As I write this, articles by reporters who apparently can find nothing better to write about are pouring out their hearts to assign feeble praise or oblique commentary to a man who has done more damage to the people of this country than any since perhaps Jefferson Davis.
I often wonder we came to this pretty pass. We know that Bush the Second was appointed rather than elected. After the disruptive actions of a bunch of GOP campaign pansies who shocked the Supreme Court into flipping a coin and calling Junior the President…things happened fast.
During the recount of votes, the demure Supreme Court saw a slight pushing and shoving as a riot, what others would simply call “election night, Chicago,” and so the judges, with Judge Scalia leading the way (the duck hunting pal of Dick Cheney whose son worked on the Republican national campaign!) panicked and decided the election. They stopped the vote tally and gave the election to Bush.
But why was it even this close? It was the beginning of the era of propaganda running the country full time. We had all things hidden behind a wall of media diversion…the election results, the wars, the administrative negligence on terrorism, on the reasons for going into Iraq and the Wall Street scandal and the loss of 15 million jobs and $7.5 trillion in equity belonging to U.S. citizens. And the Second Great Depression.
Why would we remember with any amity at all, a Republican administration who clearly hijacked the country for their own purposes, who looted us of $12 trillion, for which we have nothing to show but an entirely new crop of Republican billionaires who hate the Middle Class.
If you are still looking for an “axis of evil” you need look no further than the Bush-Cheney administration.
Is it “evil” to give additional tax breaks to people who make $85,000 per month or sometimes $850,000 per month while asking elderly and infirm members of society to sacrifice food or medicine? This is the President who tried to privatize your Social Security, hand it over to….whom…to Goldman, Sachs.
Do you think that a company that helped drain $7.5 trillion from the pockets of U.S. citizens would preserve and protect your Social Security? Apparently George W. Bush, the financial Harvard Business School genius, did. He tried his hardest to privatize Social Security.
And how did he help senior citizens who were going through the highest increases ever to prescription drugs? Did he allow them to go to Canada and Mexico where prices were often one-tenth of U.S. prices? No. The government threatened to prosecute anyone who bought drugs in those countries. But he did something. He added to your national debt by $600 billion dollars by signing a bill into law that would pay top dollar to drug companies for your prescription drugs.
The prescription drug addition to Medicare, Part D, did not lower prescription drug costs. It merely reduced the amount you would pay for drugs by a certain percentage. But, between the time the bill was signed and Part D was put into effect, drug companies raised prices an average of 26%, thus insuring that they would not lose anything on their running scam with the American public. George W. Bush signed all this into law with a smile.
And what did it do for seniors? Not much. It still required that seniors spend about $2500 out of pocket in a complicated formula that sometimes required payment, sometimes gave a discount and in the end only reduced the prices…which were not controlled…so could, even with discounts from the Medicare Part D, the so-called Prescription Drug Plan, be more than these fixed-income seniors paid last year for the same drugs!
It was under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney that we came up with the term “entitlements” to describe the two major insurance programs that we use to provide income and health care to those citizens who have reached retirement age.
Some people say that these programs should be income-rated. In other words, those who have higher incomes should pay more in retirement. Well, of course, that is foolish. Let’s suppose you have an annuity that you purchased $500,000 for and provides, let’s say, $4,000 a month. You didn’t say…I’ll collect that money only if I am not a millionaire or only if I really, really need it. You said…I give you half a million bucks in return for a policy and you pay me what we agreed.
This is Social Security and Medicare. If the rates are not high enough, or if we want to raise the benefits, then we should change the insurance rates. We should not tamper with it, post-facto. In other words, we do not want to make everyone equal. We simply want everyone to get what they paid for and make sure that what they get will enable them to live.
But equality extends to others. What about the rights of U.S. Army reserve soldiers to be part-time military. When Bush and Cheney decided to go into Iraq, the General Staff, some of whom resigned over the issue, said that we didn’t have enough military personnel. That wasn’t a problem for Bush and Cheney. They would simply enlist the reserves to go on duty full-time until such time as Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld decided we didn’t need them any longer or until they were killed.
When we ask our young men and women to sign up for the reserves, we do not intend to use their expected limited service to be transferred to full time duty so that the government can save the cost and the time of recruiting regular soldiers. If you don’t have an army and you decide, as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did, to start a war, (and they are war criminals for that reason) then you recruit more soldiers, you do not suddenly give U.S. Army reserves several tours in a war zone, which disrupts their lives.
Bush and Cheney did, however hire private armies for the first time in recent history. Blackwater and others were used as armed contractors to provide security and, in all likelihood, to perform other missions that we know nothing about to this day. We do know that Blackwater showed up in New Orleans, in khakis and flak jackets in SUVs, supposedly working for Homeland Security, carrying M-16s and the authority to use them.
The first major effort from President Bush the Lesser, was to cut taxes on the rich. While he was doing that and while Dick Cheney was meeting with oil barons to divide up Iraq, the terrorists attacked.
Forget that it is quite clear now that the new administration was not paying attention and were so negligent that there is an entire industry around the idea that 9/11 was a deliberate Pearl Harbor-like setup to push us into war. Bush has made many comments that a President cannot be considered great by history unless he has managed a war. Well, how did that turn out for him?
Soon after 9/11, we were in Afghanistan teaching Al Qaeda what kind of country they had attacked. We bombed them into submission and relentlessly killed their leaders. That was not Bush. That was the U.S. military General Staff, the highest trained, brightest, most accomplished group of Generals this country has ever seen.
And what did Bush do? He and Cheney decided that they would attack Saddam Hussein…but remember this…also attack the people of Iraq. There was, of course, no way to launch a war against Saddam without killing innocent Iraqis.
You can give any rationale you want, but hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis died and their country was turned from an oppressed minority, which could have been changed by simply assassinating Saddam Hussein and his sons, into a country with huge divisions among the people, bombings and massacres. It is still going on and George W. Bush and Dick Cheney started it and are responsible.
Iraq was destroyed and as has been documented by many film makers and authors ad infinitum, American military contractors got rich and some, like Blackwater, became notorious for being thugs who simply could not go home and be civilians when their military duty was complete. Not only were they American thugs but thugs from despotic Central American dictatorships who were simply potential non-convicted murderers for hire. This was the group that Dick Cheney in particular saw as his own personal militia.
The President who shirked his duty in the Viet Nam era, who washed out in pilot training, suddenly landed in the rear seat of a fighter jet to declare that the mission of getting Osama Bin Laden and defeating Al Qaeda was accomplished. But it wasn’t. His actions, by attacking innocent Iraqi citizens has created more of a problem today than we had before 9/11.
Because of the actions of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and their entire gang of Neo-Conservative zombie-like followers, terrorists feel justified, feel that the man whom Obama killed after 7 years of failure by Bush and Cheney was right. Americans are imperialists, they say, and use the Iraq war as evidence.
We threw Bush and Cheney out and did not elect another war-monger, the ancient former hero, John McCain. But it was too late. Bush and Cheney had done their damage. Even American citizens cannot say definitively that these Neo-conservatives whom we now see as aligning with big corporations and the NRA as a Neo-Fascist Party…we cannot say that they are not out for world domination, should they come to complete power.
It all started with Bush and Cheney, this idea that the rich should pay no taxes. They were the ones who dropped already low tax rates to the point that the budgets would never balance. They were the ones who signed legislation to send jobs abroad and corporations off shore to pay no taxes.
Theirs was the idea that the rich are job-creators and we should therefore beg their thanks and lower their taxes while we lower our standards of living. This Valhalla of jobs never materialized. At least not in the United States. Under Bush the Dimmer, 50,000 manufacturing operations switched from plants in the U.S. to plants in China or elsewhere in Asia.
The country raised taxes on the rich to an unheard of 97% on all income over the top income bracket in World War I, and a similar number in World War II and the Korean War…to pay for the wars. Bush and Cheney simply created more debt for the rest of us to prove how tough they are and how much business they could create for their friends.
The rich don’t need government. They never have. Americans have always had a bargain with the rich. The rich create jobs and get rich beyond any amount they can spend.
The people, through their representatives use the taxes to create a society in which the rich and the wealthy will be free and secure to make billions of dollars, after taxes. The people will create a society in which the very wealthy will be safe, have communities that they can used to make as much as they want, so long as they pay the kinds of taxes necessary to run a progressive society.
It is pretty clear why many Muslims hate the U.S. and pretty clear that much of the reason is because of actions taken by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Ask yourself–would not 100,000 Iraqis a month fleeing their country, each month, between March of 2003 and the end of 2006…would not that many millions fleeing from your country to Jordan or Syria make you angry with the United States?
On September 11, 2001, three thousand Americans died as a result of an attack by a group led by Osama Bin Laden. Not Saddam Hussein. Job number one was to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. After ten years and 3 trillion dollars, the incompetent Bush and Cheney did nothing but enrich their American military contractor friends of the Republican Party and create more enemies around the world.
The wars were not the worst thing that happened to the country during the Bush years. The wars were the worst that could have happened to our military. The worst for the rest of America was yet to come and it was to happen right here at home.
Relatively speaking, George W. Bush is a dunce. He doesn’t know the first thing about economics or business. He is lazy, a typical anti-intellectual Texas lout. He portrays himself as a “good old boy” glad-handing and acting like a man with a common touch. But he is not. George W. Bush was educated at the best private schools that the establishment can provide.
His actions speak louder than his “awe-shucks” personality. He killed 4,500 American soldiers and horribly wounded 30,000 others. His impassionate use of the powers of Commander-in-Chief sent soldiers repeatedly into harm’s way, often without adequate armor.
He ignored warnings by terrorist experts and inveighed against all the observations of a decade of study about Al Qaeda, resulting in the horrific loss of 3,000 Americans on 9/11/2001 when terrorists knocked down the two tallest buildings in the world, with occupants in them.
So it isn’t surprising that, when Alan Greenspan said that deficits were a good thing, that surpluses could cause economic problems for American currency, George Bush didn’t have the foggiest notion that Greenspan was simply trotting out his Libertarian approach to life and the economy. Bush thought he was doing a brilliant job.
Nor was his attitude towards other domestic issues. In 2004, he approved cutting back $400 million on the Corps of Engineers request to strengthen the levees around New Orleans. In 2005, when Katrina hit, as the government officials of New Orleans had been afraid that it would sometime soon, it caused the catastrophic floods that the Corps of Engineers said they could have prevented.
Bush finally left his home in Texas from one the many vacations that he took, making him the most vacationed President in history, and flew over the city, not touching down, not giving encouragement, not showing his face….
Only a swaggering, braggadocious Texas fool would waste American lives with such lack of compassion and such disinterest.
That wasn’t the end of it. The worst was yet to come. A “mere” 1800 people died as a result of Katrina. But 45,000 people a year die from lack of the ability to see a doctor because 30 million lack health insurance. They work. They get paid. But they simply cannot afford health care or they cannot get it. Or they cannot afford it because they are already sick or were sick at one time.
Still greater than the 45,000 per year that the American Medical Association says lose their lives because doctors can’t get to them in time, are the number of people who now not only have no health care, but no job and many have no home.
That is because George W. Bush supported the policies of the Party that he and Dick Cheney led. That political party created an atmosphere of “hands off” to securities regulators that allowed thousands on thousands of fraudulent transactions to be made on the stock exchanges. They appointed one of the most anti-regulation Congressmen in the country’s history to be chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission, the regulatory body for stocks.
He looked the other way, tossed key investigations into the waste-basket, fired top regulators, refused to indict people conducting obviously fraudulent operations, and allowed Bernie Madoff to cheat people out of 60 billion dollars. But that was nothing. When he was through, the market crashed in 2008 taking 7.5 trillion dollars…trillion…of American wealth…home equity, the value of small businesses that were left with no customers and went broke and the personal savings of the 15 million people who had to spend them because they lost their jobs.
These criminals created the Second Great Depression…the George W. Bush Depression. And we are living through it and he is unapologetic. He wants us to praise him for creating more poverty, for the high suicide rates among the military that his policies initiated. He wants us to give him credit for ending the life of Saddam Hussein. Who was clamoring for the death of Saddam Hussein but George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their henchmen?
We should have nothing but disdain for George W. Bush. He should never be photographed with soldiers. He did nothing good for the average soldier but wronged them severely. To vast parts of the world, George W. Bush is a war criminal.
We should not celebrate his presidency in any way that is not introduced by the names and numbers of people whose deaths he caused. Only after that should we discuss his presidency in any remotely positive light.