Friday, September 03, 2004
George Bush can give a pretty good speech (on paper), and someone who had been living under a rock for the last few years might have been taken in. But for anyone paying attention, this is all old hat, and an ugly hat at that.
Let me just respond to a few points:
"I believe every child can learn, and every school must teach-so we passed the most important federal education reform in history. Because we acted, children are making sustained progress in reading and math, America's schools are getting better, and nothing will hold us back.we passed the most important federal education reform in history."
"In our high schools, we will fund early intervention programs to help students at risk. We will place a new focus on math and science. As we make progress, we will require a rigorous exam before graduation. By raising performance in our high schools, and expanding Pell grants for low and middle income families, we will help more Americans start their career with a college diploma.
America's children must also have a healthy start in life. In a new term, we will lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children who are eligible but not signed up for the government's health insurance programs. We will not allow a lack of attention, or information, to stand between these children and the health care they need."
Important doesn't mean good, y'know. WWII was the most important event of the 20th Century. But I'll leave that alone- everyone knows that he has refused to fund the program. It's more than a little disengenuous to propose a program you have already cut or refused to fund, don't you think? And his results are bogus- there have been no substantial improvements.
"I believe we have a moral responsibility to honor America's seniors- so I brought Republicans and Democrats together to strengthen Medicare. Now seniors are getting immediate help buying medicine. Soon every senior will be able to get prescription drug coverage, and nothing will hold us back."
Of course, this program forces every senior to buy a medicare package that the company can then change at will. And the program prevents medicare from negotiating with providers, so it amounts to little more than a big subsidy to the bloated insurance industry.
On the economy....
"I believe in the energy and innovative spirit of America's workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and ranchers-so we unleashed that energy with the largest tax relief in a generation. Because we acted, our economy is growing again, and creating jobs, and nothing will hold us back."
Actually, his tax cut is really just a tax shift onto future generations, since it's paid for with debt, shifting the burden onto the middle class, and forcing states to raise (regressive) taxes. And he didn't mention that most of the benefits are going to those whose incomes are already growing rather than the other 90% of us. There has been very little stimulus in the plan, with wages and income declining and job growth anemic.
"This changed world can be a time of great opportunity for all Americans to earn a better living, support your family, and have a rewarding career. And government must take your side."
I thought this was the anti-government party?
"To create more jobs in America, America must be the best place in the world to do business. To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation, and making tax relief permanent. To create jobs, we will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy. To create jobs, we will expand trade and level the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe."
Of course, it's hard to promote investment when you are anti-science. And the de-regulation has led to rampant corporate fraud. And Bush's free trade policies have savaged the midwestern industrial economy.
On tax reform...
"Another drag on our economy is the current tax code, which is a complicated mess-filled with special interest loopholes, saddling our people with more than six billion hours of paperwork and headache every year. The American people deserve-and our economic future demands-a simpler, fairer, pro-growth system. In a new term, I will lead a bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code."
Read, flat tax or national sales tax. Which shifts taxes on the middle class and away from the rich. Again.
"Another priority in a new term will be to help workers take advantage of the expanding economy to find better, higher-paying jobs. In this time of change, many workers want to go back to school to learn different or higher-level skills. So we will double the number of people served by our principal job training program and increase funding for community colleges. I know that with the right skills, American workers can compete with anyone, anywhere in the world."
"In this time of change, government must take the side of working families. In a new term, we will change outdated labor laws to offer comp-time and flex-time. Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family-friendly workplace."
By this he mean abolishing overtime and undermining labor unions. Are you catching on yet?
On urban poverty....
"In this time of change, opportunity in some communities is more distant than in others. To stand with workers in poor communities-and those that have lost manufacturing, textile, and other jobs-we will create American opportunity zones. In these areas, we'll provide tax relief and other incentives to attract new business, and improve housing and job training to bring hope and work throughout all of America."
While cutting money to states, housing, and job training. And boy, empowerment zones sure have worked in the past!
On health care...
"As I've traveled the country, I've met many workers and small business owners who have told me they are worried they cannot afford health care. More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and their families. In a new term, we must allow small firms to join together to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies. We will offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income Americans to purchase them. These accounts give workers the security of insurance against major illness, the opportunity to save tax-free for routine health expenses, and the freedom of knowing you can take your account with you whenever you change jobs. And we will provide low-income Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center."
While businesses are shedding health care costs as quickly as possible, and workers don't make enough money to have anything to save for future health expenses. Has anyone noticed the level of consumer debt? It's at record highs. So this plan will just give a tax cut to people who have already saved money (read rich folks).
"As I have traveled our country, I have met too many good doctors, especially OB-GYNS, who are being forced out of practice because of the high cost of lawsuits. To make health care more affordable and accessible, we must pass medical liability reform now. And in all we do to improve health care in America, we will make sure that health decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, DC."
"And we must protect small business owners and workers from the explosion of frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs across America."
This is just a jab at lawyers. Lawyers who defend people who've been lied to and exploited. And by the way, the number and cost of lawsuits cannot possibly be the cause of the rise in insurance premiums. Why? Because they haven't changed in the last decade. So there must be some other reason (greed of insurance companies).
On the Ownership Society....
"Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security, and dignity, and independence."
I've talked about this before.
"These changing times can be exciting times of expanded opportunity. And here, you face a choice. My opponent's policies are dramatically different from ours. Senator Kerry opposed Medicare reform and health savings accounts. After supporting my education reforms, he now wants to dilute them. He opposes legal and medical liability reform. He opposed reducing the marriage penalty, opposed doubling the child credit, and opposed lowering income taxes for all who pay them. To be fair, there are some things my opponent is for-he's proposed more than two trillion dollars in new federal spending so far, and that's a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts. To pay for that spending, he is running on a platform of increasing taxes-and that's the kind of promise a politician usually keeps.
His policies of tax and spend-of expanding government rather than expanding opportunity-are the policies of the past. We are on the path to the future-and we are not turning back."
Okay, I'll just sum up: Kerry is opposed to BAD proposals, and in favor of funding good ones. Any he wants to PAY for his programs, which are CHEAPER than Bush's and that Bush just wants to BORROW money for.
And the rest of the speech is like that MoveOn ad: Terrorism, Terrorism, Terrorism, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, God Bless America. Oh, and Saddam Hussein caused 9/11 (wink) and Kerry is a weakling.
Okay, I think you have all gotten the message. This guy is full of doo-doo.