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President George Walker Bush (Republican)He is the son of the former President Bush. He and wife Laura have twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna. Born July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, he grew up in Midland, Texas. He graduated from Yale in 1968, then returned to Texas and joined the Texas Air National Guard. Bush entered the oil business. Declining oil prices of the early 1980s took their toll on his company. He later sold his original stock shares and made a considerable profit. In 1978, he lost a race for the U.S. House of Representatives. He organized a group of wealthy investors (including himself) and arranged the purchase of the Texas Rangers. After an initial outlay of only $606,000, Bush walked away with nearly $15 million when the team sold in 1998. He was elected governor of Texas (1994-2000).
Unless otherwise noted, quotes are from White House press releases and may found at www.whitehouse.gov
Taxes & Spending:Based on ratings from taxpayer advocacy groups such as National Taxpayers Union and Americans for Tax Reform, this candidate shares most of their views.
ABC published "While ramping up funding on homeland security to $41 billion and the military to $378 billion in fiscal 2004, Bush is asking the Republican-controlled Congress to cut spending growth for most other programs by more than half, fueling a battle with Democrats over tax and spending priorities in the run-up to the 2004 presidential election. Among those hardest hit will be agencies that regulate agriculture, the environment, housing and urban development, labor, and health and human services."
NPR reported on Feb. 4, 2003 -- President Bush's $2.23-trillion budget, sent to Congress on Monday, proposes increased funding for defense and homeland security while calling for $670 billion in income tax cuts over 10 years to stimulate the economy. It also projects a record $307 billion deficit in fiscal 2004 and continued shortfalls through 2008."
"These are the basic ideas that guide my tax policy: lower income taxes for all, with the greatest help for those most in need. Everyone who pays income taxes benefits while the highest percentage tax cuts go to the lowest income Americans. I believe this is a formula for continuing the prosperity we've enjoyed, but also expanding it in ways we have yet to discover. It is an economics of inclusion. It is the agenda of a government that knows its limits and shows its heart."
Contradiction of that assessment come from critics such as the Citizens for Tax Justice. Their analysis shows that more than sixty percent of Bush's proposed tax cuts would go to the best-off 10 percent of Americans.
Bush also calls for eliminating federal estate taxes.
Social Services Funding: "If a charity is helping the needy, it should not matter if there is a rabbi on the board, or a cross or a crescent on the wall, or a religious commitment in the charter. The days of discriminating against religious groups just because they are religious are coming to an end."
Welfare: "Help more welfare recipients achieve independence through work." "Increase the welfare-to-work resources available for families." "Protect children and strengthen families." "Empower states and local governments with a new Ticket to Independence initiative with new flexibility to more effectively move people from welfare dependency to work."
Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman today responded to the President’s State of the Union address citing its lack of real solutions for real children left behind in the present economic downturn. The President offered his agenda to move America forward by accelerating his $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest citizens and eliminating the stock dividend tax for millionaires in his $674 billion economic plan.
BIPAC strongly supports President Bush.
Security & Terrorism: Established the department of Homeland Security. The mission of that department of Homeland Security is to: "Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; Reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism; and Minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur." Bush initiatives include "Operation TIPS (Terrorist Information and Prevention System): Allows millions of American transportation workers, postal workers, and public utility employees to identify and report suspicious activities linked to terrorism and crime."
Foreign Affairs: Has asked for a received Congressional backing to attack Iraq.
President George W. Bush was ready to act unilaterally against Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell said. "The president will retain all of his authority and options to act in a way that may be appropriate for us to act unilaterally to defend ourselves," Powell said. - September 9, 2002
Bush favors school vouchers. Bush said at a Whitehouse celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the National Catholic Educational Association. "The initiative has a simple goal, yet it's a profound goal: To help more parents send their children to the school that is best for them, no matter what kind of school it is."
The Whitehouse says, "The No Child Left Behind Act enables America's public schools to receive record levels of funding from the federal government, and creates unprecedented levels of accountability to ensure that those funds are producing real results to help every child in America receive a quality education."
Some Republicans praise the "No Child Left Behind Act", while critics have argued that the funding increases that Bush touts aren't nearly enough to cover the costs of the new requirements, including the expense of creating tests and processing their results.
The Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates sharply criticized President Bush's signature education program Friday, calling the No Child Left Behind Act an unfunded mandate that threatens to undermine the state's own efforts to improve students' performance. The act "represents the most sweeping intrusions into state and local control of education in the history of the United States" and will cost "millions of dollars that Virginia does not have," the resolution says. In passing the resolution 98-1, Virginia lawmakers loudly echoed concerns in other states about the effects of No Child Left Behind, which became law in 2002.
"We agree with the whole idea of standards and accountability, but it isn't being funded the way everybody thought it would be," Sandra Feldman, president of the American Federation of Teachers. "An increase that is billions short of what you need to carry out the mandates just doesn't do it."
Healthcare: "I ask Congress to join me this year to enact a patients' bill of rights to give uninsured workers credits to help buy health coverage to approve an historic increase in the spending for veterans' health and to give seniors a sound and modern Medicare system that includes coverage for prescription drugs." - State of the Union Jan 2003.
The Bush administration said in a statement that it was ``unequivocally opposed to the cloning of human beings either for reproduction or for research.''
Social Security: As a candidate Bush said, "Retirement security also depends upon keeping the commitments of Social Security, and we will. We must make Social Security financially stable and allow personal retirement accounts for younger workers who choose them."
After his 2003 State of the Union message and budget announcements, congressional Democrats criticized the president's plan for returning the nation to deep budget deficits and failing to shore up Social Security. "Instead of offering the nation a plan for long-term economic prosperity, the Bush budget burdens us, and our children, with trillions of dollars of new debt." -Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), ranking Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee
Illicit Drugs: "You sponsor drug education programs, and youth summits, and parent training courses. You support drug intervention programs, and foster great counseling services. You're helping to build a culture of responsibility, one that respects the law, one that teaches our children right from wrong, and one that strengthens our commitments to our fellow citizens." "The (Bush) Administration will empower parents, and community and faith-based groups to fight drugs." "Drug courts are an effective and cost efficient way to help non-violent drug offenders commit to a rigorous drug treatment program in lieu of prison. By leveraging the coercive power of the criminal justice system, drug courts can alter the behavior of non-violent, low-level drug offenders through a combination of judicial supervision, case management, mandatory drug testing, and treatment to ensure abstinence from drugs, and escalating sanctions."
Trade: As a candidate in 2000 Bush said, "I would be a free trading president". However, as President he implemented various trade restrictions and tariffs. In late 2003, he narrowly averted an all-out trade war with the European Union, Japan and other countries by removing duties on imported steel that have been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization.
Ex-felons' Voting Rights: Bush embraced only the general principles of the 105-page study (an election-reform report) headed by former Presidents Ford and Carter. His press secretary, casting the president as a reformer, voiced support for several but not all of the panel's recommendations. In the report, states were asked to restore voting rights to convicted felons who have served full sentences. Bush backs the provision, aides said, noting that he signed legislation as governor of Texas moving up voting eligibility for felons.
Gun Policy: If the NRA could pick a candidate, it would undoubtedly be George W. Bush. He has been a strong ally of the organization in Texas. - The Economist, Issues 2000 special Sep 30, 2000.
However, Bush supported the extension of the assault weapons ban - a position that has put him in opposition to the NRA and has left many guns owners angry and dumbfounded. "This is a president who has been so good on the Second Amendment that it's just unbelievable to gun owners that he would really sign the ban," said Grover Norquist, a leading conservative and an NRA board member who opposes the nationwide ban on semiautomatic assault weapons.
Abortion Policy: Planned Parenthood site says, "George W. Bush is systematically working to gut reproductive freedom in the U.S. and around the world."
Carol Tobias, NRL PAC Director wrote in 2000, "The National Right to Life Committee, expressing appreciation for his strong and consistent pro-life position, has endorsed Texas Governor George W. Bush to be the next President of the United States."
Environmental Policy: Then Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush's positions and actions on environmental issues earned him the label of the 'weakest choice' by the League of Conservation Voters. January 14, 2000 (This while the several others were still viable candidates.)
Minority Issues: NAACP board chairman Julian Bond, denounced Mr. Bush. He has "appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing, and he picked Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection," Bond said. For the nation's top law enforcement officer, Bond said Mr. Bush chose "a man who doesn't believe in many of the civil rights laws he's sworn to enforce affirmative action, racial profiling, hate crimes, voting rights."
Civil Liberties: The American Civil Liberties Union is generally critical of the Bush administration. Comments include: "The White House is again talking out of both sides of its mouth," said LaShawn Warren, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "The President loves to opine about his ‘commitment to racial justice’ but, at practically every turn, he backs policies that contradict his stated convictions. His position spells disaster for racial equality in America."
This new faith-based bill would both further legitimize the President’s misguided initiative and promote taxpayer-funded religious discrimination, said Christopher Anders, an ACLU Legislative Counsel.
georgewbush.com - Campaign website http://www.whitehouse.gov - Many Issues http://www.childrensdefense.org/release030129.php - Response to Bush State of the Union ABC News - Bush budget Daily Press -- Va. GOP asks to opt out of NCLB wkrc.com -- Ohio Education Department Analyzes "No Child Left Behind" Costs http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=6700958&BRD=1719&PAG=461&dept_id=25271&rfi=6 - Sen. Durbin's comments on educational funding. http://tspweb02.tsp.utexas.edu/webarchive/08-01-01/01080103_s02_Lukewarm.html - Ex-felons voting www.concordcoalition.org - The Concord Coalition NPR.org - NPR deficit spending http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-2439694,00.html - Cloning www.atr.org - Americans for Tax Reform www.ntu.org - National Taxpayers Union www.childrensdefense.org - The Children's Defense Fund www.bipac.org - Business-Industry Political Action Committee www.nra.org - The National Rifle Association www.gunfree.org - The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence www.plannedparenthood.org - Planned Parenthood www.nrlc.org - National Right to Life Committee www.lcv.org - League of Conservation Voters www.enn.com/enn-news-archive/2000/01/01142000/lcvcandidates_9077.asp - LCV profile Bush http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/07/07/politics/main300283.shtml - NACCP leader comments on Bush www.naacp.org - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People http://forums.aclu.org/messageview.cfm?catid=61&threadid=2996 - ACLU leaders comments on Bush http://www.aclu.org/ReligiousLiberty/ReligiousLiberty.cfm?ID=11730&c=37 - ACLU leaders comments on Bush www.aclu.org - American Civil Liberties Union www.vote-smart.org - Vote-Smart.org