I've discovered a way to understand Mr. Bush (sorry I can't call him president since I have too much respect for the office) is to ignore his speeches and only pay attention to his actions. His speeches are almost always noble-sounding smokescreens for something ignoble he is doing which is usually the exact opposite of his words. Do you need examples? There are too many to list, but here are a few:
"Compassionate Conservatism" - which in his campaign for office was meant to benefit the poor but which, in fact, became a massive giveaway of tax money to the very rich while doing nothing for the poor and middle class except that it further decreases the amount of money available to social programs and schools that benefit the poor and middle class..
"Weapons of Mass Destruction" - which was a reason to start a war with Iraq. Since no WMDs have been found after almost a year of U.S. occupation, Bush is again wrapping himself in the flag and justifying this unnecessary war by saying we need to promote democracy throughout the world, free the oppressed and look forward to more U.S. invasions of countries that don't share our ostensible values.
"Saving Social Security" - Bush advised that if younger citizens had the option of investing their Social Security payments in the stock market then they would reap more benefits than by paying taxes for Social Security. Who then would pay for the old people who are retired? The way it works is that the younger, working people pay for the retirees and expect to have their Social Security paid by younger people when they retire. If the young put their money in the stock market instead who pays for the retirees? Bush didn't answer that and he can't, at least not honestly.
"Reforming the stock market after the Enron, etc. scandals" - Bush and his party have defanged the Security and Exchange Commission which is supposed to police stock market fraud. While he talks about punishing the guilty, he keeps the agency in charge of doing it on a bread and water diet. It's a joke and, as usual, it's on us. Congress just voted 418-2 to impose penalties for mutual fund trading abuses, but the new bill does nothing to strengthen the enforcement powers of the SEC.
"Helping New York City after the Sept. 11 attack" - Bush promised the Big Apple $20 billion, but has only come through with 11 billion. Yet he sure hasn't been a tightwad with Bechtel, Halliburton and Lockheed in military and Iraq contracts.
Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times (Aug. 20, 2002) that "behind the photo-ops, the administration is busy squeezing programs that benefit firefighters, police officers, coal miners, veterans and other 'humble people of America' (Robert Novak's phrase), in order to make room for tax cuts that mainly help a handful of not at all humble people. That's not demagoguery, it's the plain truth. And it's a truth that will become ever harder to disguise."
The unscrupulous behavior of this administration and its supporters has gone beyond honest debate between the Right and the Left. It is now a basic, moral issue of right versus wrong. Do you believe that lying, imperialistic military aggression and further impoverishing the poor to gild the rich is good? Or, do you believe in what I've always thought America stood for - honesty, compassion, fair play and opportunity for all?
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