Did George W. Bush give a speech tonight? It sure looked like him. That guy’s voice in the video I downloaded and watched sure sounded like him.
Who stole my president?
Since 9/11, I’ve become rather confident in my support of George W. Bush. Watching him stand on that mountain of rubble at ground zero with his arm around that fire fighter made me proud to be an American. Hearing his words every time he said we were gonna hunt down the terrorists; “Smoke ’em outta their holes” and all that. And most things since then…including the choice to go to Iraq, and his will to stay there and finish the job. I’ve been with him all the way.
And then Katrina had to come in and suck all the oxygen out of the air.
Before the hurricane, Bush was doing a pretty good job staying ‘on message’. But since August 29th, it’s been one mess after another. I don’t blame Bush directly for any of the crap that went wrong in the relief effort. I do blame some of the people who are around him, and I think George W. could have done a better job in a few instances. FEMA director Michael Brown was a lame-o, and it’s too bad it took Katrina to reveal that to the world. The president should have known Brown was unqualified to do the job. But ever since Bush showed up on the gulf coast September 2nd, I feel like he’s been playing to a certain group of people, and not all Americans.
I did blog the other day about Bush’s “I take responsibility” talk, and I made an attempt at giving him the benefit of the doubt. I still (mostly) believe in what I wrote. But I felt different after I listened to the words in his speech tonight.
Presidents who give away other peoples money have always given me a bad taste in my mouth. And tonight, while watching George W. Bush, that taste showed up.
Five minutes into the telecast, I expected Bush to pull a wad of bills out of his pocket and start running around laughing hysterically, handing the cash to anyone and everyone. I couldn’t hear his words anymore. All I could see was his hand reaching into my wallet. It’s like he drove me to my bank, walked me up to the ATM machine, put my debit card in and started punching in the pin number. Really! I’m thinking…”Hey, how does he know my pin number?” And then he starts emptying my checking AND savings account while I stand there dumbfounded.
Once he started handing out the candy…it seemed as though he just couldn’t stop. The costs for rebuilding could reach $200 billion or beyond. And this is $200 billion ABOVE AND BEYOND the cost of the war.
I don’t begrudge the federal government helping in some ways. Part of being a citizen of the United States means that you help your fellow man. Bush was right when he said this:
“We have also witnessed the kind of desperation no citizen of this great and generous Nation should ever have to know – fellow Americans calling out for food and water … vulnerable people left at the mercy of criminals who had no mercy … and the bodies of the dead lying uncovered and untended in the street.”
That’s why I felt obligated to give a substantial amount of money (for my household) to Katrina relief efforts. Watching my fellow Americans suffer on the streets of New Orleans was heartbreaking. I don’t want to ever see anything like that again.
But I think Bush went overboard in his relief proposals, and I’m worried because the federal government doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to making sure our tax dollars end up where they’re needed most. All I can see are a bunch of smiling members of congress looking on as Bush signs the big legislation check. You’ll think they’re smiling because they’re able to help victims of Katrina, but they’re really smiling because the bill being signed also contains a healthy dose of pork for unnecessary programs in their home state.
In the long run, will this huge federal relief package really help improve the lives of people, or will it just extend a life of poverty? Most of the welfare recipients I’ve known have been more than happy to stay welfare recipients. With this speech tonight, Bush has all but guaranteed the free-loaders another decade of dependence on the teet of America.
Congress already approved $62 billion dollars — mostly to cover costs already incurred. Housing vouchers: $3.5 billion. Special tax cuts: $5 billion. And it doesn’t stop there.
Where is the sanity; the fiscal sanity which is critical at this moment? It’s obvious we’re not going to get it from a president who has suddenly gone money crazy. Ahem, WE’RE STILL FIGHTING A WAR that’s not going to end tomorrow. Another Pentagon supplement is right around the corner.
Shouldn’t some of the financial responsibility be with the people of Louisiana? I gave the amount of money I could give to the charity I trusted the most. Now, I’m being forced to give more money to a spending addicted federal government.
I hate asking this question, but does Bush really know what he’s getting into? This bill will take generations to pay off if someone doesn’t splash some cold water on this man and the congress. I fear that there has never been a time where there is more total spending and more wasteful spending in Washington than we have today. If my president won’t limit the amount of tax dollars bleeding out of my hard earned paycheck, who will?
And before you accuse me of the big switch…forget it. I don’t believe for a second that a Democrat could behave any differently than Bush at this moment. The disease isn’t partisan.
Katrina will end up breaking more than physical things. Our governments fix for Katrina will break the bank for my kids, and their kids, and their kids’ kids.
And I’m worried about that. You should be worried too.
UPDATE: Another Read My Lips moment?