Dr. Dean Is Just
What the Banker Ordered
Aug. 3, 2003 (EIRNS)—Presidential candidate Howard Dean styles himself as the representative of the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," and rakes in money from attacks by the right- wing Democratic Leadership Council—the same DLC which Dean himself praised as, "At the beginning ... very good." Dr. Dean also describes himself as "a fan of the HMOs." He admits he was a strong supporter of NAFTA in 1995—although you would never guess it from his response to the "free trade" question on the AFL-CIO's website candidate questionnaire. Dr. Dean was the leading proponent of electricity deregulation in Vermont—the same policy which bankrupted California—and Dean, unlike others who have wised up, is still all for deregulation. The documentation below shows he's good at lying about these positions. He wants energy independence from oil-producing nations—by increasing wind and solar power to 15% of the U.S. energy capacity by 2010, and conservation.
It is no surprise when Dean explains that Jimmy Carter is his role model. One-term President Carter destroyed what productive capacity remained in the U.S. economy with deregulation, anti-nuclear hysteria, and 20% interest rates. The other President whom Dean cites most frequently is Harry Truman, the small man who wrecked the great Franklin Roosevelt's post-war vision for winning the peace, ending colonialism, and economic development for all nations.
Where does Howard Dean stand on the life and death question of the day, dumping Vice-President Dick Cheney? Dean has failed to call for Vice-President Cheney's resignation, despite the clear, published evidence that it was Cheney who demanded intelligence be shaped to launch a war on Iraq. And now Dean, falsely portrayed as the only candidate to oppose that war, is already giving credence to the next wars being planned by the same Cheney cabal of Leo Strauss followers. Dean told The Forward, "The United States has to ... take a much harder line on Iran and Saudi Arabia because they're funding terrorism," He has spoken of "the very real nuclear threats emerging in North Korea and Iran." In fact, it is Cheney and his cabal who are the threats, and the solution is to force them out now.
Howard Brush Dean, III, is the "proud patrician product of Park Avenue and 85th Street, the son, grandson, and great- grandson of investment bankers," Meryl Gordon wrote in his New York magazine feature, "The Unlikely Rise of Howard Dean." The Dean family summered at the Hamptons and belonged to the exclusive Maidstone Club, while Dean attended private schools, and then Yale University. Dean was a freshman when George W. Bush was a senior at Yale. There is a family connection: Bush's grandmother was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Dean's grandmother. Although an "avid outdoorsman," Dean was classified 1-Y by his draft board during the Vietnam War. After graduating from Yale as a political science major, Dean worked on Wall Street before deciding to become a doctor and enrolling at Albert Einstein Medical School. Dean and his physician wife, Judith Steinberg, moved from New York to Vermont in 1978, where Dean ran successfully for state representative in 1982, and lieutenant governor in 1986. He became governor when Republican incumbent Robert Snelling died of a heart attack in 1991.
Dean pronounced himself "a fan of HMOs," in an interview in Medscape with Christopher Gearon. As the "best aspects" of managed care, Dean cites: "[N]ot having hassles over billing payments, since you have capitated [limited] payments up front. The other positive aspect is the notion that there is a single payment, and doctors—at least in the better health plans—are left to their best judgment ... First of all, I think it's very important to have gatekeepers. Too many people can go to their specialists in fee for service, when a specialist is not appropriate ... [managed care] does definitely decrease use of the emergency room." Managed care "has in fact, begun to squeeze out some of the waste in the health care system" and "begun the process in the medical community to begin questioning some of the prescribing and practice habits that drive costs up."
Consumers should not be allowed to sue HMOs, but be limited to arbitration, Dean believes. For doctors who object to far-away lay supervisors telling them how to treat patients, Dean advocates behavior modification: "Send a check to those [physicians] who meet the practice profile and demonstrate appropriate pharmaceutical prescribing habits that are cost-effective; those whose practices are not as cost-effective and up-to-date in terms of their methodology don't get a check."
Dean has boasted that 95.8% of all Vermont children had medical insurance when he left office. Sounds impressive, but, in fact, the first survey taken after Dean assumed office (by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1993) found that 93.2% were already insured, with an error rate of plus-or-minus 1%.
Howard Dean, Then and Now
On Fair Trade/North American Free Trade Agreement:
NOW (AFL-CIO Questionnaire to candidates, posted on www.aflcio.org):
Q: What will you do to ensure that global trade and international economic development promote workers' rights, good jobs and workers' well-being?
Dean: I support fair trade. I would not negotiate trade agreements that do not include meaningful labor, environmental, and human rights protections. I would not pursue trade policies that undermine important U.S. laws and regulations, especially those that protect American workers. I will vigorously enforce anti-dumping laws.
THEN: (A Conversation with Howard Dean, with Moderator Joe Klein, at the John F. Kennedy Library and Foundation, March 26, 2003, at www.jfklibrary.org):
Moderator Joe Klein: Now, let's move on to one last area ... trade. You were on record in '95, and I think for many years after, as being a very strong supporter of NAFTA. And, in fact, it has had very positive economic impacts on the northern border. However, I saw you in Iowa in October, and you said fair trade is more important than free trade. And I heard you speak against NAFTA at that point. What caused you to change your mind about it? And in general, how do you feel about the notion of free trade?
Dean: I haven't spoken against NAFTA, but your quotes are right. NAFTA was a big benefit to Vermont. We got—
Klein: I've got to say, the union audience I saw you saying that to, thought you were speaking against NAFTA.
Dean: I still think NAFTA was a a good thing. I think the President did the right thing. But the problem is, now, 10 years into NAFTA ... [W]e should go back and tell the WTO that "you need also to include environmental standards and labor standards..."
On Cutting Social Security to Balance the Budget
Dean: "I go back and forth on [a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget] ... I'm not ever going to cut social security benefits ... Maybe you look at the retirement age going to 68. Maybe you increase the amount that get payroll tax[ed]—I'm not in favor of cutting benefits. I think that's a big problem.
THEN ("Meet the Press" Interview with Gov. Howard Dean, June 22, 2003, and Moderator Tim Russert):
Inteviewer Tim Russert: Well, in 1995, when you were advocating that position [a balanced budget amendment], you were asked how you would balance that budget if we had a Constitutional amendment ... and this is what Howard Dean said: "The way to balance the budget, Dean said, is for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70, cut defense, Medicare and veterans pensions, while the states cut almost everything else. It would be tough, but we could do it."