Skip to comments.Answers For The Swing Voter (Refuting Moderates' Objections To The Bush Record)
Posted on 03/17/2004 11:01:25 PM PST by goldstategop
A moderate friend aka "swing voter" recently sent me a letter, in which he raised his objections about President Bush.
Moderate Friend: Bush has made no major move to address environmental issues at all. The No. 1 thing a president could do environmentally is lead the charge to get us off fossil fuels.
Larry Elder: You must remember to compare benefits vs. costs. For the foreseeable future, the only affordable alternatives are coal, natural gas, oil or nuclear. Renewable sources solar, wind, etc. so favored by the left remain prohibitively expensive. A nation becomes weaker, not stronger, by artificially overspending on costly, inefficient alternatives to fossil fuels. Moreover, our principal supplier of oil is Canada, followed closely by Mexico. In fact, of the top 10 suppliers of oil to the United States, only three are in the Middle East.
M.F.: Alternative fuels have to be developed, and Bush won't lead that charge.
Elder: The private sector should invest its own money for "alternative fuels." When the government gets into this business, it does poorly. A Los Angeles Times article three years ago pointed out that, in the last 50 years, government has spent more than $110 billion on energy research. The Times estimated that tax breaks and other subsidies to encourage development of various sources of energy easily doubles that figure. And what do we have to show for it? The article quotes a U.C. Berkeley physicist: "We make the wrong bet. We use R&D money to try to pick winners by pouring tons of money into big projects, rather than funding lots of different research and letting the marketplace pick the winners."
M.F.: As for oil, Bush wants to put his friends at Halliburton in charge of it, and import and drill and suck it out of every pit he can find.
Elder: Halliburton has worked with the Department of Defense for 12 years, and did a substantial amount of work under the Clinton administration. Investor's Business Daily recently wrote:
... Halliburton won its services contract from the Pentagon back in 1992 three years before Cheney became CEO. Then-Defense Secretary Cheney wasn't the one who awarded the contract; career Pentagon officials did ... By the way, Halliburton worked under the same basic deal in the Balkans under President Clinton.
M.F.: Don't you feel the Democrats make a far better show of being "for the people"?
Elder: Increasing minimum wages, as Kerry wants to do, makes it more difficult for an unskilled, uneducated worker to find a job. Price controls on pharmaceuticals discourage drug companies from spending money on research and development to come up with new drugs. Economics 101.
M.F.: I feel that Bush blurs the lines of church and state, in regard to his proposed "marriage amendment." Do we really need this?
Elder: President Clinton signed the Defense Of Marriage Act, which allows the federal government or any state to reject same-sex marriage. Did you accuse Clinton, too, of "playing politics"? None of the major Democratic presidential candidates supports same-sex marriage.
M.F.: I really don't want to live by Bush's born-again standards of what is and isn't decent for me.
Elder: Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., suggested that the TV show "Friends" given its raciness should only be shown in movie theaters. And remember the concern about kids and drugs? Former President Bill Clinton actually compensated Hollywood for inserting without telling the viewer anti-drug messages into the content of TV programs.
M.F.: While many of Bush's economic policies have helped this recession, he has built a gargantuan deficit.
Elder: "Gargantuan"? Look at the deficit as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. With the 2004 deficit at less than 3 percent of GDP, the "Bush deficit" ranks lower than deficits under Truman, Ford, Reagan and the first President Bush. In fact, it's ranked 21st highest since 1940 with the top five occurring under Democratic presidents.
Why do we have a deficit? Bush inherited a recession, which reduced tax revenue. Add in the cost of the war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, war on terror and increased expense for homeland security. Yes, the Bush budget increased non-defense discretionary spending, but the president spent money on social programs favored by the Democrats. In fact, Democrats complain that programs like Bush's "No Child Left Behind" need more funding.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry wants to nationalize health care, raise minimum wages, "invest" in education and provide more money for retraining workers. Such a program leads to smaller deficits? Most economists believe Bush's tax cuts stimulated the economy, making the recession short and shallow. Even if Congress repealed the tax cuts, the "lost revenue" would not close the deficit.
John F. Kennedy understood this: "The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budgetary deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which will bring a budgetary surplus."
Hope this helps.
". . .One more point about Iraq. The Left teems with anti-nuclear and pro-environmental policies and agendasand much of the Hollywood Left boasts numerous arrests for protesting on behalf of these causes. Blinded by their hatred of President Bush, the Left seems not to care that, besides his other offenses, Hussein may very well have been the world's worst environmental depredator.
Hussein's torching of oil fields in the Gulf War was an environmental tragedy so enormous it could be seen from outer space. CNN reported the following about Hussein's 1991 actions: "Day vanished into night, black rain fell from the sky, and a vast network of lakes was born. . . lakes of oil as deep as six feet. . . . Saddam also poured 10 million barrels of oil into the sea. Thousands of birds perished, and the people of the Persian Gulf became familiar with new diseases." Jonathan Lash of the World Resources Institute said, "The oil that did not burn in the fires traveled on the wind in the form of nearly invisible droplets resulting in an oil mist or fog that poisoned trees and grazing sheep, contaminated fresh water supplies, and found refuge in the lungs of people and animals throughout the Gulf."
More recently, in the mid-1990s, Hussein drained the Iraqi Marshlands and killed off or scattered its inhabitants, some several hundred thousand Arabs, according to various human rights monitoring estimates. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz described the Iraqi Marshlands to an audience at Georgetown University:
It is a man-made desert, created by Saddam Hussein in the aftermath of the Gulf War. For thousands of years it had been a lush marsh. The marsh Arabs are one of the oldest continuous human civilizations. They had figured out how to get milk out of water buffalo by breeding a new kind of water buffalo. It's not a small achievement. They produced some very large percentage of the vegetables for the entire country. They were peaceful people, but they also provided the refuge for the rebels that Saddam Hussein feared. So, in the true traditions of Nebuchadnezzar he simply proceeded to wipe them out by drying them out, by creating an environmental catastrophe.
Kerry, Edwards, and the rest of the Democratic spokesmen of note prate about President Bush's environmental record; they say nothing about his ousting of the world's worst environmental offender. . ." William J. Bennet, March 15, 2004
". . .In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about not through endless lawsuits or command-and-control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I'm proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles. (Applause.)
A single chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car -- producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom, so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen, and pollution-free. (Applause.)
Join me in this important innovation to make our air significantly cleaner, and our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy. (Applause.) - George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, 2003.
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