Four More Years of George W. Bush:
We Can't Let It Happen

Sanders Scoop, April 2004

Congressman Bernie Sanders


Or nation is in deep trouble, and the coming election will be the most important in the modern history of the United States. George W. Bush and his Republican Leadership allies in Congress represent the most reactionary clique to govern our country in the last hundred years. During the last three years their policies have been a disaster for the people of America and for the world.

Whether it's the economy, health care, issues of war and peace, civil liberties, education or women's and gay rights, this Administration has staked positions on the extreme right which represent the interests of the rich and large corporations, rather than ordinary Americans. And, as bad as the situation is today, just think what Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, and Rove will do to this country once the pressure of this election is off and they never again have to face the voters.

On issue after issue, the Bush record speaks for itself:

George W. Bush-Fiddling While Our Economy Burns

President Bush's economic record can best be summed up in one word: disaster. In fact, Bush has presided over an economic collapse unprecedented since the Great Depression. During the last three years we have lost 3.3 million private sector jobs, including 16% of our nation's manufacturing workforce-the worst record since Herbert Hoover Now, after sending millions of manufacturing jobs abroad, corporate America is beginning to outsource large numbers of high-paying information technology jobs. While the middle class continues to shrink the rich have grown richer, poverty has increased and the United States has, by far, the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any industrialized nation.

At the same time, Bush has provided hundreds of billions in tax breaks for the wealthiest one percent and for large corporations. Today, our national debt is over $7 trillion and is growing rapidly-a debt that is mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren. Bush has done very well for his CEO and special interest campaign contributors-the rich and the powerful. His record for the middle class and workers has been a disaster.

George W. Bush-Making the World A More Dangerous Place

As a result of Bush's war in Iraq, over 550 young Americans are dead, 2,700 have been wounded, and thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children have lost their lives. More than $150 billion in taxpayer dollars has been spent, driving up the deficit and diverting funds from important social programs. All because the Bush Administration was supposedly searching for weapons of mass destruction-that didn't exist. Tragically, this reality would have been revealed if Bush had not derailed the UN weapons inspections in Iraq.

George W. Bush's war in Iraq has isolated the U.S. from our allies and the world community. Bush's doctrine of "pre-emptive war" lays the groundwork for international anarchy-the right of any country to go to war at any time without UN approval or the support of international law. In a dangerous world in which at least eight countries have nuclear weapons, Bush has increased international instability, the likelihood of more wars, and anti-American sentiment.

George W. Bush-Working for the Drug Companies and the HMOs

Today, forty-three million Americans lack any health insurance and millions more are underinsured. And, as workers are forced to assume an ever greater percentage of their health care costs, health insurance premiums are growing by 15% a year. In the midst of this enormous crisis the Bush Administration has done nothing except protect the profits of the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.

Americans today pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for the same medicine sold elsewhere. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable industry in the country and spends hundreds of millions on campaign contributions, lobbying and advertising. George W. Bush and the Congressional Republican Leadership fight every bill that would lower medicine costs and lower the profits of drug companies. The horrendous Medicare prescription drug bill that the President recently pushed through the Congress will provide little if any real relief to seniors who cannot afford their medicines, and will do nothing to control skyrocketing costs. (Read more on page 3.) Needless to say, the drug companies and insurance companies are the big winners with billions in corporate welfare going to them.

George W. Bush-Undermining Constitutional Rights The Bush Administration's aggressive attack against Constitutional rights would make Joe McCarthy proud. Using the fear of terrorism, Bush and his right-wing Attorney General John Ashcroft pushed through the USA Patriot Act. This dangerous law gives the government the right to monitor our reading habits and gain entry into our homes and computers, and strips away fundamental legal protections.

In a major setback for medical privacy, Ashcroft's Justice Department has gone into women's health clinics and demanded the records of women who have had abortions. Undercover agents are infiltrating anti-war groups, and protesters are being met with overwhelming and unnecessary police response. While George W. Bush uses the word " freedom" a great deal, it appears that he doesn't really understand what it means. Freedom of expression and dissent are not "unpatriotic." They are the essence of what it means to be an American.

George W. Bush-Consolidating Control of America's Airwaves At a time when a handful of media giants increasingly control what the American people see, hear and read, the Bush Administration is making a very dangerous and anti-democratic situation even worse. Bush's Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Michael Powell has pushed regulations that would allow an ever smaller number of huge conglomerates to control the media. The Bush media doctrine would allow, among other things, one company to own the local newspaper, TV and radio stations in a single community. With the corporate media already severely limiting the kind of political information the American people can obtain (check out talk radio), further media deregulation would be a disaster for democracy and the diversity of opinion a free society requires.

George W. Bush-Turning Washington Over to Corporate America Never before in American history have so few had so much political and economic power. As the rich are becoming much richer through George Bush's policies, it's no coincidence that he has already raised over $150 million for his re-election. In Bush's America, influence in Washington goes to the highest bidder That is why, for his two presidential campaigns, the financial industry has contributed $38 million, real estate developers $32 million, oil and gas interests $15.8 million, and the pharmaceutical industry $6.6 million.

The result: The pharmaceutical industry gets away with charging us the highest prices in the world, credit card companies are allowed to gouge consumers, and the Administration lowers environmental standards and supports oil drilling in the Alaska wilderness. In Bush's America "you pay to play," and the needs of the average person are ignored.

George W. Bush-You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet George ~ Bush has done all of this damage, and much more, in only three short years-and that's at a time when he was constrained by the fact that he has to face re-election this year. If he wins in November, what kind of extremist agenda will he pursue? Here are some educated guesses.

To benefit Wall Street he will move aggressively to privatize Social Security, the most successful anti-poverty program in our history. The income security of millions of seniors for coming generations will be severely damaged as a result. To benefit the insurance companies he will accelerate his efforts to privatize Medicare, threatening the health needs of senior citizens. Claiming a huge deficit (which he helped to create), he will slash Medicaid, dismantling health care for the poor.

In a major setback for women's rights, minority rights and civil liberties, a re-elected Bush will pack the courts with right-wing judges who are sure to attack Roe v Wade, affirmative action, the separation of church and state and fundamental civil liberties enshrined in our Constitution. George W. Bush's second Administration will push to extend and expand the Patriot Act.

Having called the NEA, the largest teachers' union, a terrorist group, we can expect the Bush Administration to push for further dismantling of our public education system and providing more support for private and religious schools.

The truth is that re-electing George W. Bush will give him four more years to fulfill his and Karl Rove's dream of returning America to the 1920s-a time when the rich and powerful could pretty much do anything they wanted while ordinary Americans struggled through life with very little in the way of political and economic rights.

Another four years of George W. Bush? It's a risk we can't afford to take.

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