I just spent the past twenty minutes reading the full text of George Bush’s State of the Union speech. He has made the case for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq without UN approval, and much more to my dismay refused to address the economic issues facing the American public forcefully. I must admit there were a couple of surprises, first his initiative of providing $16 billion to Africa for the fight against Aids. Although it does seem noble, lest we not forget most of the money will go the large US pharmeciutical companies that provide drugs to combat HIV. A hand-out to the poor is more like a back handed payment to the very companies that put him in office. The other important message was the continued use of tax cuts to provide economic stimulation. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but the republicans are about reducing the size of government spending, not increasing it. Back in Ronald Reagans days, the same payments to the wealthy were called “trickle down” economics. Something which didn’t work then, and by looking at GW’s first attempt, nothing has changed much.
A key thing to note about the US. It has gone from a surplus budget to over $300 billion in debt in just over two years. The sense of irony is almost too much to bear. Another article amusingly enough in the Washington Times points out that a local cable operator in the Washington D.C. area decided not to broadcast a series of 30 second anti-war movement ads before and after the speech. Mr. Bush stated again and again that freedom was the crux of American beliefs, but hey, you just can’t be negative on the Presidents big night out.
Do the American public really believe all this nonsense? For the most part, I think the answer is yes, and that is ashame. The worst part is it looks as though he will continue with his policies of favourtism and fear. Oh well.