Neglects his Duties While Hillary Defines Patriotism
by Mike Schiller
I was not surprised when I learned that Bush had asked Senator
Daschle to limit the investigations into September 11th, but
I was certainly disappointed. Such irresponsible behavior
has been a defining trait of Bush's administration since his
first days in office. Need I remind America of the arsenic-laced
drinking water that the Bush administration wanted to feed
to America's good people? Does that sound like something a
man who cares about the lives of America's people would do?
Mr. Bush pledged on September 11th to stand by New Yorkers
and grant us the aid we need to rebuild. Yet he has repeatedly
refused to grant us the level of funding we need to restore
Downtown Manhattan. We are $8 Billion short of the funds we
need, the funds Bush promised us, yet Bush has benefited from
his proclamations of support for our great city. His approval
ratings skyrocketed because Americans believed he would help
New York recover from the terrorist attacks.
Bush lied, as has been his habit since November 9, 2000.
He lied about the votes in Florida having been "counted three
times". He lied when he accused Gore of trying to sue his
way into the White House, when it was Bush who filed the first
lawsuit. He lied when he said he would press for legislation
calling for a reduction in CO2 emissions. Bush is a pathological
liar, he is anti-American because he does not respect the
people of America.
Bush has refused to cooperate with Congress' investigations
of Enron. His administration is being sued by the GAO for
refusing to hand over documents regarding their energy policy
meetings with Enron executives. He has tried to divert attention
away from the Enron scandal by changing the subject back to
taxes. That's not much of a subject change since Bush's latest
"economic stimulus" proposal was designed to give millions
of dollars in retroactive tax breaks to Enron. Certainly that
money would not have been used for severance packages for
Enron's laid-off employees. Certainly that money would not
have been used to pay back Enron's investors or the financial
firms whose businesses were hurt by both Enron's collapse
and September 11th. Bush wanted to give Enron as much money
in back taxes as possible so that their top players could
walk away with bigger bonuses before closing the company's
doors for good.
New York has been robbed in three ways. The terrorists robbed
us of our safety, our security, our friends and family, our
symbols of freedom and prosperity. Bush robbed us of the $8
billion in aid that we need in order to rebuild. Enron robbed
Wall Street of money that could have helped keep our city
financially afloat after September 11th. We were attacked
three times, and in at least two of those areas, Bush and
Enron were responsible. We still have yet to learn why Bush
is trying to suppress Congress' investigations into September
11th. For all we know, his administration could have something
to hide on that count as well.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has led the charge in helping
New York to get the money we need to recover from September
11th. She has taken every opportunity available to speak about
the need to get this money to New York for the rebuilding
efforts. She speaks about it in unrelated hearings. She speaks
about it on television. She spends her days pounding the pavement
to talk to people and build awareness for the fact that New
York has not received the funds necessary to recover.
Bush, on the other hand, has lobbied against granting us
these funds. He threatened to veto bills that would provide
more funding to cities to help pay for the increased security
needed after September 11th. He threatened to veto bills that
would give New York money to restore lower Manhattan.
Bush has, since September, been New York's adversary in Washington,
not our friend. He came to ground zero for his photo op so
he could politically capitalize on the blood of the people
of New York, and once his poll numbers rose, he had what he
wanted and abandoned us. Our city is in pain. We have not
recovered from September 11th. Our subways have not been rebuilt.
Our offices have not been rebuilt. Jobs for the people who
were left unemployed by the tragedy have not been sufficiently
Congress should not be considering large across-the-board
tax breaks for every large corporation that ever paid an alternative
minimum tax. Congress should be thinking about what they can
do to provide targeted, direct aid to New York's financial
industry, which has been more deeply affected by September
11th than any other industry. If that weren't bad enough,
New York's financial industry was harmed again when Enron
defrauded investors and financial firms of millions of dollars.
Losses caused by the accounting schemes of Bush's biggest
campaign contributor, Ken Lay. What has Bush done to help
the businesses in Lower Manhattan? What has Bush done to help
the working families of New York and New Jersey whose livelihoods
were affected directly or indirectly by the terrorist attacks?
Absolutely nothing. Bush has no interest in helping anyone
who doesn't own an oil pipeline.
Bush has done nothing but work against New York. He works
against our economy. He works against economic prosperity.
He works against Wall Street. He works against America's working
families. He works against sensible gun laws that could prevent
domestic terrorists from obtaining guns in the first place.
He works against accountability. He works against Congress.
He works against fuel-efficiency standards that could help
reduce our dependency on foreign oil. He works against the
voting laws of Florida. He works against the people of America.
How can anyone call that patriotic?
Mike Schiller recently finished writing his first book,
Sentences I Freed From The Ropes They Tried To Weave Around
Me, due for publication this spring.