Protest Bush's Inaugural Deceit

Today, President Bush will be inaugurated into his second term. In his acceptance speech, he'll exploit the media's attention to literally market the right wing's plans for our country. Each of us has a critical role to play in countering the president's hype. We can familiarize ourselves with the flaws in his scheme, and expose each false sales pitch to friends, neighbors and the media.


President Bush's first term was defined by a radical notion -- that "preemptive war" was the path to security and peace. His administration hyped the case about WMD in Iraq to justify the invasion, while at the same time fatally miscalculating what it would take to transform that country into a functioning democracy. Now, the disastrous results of his deception and misjudgment are in plain view. More than 1,300 American troops are dead, Iraq is a recruiting ground for Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden remains at large and there's no end in sight to the war against terrorism.

President Bush will begin his second term with an equally radical notion: that building economic stability lies in dismantling successful government programs like Social Security. To sell his scheme, just as he sold the war in Iraq, he'll drum up a false crisis and then pitch a brash cure loaded with unattainable but tantalizing benefits. He'll work to build support for a make-believe "ownership society."

Almost ironically, don't expect to hear much from him about the economic elements that would genuinely boost ownership among ordinary Americans: good jobs, fair wages and a reduction in wealth disparity. Why these omissions? Because neither his economic policies nor his risky Social Security plans benefit ordinary Americans. Just look at the facts:

> Personal incomes are frozen.

> Bush has the worst job-creation record since President Herbert Hoover.

> Gas, food and health insurance costs are soaring, sapping people's ability to save.

> The richest 1% of Americans own more of the nation's overall wealth than the bottom 90% combined -- and the president's next round of tax cuts would exacerbate this gap.

> Financial management firms would be the primary beneficiaries of the White House's Social Security privatization plan -- they stand to gain an estimated $940 billion in new fees if it is privatized.

If President Bush was truly interested in promoting ownership in America, he would stop pursuing economic policies that reward the few while the many lose ground. For starters, he would:

> Ensure that quality, affordable healthcare was available to all Americans.

> Drop his opposition to a living wage.

> Reverse his plans to cut back Pell grants that make college affordable to middle and lower income kids.

> Stop the outsourcing of American jobs.

> Abandon his plans to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% -- those who make $1 million or more. (They already received $148 billion in cuts last year.)

> Ditch his plan to privatize Social Security which would cut guaranteed benefits and put the financial stability of millions of American families at risk.

We can't sit back and expect the mainstream media to expose the emptiness of Bush's promises to the American public. Instead we have to prod them and also become our own messengers. In your conversations with friends, neighbors, and colleagues, please debunk Bush's make-believe ownership society. And, if you have the time, please take a moment to share the truth with your local media.


Thank you for all that you do.


Robert Borosage, Co-Director
Campaign for America's Future


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Januar 2005

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