Tuesday, October 26, 2004
- Signs yet-another corporate welfare bill disguised as a tax cut. Not only does it pay out billions in economy-distorting subsidies, but it earmarks 169 million dollars for propping up the Puerto Rican rum industry. That money could've been used to buy 938 up-armored Humvees for our men and women in Iraq. But since President Bush has never vetoed a single spending bill, I guess we can always tey to drink the insurgents under the table with all that subsidized rum.
- Allows the massive mis-management of Iraqi reconstruction to go unabated. Only 27 cents of each dollar, our tax dollars, is actually going to reconstruction. The rest is being pocketed as "overhead." If a charity had those numbers, their head would be under inevstigation for embezellment and fraud.
- Allows his party to pass a provision in the House that allows pharmacists to deny service to women seeking birth control. The story can be read here. The President is the leader of his Party. As such, he assumes an amount of responsibility for what his Party does in Congress. And that includes such anti-choice, anti-woman legislation like this.
- Has ignored the very principles of federalism in attempting to attach an anti-gay amendment to the Constitution. This whole fiasco was repulsive. From the hateful message it entailed to the blatant power-grab of the federal government. As Senator McCain so aptly summed it up: "The constitutional amendment we're debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans. It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them." Which I am sure flew right over Bush's head.
- Has allowed the level of poverty in the United States to steadily increase without taking any measures to halt it. Now over 12.5% of all Americans live in poverty, almost 13 million of those people are children. Meanwhile, the poverty level in the US for a family of four is defined as $18,850. Which is a joke. What family of four can survive on $20,000 a year in America? And what has Bush done to address this? He hasn't even acknowledged it!
- Led us into a war that did nothing to reduce the threat of terror. Let's be frank here, people. Afghanistan was the right thing to do. And it's not a bad thing that Hussein was removed. But he was not the source of terror that struck us on 9/11. Or hit the USS Cole. Or the US embassies. Or the WTC in 1993. That was the work of Al-Qaeda. Of bin Laden. Of men funded with money from the Saudis.
There is evidence that Iran gave clean passports to the 9/11 terrorists and reached out to bin Laden after the USS Cole attack. There is evidence that the Bush administration refused to attack and kill Zarqawi before the Iraq war started because it would weaken their case for invading Iraq. How many US soliders and Iraqi civilians have died from attacks plotted by Zarqawi? Men and women and children who didn't have to die had Bush actually been committed to stopping terror, as opposed to settling an old score with Saddam?
We attacked a source of terror in Afghanistan, and then Bush deviated course to attack a nation that, although an international pariah, was not the source of the terrorists that attacked us. And now we are bogged down in Iraq, where Bush's mismanagement of the war has been so bad that our troops are under-equipped and under-supported. There are too few of them. Tons of explosives are being looted by the insurgents for use against our troops. The Green Zone cannot be secured 100%. This is "freedom on the march?"
This President has been a disaster, both domestically and internationally. He has to harp upon the message of fear because that is all he has. He can't run on an economy that has lost jobs. He can't run on his stewardship of the US finances since he's run up the most massive deficit we've ever had in a single year. He can't run on his dedication to reducing spending since he passed a $500 billion Medicare giveaway bill that will more likely cost us trillions of dollars and has not vetoed a single spending bill. He can't run on Iraq (though he tries), because that has devolved into a mess b/c he and his advisors assumed we'd be welcomed with open arms. And when we weren't, he had no backup plan. He can't even run on making us a safer nation. Cargo isn't inspected, policemen were laid off after he slashed funding, and the border with Mexico is porous as ever.
The only thing Bush can run on is fear. The fear of the United States being attacked again. And man, is he ever pounding that drum.
I can't vote for this man. And you should ask this simple question, one a truly great President asked in his quest to be elected in 1980: Are you better off than you were four years ago?
I can't say that I am. How many of us truly can? And if that is the case, don't I have a responsibility to try and change the equation? But if that isn't enough, the St. Petersburg Times gives you some other metrics to compare. But when more families go on food stamps while consumer debt increases and the national deficit soars, that should begin to give you an idea that things aren't great.