Are We Better Off?
July 6, 2004
By John R. Cobarruvias
It may be hard for some people to admit, but George W. Bush does
not deserve to be re-elected in 2004. Given his record on every
issue facing Americans today and every issue used to determine the
health of our nation, it will be hard to answer the question "Are
we better off than we were four years ago?"
Needless to say, our country's national security, foreign affairs,
and our standing with our allies have been severely eroded since
the 9/11 attacks and due to the war in Iraq. We will never know
if 9/11 could ever have been prevented, but the facts remain, George
W. Bush was the president of our country at the time of the worst
intelligence failure of our history, yet not one single person in
the administration has lost their job for it. Not one.
The failure in intelligence continued with an invasion of a sovereign
nation based upon false or misleading information. Not one single
allegation presented to Americans by George W. Bush about weapons
of mass destruction or the threat to our allies was true. No terrorist
camps were found, no Al Qaeda link, no 9/11 connection, no nuclear
capabilities, no anthrax, no sarin, no long range missiles, no mobile
bio labs, no chemical dispersing drones, and no yellowcake. Nothing.
Zero. Zip. Nada. And yet again, not one single member of the administration
has lost their job for sending our nation to war. Not one.
On the other hand, our environment has suffered under George W.
Bush with not one, but two EPA administrators resigning. Funding
for the EPA has been cut and enforcement of violations has been
replaced with voluntary enforcement by the very industries that
pollute our air, land and water. It is similar to letting criminals
decide their own punishment for crimes. For this the environment
is becoming just like George W. Bush's home state of Texas, the
most polluted state in the nation.
Our economy has also suffered from George W. Bush's policies (and
lack of policies). He inherited a $200 billion surplus and now we
have a $500 Billion deficit. What has George W. Bush done for the
economy except to advocate tax cuts? Has there been any incentive
for small business owners such as providing health care for their
employees, providing a safer environment for them, incentives to
expand their business, or fostering an environment that would encourage
loyalty to the business? In early 2001 George W. Bush had an economy
summit in Waco, TX, yet nothing came out of this summit. It was
nothing but a staged photo-op.
The "Leave No Child Behind" act, which had bipartisan support,
had little if any funding for it in George W. Bush budget. With
our schools struggling to maintain their staff and their facilities,
can anyone actually claim their schools have benefited from this
Our health coverage has suffered under George W. Bush. Rates have
drastically increased. More Americans have lost their health coverage
and with this, their security to take care of their families when
sick. And yet George W. Bush has only hinted at protecting the insurance
industry by shielding them against lawsuits through tort reform.
That is his plan for our high health care problems.
The list goes on and on with transportation, workers rights, consumer
issues, social issues, higher education costs, and others - all
while our attention is diverted to non-existent terror attacks and
false color coded alerts. We have lost our standing in the world,
hundreds of billions of dollars, the lives of over 850 of our soldiers,
and yet all we have are excuses: 9/11, War on Terror, inherited
a recession, Clinton's fault. We have become a nation of excuses
instead of ushering in an "era of responsibility" and it is killing
our soldiers and our country.
It is unfortunate but for someone who advertised himself in 2000
as the "Uniter" and a "Reformer with Results" and a "Compassionate
Conservative," George W. Bush has been an absolute disappointment.
And based upon his actions and inactions, Americans need to ask
the question "Are we, as a nation and society, better off than we
were before George W. Bush?"
John R. Cobarruvias is a consumer activist in Houston Texas and
Vice President of Bay Area New Democrats.