Well, four years later and where are we? Record deficits, record oil and gas prices, record tax cuts for the least needy among us, a winless war in Iraq that is soaking up hundreds of billions of dollars. And now, after spending billions of your money and mine on "homeland security," we find that even that system is broken, doesn't work, can't communicate, doesn't make timely decisions do to a combination of incompetence and bureaucratic baloney that Bush and his so-called conservatives have failed to fix.
Yes folks, this is the Bush legacy. And we will pay for it for generations.
Here are some of the more laughable points from Bush's 9/15 farce and liefest:
"And tonight I also offer this pledge of the American people: Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes. We will stay as long as it takes to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives. And all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know: There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again.
Sound familiar? It should.
July 10, 2003: "We're making steady progress," he said. "A free Iraq will mean a peaceful world. And it's very important for us to stay the course, and we will stay the course."
September 7, 2003: "We will do whatever is necessary, we will spend what is necessary, to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror, to promote freedom, and to make our nation more secure," Mr. Bush said.
April 4, 1004: "But we will stay the course," he said. "We will do what is right. We will make sure that a free Iraq emerges, not only for our own security, but for the sake of free peoples everywhere."
April 16, 2004: "And that's why we're going to stay the course in Iraq. And that's why when we say something in Iraq, we're going to do it, because we want there to be a free society."
Time and again, in speech after speech to carefully selected audiences, Bush's rata-tatat rehearsed drone, from 2003 through 2005, he has pounded away at this inflexible, illogical course. What do they say, the first sign of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over, expecting a different outcome?
Well perhaps we are beginning to see a different outcome. Even Republicans are beginning to question their blind loyalty to this man.
More Bush from 9/15:
"I propose the creation of Worker Recovery Accounts to help those evacuees who need extra help finding work. Under this plan, the federal government would provide accounts of up to $5,000, which these evacuees could draw upon for job training and education to help them get a good job and for child care expenses during their job search."
What? Is he kidding? $5,000? "Up to" $5,000? For job training? I recently looked into a training program for veterinary technicians. This short program can cost as much as $20,000! And guess what! Upon graduation you are lucky, quite lucky, to earn $20,000 a year. Sorry Mr. President. $5,000 won't buy you a loaf of bread's worth of training and education. Is he for real? Is he suggesting that the people decimated by Katrina need to be retrained? Perhaps because they were all deadbeat unemployed? You know the kind, the worst kind. Mississippians and Louisianians with bachelors and masters degrees in computer science who saw their "good jobs" sent off to India. Yeah, so now, according to Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly, they turned into drug addicts who wouldn't leave New Orleans for fear of losing their suppliers!
Some less advantaged people along the Gulf Coast might benefit from job training, but they will get none of it for "up to $5,000."
More Bush from 9/15:
"Four years after the frightening experience of September 11th, Americans have every right to expect a more effective response in a time of emergency. When the federal government fails to meet such an obligation, I, as President, am responsible for the problem, and for the solution. So I have ordered every Cabinet secretary to participate in a comprehensive review of the government response to the hurricane. This government will learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina. We are going to review every action and make necessary changes, so that we are better prepared for any challenge of nature, or act of evil men, that could threaten our people."
He is "responsible for the solution"? He and his friends, in government, at Halliburton and other large corporate friends of Bush, have had exactly four years to at least begin to fix things. They have failed. They still can't get sufficient body armor and Humvee armor into a theater of war on the other side of the globe. How are we supposed to entrust the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, just a thousand miles from Washington, D.C., to these people? Already billions of dollars of no-bid contracts to "friends of Bush" have been let or will soon be let. To the same folks that are doing such admirable work for us in Iraq.
Bush wasn't finished on September 15. Nope. Here is what he said today, on 9/16:
"We got to maintain economic growth, and therefore we should not raise taxes.
"Working people have already been subject, in effect, to a tax increase through higher gasoline costs, and we don't need to be taking more money out of their pocket."
"You bet, this is going to cost money..."
"But I'm confident we can handle it, and I'm confident that we can handle our other priorities."
"It's going to cost whatever it costs, and we're going to be wise about the money we spend."
Wise? With MY money? With YOUR money? Since when? So he's going to make further federal budget cuts, eh? Social Security? Medicare? Veterans Administration? SBA? Education? Certainly not interest on our debt! Tax cut rollbacks are out of the question to him. Former President Bill Clinton spoke recently regarding Bush's position and he was incensed. He would happily give back the multiple tax cuts from which he has benefited.
There is no free lunch, no free breakfast, no free dinner, no free housing or land, no free levees, certainly no free Iraq war. You and I and our children, etc. etc. will have to pay for the incompetence of Bush and his so-called conservative friends.
What I would like to know is what happened to conservative politics in the United States anyway? Used to be that conservatives were noted for the fiscal prudence. But Bush and company has transformed conservatism, unsurped their shared ideals and delivered to us Americans by far the worst financial and security legacy in our history.
Do you actually believe that America can survive three years and four months more of George W. Bush?