Mar 18, 2004

The Makings of a “Dispute”

NYT:
Ms. Bjorklund [a Democratic policy aide] had been pressing Mr. Foster for his numbers since June. When he refused, telling her he could be fired, she said, she confronted his boss, Thomas A. Scully, then the Medicare administrator. “If Rick Foster gives that to you,” Ms. Bjorklund remembered Mr. Scully telling her, “I’ll fire him so fast his head will spin.” Mr. Scully denies making such threats.

Republicans are now claiming that Democrats are just attempting to politicize this issue, not get to the truth.  Tommy Thompson, for example, has said:

“There has been an intentional attempt to politicize this bill from day one, and to demagogue it.”

We’ll step aside and let Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), not exactly a big liberal softy, respond to that:

“This is a perfect example, in my opinion, of where a special interest, the pharmaceutical industry, has been able to manipulate the Congress and the government of the United States to their benefit, and to the detriment of the American taxpayer and the American people.”

Republicans have also claimed that it was common knowledge that the bill would cost over $500 billion.  Now this from the NYT again:

But Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, who was also a negotiator, said on Wednesday that he did not learn of the higher estimates until January, when he attended a Republican leaders’ retreat. An aide to Mr. DeLay said Joshua B. Bolten, President Bush’s budget director, presented the $534 billion final figure at that meeting.

“The leaders about took his head off,” said the aide, Stuart Roy, adding, “It was very clear that none of the leaders in that room had ever heard those numbers before.”

Would it be possible to actually come clean, just once?

Update:
Blake over at American Footprint has a very interesting analysis, particularly regarding DeLay’s comment above.

And no, I do not actually expect them to come clean, pure snark.


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