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Commentary - No wonder there's poverty

By George Davis, Evansville, MN After reading Dennis Dalman's column and the series on poverty in the Echo Press, I felt I had to respond. The United States is not a Third World country. How could this happen to us? Possibly, some of the followin...

By George Davis, Evansville, MN

After reading Dennis Dalman's column and the series on poverty in the Echo Press, I felt I had to respond.

The United States is not a Third World country. How could this happen to us? Possibly, some of the following may have brought this about:

1. President Bush and the Republican Party pushed through a tax cut for the wealthy.

2. President Bush vetoed the Child Health Care Bill.

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3. President Bush got us involved in a war in Iraq, claiming they had weapons of mass destruction. None were found.

4. There is no proof that Sadam Hussein had any connection to 9/11.

5. President Bush claimed that Iraq oil will pay for a large part of the war expense. It has not.

6. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winning economist and self-described opponent of the war, put the final cost figure at a staggering $1 to $2 trillion, including $500 billion for the war and occupation and up to $300 billion in future health care cost for wounded troops. Additional costs include a negative impact from the rising cost of oil and added interest on the national debt.

7. Is the world safer because of the war in Iraq? Is the U.S. respected more worldwide because of the war? Do we have more radical terrorists worldwide because of the war?

8. Newsweek reports Texas oil millionaire Ray Hunt is a close friend of President Bush. Ray Hunt signed an oil agreement with the Kurds in northern Iraq to develop oil fields. President Bush says he does not know anything about this.

9. Our government continues to give large tax breaks to big oil. Our president defends this.

10. According to the Wilderness Association, Vice President Dick Cheney was the former CEO of Halliburton Oil, one of the world's largest providers of goods and services to oil and gas institutions.

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11. President Bush received $2.36 million in contributions from big oil and gas in the 2004 election. This is more than any other candidate received in a decade.

12. Gas is now at $3 per gallon and some say it is on its way to $4 per gallon. Every extra dollar people have to spend for gas is one less they have for housing, food, medical care, entertainment or anything else. While all this is happening, CEOs get millions in pay and bonuses while the working person can't afford some basic needs. To me this is nothing but corporate greed.

13. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the Iraq War was all about oil.

14. Health insurance hits a new high. Insurance companies and drug companies are making large profits.

15. President Bush will not allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with the drug companies.

16. France, Japan and Australia are rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations. After the top three, Spain was fourth best followed in order by Italy, Canada, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, Greece, Austria, Germany, Finland, New Zealand, Denmark, Britain, Ireland and Portugal, with the United States last. The large number of Americans who lack any health insurance was the probable cause. About 47 million people in the United States have no health insurance.

17. Congress has given itself a health care program far above what the average American can afford. Taxpayers pay for most of this program.

18. Congress also has established a very lucrative retirement program for its members.

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It is no wonder there is so much poverty in the U.S.

One last thought - absolute power absolutely corrupts.

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