For those of you who like blood'n'guts verbal fistfights, perk up - there's one incoming. This is in response a comment by a reader; his comments in quotes, my response in normal font.
You say these things with such categorical certainty that I must assume you believe them in their entirety. However, they are completely irrational, based solely on your own opinion, and have little, if any, basis in reality. If you're going to point out incompetent government leaders, please, be specific - do you oppose Condi or Cheney? Or Rumsfeld? Perhaps Powell? Be careful; all have distinguished resumes, and quite impressive careers in public service thus far.
I don't disagree with everything Bush says, only somewhere around 99% of it. And it's not because somebody told me to, or that my brain is wired in such a way that it's impossible for me to not hate the guy... it's that if I were in his position, my policies would be entirely different on almost every level (around 99% of them). Bush's administration is full of a bunch of cronies, people with the exact same ideology as him, who have shown time and time again to be incompetent in government. But this okay in the end because it reaffirms the basis of their ideology which is "government doesn't work". It doesn't matter if they do a horrible job because they can look back and say, "see, we told you so".
You claim all these things are the product of the Bush administration. I'll sit back and remind you that the president does not craft legislation, he merely influences it from his vocal position and can prevent it from being signed. Upset that he didn't use the veto pen more? Join the club. But the attitude that "EVERYTHING IS BECAUSE BUSH IS BAD" is just contributing to the defunct image of the democratic party -- all angst, no solutions.
They've bankrupted our national treasury, given the richest 1% of americans extended tax cuts in a time of DEBT. Up until 9/11, they ignored the threat that was Al Qaeda and the SPECIFIC warning that they would use planes as flying bombs. Healthcare costs have risen, public education is in shambles (just the way they want it). You know me, I could gone forever and ever. But that's not the point.
The government needs to cut taxes. They need to downsize to the point that they can abolish the income tax (we did fine without one for over a century). They need to cut pork, cut spending on stupid projects, and let the market flex and fill in the gaps. Things I include in this list: public schools (in their current incarnation), national healthcare, social security, and welfare. Just on these alone you could give a huge tax cut to the entire nation, every man jack among us.
Don't say you'd do everything different, because you don't know that. Here's a point of view I had pointed out to me when grousing about Bush's refusal to veto -- if you had to spend 200 million in pork on a bill that got you 20 billion in necessary money for the armed forces, what would you do? Sometimes personal politics have to be shoved aside for the good of the whole. I think Bush has done a wonderful job on "staying the course" (George Washington's words, not Bush's) without regard to public opinion.
This president has lost my trust completely. I was wholeheartedly behind him after 9/11, I was ready to join the army. Everyone in the world was unified behind the United States of America. Now look at it. For lack of a better word, George Bush f*cked up big time.I don't really think Bush screwed up. I think he'll be justified by historians later. I think there's a whole lot going on behind the scenes that people can and won't see. Remember his speech about the GWOT back when you were "wholeheartedly" behind him? He said this would be a long war, that it would be fought mostly behind the scenes, and that public news of victory would be few and far between. How soon we forget.
I would like to see a GOP plan for the future. Because the "stay the course" approach to everything obviously isn't working. The country is so much worse off than it was 8 years ago. Remember when the president was having extra-marital sex in the oval office? You know the time when we had a budget surplus and the market was at it's highest rate of expansion since the 60's, and gas cost a buck a gallon? Yea, those were the good old days... Clinton's track record on domestic policies makes reagon and the two bushes look foolish. That's what I want, I want my liberals back in office. That's all.Again, I'll remind you that all the things you're attributing to the Clinton years happened with a Republican congress. Yes, the "surplus that never was", the market bubble, all of it. Except for oil prices; that beast is something no single entity can tackle. You're talking out of nothing.
If Democrats get elected this fall, they will attempt to balance the budget.This is when you go off the deep end. If democrats get elected this fall, they'll enlarge government. For Pete's sake, Republicans enlarge government and say they won't. How much more frightening is it, then, to put a put of people in charge who tell you beforehand how much they're going to grow it?
Focus on fair(er) trade as opposed to free trade....Whatever that means. I assume you're jumping on the anti-China / Wal-Mart bandwagon? I'd like to politely remind you that the China can-of-worms was also opened during the "Good ol' Clinton years"...only this time, it wasn't the Republican congress that did it - it was Slick Willy himself. Lets see you squirm out of that one. (See post below for what government involvement does to the economy. Capitalism isn't fair, any more than life is, thank goodness.)
They'll stop giving oil companies that've been reporting record high profits for the last 4 years, tax breaks.You want the government to stop giving tax breaks to oil companies? Be prepared to pay for it at the pump. Oil companies aren't evil, and they aren't not paying taxes. You want to know how much taxes these "record profiting" oil companies pay?
Past five years, Exxon Mobil:
US Earnings: $34.9 Billion
US Taxes Paid: $57.1 Billion
US Earnings: $2.3 Billion
US Taxes Paid: 3.7 Billion
That's right. When they made their record profit they actually paid MORE to the federal government than they did to their shareholders. And you want to tax them more?
They'll reform healthcare and make sure that every single child in America has healthcare.Every child in America has the option to have healthcare, because every American has the option to buy insurance or work at a company that provides it. The opportunity is there. The only way the government could do anything about it at this point is to force people to do things at gunpoint (i.e. with the force of law). No one wants that. Incidentally, we are not guaranteed healthcare as a natural right; we are guaranteed liberty. Hence, it is unconstitutional to trade one for the other.
They'll reform campaign contributions (again).They'll reform campaign contributions? What's there to reform? Why should the government tell private citizens who they should and shouldn't give money to? The only law that should be on the books about campaign contributions should be one of full disclosure. Again, you want a restriction of freedom -- no thanks.
They'll push for a voting system that allows you to make more choices at the ballot.What choices would those be? A third party? Or are you talking about the ballot itself? Not more "Bush stole Florida," please. I'm not sure I could stomach it.
They'll push for better initiatives into alternative energy's, and actually TRY to make our country energy independent.How can you say that pushing for alternative energy is a Democratic idea? The US government has spent $10B (yes, billion) since 2001 on alternative energy research. Bush himself marked $300M in his budget for developing a hydrogen powered automobile. You want to make the country energy-independent? End the liberal insistence on no new refineries; stop the stymie of drilling in ANWR, in the Gulf, and off the coast of California.
Democrats aren't weak on terrorism. This is a huge misconception. When Clinton left Washington, on every front in terms of diplomacy and homeland security, our government was doing more to thwart terrorism than when Clinton took office.Why should I believe YOU that dems are tough on terror when the majority of likely democratic voters don't even believe that? Riddle me that. Tell me what Democrats have done for me lately.
In all honesty I hope the Democrats run on the platform you just outlined. They'll get torn to shreds in about fifteen minutes.