Howard Dean's Challenge to George W. Bush
This week, presidential candidate Howard Dean threw down the gauntlet and challenged George W. Bush to tell the truth, not just about Iraq, but about the disasters Republican rule has brought to America since the scandalous stolen election of 2000. The following is an excerpt from Dean's comments.
Mr. President, today I call on you to level with the American people not just about the situation in Iraq but about the true intentions behind the agenda your Administration is pursuing:
- You claimed that your tax cuts would create jobs. Instead we have three million fewer jobs in our economy than when you took office.
- You claimed that we would only run deficits that were small and temporary. Instead, we now face deficits in excess of $455 billion--the largest in history--and red ink as far as the eye can see.
- You claimed that your tax cuts would strengthen and stimulate the economy. Instead, we have record numbers of personal bankruptcies, home foreclosures, and an unemployment rate that is the highest in 9 years.
- You claimed that the deficits were caused by the costs of 9/11, the war on terror, and homeland security. In fact, the cost of your tax cuts is three times the amount of those items -- and your deficit forecasts do not even include the costs of the Iraq war.
- You claimed that your education program would live up to its name and that No Child would be Left Behind. Instead, school districts all across the country, including in your home state of Texas, are dumbing down their tests to ensure that their schools are not labeled as needing improvement. No Child Left Behind turns out to be a huge unfunded mandate on local governments that now must raise property taxes or find other sources of revenue to meet their legal obligations under the Act.
- You named your environmental initiatives 'Clear Skies' and 'Healthy Forests' when the truth is that Clear Skies allows more pollutants into the air and Healthy Forests is little more than a bill to reward the logging industry.
- You claimed that national and community service are central to your vision for the country. Instead, you have sat idly by while membership in the Americorps program is threatened to be cut by 80 percent.
- And you visited soldiers wounded in Afghanistan on January 17th and had the audacity to promise to 'provide the best care for anybody who's willing to put their life in harm's way' when the previous day your Department of Veteran's Affairs cut off health care access to 164,000 veterans.
There you have it. Now ask yourself: Will George W. Bush stand and accept the challenge of Howard Dean?
Don't bet on it, but it looks like we can bet on Howard Dean to get tough on Bush in a way that his rivals seem afraid to do.