Do what is right: For the American people
Yesterday, President Bush spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred-business owners, corporate executives, and other guests at a hotel near Newark Liberty International Airport. The President was in the Garden State to promote his economic policies, particularly the tax cut bill he recently signed.
Before he arrived at the hotel, President Bush met with the owners of Andrea Foods, Inc., a family owned pasta business in the nearby town of Orange. In Orange, the President discussed the benefits of the tax cut bill, especially to small businesses like Andrea Foods.
The company’s owners will see their marginal tax rates cut because profits are taxed at the individual tax rate. Andrea Foods is organized as a Subchapter S corporation. Moreover, as a married couple they will pay fewer taxes as the marriage tax penalty is reduced, and as parents, they will get an increase in the child tax credit. In addition, Andrea Foods will get another tax break because it will be able to deduct up to $100,000 in capital expenses up from $25,000.
Throughout his thirty-minute speech, President Bush was interrupted by applause, and he received loud and sustained applause when he talked about the need to protect the nation’s security and “win the war on terror”. He also talked about protecting the nation’s borders and ports from the terror threat. Yet, numerous articles have appeared on www.usadaily.com as well as other sites criticizing the federal government’s lax protection of the nation’s borders, especially since the September 11th attacks.
President Bush was emphatic about the war on terror. “It is a charge”, he asserted, “we have been given, and that we will fulfill.”
He chided critics of his Mideast policies as “revisionist historians”.
The President also spoke about the need to punish corporate executives who engaged in fraud and other criminal conduct. “They were not honest with us”, President Bush stated, and we have to restore confidence so people will believe they are being dealt with fairly in the marketplace. He also talked about the “too many lawsuits” which are putting money in the lawyers’ pockets and very little in the plaintiffs’. Moreover, he called for reform of class action lawsuits, and he wants to end what he described as “medical junk lawsuits”.
In keeping with his commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on small business owners, the President announced he issued an executive order to eliminate unnecessary paperwork.
President Bush called for a “national energy policy to reduce our dependence on foreign sources”. The President wants an energy policy that will increase the supply of natural gas, which has been rising in price lately. He reiterated that more domestic energy production should not be in conflict with regulations protecting our environment.
President Bush called upon the Congress to give seniors a Medicare prescription plan similar to the one enjoyed by members of Congress–one based on “choice”, instead of a one size fits all program.
In conclusion, President Bush spoke about the ‘true strength” of America. It is neither the formidable military nor the economy, but people helping people in communities across the country in selfless acts of voluntarism.
Watching President Bush speak and observing the reactions to what is turning out to be his reelection stump speech, reveals he is staying on message: America is the land of opportunity, small business is the backbone of our economy, defending our freedom in the war against terrorism is imperative, Saddam is not longer a threat to the United States because of the actions our country and allies took against an evil dictator, the people should keep more of their own money, too many lawsuits are hurting our economy, more benefits should be passed for seniors, and America’s strength is the selflessness of its people helping others.
Undoubtedly, these themes will be repeated over and over during the next 17 months, until the November 2004 election.
Nevertheless, President Bush’s most memorable line was when he urged Congress “to do what is right for the American people”.
This assertion begs an answer.
What is right for the American people is a nation based on liberty, free enterprise, sound money, the rule of law, low–very low– taxes, very few federal regulations, and most importantly, a foreign policy that does not try to police the world or engage in preemptive strikes.
This agenda, this vision, is the legacy the Founding Fathers’ gave us more than 200 hundred years ago.
Unfortunately, President Bush revealed he intends to continue to govern like a “big government conservative”. He did not address the unnecessary and wasteful federal spending that is in effect a tax on small business. He could have called for restructuring the federal government. This would free up the people’s money that is now being gobbled up by unnecessary federal bureaucracies. This would in effect “liberate” America’s families and businesses from the shackles–taxes and regulations–the federal government has placed on the American people. He also could have called for ending the Federal Reserve’s manipulation of interest rates, which generates the business cycle, and undermines the prosperity of small businesses.
Instead, President Bush is going to perpetuate the welfare-warfare state, albeit with tax cuts and some regulatory reform. Rather than calling for a “radical”, i.e., fundamental, downsizing of the federal government and the establishment of sound money, and a foreign policy that is not based on the premise that the Untied States can impose freedom and democracy on authoritarian regimes anywhere in the world, President Bush essentially called for maintaining the status quo.
Three years ago candidate Bush promised a “humble” foreign policy. That went by the wayside because of the September 11th attacks on America, and the “imminent. threat” posed by Saddam to America’s national security. However, there is growing evidence that the Bush administration was planning extensive Mideast military intervention before the September 11th attacks.
Based on President Bush’s remarks yesterday, he should take his own advice and begin to “do what is right for the American people”–dismantle America’s welfare-warfare state.