The rationale against Bush

It’s easy for us in the media to get swept up in the podium sound bites of political campaigns. What’s tough is to get to the truth about what any of it means in the broad scheme of things. But make no mistake: Change—or an inability to change—absolutely does come as a result of whom we vote for on Election Day.

Throughout the coming weeks, SN&R will be commenting in this space on candidates and issues headed for the ballot on November 2. Today we launch a series on the issue of the presidency. It comes as no surprise to SN&R editorial readers that we count ourselves among the millions who believe that something has gone decidedly wrong with the United States since 2000, that important American values have been placed at great risk since George W. Bush became president. What follows in the next two months is a reverse countdown to Election Day—our 10 reasons not to re-elect Bush.

#10: He favors the ultra-rich over the rest of us.

An elegantly dressed woman in a black evening gown and pearls stepped out of a limo in New York last week and joined a gathering of men in tuxedos and top hats in Central Park. The sophisticates drank champagne to toast their increasing fortunes. They spoke of how fabulously pleased they were to have a favorite son in the White House: President George W. Bush.

The scene was satire, a “Get on the Limo” street-theater performance by Billionaires for Bush during the Republican National Convention. The group’s intent was to make people laugh. But it’s really not so funny.

Despite his folksy image, we have a president who brazenly favors the enormously rich over everybody else. The best example of this is his tax cuts, which actually put millions more dollars back into the pockets of the wealthy, more than under any fiscal policy in American history.

Now middle-class people are paying for more of the national budget than ever before, while the top 1 percent of wealthy citizens are paying less than ever. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, 43 percent of the $1.6 trillion tax cut in 2001 wound up with those whose incomes are $915,000 or more per year. People making more than a million a year received an average tax cut of about $100,000! Of course, the president claims this giving to the rich spurs economic growth, but there is no evidence that this is true.

Bush has led a privileged life, as have many who enter politics in this country, where the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans own a stunning 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. But, more than most, Bush has allowed bias toward his own kind to direct his policies. He favors the elite. And that puts the majority of Americans in disfavor.