Democrats & Liberals Archives

Look at Me Now

President Bush made a speech, in the little-harmed part of New Orleans, to show the country that, though he was inattentive at the time Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath destroyed New Orleans, now he is ready to be the problem-solver-in-chief. He will make sure that New Orleans will recover, that its people will flourish and the poor will be taken care of. His speech has been called conservative, compassionate and liberal - by different people, of course. It is none of these. The purpose of Bush’s speech is to regain power. Power is all Bush is interested in.

Bush offered 3 main proposals, as explained in the L.A. Times:

"These proposals include a Gulf Opportunity Zone, offering tax incentives and loans for small businesses; Worker Recovery Accounts, providing as much as $5,000 a person for education, job training and child care; and an urban homesteading initiative, giving federally owned property to aspiring homeowners through a lottery."

Conservatives do not like this because it's not a conservative idea. Steve Ellis, of Taxpayers for Common Sense, said:

"The lack of a spending plan makes this speech appear to be more about political damage control than disaster relief. The bottom line is, we can't afford to simply hand over the keys to the Treasury."

It sounds compassionate, but it is nothing of the sort. For business, Bush offered up to $200,000 in tax deductions, because as he said:

"It is entrepreneurship that creates jobs and opportunity, and we will take the side of entrepreneurs as they lead the economic revival of the gulf region."

For the poor he offers a lottery. If you win the lottery, then you may build a house on government land, probably far away from the rich. Can you see the makings of another ghetto here? And what happens to those who do not win the lottery?

Some pundits sounded off and compared Bush's actions to the action of liberals, such as FDR and LBJ. Nonsense. The only thing he offers to the poor are up to $5,000 for job training, child care and other expenses for looking for a job. Not much. A few of the things Bush forgot to talk about are housing and health care; he already acted to suspend the Davis-Bacon Act so wages of the poor could be lowered.

If we can't characterize the speech as conservative, compassionate or liberal, what is it? Propaganda. Here are a few marks of his propaganda:

  • Bush picked Jackson Square to speak from. No trace of disaster could be seen in the picture
  • He gave a list of goodies and forgot to put a price tag on it
  • He offered no details about implementation
  • He said the federal government will absorb most of the cost. What does "most" mean? Fifty one percent will do it
  • The Enterprise Zone is an opportunity to pay off some Republican leaders and business cronies
  • The lottery idea is extremely vague - as you would expect, because it deals with the poor
The price tag has been estimated at $200 billion. Where will the money come from? Will we borrow and increase the deficit? Will we keep the estate tax, instead of gutting it? Will we increase taxes?

The speech was pure propaganda. Bush is not a conservative, nor is he compassionate. He definitely is not a liberal. The purpose of the speech was to say "Look at me now. I'm a problem-solver."

It will not help him. People are beginning to see that Bush and the Republicans are interested only in maintaining their grip on power.

Posted by Paul Siegel at September 16, 2005 6:19 PM