The Reason I Do Not Like George Bush

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by v-ault, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. v-ault macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    #1
    I've always been amused at the liberals on this board think I love GWB simple because I defend him on certain issues. To them, I'm a blind party loyalist.

    The reality is that I view much of the Bush presidency as an unmitigated failure, and one of the biggest political disapointments in my life. But, it isn't for the reasons that the sheep in the media or the general voting population always cry about. Its not Iraq, or Katrina, or the WoT...

    ...no my friends, THIS is why I long ago decided that George Bush is a fraud:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/20767.html


    And no, war spending is not part of this. We're talking discretionary spending here... war spending and Iraq allocations are done in separate bills that aren't counted in discretionary spending. When you see things like "Bush asks Congress for 88 billion for the war" - that isn't included in something like this.

    Expansion of the dept of education with NCLB is a huge one... the travesty of that medicare bill is another... the list is huge - but he just proves that the wing of the republican party he belongs to cares nothing about the budget, spending or domestic management - they are about aggressive international intervention, lower taxes (without the accompanying spending cuts and program trimming), and harping on moral issues.

    He is not in the same wing of the party as say Barry Goldwater or Reagan.
     
  2. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #2
    Ronald Reagan was a tremendous deficit spender. Bush has inherited his legacy.

    This administration has spent money like it's water, but on all the wrong things. The prescription drug benefit was put together badly and more recent plans for health savings accounts would not stem the overall burden of healthcare on the US economy (even if they would let the government leave the needy out to dry). Similarly, defense spending has gone out of control, without having great returns, and No Child Left Behind has put tremendous burdens on state budgets.

    The military should be strong--but dollars don't necessarily equal strength. The same is true of health care and education and a whole host of other issues. Today's conservatives are either talking about hacking programs to pieces or throwing money at them with no sense for quality, in a way that sometimes just amounts as a subsidy to big industries. It is possible to find efficient ways to help more people.

    What we see, and it's troubling, is an absence of fiscal restraint; an absence of recognition that we all have a stake in government and a responsibility to help keep our country solvent; and an absence of utility in the massive spending in which we are engaging.
     
  3. v-ault thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    #3
    Reagan's defecits were due to an overwhelmingly democratic Congress headed up by Speaker Tip O'Niel who stonewalled him on spending cuts that he proposed every year but they would never let through. Reagan wanted to abolish the department of education for christ's sake... if he had his way entitlements from the Great Society programs of LBJ would have been reformed or destroyed.

    Bush's deficit spending is under the watch of 6 years of a Republican Congress, and a lot of it was PROPOSED by him. No Child Left Behind for example was a massive entitlement spending program, as was his medicare reform package - and he was woefully inept at reforming the Social Security System and other initiatives in his "ownership society" initiatives - and so the net result is huge deficits.

    The economy of the 90s, the budget surplus and growth of the economy was due to a hawkish Republican Congress that DRAGGED Clinton kicking and screaming into a balanced budget, program reform/cuts. Part of the rationale of the country electing Bush in the first place (and my support for him) was that a Republican Congress, with a Republican President would be able to do all the things that Reagan WANTED to do, but couldn't do because of obstructionist democrats.

    Turns out Bush was a domestic policy lightweight and let us all down - and now we might have to deal with somebody even worse in McCain.

    But, the love for Reagan was for beating the **** out of Congressional democrats to drop the top tax rate from 70% to 30%, and working non-stop for 8 years on shrinking the size of the federal government, divesting authority FROM the Federal Government to the STATES (ie local control), all while confronting communism and managing its destruction.
     
  4. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #4
    Yeah, sure, always turn to the social safety net when you want to axe something. Reagan wasted plenty of money on pointless defense projects. And if he had any sense of fiscal responsibility, he wouldn't have slashed taxes in the face of increased spending.
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    One reason for an intense disliking of George Bush: promoting faith-based groups as deliverers of social programs, nationally and internationally.
     
  6. v-ault thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    #6
    Wasteful defense spending? Um no - it was specifically the ramp up in spending on conventional forces, the nuclear arsenal and the SDI initiative that put pressure on the Soviet Union to match us - as they were competing in the world for influence they couldn't be perceived as being the lesser power, otherwise the United States would gain influence, followers and arrest and beat back the spread of communism. To keep up, the Soviet Union increased their own military spending - only because they were a communist nation and not a market economy like the United States, they couldn't sustain it, pay for it or even engineer anything like we could - and they went more or less bankrupt. That economic crisis and their inability to match the United States in ANYTHING was one of the largest contributing reasons for why the Soviet Union collapsed and communism died in the former Soviet satellite nations.

    You never lived under the yolk of a Soviet presence in the world - but its demise is likely the single largest event in the latter half of the 20th Century with major geopolitical ramifications across the globe... and for the better. Independence, freedom and market reform came to 20+ former Soviet states, ending more than 70 years of tyrannical rule, suppression of free speech and free association, the end of the partition of Berlin and E/W Germany and the reforms that took place in Europe in the 1990s. Indeed, the European Union and the Euro in comparison to the strength of the dollar which we talked about in that economic thread, NEVER would have been much of a political force without the new eastern Europe states and the demise of the Soviet Union.

    And all of it was linked back to the United States defense buildup. Keep in mind the US was so weak militarily that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 - something they never would have even DREAMED of trying under Reagan. That resulted in us attempting to train a resistance in Afghanistan under Carter (including a man named Osama Bin Laden) - which was a direct precursor to the creation of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Had our military been formidable at the time, the Soviets never would have done that and Bin Laden would be forgotten to history.

    As for spending - taxes needed to be cut, pure and simple. The top rate being 70% was punitive and wrong, and it drastically hurt business, entrepreneurship, invention, ingenuity, personal savings and growth, etc. The supply side theory held (correctly) that a drastic cut in taxes would encourage growth and in the long run government income would go up, which it of course did. But as for deficits and spending - Reagan made it very clear to Congress when he proposed his budget every year that he wanted spending cuts, not just tax cuts. The democrats in Congress were on board with his tax cuts because it made them look good to their electorate, but were unwilling to take the unpopular decisions to cut spending. History shows they were giant cowards, because many of the things Reagan asked them to do (welfare reform for example) but didn't, turned out to be MAJOR accomplishments during Clinton's presidency under the Republican Congress and extremely popular with the public - so they blew it big time.

    Moral of the story is that deficits, balanced budgets and surpluses are 95% a matter of Congressional will, and have little to do with the president. He proposes the budget, but he has no power over it. The bully pulpit of the presidency can help shape public will - as it did with tax policy and the size of government... but he can't exert pressure on every subject, and in the case of spending restraint, he just couldn't get congress to go along with him.

    Its one of lifes kick in the balls to Republicans that Regan gets pegged with the defecits and Clinton gets credit for the surpluses, when in fact the responsible party is congress in both occasions - and the democrats are responsible for the defecits and the republicans are responsible for the surpluses.

    But the biggest betrayal that made the republicans get what they deserved was their refusal to stay small market, balanced budget conservatives when they had a monopoly on power. They had every level of government, even down to the Governorships and State Houses - and they blew their historic opportunity to really get this country on the right track and keep it there... and they will forever be damned in my book for that betrayal.

    And, I blame a lot of that on George W. Bush - because he was the one who reshaped Congress into that mess. He recruited a lot of the members of congress and governors - and almost all of them were ignorant of the economic principles of the party - they were simply "the president's men".

    Which will remain my biggest problem with Bush for the rest of time.
     
  7. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #7
    As a liberal sheep let me thank you for clarifying your position on George Bush v-ault.
     
  8. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #8
    Can I... can I pet you?
     
  9. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #9
    Im not a liberal but I think Labels show pure ignorance. Notice how often the republican party members use these names on anyone with a different view point.

    With that being said I dont like George because the man is a liar.
    His lies has cost this nation 4,000 dead americans,1 trillion dollars of debt and he is responsible for the death of a estimated 150,000 dead iraqi's for missing WMDs that his dad gave to Saddam. We could go on and on with this pathetic president,pharmacys,healthcare,Katrina, Homeland security,spying on Americans,Torture,Oil giants,attacking the Constitution,etc.

    He really should be on trial for dereliction of duty and breaking the oath of the office of the president of the united states. Worst two timer we ever elected. Im ashamed he is my president and it will take the U.S. decades to undo his damage.
     
  10. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #10
    To attribute the Soviet economic collapse to SDI is an exaggeration. The idea that by wasting our money on a pointless initiative, we were draining the coffers of the Soviet Union, sounds like the worst, most inefficient strategy ever. It's also not correct--the Soviet Union was collapsing under the failures of its own flawed economic strategy. And it was also facing internal political pressure as well as external political pressure applied by Reagan (and really, all the Cold War presidents) and the European powers. This aligned with one of the few Soviet leaders somewhat responsive to the people's concerns, but perestroika was too little, too late, to save the Soviet Union, it was only enough to push the fervor for change forward.

    This is a nice rhetorical sleight of hand. I never said anything about the Soviet Union--I think the fall of the Soviet Union was a great development (though the successor states have mismanaged, with the neglect of the world, the aftermath). My problem was with some of the defense spending of the Reagan administration, which I would argue did not contribute sufficiently to the defeat of the Soviet Union to merit its expense.

    This, I think, is a stretch. First of all, I don't think our military was so weak that this was the causal factor. Even with a stronger military, we ended up fighting plenty of proxy battles with the Soviet Union.

    Also remember that the Soviets stepped into a conflict that was already occurring. It wasn't an offensive move for them, it was defensive (at least, in the scheme of the whole chess game). From the 60s on, the Marxist party in Afghanistan was building support. Mohammed Daoud Khan overthrew the monarchs, but then was subsequently overthrown by the Marxists with help from the Afghan Army. That was in early 1978. Undoubtedly, the Soviets had been funding the Marxists and currying favor with the army for a decade (and their history of engagement in the region goes back almost to the Bolshevik Revolution), but active military involvement was in an effort to counter the anti-Communist insurgency. This suggests to me that whether or not we were strong, the Soviets would have entered because they had spent 60 years engaged in the region. Deterrence works better to check offense than it does to check what is perceived as defense.

    If our military were stronger, the Soviet Union may have funded pro-Communist elements within Afghanistan and we could have still ended up funding the mujahideen. But let's see, who else funded the mujahideen? That's right, the Reagan administration.

    Some cut in the top rate was warranted, but those rates were cut and have subsequently been cut far below any logical point. What we see is an unprecedented concentration of wealth at the top of the ladder at the same time that we are failing to provide basic services to the bottom. That trend was accelerated greatly by the Reagan administration's war on the poor.

    And a key aspect of the Reagan philosophy of supply side was that deficit spending wasn't a big deal. Friedman said this all the time. Reagan was so ideologically (or perhaps politically) tied to tax cuts, that he really had no problem with the deficit spending. And that led for some serious economic woes for the country during the 80s, for which supply side was a contributor, though not the whole story. Reagan's crusade for deregulation didn't help.

    The reforms that Clinton enacted were far more modest than those that Reagan did. And the Democrats were right to block the sorts of spending cuts that Reagan wanted, which would have further eroded our support for the poor. Remember, this is the Reagan with a proclivity for leaving the mentally ill in the streets.

    This assumes that all proposed balanced budgets are made equal. If a president submitted a budget balanced by eliminating the Department of Defense, Congress would have a responsibility to block it. If the President's only mechanism to balance the budget in the face of rapidly declining taxes is to cut spending in a stupid manner, then Congress should block that. Should Congress have blocked a lot of those tax cuts, sure, but Reagan also should never have proposed them.

    If I recall correctly, Clinton did not face the most loving Congress in the history of the United States. Somehow he managed to work with Congress to balance the budget...So yes, he gets credit.

    Again, Bush enacted some stupid, expensive measures that really could only be fixed by the systemic changes that the liberals are calling for but the conservatives hate. He was going to face large increases in health care expenditure one way or another, because he and Congress (including the Democratic Congress) were never going to have the courage to remake the healthcare system in this country (and no, I don't mean with the miserable Health Savings Accounts). As for military spending, what with the massive corruption from private firms, the provision of no bid contracts, and war that has drained both lives and money, it has been a sad, sad adventure in waste.
     
  11. joefinan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    #11
    Who cares about political stuff?

    If he uses a Mac then I like him.
     
  12. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #12
    OK, this takes the cake. Dude, Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. Think. Think. Think. Who cares about political stuff?? Everyone who posts here!

    And for the record--

    "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate of the masses, not from some farcical computing ceremony."
     
  13. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #13
    So Congress bending the president to their will is a good thing?

    Wait, the republicans were dragging Clinton along but when the houses were controlled by a different party and tried to drag Reagan along they're obstructionist?

    This is part of why this country is becoming so politically divisive. Everyone who doesn't agree with how you think is either labeled an obstructionist (congress) or an activist (judge).

    Most elected representatives are trying to do what they think is best for the country, that's why the voters elected them. They are not being activist or obstructionist, they are just trying to steer the country in the direction they believe to be right, even though it's hard to believe even the current administration with the republican congress was just trying to do what they thought was best for the country (they were incompetent to the point you had to wonder if they were doing it on purpose, but I doubt it was intentional). Neither side has the answer 100% right and if they could put aside the party bickering and actually engage in an intellectual debate on a bill we might actually come up with some decent answers that could help all of us.

    Reagan may have had good ideas on cuts, but who's to say that any of his policies would have been as effective or even good for the country if he would have had a republican congress. He might have been worse than GWB given a blank check, or he might have set the country in order and toppled some of the forefathers for the greatest president ever. Who knows? The blank check that is afforded when 2 branches are controlled by the same party can really be a corrupting force if not used properly.
     
  14. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #14
    Well, as you say, "This is a nice rhetorical sleight of hand." ;) He didn't say that. He said the build-up in conventional forces, nuclear arsenal AND SDI. Zeroing in on SDI is always tempting, but it represented a fraction of the buildup that was necessary. One of the ironies is that if you review the defense requests from Reagan, they were LESS than those submitted by Carter, who deserves a lot of credit for recognizing the sad state of the US military in the 1970's (the "Vietnam hangover") and moving to correct it.

    Which programs? Define "sufficiently?" Etc. ;)

    There is little doubt that the buildup of US and other NATO members' military strength removed one of the USSR's most threatening options--their unquestioned ability to invade and conquer Western Europe. What was a certainty (without the use of nuclear weapons) suddenly became a question mark, even with the size of the Soviet military, following the US military buildup started by Carter and continued by Reagan. A complete examination of the question from the Soviet perspective has yet, to my knowledge, been attempted--most likely because the critical data remains unavailable.

    Depends on who you ask. Talk to Colin Gray or Robert Singer, and they'd say it was definitely a causal factor. And the US military really was that weak then, in terms of deployable ground combat power.
     
  15. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #15
    Agreed on all points! v-ault- you'll get much further around here if you quit referring to everyone who disagrees with you as a liberal. You'll find most of us are quite moderate and some relatively conservative. The world isn't black and white and neither are ideas.
     
  16. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #16
    The Soviet economic system was failing, sure, but the reason the Soviet Union collapsed WHEN it did was because of political decisions by Gorbachev, not because Reagan built up the military.
     
  17. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #17
    Hmmm...."the liberals" are calling you a "blind party loyalist?"

    I'll be the first to admit that based on some of your earlier arguments, you have appeared to be a Bush loyalist, and furthermore, I appreciate your arguments here and your specific point-of-view.

    But, I think you should be more careful in assuming that everyone who disagrees with you is a "liberal." It's easy to put people into little boxes, but you'll see a fairly wide range of opinion here, and you'll be surprised at what issues people suddenly break order on. For instance, leekohler and I disagree about bans on smoking, just to think of one recent thread.
     
  18. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #18
    I'm also very pro gun ownership rights. I bet that just knocked v-ault on his butt. ;)
     
  19. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #19
    That's right. I'm probably middle-of-the-road on that issue (depending on who you ask, I'm sure).

    That's the problem with parties and these general "liberal" versus "conservative" labels, they tend to pigeon-hole rather than describe a person's particular beliefs.
     
  20. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #20
    Driving to the office today, I saw a car with a Jesus fish and two bumper stickers: "I Am the NRA" and "Obama '08".
     
  21. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #21
    And everyone thinks the US is polarized!
     
  22. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #22
    They have medicine for people like this :p
     
  23. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #23
    He smokes and likes guns... I wonder if there's a connection :O

    I need 20 CCs of Freud, stat!
     
  24. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #24
    LOL! Probably not, since I don't smoke, but like guns . . .
     
  25. needthephone macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    sydney
    #25
    To the rest of the world he seems slightly crazy. I mean (and I am not gay) why is he so obsessed with stopping Gay Marriage-so what if two people want to be together let them- who is he or any of us to tell them what to do.

    He denies Global warming has anything to do with polution.

    He should (and the same goers for the UK and Aus too) fix his own country first and reign in his foreighn policy a bit..

    This is a perfect example of why I hope a democrat wins next time

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WdSXZVE2n0
     

Share This Page