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Things Are Out of Control!
A Bush Administration review on the last four years
By Jerri Ann Lewis
Edited By Megan Maloy
After the polls closed and votes were being counted we should have had some clue as to
America's future with George W. Bush as our president. The scandalous election should have been a hint
of what his disastrous reign would bring. Let us examine the messy trail left by the Bush Administration
from the election of 2000 to the future election of 2004.
As the smoke cleared from the voting booths it was evident that presidential candidates Al Gore and George
Bush were running a tight race. Once all the ballots were, allegedly, counted there was some debate upon
which candidate actually won. After a month of court battles and debates, George W. Bush was announced as
the new President elect. However, with some investigation into the matter, the election looked awfully
suspicious. Florida, the last state remaining, coincidentally governed by Jeb Bush, was the deciding
state. This would be the first reason of doubt in a series of questionable actions. Upon deeper examination,
it was found that Katherine Harris' office (the office overseeing the recount) had prepared a list of alleged
felons to remove from the voters rolls several months before the elections. People residing in Florida that
have committed serious crimes are banned from voting. However, it is now known that about 90% of 57,700 people
on the purge list were guilty of only misdemeanors and should have been allowed to vote. In addition, over half
of the people on the list were black.1 Thus, this only goes to show that the dishonesty of George W. Bush began
before he was even in the Oval office.
Recession Due to Job Loss
Within the four years President Bush and his administration have been in office "the economy has changed from
robust growth to lingering recession. Job creation has become terrible job loss..."2 Since September 2003,
three million workers have lost their jobs . Industries are continuing to lay-off, shutdown, and/or decrease
wages and salaries. Meanwhile, an estimated 49 states have not kept up with the growth of the working-age
population.3 Hence, as unemployment declines the demand for more jobs continues to increase.
The decreasing job market is due to unsuccessful economic policies based on tax cuts for the rich, trade
laws that support moving jobs overseas and the reluctance of current government officials to accept
job-producing programs to repair the nation's roads, schools and rail and water systems.4 The reason
for job loss in America summed-up in a phrase- the Bush Administration.
Unemployment Aided by Outsourcing
Outsourcing is the term used when industries sell out for cheaper labor in other countries versus remaining
in America and paying American workers. Average American jobs are being eradicated due to the increasing
number of "white-collar" jobs being sent overseas. This is one issue I have been personally effected by
since my father, sister, brother-in-law, and I have all faced job loss within the last four years and my
father-in-law and husband are faced with possible job loss within the next two years. Additionally, the
indifferent attitude of the Bush Administration towards American workers is apparent considering a viewpoint
from Gregory Mankiw, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, stating that "outsourcing is just a new way
of doing international trade."5 Obviously, our current government cares very little if common
United States citizens are jobless or not.
Inflated Gasoline $
Current gasoline prices have soared to an all-time high. The price of gas is now averaging $1.93 per gallon
in the United States of America.6 Governor Locke of Washington, as well as many Americans, are "very
disappointed" with the Bush Administration's lack of response to the justification for rising gasoline prices.
The Washington governor, with nine other governors wrote letters asking for explanations. A number of
things are believed to contribute to the high prices including "low product inventories, higher demand due
to the economic recovery, and new fuel specifications to increase environmental protection." "Our economy
was much stronger before President Bush took office," [Locke] said. "Yet we didn't have prices like this then,
and we certainly didn't have prices spike so high so quickly. There is at least a suspicion that something else
is at work here, and all we are asking is for the administration to look into the matter."7 The
confirmation of these statements only make the solution to the gasoline problem clearer. A vote for a better
presidential candidate equals better gasoline prices.
Education Reform = F+
The No Child Left Behind Act, at a glance, would seem like a good plan. Ideally, teachers must make certain
that all students are taught every lesson necessary before moving on to another level so that no child is passed
over in his/her education. However, in order for school boards to know whether all children are learning what
they are required standardized tests must be given . This is where the problems begin. More tests place pressure
on students to perform but also place pressure on teachers to 'teach to test'. The 'teach to test' method is
where stressed teachers know students must 'make the grade' so they are compelled to teach the students the subject
matter on the tests and not the basic subjects necessary for the long-term of students' educational lives.
Additionally, the students' burden to achieve good test scores is believed to have caused an increase in
the rate of drop-outs.8 One more F earned on the Bush Administration report card.
New and 'Improved' Medicare Acts
Although it is true that the old Medicare bill from 1965 needed revamping, its main snag was the lack of payment
on prescription drugs for qualifying seniors. However, with the support of AARP and United States pharmaceutical
companies the Bush Administration forced new acts through that would make your grandfather cringe. The 'improved'
program will cause Senior citizens to search for alternative insurance elsewhere for its lack of coverage.
This is a 'win-win' scenario for AARP and the government. If seniors are forced to look for other insurance
AARP stands to gain because they own several private insurance companies. By choosing other insurance the
government will benefit by cashing in on all of the unused Medicare funds and ultimately shutting down the
program altogether. The new acts also stipulate that the federal government will not be allowed to interfere
with the increase of drug prices.9 This is a major score for drug companies because there will be no limit
to the money they can make off sick senior citizens. This is just one more money-grubbing plot to benefit our
current government leaders.
Global Warming is #1 on the long list of environmental issues the Bush Administration has completely ignored
during their reign. It is an even bigger threat than terrorism. Some people view this as an unlikely prophecy
invented by hacks to frighten the public into donating money and time toward an event that will never happen.
However, it is such a feasible possibility that it has peaked the interest of Pentagon officials who decided
to fund research and a report about its potential effects. Climate change through global warming has, in the
past, been a worry that may concern our grandchildren; yet recent studies have shown the worry to be closer
than originally thought. It could be as close as 20 years from now. A cataclysmic event such as this could
cause world-wide famine, areas with extreme weather conditions causing droughts, flooding, or freezing
temperatures, and wars fought for survival because of food, water, and energy shortages.10 If some government
officials are sitting up to take notice then the time to turn this threat around is now. The residents of
Earth must be made aware of the eminent dangers. Nevertheless, without the support of our government, this matter
will be pushed aside until it can be no longer overlooked. The likelihood of this and other environmental
disasters occurring due to the President's deliberate disregard is a major possibility unless we stop the
opportunity for another presidential disaster.
Gray Skies Are Not Going to Clear Up...
The President's Clear Skies Act is a contradiction of terms. It is being promoted as legislation that will...",
when passed by Congress, ...significantly reduce smog and mercury emissions, as well as stop acid rain. It will
put more money directly into programs to reduce pollution, so as to meet firm national air-quality
goals. ....."(Quote from 2002 Earth Day speech.) In reality, the act postpones essential emission cuts up to
10 years, undermines other state laws that address pollution problems within the states, and permits industries
to evade expensive improvements necessary to control pollution.11 Thus, there will be no clear skies in our
near future if George W. Bush is reelected.
Clouds of Suspicion Hang Over 9/11
The events that transpired on September 11, 2001 have been treated as events that were a complete and udder surprise
attack. However, as our wounds heal, Americans are beginning to doubt the accuracy of this claim. "A joint
congressional inquiry into Sept. 11 has repeatedly made the point that the CIA had information on two of the
hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, at least 20 months before the attacks last year but did not ask
that they be put on government watch lists until August 2001."12 Both of these terrorists could have been stopped
before the disaster ever happened. To add to the suspicion, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, when questioned about her
involvement with the Presidential Daily Brief from August 6, 2001, revealed the title of the classified document:
"Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."13 The truth of the matter is, if our government had
any inkling of possible terrorist attacks and did not act to prevent them, the deaths of thousands of people are
not only upon the heads of the terrorists but are on the heads of our government officials as well.
Weapons of Mass Destruction - Reason for war in Afghanistan
After 9/11, President Bush declared a war against terrorism and began a search for Weapons of Mass Destruction
in Afghanistan. This is believed to have been one of many pitiful excuses to go to war. None have been found.
He was successful in weaseling large amounts of money to fund his battles, but Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda
are still at large. By the way, where are those pesky Weapons of Mass Destruction? There is still no evidence
of any in existence.
Fight for Freedom in Iraq
Next came the war in Iraq. It was started to end the tortuous reign of Saddam Hussein and proclaim Iraq a
democratic nation with freedom and peace. What seemed to be a victory with the capture of Hussein and many
of his militia turned into allegations of abuse by U.S. soldiers upon Iraqi prisoners of war. With numerous
reports of maltreatment backdated more than a year, including possible cases of rape and murder, the Bush
Administration proved to be asleep at the wheel, or perhaps pretending to be.14 The fight for freedom became
a furious war zone once again. The possibility of peace and a future democracy for Iraq looks hazy, but the
probability for more financial support from our government is clear.
No End to War
However, President Bush has spread our United States soldiers so thinly throughout the world that we have little
military protection within the U.S. He is looking toward forcing longer tours of duty upon our soldiers,
therefore, prohibiting them from leaving service.15 Nevertheless, the return of the draft may not be unheard
of if the number of enlisted soldiers do not increase. Due to President George W. Bush ("The War President")
and his policies, we may soon be shipping young men involuntarily overseas to an early death.
Depleted Uranium, Not Depleted After All
Our government and military leaders continually ignore the deadly facts known about depleted uranium. The fact
is depleted uranium is a product of nuclear waste that is extremely impenetrable, economical, and readily available
in large amounts; however, it also chemically poisons the body similar to lead in that it can be inhaled,
ingested, or injected (by bullets). Studies have shown this long term threat to our health and our surroundings
is the cause of Gulf War Syndrome, which has been dismissed by our government for many years now.16
Even with the knowledge of this incidence during the term of former President George Bush Sr., his son has not
only turned his back on sick Gulf War veterans, but he has also denied them health care.17 If he
can spit in the faces of those who so gallantly served our country previously, what will he do to the soldiers
that are currently serving our country upon their return if he remains in office?
The End of the Trail... Not Even Close
Unfortunately, we have barely scratched the surface of the mess that President Bush and his cronies have
created. There are many other issues (abortion rights, escalated American deficit, etc.) that the Bush
Administration has harmed during this term of office.18 "Millions of Americans are worse off due to George
Bush's selection as president (not election - remember he lost the popular vote in 2000)."2 Now we must
regain control and clean (the White) house. We must vote for a different leader in the 2004 presidential race
who can live up to promises, offer solutions to problems instead of ignoring them, and resolve the chaos that
President Bush has caused.
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