House Democrats plan

  1. House Democrats plan:

    We will start by cleaning up Congress, breaking the link between lobbyists and legislation and commit to pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending.

    We will make our nation safer and we will begin by implementing the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

    We will make our economy fairer, and we will begin by raising the minimum wage. We will not pass a pay raise for Congress until there is an increase in the minimum wage.

    We will make health care more affordable for all Americans, and we will begin by fixing the Medicare prescription drug program, putting seniors first by negotiating lower drug prices. We will also promote stem cell research to offer real hope to the millions of American families who suffer from devastating diseases.

    We will broaden college opportunity, and we will begin by cutting interest rates for student loans in half.

    We will energize America by achieving energy independence, and we will begin by rolling back the multi-billion dollar subsidies for Big Oil.

    We will guarantee a dignified retirement, and we will begin by fighting any attempt to privatize Social Security.

    Jobs and Economy | HouseDemocrats.gov

    Do you think any/all/none will be enacted?

    I hate to say but I doubt they can break the link between lobbyists and legislation.
    How about making tuition tax deductable?
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   sanctuary
    Unfortunately, I doubt that 1/2 will be enacted. There is so much inertia, let alone institutionalized active resistance that not much will move forward. I would love to see a transparent and track-able voting system, nationwide, so that we can be sure that we will get who we vote for. There should be a return to the original design of Social Security, when everybody paid on the first 90% of their income. Regan reduced it to the first 85 grand, and Bush the First raised it to the first 90 grand people make. For most of us, that is our entire year's income. For bill gates and friends, they finish paying into SSA by noon on January 1st. Just putting it back the way it was originally designed would save it forever. There must be more money spent on education. We need smart babies, not smart bombs. But I despair of ever seeing it in my lifetime.
    Last edit by sanctuary on Nov 22, '06 : Reason: Spelling
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    GOP leaving spending bills to Democrats
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans vacating the Capitol are dumping a big spring cleaning job on Democrats moving in. GOP leaders have opted to leave behind almost a half-trillion-dollar clutter of unfinished spending bills,
    There's also no guarantee that Republicans will pass a multibillion-dollar measure to prevent a cut in fees to doctors treating Medicare patients.
    The bulging workload that a Republican-led Congress was supposed to complete this year but is instead punting to 2007 ...

    National and World News -- PilotOnline.com / HamptonRoads.com

    This article hints that this "do nothing" session is a purposeful ploy to delay any work on the agends
  5. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from spacenurse
    House Democrats plan:

    We will start by cleaning up Congress, breaking the link between lobbyists and legislation and commit to pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending.

    We will make our nation safer and we will begin by implementing the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

    We will make our economy fairer, and we will begin by raising the minimum wage. We will not pass a pay raise for Congress until there is an increase in the minimum wage.

    We will make health care more affordable for all Americans, and we will begin by fixing the Medicare prescription drug program, putting seniors first by negotiating lower drug prices. We will also promote stem cell research to offer real hope to the millions of American families who suffer from devastating diseases.

    We will broaden college opportunity, and we will begin by cutting interest rates for student loans in half.

    We will energize America by achieving energy independence, and we will begin by rolling back the multi-billion dollar subsidies for Big Oil.

    We will guarantee a dignified retirement, and we will begin by fighting any attempt to privatize Social Security.

    Jobs and Economy | HouseDemocrats.gov

    Do you think any/all/none will be enacted?

    I hate to say but I doubt they can break the link between lobbyists and legislation.
    How about making tuition tax deductable?
    Start by cleaning house? 1. By nominating ABSCAM, never saw an earmark I didn't like, I'll take the 50k later Murtha to a leadership position? 2. Or maybe by nominating a former impeached Judge (impeached for bribery), Alcee Hastings, to the Select Intel Committee. 3. How about dealing with William Jefferson and his 90k in the freezer? How about Speaker to be Pelosi ruling by retribution instead of senority? Clean? By what standard?

    Making our nation safer? by turning off the intel taps? By 'cut n running'? By dealing with terrorists via lawsuit?

    Make our economy fairer? by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire? Does that include the 10% lowest rate and expansion of EITC that makes earning under 38k/yr essentially tax free? Or maybe it's allowing the death tax to expire, meaning that small business owners can't leave their legacy to their children. How about letting the cap gains tax expire, meaning that seniors that sell their homes must pay a penalty. How about the simple fact that those tax cuts have equated to 4.5% unemployment when 5% is considered 'full employment'.
    This is the most fair economy in the history of the earth. Minimum wage? Please, less than 2% of adults actually make minimum wage. And raising minimum wage is all about the 'bracket creep' through union wage scales. The goal of minimum wage is to increase the salary of those that make 10-15/hr off the backs of the 2% that actually make minimum wage and will be hurt by the inflationary creep and lower employment at the margins. Minimum wage is base class warfare that makes those in the middle slightly better off by taking it from the poor. That's what you call, fair?

    By making healthcare more affordable? Really. And I thought that hillarycare was about making it more expensive and less available. I thought the concept was that Americans are willing to trade quality and cost for access (that is, if you can get access to what's available). At least, that will be the result.

    Broaden college opportunity by making it easier to borrow money? That's laughable. Colleges are as expensive as they are NOW because of student loans. Every spike in the ability to borrow corresponds with a spike in tuition. Those loans THEMSELVES are why colleges are so expensive. But, let's make it easier for the man to put you 20 yrs in debt to get an education. That's a special interest payout to univesity liberalism.

    Energy independence? Please. Attacking business is a special interest copout to class warfare. If you want to talk about incentives to move to better fuels, I'm in. But, my bet is that Henry Waxman only wants to talk about investigations, not alternatives.

    Social Security is bankrupt BECAUSE it's a tranfer of wealth defined benefit. It worked great on inception with 17 workers to every retiree. It doesnt work so well when those numbers are 3:1, and falling like a rock. Every economist worth his salt will tell you, if you're 20, to start saving for retirement because the benefits of compound interest absolutely depends on two principles: time and investment. But, let's just close our eyes and whistle past the SS graveyard. Those plans included the ability to invest in 100% guaranteed gov't back bonds. Do you know why I advocate for the privatization of SS? Because it's evident that I, or even a monkey for that matter, could plan my retirement more effectively than a gov't rushing headlong to perpetuate a system that will ensure that any benefit I receive in 30 yrs won't be worth a fraction of the earning power of the money being taken from me now. Maintaining the status quo doesn't 'guarantee' a dignfied retirement. It simply guarantees an utter collapse of the system. Maybe Democrats should look at the statistic that more Americans under 30 believe in UFOs than believe they'll ever see a SS check. But, let's perpetuate that, by all means.

    Look, simple 'gut check': when Republicans took the House in '94, they did so by outlining for America a 'Contract with America' spelling out and selling their intentions in advance. Dems took the House this last time by going out of their way to be silent about the damage they intended to do and running purely against the President and an increasingly unpopular war.

    It's Pollyanna to think that they will NOW actually try to do something decent for America since they were too chicken to even try to convince America of the propriety of their actions.

    What you got with this last election is the same old inefficiencies of gov't. The 'so-called' mandate was a refutation of those same inefficiences that will, in turn, hurt a Dem House more bent on retribution than addressing fairly any of the items on this list.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA

    What you got with this last election is the same old inefficiencies of gov't. The 'so-called' mandate was a refutation of those same inefficiences that will, in turn, hurt a Dem House more bent on retribution than addressing fairly any of the items on this list.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Gee, the republicans did such a good job with their so-called mandate six years ago now didn't they?

    Tax cuts shouldn't be considered in this time of extreme deficits and spending the recent President and congress got us into.

    Yes, cut and run is probably the best option right now. Count our losses, pick ourselves up and move on.

    You do make some good points.

    I think we are living with our head in the sand about social security. The AARP will not allow SSI to die, and they will become more rich and powerful in the coming years. Best think about it today.

    Yes, it is Pollyanna to think something will actually get done. The republicans couldn't do anything, I'm not hopeful the dems will either.
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 22, '06
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Tweety
    Gee, the republicans did such a good job with their so-called mandate six years ago now didn't they?

    Tax cuts shouldn't be considered in this time of extreme deficits and spending the recent President and congress got us into.

    Yes, cut and run is probably the best option right now. Count our losses, pick ourselves up and move on.
    Those tax cuts, just like the Reagan tax cuts, brought in record receipts to the gov't. If these tax cuts are such a handout to the rich, why is the gov't taking in records receipts, each of the last 3 yrs exceeding the all time highs of the year before?

    The problem is what it always is: not the receipts pouring in as a result of tax cuts, but of the 10.4% increase in spending during the Bush years, far surpassing even the increase in spending under the Clinton years. You won't find many true conservatives jumping on the bandwagon of the 'spend like a drunken Democrat' spending practices of this Adminstration.

    Raising taxes will just reduce receipts at a time of all time spending, making those deficits much much worse.

    You can't realistically argue with the logic of all time treasury receipts. If you want to reduce the deficit, the key is to KEEP those receipts high with the current taxation level that fosters growth COMBINED with real reductions in spending.

    As far as 'cut n running' being a better option: I don't see how fostering ever more terrorism is a better option. When you embolden such creeps, that will be the result. We simply can't afford to 'count' such losses, because they will translate to real lives of innocent American civilians. I'm not prepared to factor the deaths of Americans into such a loss column. To the extent our soldiers and sailors put themselves on the line, it is to prevent that outcome. THAT is why I served, and THAT is why re-enlistments are at all time highs. Our military heroes know the nature of the sacrifices they are making, and so do I. And, I applaud them for that.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 22, '06
  8. by   Tweety
    I'm all for cutting taxes, but only if it means the deficit is lessened. Not that the dems are good at that either, but Mr. Raegan and Mr. Bush were worse.

    I completely disagree with your last paragraph. Nuff said.
  9. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Tweety
    I'm all for cutting taxes, but only if it means the deficit is lessened. Not that the dems are good at that either, but Mr. Raegan and Mr. Bush were worse.

    I completely disagree with your last paragraph. Nuff said.
    With taxes there is a balance: too much or too little have adverse affects. They key to taxation is a balance. There is a decent balance now, as evidenced by all time high receipts.

    The key to deficit reduction is spending reductions. Our gov't suffers from the SAME problem as most Americans: spending more then they earn. The treatment is fiscal discipline: learning to live within your means. No amount of treasury receipts can combat the philosophy of spending more than whatever that amount is. I agree that Reagan and Bush have been horrible at this. Reagan, at least, had to deal with a Democrat House the WHOLE TIME. Bush has no excuse, he never saw a budget bill he didn't like, wasteful earmarks and all. You won't find many conservatives defending his Administration on this point.

    As far as the last paragraph: I respect your principled argument from the start that we shouldn't be here. But, we are. And that was a far bipartisan vote that got us here. There is plenty of blame to go around. I supported it, and I still do. But, that isn't any more practical a position than you NOT supporting it at this point.

    At THIS point, the issue is how to manage where we ARE, not were we could have been. Pulling out now would be a disaster, more so than 'staying the course'. At this point, the only realistic option is taking matters into our own hand and stop allowing a grossly ineffective new Iraqi gov't from making concession, by default in our name, to religious factioned militias.

    We have used the 1946 example of allowing Germany to deal with their post war insurgents to the failure point. Iraq is NOT Germany, and has proven incapable of dealing with this issue. I think the only course of action at this point starts by getting rid of Sadr and his 'Mahdi Army', regardless what the political consequences are to an increasingly failed Iraqi gov't. We should have dealt with him 3yrs ago, but deferred because of the political costs. Those costs are much higher NOW, but will be even more high a cost in the future. So, we SHOULD cut those losses and now attack this problem directly.

    It's not as much a matter of 'going Big' as it is a change of direction. While not totally foregoing supporting the new Iraqi gov't, it's time to stop 'staying the course' of putting the solutions in thier hands. They have proven that those hands are not up to the challenge.

    We also need to address the fact that we are in a default war with Iran in Iraq. It's time to make a direct threat to Iran: we may or may not address your nuclear aspirations, but keep destabilising Iraq, and we WILL reach no other conclusion but that success in Iraq is tied to military results in Iran.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 22, '06
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Fiscal Discipline declining national debt report 2002

    The Budget Surplus and Fiscal Discipline
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Deficit 2007

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget.../pdf/07msr.pdf
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Historical trends

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget...7/pdf/hist.pdf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Tax cut to top 1% got 15% of tax cuts. Theses people average $1,600,000,000,000.00 a year.
    Almost half of the unprecidented tax cuts in a time of war went to the top 5%Don't they make that money from the work of others? From the infrastructure working peoples tax money supports? Our public education so we can do the work that makes them wealthy?

    http://www.brookings.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb101.pdf
    -----------------------------------------------------
    The estate tax is now $4,000,000,000,000.00 a couple and due to increase. Wealthy beneficiaries don't have to work Most inheriting businesses and farms don't pay any tax.

    The State of the Estate Tax as of 2006, rev 6/2/06

    Oh and I think Karen Carter has a great chance of defeating William Jefferson. Karen Carter for Congress
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Nov 22, '06
  11. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from spacenurse
    Fiscal Discipline declining national debt report 2002

    The Budget Surplus and Fiscal Discipline
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Deficit 2007

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget.../pdf/07msr.pdf
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Historical trends

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget...7/pdf/hist.pdf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    Tax cut to top 1% got 15% of tax cuts. Theses people average $1,600,000,000,000.00 a year.
    Almost half of the unprecidented tax cuts in a time of war went to the top 5%Don't they make that money from the work of others? From the infrastructure working peoples tax money supports? Our public education so we can do the work that makes them wealthy?

    http://www.brookings.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb101.pdf
    -----------------------------------------------------
    The estate tax is now $4,000,000,000,000.00 a couple and due to increase. Wealthy beneficiaries don't have to work Most inheriting businesses and farms don't pay any tax.

    The State of the Estate Tax as of 2006, rev 6/2/06

    Oh and I think Karen Carter has a great chance of defeating William Jefferson. Karen Carter for Congress
    You say the top 1% got 15% of the tax cuts. That top one percent, AFTER the TAX CUTS, paid 34% of taxes. The top 50% paid 96.5% of taxes. If you're going to use tax cuts to spur the economy, where are you going to cut them? To the people that actually pay them. But, the REASON why the top 50% pay 96.5% of taxes is because, along with this deal, taxes were all but eliminated for the bottom 20%-40%.

    In many cases, those making under 30k get REFUNDS without paying any taxes at all, courtesy of EITC. Maybe we should cut out THOSE tax cuts. You couldn't even call that a tax increase, because if you cut those refunds, the people now getting them still would pay NOTHING in taxes.

    Your article hints that the richest make their money 'off the backs' of those less fortunate. Exactly, and when they get tax breaks, how do they 'grow' that money? By investing it in ways that make money, 'off the backs' of others. The result is that they pay MORE taxes because they make more. How they do that is by hiring more people to make that money for them.

    Economics is the study of human based incentives. If you just take from people, without an incentive for them to do more, you just sap from the economy, and economic disaster is the result. If you want more money as a gov't, you have to ENCOURAGE the incentives to create the productivity that creates more wealth.

    The only issue for the poorest workers is the SS/Medicare tax. (btw, for the poorest 20%, SS/Med isn't effectively taxed either, because the EITC refunds them at least as much as that tax incurs) And, I offer two solutions for THAT. Eliminate THAT tax as well for those that make less than 40k and recoup that money in 2 ways:

    1. Break open the limits on paying into SS/Medicare. Now, it caps out at about 100k salary. After that, you no longer have to pay those taxes. I won't say eliminate them, because it's unfair to ask someone that makes 1 million a year to pay 9% in those taxes alone, or, 90k that year in just those taxes. But, I'm all for expanding the exemption amount to, say, half a million/yr.

    2. Means test both programs. They are intended to be 'safety nets', so, make them so. Any Senior making more than 200k single/400k couple should not qualify for SS/Medicare: congrats on making the American Dream, come back and see us if your circumstances change. But, you say, they PAID INTO THE PROGRAM. Correct, and I pay into my car insurance 'program' every month, without fail, but I only get something back IF I NEED IT.

    Finally, your numbers are way skewed. You say the death tax doesn't come into play until somebody's assets are at least 4 TRILLION DOLLARS? And, you say the average richest 1% of our society makes 1.6 TRILLION DOLLARS? Methinks you have a few too many zeros on both numbers.

    http://www.house.gov/jec/publication...3taxshares.pdf

    In fact, in 2003, the average 1% top income earner made 1.29 million dollars and were taxed 295,000 dollars, not including SS/Med.

    By contrast, I stand to earn about 100k this year, and expect to pay about 20k in taxes, not including SS/Medicare. That person that makes 13x what I make might have lots more disposable income, and that's great. But, even under current tax cuts, they still pay almost 3 times my yearly salary in taxes, or, about 15x what I pay in taxes.

    I just don't see how you can argue that the rich are getting a 'free ride'. YOU try paying 295k in taxes one year and then let someone tell YOU that you are 'stealing' from everybody else.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 23, '06
  12. by   Tweety
    Timothy, thanks for your input, but long ago I decided not to talk War with you and I shouldn't have gotten you started again. I still disagree with your arguments. They are getting old, I heard them two years ago. We need to stop sacrificing American lives, and we need to stop it now. I'm not buying into the fear that sacrificing a few lives today will prevent terrorists from killing many Americans in the future. Interesting though that after decades of ignoring the Iran threat we need to turn our attention there.

    I don't think after all these years I'm not in the minority anymore, public demand is swinging the other direction and the arguments for staying are getting weaker by the day. Mr. Bush disgraced our nation with the War in Iraq. We can cut and run now and save lives, count our losses, or we can stay and loose more lives to what end? A free and democratic Iraq free of terrorists? Nice dream, but not going to happen unless we totally destory the country and take over the entire middle east in the process. Thanks but let's agree (again) not to go there.

    I'll have to defer the financial stuff too because honestly, I'm not well read on that issue.
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 23, '06
  13. by   sanctuary
    Quote from Tweety
    Timothy, thanks for your input, but long ago I decided not to talk War with you and I shouldn't have gotten you started again. I still disagree with your arguments. They are getting old, I heard them two years ago. We need to stop sacrificing American lives, and we need to stop it now. I'm not buying into the fear that sacrificing a few lives today will prevent terrorists from killing many Americans in the future. Interesting though that after decades of ignoring the Iran threat we need to turn our attention there.

    I don't think after all these years I'm in the minority anymore, public demand is swinging the other direction and the arguments for staying are getting weaker by the day. Mr. Bush disgraced our nation with the War in Iraq. We can cut and run now and save lives, count our losses, or we can stay and loose more lives to what end? A free and democratic Iraq free of terrorists? Nice dream, but not going to happen unless we totally destory the country and take over the entire middle east in the process. Thanks but let's agree (again) not to go there.

    I'll have to defer the financial stuff too because honestly, I'm not well read on that issue.

    :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat:
  14. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from Tweety
    Timothy, thanks for your input, but long ago I decided not to talk War with you and I shouldn't have gotten you started again. I still disagree with your arguments. They are getting old, I heard them two years ago. We need to stop sacrificing American lives, and we need to stop it now. I'm not buying into the fear that sacrificing a few lives today will prevent terrorists from killing many Americans in the future. Interesting though that after decades of ignoring the Iran threat we need to turn our attention there.

    I don't think after all these years I'm not in the minority anymore, public demand is swinging the other direction and the arguments for staying are getting weaker by the day. Mr. Bush disgraced our nation with the War in Iraq. We can cut and run now and save lives, count our losses, or we can stay and loose more lives to what end? A free and democratic Iraq free of terrorists? Nice dream, but not going to happen unless we totally destory the country and take over the entire middle east in the process. Thanks but let's agree (again) not to go there.

    I'll have to defer the financial stuff too because honestly, I'm not well read on that issue.
    2 quick points and then I'll drop the war. While I agree with you that public opinion IS swinging YOUR way in that a majority of Americans now feel that going there was a bad idea, they got us into this as well because THEIR Congressman voted along the lines of how their voters felt in 2002. Once you go down a road you can't just say, "My BAD" and magically place yourself on the other path. We are here, and current public opinion or no about whether we should have gone isn't related to what we should do now. In fact, there IS no consensus on what we should do now, as evidenced by a change in control of gov't to a new group that now has no idea and no clear direction from voters as to where to go from here. The Dems aren't just being clever by taking no or conflicted positions on what to do from here. Their confusion about what path to take is a direct result of the confusion of their constituents. While most people now feel we shouldn't be there, those same people do NOT share a direct majority belief in withdrawal. They want the situation to improve even if, along with their representatives, they have no clear idea HOW to improve the situation.

    Regarding Iran, their leader is increasingly talking about Nukes in terms of a 'final solution' to Israel. They have said publicly, many times, that one good nuke would destroy Israel, but the same cannot be said about retaliation: one good nuke would NOT and COULD NOT destroy Islam. Their is a COUNTER to that argument: Yes, one good NUKE could do irreparable harm to ISLAM, so long as that nuke was aimed at Mecca. But, try making THAT argument and then see how Saudi views the West.

    Shoot, try making THAT argument and then see how Islam itself sees the West. But, that is the advantage that Islamofascists have in this kind of war: they can say what they will without consequence while WE must remain the civilized nations that we are. But, I've said these two things before: 1. There is a limit to the nature of terrorism as instrument of war. At some point, the need to counter that terrorism creates the need to be just as brutal and 'uncivilized' in our reactions, (which explains our reactions in 2002 and WHY ultimately, such reactions cannot be long sustained by a civilized society) and 2. By remaining silent, majority Islam allows the fascists to be their mouthpieces and will ultimately suffer the consequences of having this ilk BE the tail that wags the dog.

    But, and I've said this before: the solution to Iran is not necessarily WAR. It is, though, getting past this stupid idea that we can negotiate them away from nukes. It silly and just sets us up to fail. Diplomacy has limitations, it always has. And no incentive is going to ever be enough to deter having a chip in the big game.

    With Iran we either need to bomb them now, or treat them like the nation about to wear 'big boy pants' that they are. Treating them like a 'big boy' means demanding that, in exchange for the respect they are craving, comes playing like a big boy in international affairs. It means they must stop their de facto war with the U.S. if they don't want the U.S. to wage war on them. And, it means that the must show some signs of tempering their rhetoric and showing at least SOME understanding of the responsibility that comes with owning the ultimate WMD.

    I'm all for the concept of either bombing them tomorrow, or engaging them in high level talks, not about the diplomacy of owning a nuke, but about the RESPONSIBILITY that comes with owning them.

    I'll tell you this right now though: unless Iran changes its rhetoric, and soon, either or both of the U.S. and Israel will conduct a major air campaign against Iran in the next 6-8 months. When Iran is boasting publicly about the 'final solution' to Israel that comes with owning a nuke, really, what choice do we have?

    You're right, Tweety: going into Iraq was a CHOICE, and a popular one in 2002 even if it isn't so popular today. But going into Iran might not be a choice at all. It might turn out to be vital. Even if our 'intel' turns out to be completely wrong about the status of Iran's nukes, their rhetoric creates a threat that cannot be long ignored. And, sad to say, it's increasingly a directly articulated threat, and not an implied one.

    RealClearPolitics - Articles - Before - and After - Iraq

    Happy Thanksgiving, btw.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Nov 23, '06

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