Bush walked smack into a recession, but its really a Clinton hangover.
In November 2000
we had the luxury of waiting for the result of an election poised on
a knife edge. Would it be Gore or Bush. In the end it all came down
to a corrupt electoral system in Florida and mislaid, disallowed and
tainted ballot papers. We ended up with George.W. Bush as President,
the C student who came good thanks to patronage and fate. It wasnt
supposed to go that way.
President Bush walked smack into a recession, but its really a
Clinton hangover. America had an eight year party of which the last
three years they just never went to bed, it got so hectic. Americans
tested the limits of conspicuous consumption, bought stocks and shares
like kids used to buy Pokemon cards, they had to have them all. It was
a spend, spend, spend party, with no savings, no limits. The stock market
had turned into a slot machine in the last Clinton years that gave out
a prize with every pull. The first warning came last March 2000 and
for the next nine months took a lot of people on a one way trip on the
downside. Of course, the brave stuck it out and it climbed back up as
interest rates fell, but the damage has been done. America got its second
America didnt just elect a new president, they also ordered everything
on an old 1990 menu and everyone people had forgotten or thought dead
suddenly reappeared. George W. loves his Daddy so much, he hired all
his friends to run the country, adding some flavour with General Powell,
who allegedly won the Gulf war - though normally if you
win the war the enemy is defeated, something no amount of spin can hide
from us. So Saddam lives again for Gulf War Two in 02.
The Bush agenda led by Vice-President Dick Cheney, is massively conservative,
committed to rolling back any social and legal changes brought about
by Clinton. Luckily for America and the rest of the world, Republican
Senator Jeffords has finally jumped ship, unable to stomach this extreme
agenda. As a consequence we are unlikely to get this crazed Star Wars
Defence Shield that makes world war so much more likely.
(Perhaps this is the real agenda behind the scheme by all George W.s
defence industry pals looking for rich contracts). George W. may have
got his tax cuts through, but now the ride will be much harder for him.
The harsh repeal of abortion laws, more extreme measures against recreational
drugs and alcohol will be watered down. The demonisation of young America
will have to wait. We are not advocating a pro drugs or booze plank
here, but with the Presidents own daughter in the news for trying to
buy a drink with a phoney ID it is a timely reminder that if you are
over 18 and under twenty-one in America, you have precious few civil
liberties. Our advice is study in Europe, it is more civilised, you
can drink legally and the booze tastes better and without guns its safer
on the streets and in the schools.
Of course if you are poor in America, the chances are you are not reading
this, have little access to good schooling or teaching, have no health
insurance, virtually no public transportation and if you living in Texas
where George W. was Governor, your air quality just went down, along
with investments in schools, hospitals, public housing, environmental
protection and the Arts.
What makes people like Bush run for office? Certainly its not
the civil service pay. Perhaps its the opportunities for pay off.
George W. using the influence gained from his fathers presidency
and tutored by his fathers friends, has become a very wealthy
man exploiting every avenue he could. From the day he sold out his stock
in Harken Energy in June 1990 for $848,560 (a week before the company
posted spectacular losses) he has never looked back. The SEC didnt
punish him after an investigation, probably linked to the fact that
his father appointed all five of the SEC investigators.
He has made his second fortune from buying into and then selling on
the Texas Rangers after persuading Arlington City taxpayers to build
a stadium for them (something they are still stuck with paying for).
Recently George W. together with his powerful friends, bought a 1500
acre spread replete with 200 acres of canyons and lakes near Crawford,
Texas. They used a nice tax loophole (Subchapter F, Section 23.81) normally
used to preserve open spaces, to get an advantageous property tax of
just $217 an acre. Everyone else in Texas of course pays much higher
taxes to enable the Bush family and friends to live so well.
Its worth looking at what this man George W. Bush did to Texas
whilst Governor, because this could be about to happen to America as
a whole. Especially now that tax cuts are going to pass through into
the system by next September 02.
is number one for executions.
Number one for pollutants released into the atmosphere.
Number one for highest Greenhouse emissions.
Number one for highest home insurance rates.
Texas has the lowest state spending on parks, arts, libraries, environment,
housing and policing.
It is number two in the USA for families living in poverty; number two
for the highest number of kids without health insurance.
42 percent of Texas High School students dropout of school.
drug use is up 30 percent on the national average.
ranks 48th (out of 50) in public health spending per capita.
There is a sense already that the Bush presidency is a lame duck administration.
On June 2nd Senator McCain, who ran against Bush in the runoffs and
was wounded by Bush authorising attacks on his character and questioning
his role in the Vietman War, signalled renewed battle. McCain senses
weakness, and doesnt agree with the extreme Republican agenda,
which amounts to declaring war on people who hold democratic values.
There are strong hints that he will start a new third-way political
party for battle in 2004.
Senator Jeffords defection has opened up Pandoras box and given
the Democrats hope. They know that every attack on clean air or the
environment helps them. Bushs plan to build 1300 new power stations
to deal with the US energy shortages is a plan to enrich his oil and
power buddies. Of course California is suffering. But build a city in
the desert you have to experience a little pain. (If your want to see
the seeds of the corruption rent the movie Chinatown and youll
At some point America will have to realise that energy conservation
and power efficient homes, cars and offices is the way forward, not
endlessly increasing power and air-pollution. Not driving oil prices
ever upwards. There really is a finite supply of fossil energy out there.
There really are dangers with building more nuclear power stations when
we have not a clue whatsoever of what to do with the dangerous radioactive
waste. (Other than store it near good groundwater supplies or put it
on trains and drive them around in circles - yes this really happens.)
Bush senses danger. McCain is just one arrow in the sky, the Democrats
are waiting to avenge their defeat in 2002 mid-term elections and just
about any mistake could open more poltical opportunists to claim the
prize. When George W. takes his family off to Kennebunkport in Maine
this summer he knows he is a lucky man but for every gambler, luck runs
out just when you least expect it.
*Sources US Bureau of Census, State Government Finances 1998, National
Education Agency 1999. US E.P.A. Office of Pollution and Prevention,
© Road Runner June 2001