Friday, December 09, 2005

GWB: The Scales Tip to "Liberal"

Conservatives who were surprised by the George Bush victory in the primaries of 1999 are growing more and more disappointed with this President as his second term enters its final few laps.

While GWB's anti-abortion bona fides are sterling and his determination to eliminate or severely cripple terrorists worldwide deserve applause, his domestic programs are remarkable only because they are simply awful.

From Human Events last week:

Administrators of failing public schools can rejoice. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has come up with a plan that could postpone their final exams--and save them from flunking out of their jobs.

...When Bush ran for president in 2000, he proposed increasing federal funding for local public schools--a dramatic departure from the Republican platform of 1996, which called for abolishing the Department of Education. At the same time, however, Bush called for giving vouchers to students in persistently failing public schools so they could attend private or religious schools instead.This was supposed to be a payoff for conservatives if they acquiesced in increasing the size and power of a federal agency not authorized by the Constitution.

As soon as Bush was elected, he began back-tracking on school choice. The day after he was inaugurated, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card said, “Vouchers won’t be a top priority of this administration.”

...When Bush was campaigning in 2000, according to the Office of Management and Budget, Department of Education spending was $33.9 billion. In 2005, it spent $70.9 billion. But long before 2014 rolls around, Republicans ought to leave President Bush’s education policies and his big-spending behind.

That's hardly the only bait-and-switch GWB has pulled. Consider his recent (and 6 years too late) interest in border security:

The president’s speech Monday in Arizona signaled that he is beginning to see that the American public firmly rejects the immigration snake oil the Bush administration has been pushing for five years. Hence, looking like a Johnnie-come-lately, a rhetorical shift.

...As the administration negotiates behind the scenes as Congress drafts immigration enforcement legislation, the Bush crowd continues to oppose the most promising ideas, such as the CLEAR Act to get state and local police a constructive response from federal authorities and mandatory employment verification to shut off the “jobs magnet.”

All the while, the administration has hawked a massive amnesty to legalize virtually all 10-12 million illegal aliens. This scheme has been, and continues to be, packaged as a “guestworker” program.Regardless of how the president labels it, the plan he described in his Arizona speech is his same old amnesty plan. The illegals get legalized, they get to keep the jobs they came here to steal, and six years later no political will will exist to make them go home. Politicians will end up giving them green cards and then citizenship.

To add to this, Bush also reversed the priorities in his speech--saying that border enforcement would be stepped up AFTER Congress gives him his amnesty program. A threat?

Finally, this item:

Pence said statements made by President Bush in the Rose Garden supporting spending cuts had been helpful but that the White House was not “fully engaged” when the Republican leadership squeaked out a 217-to-215 win last month on a vote for a bill requiring $50 billion in cuts to mandatory spending programs over the next five years.

...David Walker, comptroller general of the United States, now estimates that, thanks to mandatory spending programs, the federal government’s long-term unfunded liabilities are $46 trillion.

The President’s Medicare prescription drug plan, which was enacted by a Republican Congress in 2003 and which takes effect in January, added $8 trillion in red-ink to the government’s long-term ledger.

Many conservatives fear that if significant reforms in entitlement programs are not enacted soon, so-called “mandatory” federal spending will begin to squeeze out necessary spending on defense and homeland security and increase pressure for economic-growth-killing tax increases.

While George Bush has done some good things, he definitely is not a "conservative."

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