[Mb-civic] Arianna Huffington Column
barbarasiomos38 at webtv.net
Wed Sep 1 07:49:58 PDT 2004
>arianna at ariannaonline.com(Arianna Huffington)
>Date: Tue, Aug 31, 2004, 3:56pm
>To: ariannaslatestcolumn at lists.AriannaOnline.com
>(arianna's latest column)
>Subject: Bush In NYC: Watch Out, The 'Reformer
>With Results' Is Back
By Arianna Huffington
So far the Republican convention has been all about courage, compassion
and lauding our War President for possessing ample quantities of both,
including the theater-in-the-round stage designed to highlight the
president's strength and authority, and the Deco-inspired presidential
lectern meant to invoke the skyscrapers of New York (and oh, by the way,
those two skyscrapers that are no longer there).
But now it's time for the nitty-gritty: the War President's big
The word is that after a summer of substance-free campaign stumping, the
president is ready to tangle with "the vision thing" and roll out his
second-term plans for America. Sounds promising - until you
discover that his vision for the future is little more
than a reworked blast from the past.
The 2000 campaign's "reformer with results" is planning to go back to
that poisoned well and trot out a domestic agenda that promises to
reform everything from Social Security to health care to the tax code.
Of course, the last three and a half years have proven that when Bush
starts talking about reform, it's time to be very afraid.
His idea of education reform turned out to be the fraudulent No Child
Left Behind Act, a massively underfunded federal mandate that
truth-in-labeling laws should have required be rechristened the Millions
of Children But Mercifully Not Your Own Left Behind Act. And his idea of
Medicare reform was a multibillion dollar gift to drug companies and
HMOs disguised as a prescription drug bill.
Now he wants to do the same to Social Security and health insurance, all
in the name of "empowering individuals" and creating "an ownership
society"- or, in plain English, privatizing as much of the social
welfare system as possible.
But we are told that Bush has decided to run not only on future reforms
but on past accomplishments.
"We've got a great record, when you think about it," he proclaimed, as
if the idea had just dawned on him.
Now, I'm not sure what record he's been looking at - maybe Andy Card
replaced the dismal numbers from last week's Census Bureau report on
income and poverty with Michael Phelps' Olympic stats in his latest
morning briefing - but if the president truly intends to run on his
record, I can only say: Bring it on!
I realize that facts mean next to nothing to the fanatics in the Bush
White House, but they mean a hell of a lot to the people whose lives
Here then, for your voting-booth convenience, is a quick overview of
President Bush's "great record":
Since he took office, 1.2 million people in America have lost their
jobs, bringing the total to 8.2 million.
The number of Americans living below the poverty line has increased by
4.3 million to 35.9 million - 12.9 million of them children.
The number of Americans with no health insurance has increased by 5.8
million - with 1.4 million losing their insurance in 2003. The total now
stands at 45 million.
Forty percent of the 3.5 million people who were homeless at some point
last year were families with children, as were 40 percent of those
seeking emergency food assistance.
Median household income has fallen more than $1,500 in
inflation-adjusted terms in the last three years, and the wages of most
workers are now falling behind inflation.
Average tuition for college has risen by 34 percent, while 37 percent of
fourth graders read at a level considered "below basic."
One third of the president's $1.7 trillion in tax cuts benefits only the
top 1 percent of wealthiest Americans.
President Bush also failed to fulfill his pledge to get Osama Bin Laden
"dead or alive," traded the moral high ground for preemptive war and the
horrors of Abu Ghraib, never attended a funeral or memorial service for
any of the 975 soldiers killed in Iraq, pulled out of the Kyoto
agreement on global warming, gutted the Clean Air Act, initiated the
rollback of more than 200 environmental regulations, backed a
constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriages, and refused to follow
through on his promise to extend the assault weapons ban.
So let's get one thing straight: Anyone who is lauding George Bush at
the Republican Convention - and, yes, that includes you Rudy, Arnold,
Governor George and Mayor Mike - is endorsing his disastrous and wholly
immoderate record. Thus, by definition, all these Bush strokers have
surrendered their moderate credentials - no matter how warm and fuzzy
their positions on social issues. The president's record betrays both
courage and compassion, and no amount of lofty rhetoric will change
© 2004 ARIANNA HUFFINGTON.
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
More information about the Mb-civic