Four More Years of George
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
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
George W. Bush-Making the World A More
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.
Bernie Sanders page