Feb 7, 2005
Bush's 2005 State of the Union speech topped any speech he ever made – filled as it was with practically a new lie in every sentence.
Point: he proposed to continue the tax changes he had already pushed through, claiming they made the tax code "fair to all." Fair? To ALL? Liar! Those changes guaranteed that the wealthy pay a much smaller share of their income than working people pay from theirs. Furthermore, his tax cuts made the tax code even more "unfair" than it had been.
Bush claimed that his energy legislation "encourages conservation, alternative sources, a modernized electricity grid and more production here at home, including safe, clean nuclear energy." Amazing that someone could pack so many bald-faced lies into a single sentence! Every independent analysis of his so-called "Clear Skies" legislation has shown it will create more pollution, higher prices for consumers and no overall increase in production – only a shift to production that is more profitable for the big energy companies.
Bush proposed to get rid of what he called "frivolous asbestos suits" because they are harming the economy. Frivolous? Corporations' conscious decisions to use asbestos, long after it was known to kill human beings, have harmed whole generations of workers and their families.
Bush claimed that the war in Iraq has made us safer from terrorist attacks. Safer? No, his war in Iraq has stirred up the cauldron in which terrorism brews – providing a much larger supply of people with a deep consuming hatred for the United States.
He claimed that the U.S. is in Iraq to establish "a country that is democratic, representative of all its people, at peace with its neighbors, and able to defend itself." Peace with its neighbors? In the very same speech, Bush was threatening to go to war against Iraq's neighbors, Syria and Iran! Democracy? No, the U.S. is in Iraq to control its oil and to establish a base from which to control the oil of the whole region. And Bush's new budget shows it – calling for the establishment of "permanent" bases in Iraq, put right in the middle of the oil fields!
His hypocrisy there is matched only by his promise to "do everything we can to help" U.S. troops who sustained "terrible injuries" in Iraq. He dared to say that, even while the policy of Rumsfeld's Pentagon is to discharge permanently disabled soldiers from the service, cutting them off any income, not to mention decent medical care as soon as possible.
But the centerpiece of Bush's speech was the part dealing with Social Security. Claiming that Social Security is in a financial crisis, he proposed the very thing that will cost more money and deliver lower benefits – creating an even bigger financial crisis, along with a bigger social crisis. Calling his proposal "a reform," he is preparing an attack. Pretending people will have more money for retirement, he has already offered legislation that will cut benefits by as much as 45%.
Bush's State of the Union speech was a declaration of his intent to continue and intensify the war already being carried out against working people. Behind his array of lies is contained a whole series of new attacks – reducing social programs and public services, pushing through greater inequalities, carrying out a wider war in the Middle East.
But don't think it's just Bush. As he told lie after lie with that snotty smirk on his face, Congress applauded him – 63 times, as a matter of fact. As he proposed attack after attack, they all gave him – this arrogant representative of the wealthy – standing ovation after standing ovation. Not just the Republicans – both parties.
The fact that the working class has been quiet for so long has made them believe they can say anything and do anything. But just watch, when the working class begins to move again, how quickly they will change their tune. Working people could wipe that smirk off Bush's face.