Feb 3, 2003
Bush's second State of the Union speech may have ended with an argument for going to war against Iraq. But it started out with some ringing pronouncements about domestic policy. There was a reason for this order, and all the media repeated what Bush's advisers had told them: he did not intend to repeat his father's mistake, going to war against Iraq, while "forgetting" about domestic issues. Junior Bush's speech was carefully crafted, as a New York Times headline put it, to "cover his domestic flank."
And so we heard Bush pledge that he would work for "an economy that grows fast enough so it can employ every man and woman who seeks a job." He promised "high quality affordable health care for every American." And he talked about "tax relief for everyone who pays income taxes."
The speech that Bush's advisers wrote for him was long on promises, and replete with a pretty picture of an American filled with opportunity for everyone – but awfully short on details.
No wonder, since this pretty picture was painted to hide some pretty ugly details.
In reality, Bush's America is an America where the government is even now looking to see how to cut back health care for seniors, and how to cut social programs that give some support to the unemployed. And the budget that Bush submitted to Congress shows this.
It is an America where the wealthy will take an even bigger share of the national wealth because of the tax cuts Bush is proposing. It is an America which encourages corporations to run to the bankruptcy courts to dump their pension plans, and in which Congress requires companies to demand wage concessions from their employees, just as the last Congress did for the airlines. And it is an America where corporations can declare a fictitious loss and get tax credits for laying off workers and closing plants.
Bush's America is an America built on the backs of working people. And his so-called concern with "domestic issues" is only a concern for getting re-elected.
His speech had two aims – to fool working people while robbing us blind, and to get us to accept the war he right now prepares.
This war against Iraq that Bush wants to drag us into is not our war. If we were to accept it, we would accept all Bush's terms.
Bush would have us agree to send the sons and daughters of the working class to fight a war against innocent civilians. They will die in this war – or come back in pieces, physically or mentally, just as U.S. soldiers did after Viet Nam or after the Gulf War.
Bush would have us agree to reduce our own living standard still further so war can be carried out to prop up the profits of all those corporations that benefit from raiding the wealth of other countries.
Bush's State of the Union speech was a speech written to fool us. But working people are not fools. And his "union" is not ours. There is no reason for letting ourselves be suckered by this man, who is an open liar.