDemocrats
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To: Pokey78
Dream on. The only questions the press will ask Kerry are the "As a valiant war hero, how can you stand being in the same room as a draft-dodging, AWOL deserter?" kind.
16 posted on 02/14/2004 10:44:19 PM PST by Jeff Chandler ( [ Insert tagline here. ])
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To: js1138
Boy, was I tired when I wrote that post. Senator Kennedy..sheesh, Senator Kerry. The spending has definitely neutralized Medicare reform/Prescription drug benefits as an issue. Kind of hard to attack it in debate without drawing attention the fact it was a Republican President that signed it into law. And, the only thing that can really be attacked about the program is either its cost or that not enough money is being spent. Either way, it takes the issue off the table.

The only issue I see Kerry able to attack is jobs, and I don't know that he can frame that issue, if it remains an issue, to his benfit.
17 posted on 02/15/2004 5:49:35 AM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: counterpunch
Wow! You have some great images on your home page!
Have you met our legendary registered?
He's another talented freeper.
18 posted on 02/15/2004 6:13:43 AM PST by MaryFromMichigan (We childproofed our home, but they are still getting in....)
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