On Monday, as the country neared a recession and interest rates continued to plummet in order to save the drowning American housing market, President Bush gave his final State of the Union address.
The speech did nothing to change the legacy of irresponsibility for America’s 43rd president.
Instead, his address attempted to shed a positive light on a presidency wrought with controversy. Bush ended the speech with: “And so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure and the state of our union will remain strong. So tonight, with confidence in freedom’s power and trust in the people, let us set forth to do their business. God bless America.” It was a particularily optimistic thought.
Or maybe optimistic isn’t the right word. How about delusional?
Bush highlighted his seven-year reign in these ways:
Economic Stimulus Package – His latest initiative provides extra money from taxes in an attempt to urge the public to spend, spend, spend; in reality, the package increases our deficit and pushes Americans into needless spending. Not only is this package too little, too late, it’s simply a band-aid for a gunshot wound.
Pell Grants for Kids – Bush has been a proponent of private schools since Congress enacted the No Child Left Behind Act. The act has been more of a hindrance than help to public schools, which have become overcrowded, underfunded and forgotten as a result. Bush’s latest educational policy calls for $300 million to fund private education tuition for children currently attending “failing” public schools. This effectively dumps more money into private schools which are traditionally better off than their public school counterparts.
Defense spending – Bush’s defense discretionary spending has substantially increased since 9/11, and continues to rise. In his address, Bush urged Congress to “meet its responsibilities . by fully funding our troops.” However, he immediately transitioned into talk of the war in Iraq without ever explaining what those responsibilities were; not how much money was required, or how many troops, or a specific timetable for withdrawal. He continues to project the ideal that not supporting the war is unpatriotic, even un-American.
In a speech that should have provided answers and solutions to America’s foggy future, Bush only reiterated the muddled policies of his unimpressive presidency.