Get Real, Bush is Doing Good Job
- 4 June 2006 by Author 0 Comments
Get Real, Bush is Doing Good Job
By Richard Larsen
Published ISJ June 4, 2006
A Journal editorial earlier this week illustrates how convenient it is to spout forth invectives while not wanting to be bothered with facts. Everyone has opinions. But when someone opines without bothering with the facts, they simply display their ignorance and fallacious assumptions.
When supported with fact, opinion has legitimacy. Opinion expressed as invectives devoid of factual relevance is null. For some, the efforts of President Bush’s administration is not a matter of the glass being half empty, but the glass is always completely empty, regardless of empirical data to the contrary.
Now for those who care about facts and not just unfounded diatribes, let’s look at some issues raised against the President.
Medicare was a critical issue to the President as early as July, 2001. President Bush laid out a plan for strengthening, modernizing, and securing the fiscal integrity of Medicare. Of all the elements to his plan, the only one adopted by Congress was the prescription drug plan in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. The rest of his proposals thus far have gone unheeded.
Education is a state and local issue. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is there any reference to the Federal government playing a role in the education of our youth. However, in spite of that, President Bush created an unlikely bipartisan coalition of Capital Hill legislators to author the No Child Left Behind Act, the most broad, far-reaching Federal legislation and funding program in U.S. history. By 2004, funding for NCLB had soared to $24.3 billion, which alone represents a 40% increase in funding since the Act was passed in 2001. The Act can be, and is, criticized, but at least it was an attempt to address some of our national education challenges.
Environmentally, the President has been very active. He proposed the Clear Skies Initiative, an effort to reduce air pollution from power plants by 70%. He proposed the steepest emissions cuts in over a decade for coal-burning plants through his Clean Air Interstate Rule. He proposed the Clean Air Mercury Rule to regulate mercury emissions from power plants for the first time, mandating a 70% reduction by 2018. He implemented the Clean Air Non-road Diesel Rule requiring emission levels from construction, agricultural and industrial diesel-powered equipment be dramatically cut.
On energy, the President has proposed $1.7 billion in research funding to develop clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles and infrastructure technologies. The Administration has been supportive of increasing automobile fuel economy and encouraging new technologies that reduce our dependence on imported oil. And for the first time in a decade, the Administration raised Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards for SUVs, vans, and light pick-up trucks. The President has also proposed tax incentives for the purchase of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles and $4.1 billion in tax incentives to spur the use of clean and renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.
The quality of life and standard of living in the United States is one of the highest in the world by almost any measure. Based on the UN Human Development Index the U.S. is always in the top ten. The Human Poverty Index ranks the United States as having less poverty than any of the 17 wealthiest countries included in the index. With the highest GDP per capita, Americans lead the world for most material possessions.
Still, challenges and problems abound. However, far from the inert depiction by some, this Administration has been very proactive in addressing most of the major problems. More needs to be done in many areas, including energy independence, Medicare reform, deficit reduction, and illegal invasion for starters.
Efforts of the Administration to solve today’s challenges have been inadequately addressed by Congress. Evidence suggests that Congress lacks the political stamina or courage to deal with them. As evidence, remember how Congress completely skirted the issue of Social Security reform, even though it is sorely needed to maintain solvency.
When like ostriches, our heads are in the sand, we have a President who has done nothing to make this country safer, a better place to live, and foster an environment for the robust economic recovery we’re now enjoying. When our heads are extricated from the sand, we realize we have a President addressing our country’s challenges, but we have a spineless Congress woefully devoid of the courage to do what’s right, at least in part due to a total obstructionist attitude from the left side of the aisle.
The responsibility ultimately does stop at the doorstep of each American citizen. Not only to hold our elected officials accountable, but to make the effort to be informed before launching into ignorant, uninformed tirades against those currently in office.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.