Right Thinking From The Left Coast
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

Bush and Spending
by Lee

Following up on this post from this morning, some of you are miffed at me for blaming Dear Leader for something.

Lee, it was Bush who proposed reforming social security and retirement savings, even devoting 90 days of his presidency to traveling the country trying (unsuccessfully) to sell the reforms. It was the Democrats who stopped it. Blaming Bush for this is just plain wrong.

Before we get into the numbers, let’s talk about SS reform.  Wow, he devoted 90 whole days to it.  And do you know why it died?  Two words:  Terri Schiavo.  Remember all that political capital Bush built up with a solid win over Kerry?  He subsequently pissed it all away trying to keep a fucking drooling, brain-dead vegetable alive.  When it came down to it, keeping James Dobson and Pat Robertson happy was far more important to this president than actually using his political capital for something as vital as SS reform.  So, please, let’s not act like Bush is some kind of martyr, powerless against the Democrats (who, let us not forget, were the minority party in Congress at the time).  Okay, let’s get to the numbers.

Cato Institute, 2005

President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn’t cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.

Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush’s first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton’s last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush’s first term.

The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted the budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent.

The GOP was once effective at controlling nondefense spending. The final nondefense budgets under Clinton were a combined $57 billion smaller than what he proposed from 1996 to 2001. Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs.  Bush signed every one of those bills during his first term. Even if Congress passes Bush’s new budget exactly as proposed, not a single cabinet-level agency will be smaller than when Bush assumed office.

Cato Institute, 2005

President Bush signed a $417.5 billion defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2005 on August 5,2004. With the addition of an $82 billion supplemental for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, in real terms U.S. military spending will be at a level exceeded only by that of the waning years of World War II and the height of the Korean War. The Defense Department had requested $401.7 billion, which was a 7 percent increase over the FY04 defense budget. The recently submitted FY06 Pentagon budget is $419.3 billion (notincluding funds for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan). The administration argues that increased military spending is a necessary part of the war on terrorism.

Those budgets assumed that the war on terrorism is primarily a military war to be fought by the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. The reality is that large conventional military operations will be the exception rather than the rule in the war on terrorism. Although President Bush claims Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism, the truth is that ridding the world of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime did not eliminate an Al Qaeda sanctuary or a primary source of support for the terrorist group.

The military’s role in the war on terrorism will mainly involve special operations forces in discrete missions against specific targets, not conventional warfare aimed at overthrowing entire regimes. The rest of the war aimed at dismantling and degrading the Al Qaeda terrorist network will require unprecedented international intelligence and law enforcement cooperation, not expensive new planes, helicopters, and warships.

Therefore, an increasingly large defense budget (DoD projects that the budget will grow to more than $487 billion by FY09) is not necessary to fight the war on terrorism. Nor is it necessary to protect America from traditional nation-state military threats—the United States is in a unique geostrategic position; it has no military rivals and is relatively secure from conventional military attack because of vast oceans on its flanks and friendly neighbors to the north and south.

Heritage Foundation, 2006

Why is spending restraint so important? Because, despite reducing tax rates, President Bush’s and Congress’ historic spending spree is laying the groundwork for the largest tax increase in American history.

Without a single veto, President Bush has overseen the largest spending spree since Franklin D. Roosevelt sat in the Oval Office. Surprisingly, new defense and homeland security costs account for less than one-third of all new spending. Even non-defense spending is expanding twice as fast as it did under President Clinton.

These guns and butter budgets are virtually unprecedented. During World War II and the Korean War, Presidents Roosevelt and Truman cut non-defense spending by 35 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Yet during the war on terrorism, lawmakers enacted the most expensive education, agriculture and highway bills ever, and created an $8.7 trillion Medicare drug entitlement. Since 2001, education spending is up 137 percent, international spending is up 111 percent, and health research and regulation spending is up 78 percent. Despite cries of “mean-spirited cuts,” even anti-poverty spending just reached a record 3 percent of GDP.

In sum, 2006 federal spending will reach $23,760 per household – the highest inflation-adjusted level since World War II, and nearly $5,000 higher than five years ago. And that figure is increasing $1,000 annually. Unless spending is pared back, within a decade balancing the budget alone could require a $7,000 per household tax hike.

American Enterprise Institute, 2005

Total real discretionary outlays will increase about 35.8 percent under Bush (FY2001-06) while they increased by 25.2 percent under LBJ (FY1964-69) and 11.9 percent under Reagan (FY1981-86). By contrast, they decreased by 16.5 under Nixon (FY1969-74) and by 8.2 percent under Clinton (FY1993-98). Comparing Bush to his predecessors is instructive. Bush and Reagan both substantially increased defense spending (by 44.5 and 34.8 percent respectively). However, Reagan cut real nondefense discretionary outlays by 11.1 percent while Bush increased them by 27.9 percent. Clinton and Nixon both raised nondefense spending (by 1.9 percent and 23.1 respectively), but they both cut defense spending substantially (by 16.8 and 32.2 percent).

… Total real outlays have increased by 23.4 percent under Bush, placing him second only to LBJ. As the architect of the Great Society, Johnson created vast new entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid, which continue to balloon the mandatory portion of the federal budget. Mandatory spending reached its zenith under Nixon, partly because entitlement spending tends to balloon during recessions, as poverty rates and unemployment increase.

Note the sources of these data:  Cato, Heritage, and AEI.  Those of you who love to fall back on that tired old liberal media conspiracy bullshit are going to have a hard time with this one, since I didn’t cite any media sources.

So, is Bush solely responsible for the spending situation?  Of course not.  But Bush is the president.  Bush is the guy who could have used his Constitutional power to check and balance the legislature by refusing to sign these spending bills.  Bush is the guy who chose to veto not a single fucking spending bill.  Bush is the guy who has presided over the largest spending increase in decades. 

So, do I place a big-ass slice of blame at Bush’s feet?  You’re goddamned right I do.  And only someone blinded by sheer partisan idiocy could refrain from doing likewise.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 07:32 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 05/31/07 at 08:48 PM from Australia

Reposted from other thread:

Yeah, he really put a lot of effort into it, didn’t he?  If he’d put 1/100 the effort into SS reform that he put into keeping Terri Schiavo alive we might have gotten somewhere.  But SS reform wasn’t what Bush was concerned with, keeping his fundamentalist Christian support base happy was his highest priority.

Are you joking? Let me get this straight; firstly you blame Bush (in your original post) for causing the continual deficit in social security, and then when confronted with the fact that this is undeniably incorrect you now say it’s his fault because he didn’t put enough “effort” into the Social Security reforms he championed to fix the problem that you incorrectly blamed on him in the first place.

So the social security deficit is his fault, and it’s also his fault his reforms aimed at fixing the problem were blocked by other people. This is quite possibly the most ridiculous argument I’ve heard by you in the 4 or so years I’ve been reading your blog. 

Bush devoted 90 days of his second term into selling the reforms. That is not an insignificant amount of time and effort. You can fault Bush on many, many things – but the failure of meaningful social security reform is certainly not one of them.

Posted by on 05/31/07 at 08:53 PM from Australia

Lee – you have completely changed your argument from one post to the next. Your original post and article was about the SOCIAL SECURITY DEFICIT. This post is about the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL DEFICIT.

They are different things.

For the record, I completely agree with you regarding Bush’s spending and the subsequent fiscal deficit, but in your previous post you were blaming him for firstly, creating the social security deficit and then secondly, failing to fix the social security deficit that you then conceded that he didn’t actually create.

Posted by Para on 05/31/07 at 09:03 PM from United States

So, do I place a big-ass slice of blame at Bush’s feet?  You’re goddamned right I do.  And only someone blinded by sheer partisan idiocy could refrain from doing likewise.

Well, at least you admitted that is wasn’t SOLEY Bush’s fault. Oh, and the crap about having some capital after defeating Kerry, well my old friend , that is a load of horse shit. just try googling “bush, kerry, stolen election” and I’m sure a few articles will refresh your memory. Bush squeaked by, and everyone reminded us about it every other article. Bush became the lamest of lame ducks the day after the election.

I do agree with you though that spending is more than just out-of-control, it’s fucking obnoxious.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 09:23 PM from United States

Lee – you have completely changed your argument from one post to the next. Your original post and article was about the SOCIAL SECURITY DEFICIT. This post is about the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FISCAL DEFICIT.

They are different things.

They’re both bills that get paid from the same wallet.  They are EXACTLY the same thing.

This is like buying a speedboat, after which you don’t have enough money for your rent.  “Well, the speedboat budget and the rent budget were two different things.”

Bush took something which was a fucking disaster—Social Security—and made a token effort to reform it.  Rather than make this the centerpiece of his second term he, through his own incompetence, doomed it to failure.  I’m sure as hell not going to give him any credit for ineptly trying to do the right thing.

If a house is on fire, and some idiot tries to put it out by squirting gasoline on it, I’m not going to give him credit for trying when all he did was make the problem worse.  That’s what Bush has done with his profligate spending.  Instead of doing something to fix SS he increased spending by such a massive amount that he’s damn near bankrupted the country.  Do you have any idea how much of our paper the ChiComs own?

For the record, I completely agree with you regarding Bush’s spending and the subsequent fiscal deficit, but in your previous post you were blaming him for firstly, creating the social security deficit and then secondly, failing to fix the social security deficit that you then conceded that he didn’t actually create.

Like I said, they’re paid from the same wallet.  Say America has $1,000,000 dollars on its Visa card.  We’ve been making the minimum payments on the balance, but all that’s doing is paying off the interest.  Bush comes along and announces a novel idea to pay off the Visa bill.  Then, at the same time, he goes out and adds $20,000,000 more to it. 

And I’m supposed to give him credit for this?  Puh-leeze

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 09:25 PM from United States

Well, at least you admitted that is wasn’t SOLEY Bush’s fault

This is government.  It’s never solely anyone’s fault.  That being said, accepting the fault for what happens on your watch is part of the job description for being president.  You can’t be the prez and then blame everything that goes wrong on someone else, which is exactly what Bush does.  And, unfortunately, there are all too many people, a number of whom frequent this blog, who are too willing to let Bush get a free pass on just about anything because there’s some plausible means by which the blame can be shifted to someone else.  Usually:

1) Congress
2) Democrats
3) The liberal media conspiracy
4) Some combination of 1 through 3

Posted by Para on 05/31/07 at 09:30 PM from United States

Does that mean Bush gets credit for record tax receipts, record job creation, and record highs in the stock market?

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 09:35 PM from United States

Oh, and the crap about having some capital after defeating Kerry, well my old friend , that is a load of horse shit. just try googling “bush, kerry, stolen election” and I’m sure a few articles will refresh your memory. Bush squeaked by, and everyone reminded us about it every other article. Bush became the lamest of lame ducks the day after the election.

When I was in high school I can remember teachers telling me that the important reason to take notes was that the act of writing down the information makes it more likely to remember it.  Perhaps that explains why I remember things better than a lot of other participants, because I wrote them down in the first place.

Read this and this and this to refresh your memory.  Also, check out this one and scroll down to read your own comments.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 09:37 PM from United States

Does that mean Bush gets credit for record tax receipts, record job creation, and record highs in the stock market?

Yes, and I’ve said as much countless times on this blog.  The problem is that the amount of spending he has saddled us with dwarfs the increases.

Bush took us two steps forward, and 387 steps back.  Yaay two steps!

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 09:39 PM from United States

So the social security deficit is his fault, and it’s also his fault his reforms aimed at fixing the problem were blocked by other people.

They were blocked by other people because he put himself in a position to where they had the power to do so.  If you leave all your lights on and your doors unlocked, it’s hard to claim that you were the “victim” of a burglar.  A much more accurate statement was that you were the victim of your own abject stupidity.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I present George W. Bush.

Posted by Para on 05/31/07 at 09:51 PM from United States

I just had a thought, Lee.

I wonder if in your heart-of hearts believe Bush is bad.

No, not a nincompoop. I know where you stand on that. But is he b-a-d bad.

Does he do things that hurt other people for his own benefit. Does his religion ( which I know makes you cringe) cause him to do things that are negative. Did his involvement on behalf of Shiavo mean he is a bad person, or was it a case of him being bad when he said at her memorial “ “I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life, where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others,”

Put it this way, is he Mr. Burns or Homer Simpson.

I don’t think Bush is a bad person. Bull-headed, yes, sometimes naive, indeed, but b-a-d- bad, no, no I don’t.

I think Bush has had the toughest presidency since Lincoln. I know you laugh at us who think the media has an effect on the psyche of the public, but never before has a president had hundreds of negative stories written about him every single day since he took office. Often,it’s stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with him ( like causing Katrina).

Lee, the media does shape the way people think, and almost always they spin any story into a negative about Bush. They’re all democrats or liberals. They’re using thier bully pulpit and have been for 6 years. That’s thier right, by the way. But I always expect people like to to see the bias and call bullshit once in a while.

Sure , you can find examples of disheartened conservatives who write similar articles, but I alomst feel like they have simply been bombarded with this media bias for so long that they feel that to retain any credibility in the press at all, they have to mimic the tone in liberal articles or be branded a kool-aid drinker of the President’s religious wacko-ism.  Maybe they are unhappy too, as most of us are, but I just don’t feel the President needs ME jumping on the bandwagon.

I don’t think he needs you spinning eveything into an anti-bush tirade either. The man’s got a job to do.

Posted by on 05/31/07 at 09:54 PM from Australia

They’re both bills that get paid from the same wallet.  They are EXACTLY the same thing.

Wrong again buddy…

The problem with social security is the structure, not the level of funding. US retirement savings through social security accounts represents the greatest Ponzi scheme that the world has ever seen. This Ponzi scheme managed to work reasonably well as long as there were no substantive demographic changes from one generation to the next as each generation is supported in retirement by the taxes of their children and grandchildren as opposed to their actual taxes which were spent on supporting their parent’s and grandparent’s generation.

With the substantial increase in life expectancy coupled with the substantial decline in fertility rates that has been experienced over the last several decades, we are facing the prospect of a proportionately smaller workforce supporting a proportionately larger number of retirees. This expected funding shortfall is the social security deficit. It is determined by changes in life expectancy, fertility rates, GDP rates and labor force participation rates – NOT BY THE FISCAL DEFICIT, although unless the structure is changed it will certainly impact the budget’s bottom line in the future.

This needs to be fixed by completely overhauling the structure of the social security system, not by simply continually increasing the tax rates on future generations as you imply by saying “hey, it all the same - it all comes out of the same wallet”. Bush was trying to introduce individual accounts whereby people would be able to manage their own retirement savings through personal accounts. The Democrats stopped him. THIS IS NOT HIS FAULT.

You say that you are a free-markets man and yet you are criticizing Bush for perhaps the only decent economic reform that he has championed in this second term. And you are still blaming him for a deficit that he didn’t create and tried to fix.

Posted by Para on 05/31/07 at 10:01 PM from United States

I just went and read your links, Lee. Along with my comments to them.

All I can say is, for the past two years, we’ve been consistent. You criticize the President, I defend him.

Does that make me Felix or Oscar?

Posted by on 05/31/07 at 10:18 PM from Australia

They were blocked by other people because he put himself in a position to where they had the power to do so.  If you leave all your lights on and your doors unlocked, it’s hard to claim that you were the “victim” of a burglar.  A much more accurate statement was that you were the victim of your own abject stupidity.

Your example makes absolutely no sense. I don’t really know why I am bothering responding to it, but I’ll give it a go.

Firstly, you are equating Bush devising, proposing, and spending 90 days trying to sell his reforms to someone who has actually gone out of their way to promote failure. This is patently absurd.

Secondly, you are still denying that the burglary is actually the fault of the burglar (in this case, Congressional Democrats) as opposed to the homeowner (in this case, Bush).

Do you remember what you wrote on your previous post?

All this falls right on Bush’s lap.

Hmmmmm....

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 10:27 PM from United States

I wonder if in your heart-of hearts believe Bush is bad.

No, I don’t.  I actually wrote about this in a comment just the other day.  Bush is a guy who goes with his gut instinct.  There’s a reason for this—it’s a coping mechanism he’s developed to deal with his sub-par intelligence.  Because of his family connections he has always been surrounded by smart people who were willing to do things for him.  As a result, he’s spent his life trusting the advice and wisdom of others.  The problem is that this makes him unsure of himself, unable to question his own beliefs or thoughts.  He’s told something and he believes it, then he sticks with it no matter what, because if he admitted error then he’d have to admit that his instincts for trusting people were wrong, and those are what has driven him his whole life.

I think Bush is probably a pretty decent guy.  I’d love to head down to the ranch and have a BBQ with him and Laura sometime, I bet they’d be fantastic hosts.  He’d be a great guy to work as a manager in a corporate setting.  He’d make a wonderful neighbor.  But he makes a terrible president.

The people he chose to trust, his cabinet, were some of the best decisions imaginable at the time.  Rumsfeld’s pedigree was impeccable, Cheney was the master behind the Gulf War and Halliburton, Condi was brilliant, Colin Powell a national hero.  Everyone was thrilled with his picks.  I know I was.

Then 9/11 happened.  As I’ve said before, had 9/11 never happened Bush would have been just your average mediocre president, scoring a few victories and suffering a few losses, but generally just someone who ambled through his time in office, kinda like his father.  He’d leave office not as a stellar president, but he’d be generally well regarded.

But 9/11 did happen, and it changed everything.  Rumsfeld and Cheney made it so that only the information they wanted him to hear reached his desk.  They wanted Bush to make particular decisions, and they knew how to masterfully manipulate things to get him to do so.  They knew he trusted them implicitly, so when they said that invading Iraq was essential, he did it.  When they told him that torture was necessary to defend America, and produced legal briefs by Woo and Gonzales stating that this really wasn’t torture, he signed off on it.

He is a weak, weak man.

That weakness is evident in how long some cabinet members stayed in office.  Any competent president would have fired George Tenet about five minutes after the second plane hit the WTC.  Rumsfeld should have been gone about 6 months after the invasion.  While he can’t force him to do so, he should have demanded Cheney’s resignation, and with the latter’s heart problems this could have been easily accomplished.  But he didn’t.  Why?

Weakness.  He trusted these people based on his gut.  If they turned out to be wrong, then his gut was wrong.  His gut is the only mechanism he trusts when making decisions, so the gut would be used to determine their replacements.  But the gut is faulty—how can he trust the replacements?

Faced with uncertainty or rigidity, Bush chose the devil he knew over the devil he did not.  And now we’re all paying the price.

Bush isn’t bad, he’s weak.  And weak men can be encouraged to do bad things.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 10:36 PM from United States

Firstly, you are equating Bush devising, proposing, and spending 90 days trying to sell his reforms to someone who has actually gone out of their way to promote failure. This is patently absurd.

No, that’s not what I’m doing.  I’m pointing out that his abject failures in other areas made him weak in the areas that count.  From 2005:

Bush has had a hard time persuading Congress to go along with his agenda, in part because surveys show that much of the public has soured on him and his priorities. In the most recent Washington Post poll, taken last month, 47 percent of Americans approved of Bush’s performance, tying the lowest marks he ever received in that survey, back in mid-2004, when Democrats were airing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of campaign attack ads.

Similarly, just 31 percent approved of his handling of Social Security, an all-time low in the Post poll, while only 40 percent gave him good marks for his stewardship of the economy and 42 percent for his management of Iraq, both ratings close to the lowest ever recorded in those areas. Other surveys have recorded similar findings, with Bush’s approval rating as low as 43 percent.

You act like the Democrats are some all-powerful superhero force with alien powers and weapons which can’t be stopped.  Bullshit.  They were a weak political party, disorganized, no message other than anti-Bush, no proposals of their own.  Yet they were able to slay Bush.  Why?  Because Bush’s ineptitude in his handling of Katrina, Iraq, Terri Schiavo, and other issues made the public lose confidence in him.  So when he went to them with his SS reform plan, the public said, “Why the fuck should I trust you, after everything else you’ve done?”

He lost the momentum.  He was weak, his political enemies exploited his weakness, which is what political enemies do.  They didn’t win, Bush lost.  And that’s a very important distinction.

Secondly, you are still denying that the burglary is actually the fault of the burglar (in this case, Congressional Democrats) as opposed to the homeowner (in this case, Bush).

No, I’m not denying it.  What I’m saying is that every one of us knows that there are burglars out there in the world who want to rob us of our belongings.  Because of this reality, we take steps to make it difficult or impossible for the burglar to carry out his task.

In the world of politics there are the Democrats.  As the opposition party it is to be expected that they were going to oppose Bush’s SS reforms.  The problem is that Bush didn’t do anything to prevent them.  He didn’t lock the doors and close the windows.  He left all the doors and windows open, with all the lights on, and a huge neon sign saying ROB ME in his front yard. 

The Democrats did what Democrats do, just like burglars do what burglars do.  It was Bush’s fuck-ups that made it so easy for the Democrats to do it.

Posted by Lee on 05/31/07 at 10:43 PM from United States

This expected funding shortfall is the social security deficit. It is determined by changes in life expectancy, fertility rates, GDP rates and labor force participation rates – NOT BY THE FISCAL DEFICIT, although unless the structure is changed it will certainly impact the budget’s bottom line in the future.

You don’t have to explain the need for SS reform to me, I’m one of its most vocal proponents.  The issue is, the US only has X amount of money to spend on things.  If we cut spending in other areas, then we would have more money that could be used to shore up SS.  We did the exact opposite.  Bush has spent us into oblivion.  The only real solution is massive tax hikes, which we can all expect sometime in the next 10-20 years.

SS is going to collapse, there’s no doubt, unless something changes.  It’s like buying a new car.  You want that 2008 Mustang GT convertible, but it’s out of your price range.  You have two choices—earn more money or save up what you earn now.  Bush did neither.  He went on a wild shopping spree on pointless items, and rang up $50,000 in credit card debt.  But he still wants the Mustang.

Posted by on 05/31/07 at 11:10 PM from Australia

Lee, you are completely correct in saying that Bush’s atrocious performance on a whole raft of issues was able to undermine him politically to the point whereby he could not sell his proposed SS reforms. No complaints from me on that or on your points concerning the budget deficit, spending, etc.

Where I disagree with you is on your original assertion (in your previous post) that the growing social security deficit is Bush’s fault or “falls right on Bush’s lap” as you originally stated. This is incorrect, as is your comment that the social security deficit and the budget deficit are “exactly the same thing” as they are “all paid from the same wallet”.

To give you an example, just say you discovered a cure for cancer tomorrow. What impact would this have on;

1)The budget deficit.

Answer: None.

2)The Social Security Deficit.

Answer: The Social Security Deficit would widen by billions of dollars instantly. Why? The resultant increase in life expectancy would mean that the taxes of the current working generation would need to fund a longer average retirement for our parent’s and grandparent’s generation.

You don’t have to explain the need for SS reform to me, I’m one of its most vocal proponents.  The issue is, the US only has X amount of money to spend on things.  If we cut spending in other areas, then we would have more money that could be used to shore up SS.  We did the exact opposite.  Bush has spent us into oblivion.  The only real solution is massive tax hikes, which we can all expect sometime in the next 10-20 years.

Whilst this is all true, I’d argue that we should not “shore up SS” like you suggest as its structure is inherently unfair and completely unsustainable, regardless of future tax hikes or spending cuts today. It needs to be completely changed, something that Bush was at least trying to start in early 2005.

After all that, I think that we pretty much agree on this issue. We need SS reform (which Bush did try to champion) however he lacked the political strength to get the reforms through, meaning that future generations will suffer because he managed to lose the argument to those socialist fuckwits in the Democratic Party. Agreed?

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