"Great" Republican Record Since Bush & Co. Stole the
October 25, 2002
The following is an open letter to U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm of
Texas that was emailed to his office, other politicians, the
media, and others this week...
Dear U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm,
I am a Texan who received a recorded phone call this morning
with your voice urging me to vote Republican on Nov. 5. You
urged me to vote for the "great" Republican candidates who
are running for U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives,
and Texas and local offices.
Here is the "great" job Republicans like you and U.S. Sen.
Kay Bailey Hutchison and U.S. Rep. Dick Armey and Bush and
Cheney and others have done since y’all - as we say in Texas
- stole the White House in late 2000:
Unemployment has risen from 4 percent to 6 percent,
while under Democratic President Bill Clinton, unemployment
went down from 7 percent to 4 percent.
The poverty rate went up for the first time in eight
years, from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 11.7 percent in 2001,
according to federal government figures. The number of Americans
living under the federal poverty level INCREASED by 1.3 million
in 2001, while under President Clinton the number of impoverished
Americans DECLINED by 7.7 million.
The share of income going to the poorest fifth of
households declined, for the first time in five years, from
3.6 percent in 2000 to a record-low 3.5 percent in 2001. The
next-to-the-bottom [8.7 percent] and middle [14.6 percent]
fifths of households also saw their pieces of the pie drop
to all-time lows, dating to 1967, when such statistics were
first recorded. The share going to the next-to-the-top [23
percent] fifth tied for an all-time low.
The percentage of income going to the richest 20
percent of households went the opposite way, increasing from
49.8 percent in 2000 to a record-high 50.2 percent in 2001.
The wealthiest Americans’ pie piece rises even more – to 55.6
percent - if you include capital gains, such as the windfall
Bush received when his interest in the Texas Rangers baseball
team was sold to campaign contributor Tom Hicks in 1994 [Bush
reported this as capital gains, rather than income, to pay
the least amount of taxes].
The average amount by which Americans fell below
the poverty level also hit a record of $2,707 [data goes to
1979], according to the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget
and Policy Priorities. And experts don’t expect the trend
to change soon.
More than a net 1 million jobs have been lost since
early 2001, while under President Clinton, more than a net
22 million jobs were gained.
More than 2 million people were laid off in 2001
by companies like Enron and Worldcom that you Republicans
support so much, and we are on target to reach more than another
2 million layoffs in 2002, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
That is the most since the early 1980s, when another Republican
administration controlled the White House.
The percentage of MBA graduates in the top 30 U.S.
business schools who have a job within three months of graduation
declined from 97 percent in 2000 to 80 percent in 2002, according
to Business Week.
We now have returned to Republican-led budget deficits
again, after getting good surpluses under President Clinton.
We are in the midst of starting World War III with
our irresponsible, go-it-alone invasion of Iraq. More than
25 countries – including those that aren’t favorable to us
like Pakistan – already have nuclear weapons, and others like
Iran and North Korea are much farther along in building these
weapons of mass destruction than Iraq. Republicans have failed
to link Hussein with the Sept. 11, 2001, acts of terrorism.
Bush is on record as saying he’s going after Hussein for personal
reasons because Hussein tried to kill his dad. Others say
oil is a big factor since Iraq is the second-leading exporter
of oil in the world, and U.S. companies want a bigger role
in controlling that. And Bush and you and others are willing
to sacrifice American, Iraqi, and others lives for the sake
of personal, petty, putrid politics.
Republicans have created much ill-will among our
allies overseas by breaking nuclear treaties, not signing
environmental pacts like the Kyoto Treaty, refusing to support
an international court to resolve international disputes,
and other arrogant, selfish decisions. How can we expect other
countries to support us when we don’t support international
issues they care about?
The federal government is desecrating our national
parks by putting oil wells in such places as Utah’s Arches
The ranks of people without health insurance swelled
by about 2 million in 2001, to some 41 million, the largest
one-year increase in nearly a decade, according to Covering
the Uninsured, a partnership of national organizations that
includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. Republican
politicians like Bush and Cheney have done NOTHING to address
the increase in the uninsured.
Republicans want to invest Social Security funds
in the stock market, which has dropped significantly since
Bush & Co. stole the White House.
Crime increased across the country by 2 percent in
2001, according to the FBI, the first increase in more than
Republicans care more about school children saying
the Pledge of Allegiance than significantly increasing funding
for education, especially higher education to lower tuition
and fees, which will do much more to further our pledge of
"liberty and justice for all" than simply saying that pledge.
Republicans have cut many domestic programs, causing
the ranks of the homeless to rise again.
The number of protests and protesters against the
federal government’s policies has increased dramatically in
the past two years.
Civil liberties are being eroded, as many Republicans
push to create a police state.
More far-right judges who will stop our elections
to tell us who won and make other undemocratic decisions have
been appointed to federal courts.
Republicans continue to blame Clinton for everything
that goes wrong under them, making a mockery of their claim
to "take responsibility."
Little has been done to fix the electoral "problems"
and fraud that occurred, mostly by the Republicans, in the
Bush has already taken more days of vacation than
probably any American president in history, including the
entire month of August 2001 when he was told early that month
of an impending terrorist attack and remained on vacation
for the entire month, doing nothing about what he was told.
And so on. And so on. And so on.
I can come up with more failures of the Republicans in the
last two years, but this should do for now.
In your recording, you also thanked me for supporting you
in the past 24 years and referred to Texas as "the greatest
state in the greatest country in the history of the world."
Besides wanting to know what criteria you use to define the
greatest state and greatest country, I could come up with
a list at least this long of reasons why Texas is not the
greatest state [for instance, we rank among the highest rates
of poverty and people without health insurance in the nation]
and the U.S. is not the greatest country [for instance, numerous
other countries have much fewer homeless people and people
without health insurance]. I should add that I have NEVER
voted for you or given you any money in the last 24 years,
so I don’t know how you can say I supported you.
Again, I am extremely angry about your propaganda phone
call this morning, and I hope you do not make any such calls
to me in the future.
For liberty and justice for all – not just hollowly mouthing
the words, as so many Republicans do,
A Texan who votes and tells others to vote DEMOCRATIC
P.S. You ended your recording with "I love ya." You don’t
love me. You love wealthy yahoos who fund your campaigns who
you pay back using our tax money. I find that ending almost
as offensive as you calling Republican politicians "great."
Jackson Thoreau is co-author of We Will Not Get Over It:
Restoring a Legitimate White House. The 110,000-word electronic
book can be downloaded here
Thoreau can be emailed at email@example.com.