What you must believe to vote for Al Gore

Mona Charen

10/20/2000 12:00:00 AM - Mona Charen
To vote for Al Gore, you must believe: -- That to give people a tax cut is to "spend" their money. About 111 times in the course of the three presidential debates, Gore said that "Under Gov. Bush's tax cut proposal, he would spend more money on tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent than all of the new spending that he proposes for education, health care, prescription drugs and national defense all combined." People who believe that all of their money belongs to the government, except that portion that the governing class decides to "spend" on tax cuts, should vote for Gore. So, too, should those who believe that if the government undertakes huge new spending programs, taxes will not increase. -- That you can trust a man who swears his abiding passion is to "fight" for the little guy even though, in 1997, out of an income of $197,729, Gore donated only $353 to charity, and who, in 2000, had to be publicly shamed before having the toilet and sink in his tenant's house repaired. -- That there is any such thing as a "lock box" in American political life -- presupposing that one administration and/or one congress can bind another. -- That pharmaceutical companies must be strong-armed to forego profits in the name of lower prices for seniors, and that you can rely on the good faith of a man who casually asserts that "the big drug companies" are now "spending more money on advertising and promotion than they are on research and development." Actually, a Kaiser Family Foundation study released in July reveals that the drug companies spent between $5.8 and $8.3 billion for advertising in 1998, versus $21 billion for research and development. -- That what this world needs, in the words of Al Gore's environmental manifesto "Earth in the Balance," is "to establish a coordinated global program to accomplish the strategic goal of completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a 25 year period." -- That it is possible to commit American troops to every trouble spot around the world while simultaneously starving the military for funds. -- That the creation of new federal programs to provide universal preschool, expand Medicare, provide prescription drugs to all of America's elderly (Bush proposes to cover only the poor), provide universal health coverage for children, fund Technology for Tomorrow Challenge and scores of other proposed initiatives will neither increase the size of the federal government nor eat up the surplus. -- That a man who routinely breaks even the rules of a debate format should be trusted when he assures us that throughout the campaign of 1996, he engaged in no illegal fund raising. -- That President Clinton's policies, standing alone, have led to "instead of the biggest deficits in history, we now have the biggest surpluses. ... Instead of quadrupling our national debt, we've seen the creation of 19 million new jobs. Instead of a deep recession and high unemployment, America now has our strongest economy in the history of the United States." Until a Republican Congress arm-wrestled him into accepting a balanced budget, President Clinton's policies would have created deficits into the indefinite future. As to the recession of 1990/1991, it was quite mild (not, as Gore always says, "the double dip recession," whatever that is, and the "worst recession since the Great Depression"). The recovery had begun before Clinton/Gore took office in January 1992. -- That, once elected, NEA Al would actually implement his proposal for testing new teachers. --That affirmative action does not mean quotas, merely attempts to provide opportunity where it has been lacking. -- That Al and Tipper Gore have been consistent critics of Hollywood and the rock music industry, as the vice president boasted during the third debate. In fact, Gore dragged his wife to Hollywood in 1988 -- the year he invented the Willie Horton issue, no he really did -- and forced her to grovel before record company executives promising to cease her campaign for music ratings. He was running for president and wanted the industry's financial support. -- That Bill Clinton was "one of our greatest presidents."