Thursday, March 30, 2006
There is a 123 page version available here (pdf file) which I have merely skimmed through, but based on that quick review it seems to consists of the same 19 long sentences with 121 pages of cover sheets, introductory pages and "backup material". The backup material for each section of the plan is made up of several pages of political rhetoric bashing Bush and the Republicans, followed by several pages of Democratic political puffery glorifying the Democrats' achievements, followed by more GOP and Bush bashing, and then there's a long report from an investigatory group made up of Democratic notables. If there's any additional meat in the long version, it's in those "white papers" but it seemed to me that these reports consisted of a lot of opinion backed up by facts that would mostly be true regardless of which party was in power. I repeat, I only skimmed over the material, so I could be missing something.
In summary, the Democratic plan makes 19 promises, each of which is pretty much a mirror image of what the Bush administration is currently doing, except that the Dems are going to do more of it. If they actually kept all of these promises (some of which are probably impossible to achieve, e.g., screening 100% of cargo containers coming to the US at their point of origin) the costs would far exceed the amounts that those very same Democrats are calling excessive today. I await the Democrats' future annex to their plan, that gives the cost estimates for achieving their goals, and describes where the money is going to come from.