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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 unfunded mandate?

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?"

No.


John R. Cobarruvias is a consumer activist in Houston Texas and Vice President of Bay Area New Democrats.

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