Do You Miss Me Yet?

Do You Miss Me Yet?

© David Burton 2010

Miss Me Yet?

     Under President George W. Bush, all Americans received tax breaks as a result of the 2001 and 2003 “Bush tax cuts”. The economy boomed for the eight years of his administration. GDP rose at an annual rate near 4% and unemployment stood below 5%.

     For the first two years of the Obama administration, both the economy and unemployment have tanked. The president’s actions in office have so-far failed to improve either. There is another dark cloud on the horizon. Under President Barack Obama, “The 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts {will} expire on Jan. 1, 2011. Between 2011 and 2020, the death of the Bush-era tax cuts will cause $2.6 trillion to shift from private control to Congress, for its redistributive pleasure.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 1) The process of wealth redistribution of Obama and the liberal Democrats will proceed at an accelerated pace, leading the United States further down the road of European style socialism.

     Let it be perfectly clear that, “every income tax rate will increase – not just the top levy. . . . For instance, the bottom tax rate reverts from 10 percent to 15 percent, where it stood before Bush. This constitutes a 50 percent increase in the tax liabilities of the lower-income taxpayers who probably make just enough to survive. [Emphasis mine]
     “Scaling the income ladder, the 25-percent bracket will rise to 28, the 28-percent increases to 31, and the 33-percent bracket grows to 36 percent. These represent middle-class taxpayers. They all can expect to send more of their hard-earned income to Washington. [Emphasis mine]
     “Today’s 35-percent top bracket will climb to 39.6 percent.” (Ref. 1) While liberals and socialist-minded Democrats may savor the thought of soaking the rich, it is important to realize that it’s “Americans in the top bracket {that} run companies, start businesses, launch innovative products and hire other Americans to perform these positive functions. While Democrats {and President Obama} routinely denounce ‘the rich,’ the sad truth is that very few poor people create jobs.” (Ref. 1)

     We should note that 2/3 of all small-business profits are taxed at the top bracket. Remember, even President Obama realizes that small businesses are the real backbone of the economy and create the new jobs that will drive the unemployment rate down to President Bush levels. “When these . . . small-business people see their taxes rise 13 percent to the pre-Bush 39.6 percent rate, they will be less likely, not more, to hire people, expand their operations or unleash brand-new enterprises. No wonder the employment and commercial climates remain grim.
     “Letting the Bush tax cuts lapse also means that the capital-gains tax shoots up a third, from 15 percent to 20. The dividends tax soars 264 percent, from today’s 15 percent to 39.6 next New Year’s Day.” (Ref. 1) Retirees, whose income is largely derived from dividends on investments and capital gains from the sale of their investments that were accumulated over their working years, will pay the penalties of the Democrats allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.

     Obama and the Democrats keep trying to impose upon the American people a socialistic economic system that has historically proven to a failure wherever it has been tried. America is what it has become because of a free-market system of capitalism. Socialists and liberals are envious of the success of what in their eyes is a “greed-driven” system and are blind to historical facts. “The Obama administration’s agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of ‘economic planning’ and ‘social justice’ that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. [Emphasis mine] The administration’s central activity – the political allocation of wealth and opportunity – is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.” (Ref. 2)

     Under the leadership of President Barack Obama, we have witnessed the rapid deterioration of relations between the U.S. and Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East. President Obama has obsequiously pandered to the Islamic world in a futile attempt to rein in the madmen in Iran, to get meaningful Muslim support in the war against radical Islamic fundamentalism, and to get Arabs and “Palestinians” to negotiate a peace agreement with Israel in good faith. He has achieved none of these goals. Relations with Israel are at an all time low.

     In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2009, President Obama said, “We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel” Significantly, President Obama did not call on the Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel and to renounce their call for the eradication of the State of Israel. Obama went on to say, “and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” (Ref. 3) In making such a declaration, President Obama broke with a 40-year old American policy of leaving the question of final borders up to the final peace settlement agreement to be negotiated between Israel and the Arabs.

     “The Nazis had a word for what Barack Obama declared” at the U.N. “When a city or a district or a nation was ‘clean of Jews,’ it was pronounced ‘Judenrein.'
     “Since Obama took office in January {of 2008}, the U.S. government has greatly increased pressure on Israel to halt any and all of the following:

• building of new homes and businesses by Jews in these areas;
• building additions on existing homes and businesses by Jews in these areas;
• repairing of existing homes and businesses by Jews in these areas.

     "And why has Obama and the U.S. Government taken this position? “Because the U.S. government has pre-determined that these lands are going to be part of a future Palestinian state – one that will be conspicuously Jew-free.
     “In other words, Barack Obama is in favor of an ethnic-cleansing operation – one that will eventually require the forcible removal of all Jews.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 3) The administration of President George W. Bush never took such an extreme anti-Israel position.

     Near the Old City in Jerusalem, there is a small park near the intersection of Ben Yehuda and King David Streets. In the park, there is a plaque from the people of Israel, thanking President George W. Bush for his support of Israel during his term in office. The plaque reads as follows:

W. Bush Plaza
In honor of the 43rd US PRESIDENT
Loyal partner to the State of Israel
Mr. George W. Bush
For his visit to Jerusalem, May 2008
For showing friendship and solidarity to the Jewish
communities and organization that support Jerusalem

I sincerely doubt that President Obama will be so honored by the people of Israel.

     "In a far-reaching restatement of goals for the nation’s space agency, NASA administrator Charles Bolden says President Obama has ordered him to pursue three new objectives: to 're-inspire children' to study science and math, to 'expand our international relationships,' and to 'reach out to the Muslim world.' Of those three goals, Bolden said in a recent interview with al-Jazeera, the mission to reach out to Muslims is' perhaps foremost,' because it will help Islamic nations 'feel good' about their scientific accomplishments." [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 4)

     President Obama can't really be serious, can he? He actually told his NASA administrator that the foremost mission of NASA was to reach out to the Muslim world? Give me a break! Better yet, give me back President Bush!

     Despite fierce Democratic opposition to continuing the war in Iraq, President Bush persevered with a surge strategy that President Obama and the Democrats now realize “is succeeding, that a reasonably functional democracy is emerging and that there is no great peril in maintaining a military presence there.” Because of their hatred of President Bush, the Democrats were hoping for an American defeat in Iraq. Now, President Obama is in charge of the war in Afghanistan, “Rooting for your country’s defeat is ignoble. And when it comes your turn to take responsibility, it can be self-defeating.” (Ref. 5)

     President Bush’s foreign policy may have been unpopular with liberals, but the world understood it, and we were respected, if not loved, for it, even if parts of the world did not agree with it. Let’s not lose sight of the following facts. Sadam Hussein is gone and the world is better off as a result. George Bush is responsible for this. Al Qaeda has been driven out of its sanctuaries in Afghanistan and Osama bin Ladin and other top Al Qaeda leaders are either hiding in caves along the Afghan-Pakistani border or are being hunted down and killed. We can thank George Bush for this. There have been no 9-11 attacks on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001. We can also thank George Bush for this. The Taliban, who are Afghan Muslim fundamentalists and not Jihadist terrorists like Al-Qaeda, were driven from power in Afghanistan and the Afghan people have been given the opportunity to decide what form of governance they want to live under. Whether that is a liberal democratic regime or a theocratic one, like the Taliban, is up to them – but at least we have given them the opportunity to choose. George Bush is responsible for this. It’s now up to Barack Obama to see the war in Afghanistan through to its conclusion.

     Under president Obama, our foreign policy is a failure and there is a total lack of respect for it. “Here is one immutable fact of Barack Obama’s foreign policy agenda as it relates to Iran: It’s over.” (Ref. 6) Obama cannot face reality. He continues to persist in the delusion that “the current Iranian regime could be a negotiation partner, despite what has already happened in that country.” He continues to irrationally cling to the hope that he can talk Mahmoud Ahmajinedad into halting Iran’s nuclear program. The Obama Democrats regarded President Bush’s Iran policy as absurd and rigid. Instead, Obama extended his hand and now the Iranian regime is providing fresh evidence of the absurdity of the Obama approach. Similarly, “his long-range strategy of propitiating America’s enemies has been undercut by North Korea’s Missile launches” (Ref. 7) and utter belligerency. President Obama naively believed that the charisma that won him the presidential election in 2008 could also succeed in charming the Muslim world and the world’s despots. The so-far failed Middle-East peace initiatives along with the actions of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il have shown the fallacy in Obama’s beliefs. He has yet to show that he understands that his policies are not working. “In guiding the nation in a dangerous world, it’s vital to adjust to face hard realities and adjust to unexpected events.” (Ref. 7)

     In the war on terrorism, we can compare the differences in approaches between Bush and Obama. For many of us, the Bush approach is the one that is preferred when American lives are at stake. For Liberals, American lives are less important than Political Correctness and abstract idealism. THE REAL QUESTION: Do you feel more secure today under President Obama than you did under President Bush?

Interrogation - In 2002, Bush declared that the Geneva Conventions didn’t apply to the stateless, "unlawful enemy combatants" of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Bush signed an executive order in 2007 allowing the CIA to continue using some harsh tactics in interrogating Islamic terrorists. On his first day in office, Obama revoked Bush’s executive order and limited interrogation tactics. (Ref. 8)

Rendition and CIA Black Sites - Beginning in 2002, the Bush administration expanded what’s known as extraordinary rendition. Through the program, CIA agents captured and transported terrorism suspects to countries such as Egypt and Afghanistan for interrogation. During the same period, the CIA also operated its own secret prisons, or "black sites," abroad. On his first day in office, Obama issued an executive order to close the CIA prisons. But, the agency still has permission to detain prisoners on a "short-term, transitory basis." In August, Obama’s interrogation task force announced that renditions could continue. The Obama administration has also limited attempts at accountability for past renditions. (Ref. 8)

Detention - Bush suspended habeas corpus rights for prisoners deemed unlawful enemy combatants. Obama issued an executive order on his first day in office mandating the closure of Guantanamo by Jan. 22, 2010, but the administration has not made it happen. In ongoing lawsuits, the Obama administration has upheld the government’s right to hold Guantanamo prisoners indefinitely. Beyond Guantanamo, the Obama administration has maintained the Bush administration’s position of preventive detention, contending that habeas rights do not extend to prisoners held at facilities such as Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, even those detained outside Afghanistan. (Ref. 8)

Military Commissions - In a 2001 executive order, Bush wrote that prisoners eligible for trial would be tried in military commissions rather than in U.S. courts, which allowed for greater application of secrecy and looser rules about admissible evidence. Obama’s detention task force issued a preliminary report stating they would continue to be used when evidence in a case did not meet the standards of criminal court. (Ref. 8)

Secrecy - Bush initiated a policy that discouraged granting Freedom of Information Act requests. He also expanded the classification of documents and invoked the "state secrets" rule in court. Obama reversed the Bush-era FOIA rules, and declassified some previously secret legal memos. However, the Obama administration has continued to keep some documents secret, including photos of prisoner abuse. The Obama administration is likely withholding documents related to CIA interrogations and has also continued to invoke the "state secrets" rule in court. (Ref. 8)

Warrantless Wiretapping and Surveillance - After Sept. 11, 2001, Bush authorized the creation of a program allowing intelligence agencies to intercept some phone calls into and out of the United States without a warrant. In 2008, Congress legalized the effort, expanding the National Security Agency’s ability to investigate individuals believed to be overseas. As a senator, Obama supported the 2008 legislative amendments. In lawsuits related to the surveillance program, the Obama administration has upheld the Bush administration’s "state secrets" stance, making it difficult to learn the true extent of the program. (Ref. 8)

     So, when push came to shove, did Obama really reverse the policies employed by President Bush in the war on terrorism or did he come to understand that Bush and Cheney were right and has he continued to utilize those same policies? You tell me.

     One last thing - let’s not forget that the No Child Left Behind program was started under president Bush and not under President Obama.
  1. Better sustain Bush tax cuts, Deroy Murdock, Boston Herald, Page 19, 26 July 2010.
  2. Absolute audacity corrupts, George F. Will, Boston Herald, Page 21, 14 May 2009.
  3. Obama’s Judenrein Speech, Joseph Farah, The Jewish Press, Page 6, 9 October 2009.
  4. Obama’s new mission for NASA: Reach out to Muslim world, Byron York, Washington Examiner, 5 July 2010.
  5. Doves come home to roost, Michael Barone, Boston Herald, Page 21, 21 July 2010.
  6. Reality check for Obama, Jonah Goldberg, Boston Herald, Page 19, 24 June 2009.
  7. Not so farsighted after all, Michael Barone, Boston Herald, Page 19, 24 June 2009.
  8. Bush and Obama: A Counterterrorism Comparison, Emily Witt, ProPublica, 10 September 2009.


  30 July 2010 {Article 90; Politics_17}    
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