Something to really be thankful for
With Thanksgiving 2008 only a week away, rising costs, high unemployment, and mortgage foreclosures, shrinking incomes, and a stock market collapse which has undermined retirement and college education plans, may make us wonder what we have to be thankful for. Those of us who have not lost our jobs or our homes, and still have our health can certainly be thankful for that. And we can also be thankful for the love and support of family and friends, who enrich our lives above all else. But there is one thing the country as a whole can truly be thankful for, and that is we have only two more months of the utterly incompetent, corrupt, and damaging administration of George W. Bush.
The country has had incompetent and/or corrupt administrations in the past, but none of them has done the lasting damage George W. Bush and company have achieved in his two terms.
First and foremost was his rush to attack Iraq ” a country which had done us no harm ” based on false premises repeated over and over again by himself, his vice president, and his secretary of state, to hoodwink the American people, our Congress, and the United Nations into supporting his folly. Bush disregarded warnings of the potentially-disastrous consequences of his actions, and then compounded the situation by having no plan for, and totally mismanaging, Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The result of his rashness and ineptitude is the support of the rest of the world after the 9/11 attacks has been lost and replaced with animosity, especially with our record of mistreatment of prisoners. In addition, the financial cost of this war is staggering ” approaching a trillion dollars, which could have been far better spent repairing our infrastructure instead of rebuilding what has been destroyed in Iraq. And let’s not forget the tragic human cost of his Iraq obsession ” the tens of thousands of American lives lost and families destroyed.
Bush Administration mismanagement has not been limited to Iraq. The response to Hurricane Katrina would be laughable if it hadn’t been so tragic in its ineptitude.
And then we come to the fiscal wreckage Bush has left in his wake. Despite his rantings about cutting the size of government, he has managed (with the assistance of tax cuts for the wealthy) to increase our national debt by nearly six trillion dollars.
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Compared to him, President Reagan was a piker ” with his tax cuts for the wealthy, he managed to increase the national debt by only two trillion dollars. So today our national debt stands at nearly twelve trillion dollars, and still rising ” approaching $40,000 for every man, woman and child in the country.
George W. Bush leaves the presidency with the country mired in a deep recession resulting from unregulated Wall Street greed, which has produced millions of mortgage foreclosures and a stock market collapse which has destroyed people’s savings. The Bush Administration, with its hands-off policy, has been a silent partner in this financial disaster.
The Bush Administration has been rampant with corruption and influence peddling, leaving the middle class behind in its largess for the wealthy. It has been steadfast in its ignoring and suppression of scientific advice from government scientists when that advice was counter to Bush’s ideology. This has resulted in a denial of global warming, and a failure to develop an energy policy for dealing with global warming, and the inevitable decline of petroleum production ” a failure of leadership which has put us far behind the curve on these issues, which are so critical to our future survival as a nation.
So it’s soon “Bye, bye, Bush,” but not to the hole he has dug us into, and now left us to pay the price for his incompetence. Don’t blame me ” I didn’t vote for him.
Hal Sundin’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.
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