Food For Thought
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Election 2000 Issues &
Last Presidential Debate 10-17-2000
October 17th, 2000
by columnist
David Lawrence Dewey

"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
Previous Columns
A special message from actress Barbra Streisand on why it is important to vote

Postscript ~ ~ ~
My comments about the last Presidential Debate held on 10-17-2000 is at the end of this column

The upcoming 2000 election will be one of the most crucial election throughout history that the American voter will participate in. Voters will be casting their votes based on the real issues at hand. They will decide the fate and health of this nation for the next 30-50 years concerning so many issues. Issues such as, Abortion, Budget, Economy, China, Civil Rights, Crime, Defense, Drugs, Education, Environment, Families and Children, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Immigration, Government Reform, Health Care, Juvenile Crime, Kosovo, Principles, Values, School Choice, Social Security, Tax Reform, Technology, Welfare and Labor. But how does one wade through all the polls, hype of the news media to get to the real issues the candidates represent.

The last two presidential debates were interesting, but also disturbing. Al Gore was presenting cold hard numbers and facts regarding the budget and how it will be spent. I found it very irritating that all George W. Bush could reply all the time with was, "those fuzzy numbers". This reminds me of my college economics class when the professor told us, "if you can't read and understand a P&L and balance sheet, you should never go into business and you shouldn't be here." Isn't that what our government has become, a huge conglomerate that has become so huge that even the General Accounting Office has a hard time keeping track of what its' doing. Bush certainly needs to go back to college and learn how to read and understand a balance sheet. What was even more disturbing was when Governor Bush was asked specifically about how the tax savings were only going to benefit the wealthy by both Vice President Gore and Jim Lehrner, he kept dodging that question by going off into a tangent about something else. Typical on how a politician replies and maneuvers when they know you got them by the ying-yang.

Then you had Al Gore talking about his achievements. It kind of reminded me of a best friend in high school that always embellished on his achievements on the football team to girls. But I still liked him and he was a great Captain of the team. He held the team together and the plays and moves he would come up were just plain genius.

Between the two candidates, Vice President Gore in my opinion answered most thoroughly the specific questions. He rarely dodged any of the questions even when Jim Lehrner would ask a specific followup question. This was unlike Bush, who half of the time if you noticed never answered the question, but went into la-la land about something else.

Now, you may think that by what I've commented on thus far that I am a staunch Democrat. Wrong. I am registered Independent and as my Grandfather always said, "I don't trust any politician farther that I can spit, and I can't spit at all." I, like my grandfather, look at the individual. I ask these questions. What does this candidate for office have to say that is not only different from the others, but speaks the truth when change is needed. And the big question, does he or she mean what they say, can they be trusted to full fill their promises?

It takes courage to become a voice in this day and age. You rarely find a politician that has the courage to "buck" the system for truth and justice and they mean what they say. That is the candidate I will always vote for. However, do these candidates have any of the values? That is the question.

The problem in todays politics is that even when you elect a trustworthy candidate to office, he fights an uphill battle in Washington to "make that difference" with his values and ideas to correct what is wrong. The political machinery in Washington is well-entrenched by lobbyists who make a politicians life a nightmare if they vote against something. The only way in my opinion because of this political climate even when a trustworthy politician is elected is to track their history. Not necessarily what they did do, but what they honestly tried to do and what they have said about various issues. Another words, what did they fight for.

Governor Bush comes from a state which is ranked as following:
50th in spending for teachers' salaries
49th in spending on the environment
48th in per-capita funding for public health
47th in delivery of social services
42nd in child-support collections
41st in per-capita spending on public education
And ...
5th in percentage of population living in poverty
1st in air and water pollution
1st in percentage of poor working parents "without" insurance
1st in percentage of children "without" health insurance
1st in executions (average 1 every 2 weeks for Bush's 5 years as Governor
Do I need to comment further?

Is Al Gore free from saying one thing and then doing another? Yes, sad to say, but his overall record is one of stability. He stands his ground on issues 95% of the time.

So how does one as I mentioned earlier wade through all the poll results and media hype. To be as fair and impartial as I can be in this decisive matter for my readers, I have complied a complete listing of issues that Vice President Gore and Governor George W. Bush stand for. In addition, I back tracked on certain issues that they were either for or against in their political lives, going back to early 1999. Both issued statements, press releases regarding these issues. I have complied them into these sections. Abortion, Budget, Economy, China, Civil Rights, Crime, Defense, Drugs, Education, Environment, Families and Children, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Immigration, Government Reform, Health Care, Juvenile Crime, Kosovo, Principles, Values, School Choice, Social Security, Tax Reform, Technology, Welfare and Labor. The issues are extensive.

Go to these pages for these issues:

| Abortion | Budget and Economy | China | Civil Rights | Crime | Defense |
| Drugs | Education | Environment | Families and Children |

| Foreign Policy | Free Trade and Immigration | Government Reform | Health Care | Juvenile Crime | Kosovo | Principles and Values | School Choice | Social Security | Tax Reform | Technology | Welfare and Labor |

You may want to print out the two pages above. My advice is to read thoroughly the issues at hand and the positions that each take on each of these issues. There is much more involved here than what you have seen on the television, read in newspapers, or heard on the radio.

I thought about putting up a voting poll to see how people would vote on my website, but decided against it. People do not need to influenced by polls. Voters should be free from any outside influence, including myself on who they decide to vote for. That is why I compiled the facts on the two pages above.

Remember, it does not matter who you vote for, it matters, that you vote. Please sure to read Barbara Streisand's message above on why it is important to vote.

I would like to hear from my readers, so please email your thoughts concerning this election. You can also post your thoughts about Gore or Bush on my message board.

This column was going to be about the real health dangers of the so called "additives" that have been allowed to be put into the gasoline supply in this country. Why did Alaska ban such additives in 1993? Did they know something the rest of us didn't? I will be reporting on that in a column soon.

Postscript 10-17-2000

Let me begin with just reporting what went on during the debate.

At the beginning, Bush repeadtly failed to answer Gore's question about the Norwood bill, would Bush support it. For those of your that do not know what the Norwood bill is. This is a bill that is being held up in Congress by Republicans. The bill is a patients rights bill, giving authority for your care back to doctors and nurses, not the insurance companies or HMO's. It means you don't have to worry when your Doctor orders a test whether you'll wind up paying for it or not. It also means that when you have to go to an emergency room, you don't have to call for approval first.

Gore made a very truthful statement in stating that drug companies are spending more on advertising than research now days. This is why prescriptions for the elderly and those that do not have insurance pay the highest bills for prescription drugs. Bush failed to answer specific questions regarding his Medicare program again. Gore needs to do his homework, some of the poor is already covered by Medicaid, however as he stated, there is that gap of the lower middle income that cannot afford health insurance.

Bush wants accountability from school Principals and teachers, yet he says he will pass a Federal Teacher Protection law that will keep school Principals and teachers from being sued. This is an oxymoron statement. Gore is correct, local districts cannot correct the education crisis that is occurring in this country by themselves. Bush is wrong is saying local districts have to do it. If this is the case, then why haven't they done it. Bush used another one of those slang sentences, "paper worker filler outer."

Bush falsely attacked Gore concerning Gore's budget. Gore's budget is not 3 times larger than Clinton's.

Bush concerning foreign affairs has suddenly taken Gore's stand on foreign affairs.

Gore is not for handgun control or the changes to the Brady Gun Law to register all handguns and to have a 3 day waiting period for handguns. 80% of all crimes in this country where guns are used, handguns are the weapons used. Bush instead believes education, helping consumers by giving out free trigger locks in the state of Texas. What I find amusing about this is that most of these trigger locks they gave away are being recalled. They were defective. Gore supports a 3 day waiting period upon registration of handguns. This not affect rifles for hunters or sportsmen. I support Gore's position on this. It is time to start doing something about handguns.

Bush says he wants our farmers to feed the world. How can we do that when we are not even feeding our own hungry Americans. Gore wants to help the farmer with changes to the old Farm bill. It simply has not worked. I agree with Gore.

Bush wants to eliminate the estate tax. This affects only the top 1% of taxpayers. Your the middle class will have to make up the difference.

A lady in the audience asked what I thought was somewhat of the typical attitude that most Americans have gotten used to..."We don't want government running our lives...but we want you do to something about all the violence on TV, movies, and games." What a double standard. My advice to this lady and for those of you that have children and you don't want them exposed to this. Simply turn off the television and don't give them money to go to movies to get them out of your hair for 2 hours, and don't let them by these CD games that are violent. Very simple America, no government needed. Bush takes a middle ground on this...thinks families should take care of this problem. Hello...Bush, where have you been lately...the American people are not taken care of it. All they are doing is complaining about it when it fact, it is there buying products, going to movies and watching networks that have violent shows that has promoted this violence problem. Put blame where blames belongs.

Bush is against the Hate Crime Bill...and he says he wants to diversify his government. Think again. Gore is for it.

Both support the death penalty. Both think is curbs crime. They are both wrong. Research shows based on crime in other countries, the death penalty has nothing to do with lowering crime. Any politician that tells you different is down right lieing!

Bush again on the last question Gore asked him about how he was going to keep promises to Senior Citizens for changes in their Medicare benefits and dish out 1 trillion dollars to the younger generation paying into Social Security. How could he pay for both in his budget. Bush failed to answer this question again like he had two other times. He skipped around it and went into a tangent about something else.

Both talked about the Surplus and how to spend it. Gore wants to pay down the 6 trillion dollars debt the U.S. has. Bush wants to give most of it back to the top1% wealthiest taxpayers. Gore's plan makes the most sense along with his tax plan by matching in tax credits, dollar for dollar that every American puts into a savings account. This will build deposits in banks which means banks can lend more for business which creates jobs which creates a god economy. Makes sense to me. We must pay down the debt. The interest alone on this debt is out biggest expenditure. One third of all taxes collected goes to pay interest on this debt. Paying if off makes ten years we can have a permanent tax cut because we won't be paying all that interest. Sorry folks, someone has to pay this. If you are a baby boomer, it is your parents fault we are in this deep well of...well you know what I am talking about. And if you are in your 20's now, well the smart thing to do know is vote for Gore. You'll be paying far less taxes ten years from now.

Bush talked alot about his record in Texas. See the facts about of what has happened in Texas during his term as Governor.

The above is what happened during the last Presidential Debate. I have not added anything or subtracted anything, not unlike some of my fellow journalists that are bent on electing one candidate or the other. I will tell you this however, after much research and thought, I am giving my support to Vice President Gore. He simply makes more sense.

~ God Bless ~

~ David Lawrence Dewey ~

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