FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush’s Bizarro Year in Review

by JASON LEOPOLD

President Bush put a positive spin on the sagging economy in his last weekly radio address of the year Saturday, going as far as to say that so-called measures his administration has adopted this year has actually resulted in economic growth that continues to show signs of improvement and will only get better in the new year. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The nation just saw its worst holiday shopping season in 30 years. Consumer confidence is at an all time low. The threat of war and the continuous corporate scandals that plague Wall Street resulted in the Dow Jones Industrial Index falling six percent in December alone, its lowest point since 1931, according to the New York Stock Exchange.

Since Bush took office, seven of the nation’s top corporations have filed for bankruptcy protection and analysts are expecting dozens more in <2003.But> Bush would have you believe that’s all in the past. In his radio address Saturday, Bush said the corporate reform bill he signed last summer has turned CEO’s into honest citizens.

“Our nation learned of scandalous abuses by some corporate leaders, and so I signed the most sweeping corporate reforms in more than a half a century,” Bush said. “We are strictly enforcing the laws against fraud and deception in corporate America because workers and investors must have confidence in America’s businesses and business leaders.”

Corporate reform? There’s no such thing. Corporate reform is not a priority for the Bush administration now that a war with Iraq is dominating the front pages. Signing the corporate reform act helped the Republicans secure votes before the November election. But enforcing the law is a different story. Day after day corporations, large and small, continue to restate their earnings and millions of investors continue to lose their retirement savings. And that’s just since the bill was passed in July.

Possibly the most obvious of the President’s lies Saturday is that the economy is recovering. A report released earlier this month by the National Governor’ Association said that nearly every state in the country is facing a fiscal crisis. California is facing a staggering $35 billion budget deficit. Kentucky has scheduled an early release of 500 prison inmates in an effort to cut costs and California Governor Gray Davis has said he may be forced to do the same. Thousands of state employees across the country are losing their jobs. Education, law enforcement and other vital services face the most serious cuts. But the president will have you believe that all is well. The reality is that the outlook for the economy is pretty grim.

Posing another threat to the economy because of tensions with Iraq is rising oil prices, which reached a high of $32.72 Friday. Analysts told Reuters news service last week they expect the price for oil to hit $35 a barrel early next year as the United States moves closer to war. That could have a ripple effect on the economy and drive up the price for all kinds of goods and services, according to the Reuters report.

“I see that happening in January. I hate to break the bad news,” Gary Kaltbaum of Investors’ Edge Partners in Orlando told Reuters last week.

All these dire predictions and warning signs and the President still wants to give a huge tax break to the wealthy. Where are the Democrats? What happened to their backbones? Too many months have passed without as much as a squeak out of the Democratic leadership in Congress and the Senate. Not one Democratic lawmaker has even attempted to take Bush to task on his war mongering, the economy, or corporate reform, three of the biggest issues of the past year. It’s this type of weakness that the Republicans will use to put Bush back in office for another four years.

As Bush said in closing Saturday, “thank you for listening and Happy New Year.”

JASON LEOPOLD can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

 

JASON LEOPOLD is the former Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires where he spent two years covering the energy crisis and the Enron bankruptcy. He just finished writing a book about the crisis, due out in December through Rowman & Littlefield. He can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail