Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

All comments welcome, pro or con. Passionate ok, but let's be civil. ...Pertinent comments will be published on this blog. Air your viewpoints.


Skyline - Houston, Texas

Sunday, November 20, 2005



When President Clinton left office, the United States' budget was comfortably in the black, with billions of dollars surplus. Unemployment was down, living standards were good, there were many programs for health care and education for the nation's poor and needy.

In President Bush's second term in office, the budget is billions of dollars in the red, a tremendous deficit. Countless jobs have been outsourced, increasing the profits of businesses but robbing many thousands of Americans of jobs. Excuse me, Mr. President, but training a former auto worker to flip burgers or some other minimum wage job may register as "retrained" or "employed", but such a drastic cut in wages doesn't meet his living expenses, pay his mortgage, his health insurance, or allow him and his family to live above the poverty level. You gave jobs to foreigners to improve their standard of living by decreasing the standard of living for American citizens. Your primary priorities should be the welfare of our nation and its citizens -- the people who elected you -- not to the goal of globalization .

Benefits and programs for the poor have been steadily whittled down, and now more cuts are proposed. The richest of our citizens have received a tax cut that has cost the nation billions in revenue. They get a tax cut at the same time their business profits have swelled to greater heights. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer has never been more true than under Bush's presidency.

It is true that since President Bush took office our country has suffered terrible catastrophes that were and are very costly...the World Trade Center tragedy, hurricane seasons that struck cities and populations on the coasts with devastation. And now, the worst in our history, hurricane Katrina , closely followed by hurricane Rita. In addition, America is always generous with humanitarian aid, and has donated great amounts of money to our neighbors who suffered terrible disasters -- the massive tsunami in Asia, and the massive earthquake in Pakistan and India.

President Bush had no control over these natural disasters and cannot be blamed for the extraordinary expenses associated with them. But he can be blamed for pushing through globalization policies that increase big business' profits but rob citizens of jobs, for giving tax cuts to the wealthiest that rob the country of billions of dollars, for repeatedly cutting benefits to the poor, and most of all, starting a war that has cost the nation billions of dollars, cost the lives and physical welfare of thousands of our military, earned us even greater hatred around the globe and the disrespect or disapproval of many nations.

E.J. Dionne Jr. is a columnist for the Washington Post. In one of his recent columns he said, and I quote : (emphasis mine)
As soon as President Bush announced his first spending package for reconstructing New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the Republican Study Committee and other conservatives switched the subject from poverty reduction to how Katrina reconstruction plans might increase the deficit that THEIR OWN TAX-CUTTING POLICIES HELPED CREATE.

UNWILLING TO FREEZE ANY OF THOSE TAX CUTS, these conservatives proposed cutting other spending to offset Katrina costs. The headlines focused on the seemingly easy calls on pork-barrel spending.. But some of their BIGGEST CUTS WERE IN HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS, INCLUDING MEDICAID , AND OTHER SPENDING FOR THE POOR.

It's conservatives ... claiming that because so many people had been driven off the welfare rolls, poverty was no longer a problem....But Katrina underscored the limits of welfare reform by showing how many people had been left behind. It also brought home the FAILURE of conservative economics.

The CLINTON economy --bolstered by BALANCED budgets, tax INCREASES ON THE RICH, and the expansion oof innovative programs such as coverage for the poor -- CUT the number of poor people by 7.7 million between 1993 and 2000.

Between 2001 and 2004....the number of poor ROSE by 4.1 million.

...the recent Census Bureau report found that the percentage of Americans getting private job-based insurance FELL from 63.6 percent in 2000 to 59.8 percent in 2004. What held down the number of Americans without insurance altogether? The proportion insured under governnment programs --Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program --ROSE from 10.6 percent in 2000 to 12.9 percent in 2004.

A time when more Americans than ever NEED government- provided health insurance is when we should expand government assistance for health care, NOT CUT IT BACK. It's also a good time for raising the minimum wage ....for the working poor.
(end of quote)

My personal feelings do not influence the facts, but just for the record may I say I was not fond of President Clinton, but I have to admit the nation did well under his administration (if we discount the scandals in his personal life --but a president's life is always public -- that made us the laughing stock of the world).


  • At Tuesday, December 06, 2005 12:43:00 AM , Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

    I hope Bush can work to make a better health care system and provide health insurance for many more.

  • At Wednesday, December 07, 2005 4:15:00 AM , Blogger Davo said...

    IF i lived in America, I think I would prefer being a 'laughing stock' and having a well founded economy instead of being 'bitterly disliked' with a deficit economy. One of the problems with 'democracy' is that a nation tends to end up with the politicians they deserve, especially if the voting system is not compulsory.
    Unfortunately the 'bush administration' has focussed world attention on how corrupt the american system can be.
    um, yes, I know that sounds harsh, and is not in any way meant to imply that I 'hate' america. I live in Australia, and we have our own problems, but from what I read the American public are being 'right royally screwed'.


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