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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 18, 2024

President Bush makes king-size mistakes

It is hard to comprehend what it is about our president that continues to convince the majority of Americans that he is doing well as our leader. The latest Gallup Poll boasts a 52 percent approval rating for Bush, which is a far cry from where it has been, but still very solid. There does not seem to be much logical reasoning to believe Bush is doing well, which makes his high rating seem so ridiculous. 


Any rational person would have to base at least part of their approval of Bush on how his actions have influenced the economy, which should be devastating to our leader. First of all, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the level of unemployment is up over two percent since December of 2000. This number could even be higher, except hundreds of thousands of people simply gave up seeking employment because there are almost no opportunities. 


Furthermore, the federal deficit is skyrocketing to record levels. The current mark stands at over $400 billion, and in all likelihood will continue to grow at an alarming rate. An interesting side note to this issue is that the previous record high deficit level was around $290 billion, and it just happened to fall during the previous Bush presidency. Apparently, poor economic policy runs in the family. 


Perhaps one of the reasons people support Bush is because he aggressively promotes tax cuts as an economic stimulator.  


Unfortunately, even though his method of top-down tax relief has given billions of dollars back to already wealthy Americans, it has failed to boost the economy. Bush's reckless spending abroad coupled with tax refunds is a terrible equation for solving our economic woes. 


The second main issue that people are likely using to judge President Bush is our military efforts abroad. While military action was justified after September 11, we are now locked into a fight that can't be won. One of our stated objectives in fighting Afghanistan was to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, but recent evidence indicates that he is still alive.  


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The war in Iraq is an issue that should have placed President Bush under much more scrutiny than it has. Very few people in this country seem to be bothered by the fact that we were misled into believing that a war with Iraq was necessary right now. This is an operation that has already cost over $600 billion, and Bush just asked for $87 billion more to help rebuild the country we just destroyed. 


In the face of this enormous amount of spending, Bush never established any key marks of victory. Even though his landing on an aircraft carrier to declare an end to the major military conflict was a great publicity stunt, what have we won? Saddam Hussein is still out there. Terrorists are still being recruited to bring death and destruction to American soil. The President's decisions really have not alleviated any of my fears regarding terrorism. 


It seems that the only clear definition of victory is the end of terrorism. Unfortunately, this is an impossible goal, because there will always be people that have enough hatred for the United States to do something highly irrational. Without a reachable goal in sight, we cannot claim that our military efforts were entirely successful, and we cannot logically conclude that our President has a legitimate plan of ever ending military action in the name of terror prevention. 


While approving or disapproving the work done by Bush since he took office is a subjective decision, there are some purely objective lines of evidence that really cast doubt on his ability as president. The economy is in shambles, and our military forces are entrenched in what seems to be an endless battle without an attainable victory. I can only hope that logic will prevail, and the general public will realize that it is time to shift our perspective on the quality of our leadership. 




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