How NOT to spend Memorial Day . . .

President Bush spent the Memorial Day weekend thanking the nations veterans for their service, saying we acknowledge the debt [we owe them] by showing our respect and gratitude.1

… except this was mere hours after the Bush administration had announced new plans to cut $1 billion from the Veterans Administrations budget in a second term if it gets reelected2. The Administration has already tried to close several VA hospitals throughout the country3 in moves that have been criticized by veterans groups nationwide4. Recently 164,000 veterans have been cut off from their existing prescription drug coverage by the White House5, and the President has threatened to veto6 any bill that would allow veterans to receive both the military pension promised as well as any disability compensation they are entitled to.

Definitely not the best way to show your thanks to those whove served in uniform on this day.


  1. Presidential Weekly Radio Address Speech,, 05/29/04.
  2. “Democrats rip Bush’s outline for cuts in domestic programs,” Palm Beach Post, 5/28/04.
  3. “VA Seeks Major Hospital Overhaul,” CBS News, 8/05/03.
  4. “President Bush’s Veterans’ Budget Called Woefully Inadequate and Inexcusable,” Senate Democratic Policy Committee, 2/12/04.
  5. “VA Cuts Some Veterans’ Access to Health Care,” Washington Post, 1/17/03.
  6. “Bush Threatens Veto of Defense Bill,” Washington Post, 10/7/02, p.A02.

Tax cuts once again favor the wealthy …

From the Omaha World-Herald:

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett accused the Bush administration Saturday of pursuing tax cuts that favor business and the wealthy.

“If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning,” Buffett said in Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s annual report.

Corporate income taxes in fiscal 2003 accounted for 7.4 percent of all federal tax receipts, down from a post-war peak of 32 percent in 1952, Buffett said.

With the exception of 1983, last year’s percentage was the lowest recorded since data was first published in 1934.

“Even so, tax breaks for corporations (and their investors, particularly large ones) were a major part of the administration’s 2002 and 2003 initiatives,” Buffett said. Many large corporations now pay nothing close to the stated federal tax rate of 35 percent, he said.

Berkshire does not hesitate to pay its taxes, Buffett said. It almost certainly is among the country’s top 10 taxpayers and it will pay $3.3 billion in 2003 corporate income tax, about 2 1/2 percent of the total income tax to be paid by all U.S. corporations, he said.

Finally, a billionaire that I can get behind.