by The Daily Misleader –
On February 17, 2004 at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, President Bush thanked American soldiers for their service, saying, “In the war, America depends on our military to meet the dangers abroad and to keep our country safe. The American people appreciate this sacrifice.”
While this tribute is heartwarming, it has not been matched with the kind of resources that show appreciation. On the contrary, President Bush has refused to adequately fund some of the most important priorities to soldiers, veterans and their families.
Last year, while troops were at war, the president proposed slashing $1.5 billion from military family housing and tried to “roll back recent modest increases” in bonuses paid to soldiers serving in combat zones.
Meanwhile, the president refused to extend the child tax credit to one million children living in military and veteran families. And this year the misleading is only getting worse.
While the president rambles on about how much he appreciates troops and veterans, Congressional Quarterly reported on February 4th that Bush’s own Secretary for Veterans Affairs told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the president rejected a desperate request for $1.2 billion in funding needed for veterans’ health care.
Many lawmakers said the president’s decision “only proved the administration’s disinterest in supporting veterans’ programs.”
The Veterans of Foreign Wars issued a statement after receiving the White House’s budget, calling it “disgraceful” and saying it was a “disgrace and a sham.”
Bush: Special Interest Protector-in-Chief
Coming under increasing fire for his failure to clarify his National Guard record, fix the economy, bring down the cost of health care, and secure post-war Iraq, President Bush has resorted to attacking his political opponents as “beholden to special interests and out of touch with regular Americans.”
But a look at the more than $320 million that Bush has raised since 2000 shows that he is the man with the most special interest connections in American history — and that he has rewarded those special interests in kind.
Specifically, while the president attacks Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for accepting money from lobbyists, a new study shows “the president accepted more in direct contributions from lobbyists in one year than Kerry did in the past 15 years.” All told, Bush collected at least $6.5 million in “bundled” contributions from lobbyists last year alone.
But that has not stopped Bush from his ad hominem attacks on opponents for “special interest” connections. Yesterday, for instance, Bush attacked the US Senate for being beholden to “special interests” for holding up an insurance industry-backed bill to restrict medical patients from seeking legal redress in the event of malpractice. Yet, it was Bush who accepted more than $3 million from the insurance industry before he wrote the bill.
On the campaign trail last year, Bush said, “We can’t let the special interests of Washington prevent us from doing what is necessary to protect the biggest interest we have, which is the American people.” Yet it was Bush who did the bidding of his friends in the meat processing/meat packing industries by refusing to protect the American people from Mad Cow disease. Specifically, Bush refused to enact stringent meat inspection regulations and delayed country-of-origin labeling laws at the urging of the agribusiness industry which has given him $5.5 million. To make extra sure that the agribusiness special interests were protected, Bush also packed the US Department of Agriculture with agribusiness executives.
Even on issues of war and peace, Bush has put special interests before almost anything else. As the Center for Public Integrity reported, the more than 70 companies and individuals that Bush awarded up to $8 billion in Iraq/Afghanistan contracts have “donated more money to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush – a little over $500,000 – than to any other politician over the last dozen years.”
For more about Bush Administration distortion, visit The Daily Misleader at: http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1208427&l=18739 >