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State Of The Union


righturnonred

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righturnonred,

I think President Bush delivered the speech better this year than in the past. He looked Presidential. The war on terror was good and his plan to give income tax credits for catastrophic health insurance was good, but there was too much pork barreling-Bush is pretending he's FDR or something. Even prisoners are getting New Deal projects. This is driving his Republican core nuts. There were some good things about catastrophic health insurance being entirely income tax deductible and he took a poke at litigation reform. There was a notable abscence of any mention of NASA and Mars...BUT...I agree that quick little hop and skip about immigration left a queazy pit in my stomach.

1. Did you read the Victor Davis Hanson piece in WSJ?

He's a neo-con and he canned the plan. I just heard him interviewed on streaming audio on the Laura Ingraham show tonight and Hanson said this proposal does more harm than even ignoring the problem. Hanson was very upset. He's a prof at Stanford now but he lived in the Central Valley of California and has seen the illegal issue from up close.

The case against Bush's plan, VDH, Wall Street Journal, Jan.19/04

2. Here are some other articles that make me crazy. That corrupt free loader Vincente Fox will be sending his Mexican senators to DC to "work closely" with the US Congress to see this pandering proposal get passed. When in US history has a President ever allowed the gov't of another nation to be joined at the hip with US elected politicians re: prospective federal legislation? It's like Bush is allowing Vinnie to highjack the US gov't. This shameful.

Mexican senate pushes for approval of migration agreement in United States, Jan.19/04

3. Here's another article on the border guards:

Border Agents rip Bush's plan Jan.20/04

It's a smokescreen for an amnesty that will please Mexican President Vicente Fox and may win Bush some Latino votes this year, said T.J. Bonner, head of the union representing Border Patrol agents, the 10,000-member National Border Patrol Council.

Bonner said that, if passed, the new law would jeopardize border security by ushering a massive onslaught of illegal crossers attracted by the prospect of easy access to jobs, a prospect he said was likely to be exaggerated in Mexico by word of mouth.

What's more, he said, the plan was "a slap in the face" to Border Patrol agents who have done their duty in a steady buildup in operations since the mid-1990s that has still failed to halt illegal immigration, he said.

"It's demoralizing to be out there every day risking your life and then they come out with this thing," Bonner said. "All the times you've been assaulted, shot at — it doesn't mean anything."

Some agents would likely quit if the law were passed, he said.If the president truly wanted to solve the immigration quandary, he'd go after employers who exploit illegal workers, Bonner said... the National Immigration and Naturalization Service Council supports Bonner's group, and it has concerns about a flood of permanent residency applications by workers entering the program.

The present national backlog of such applications already exceeds 6 million. The government faces a nightmare if it plans to handle millions more applications with its current staff or with contract employees, said Charles Showalter, a council spokesman.

4. Also, another article in LA Times by Heather Macdonald:

Sanctuary Laws stand in Justice's Way, LA Times, Jan.19/04

5. Also, here's a peek at how overwhelmed the INS is already, never mind the extra burden of guest worker permits:

Real Cost of Bush's Immigration Plan, Capitol Hill Blue

The massive cost of President Bush's proposed changes to the nation's immigration system is an important aspect of the debate over recognizing illegal workers that has been largely ignored in the debate over the proposal this week. The U.S. General Accounting Office released findings Thursday that show the federal agency that oversees immigration applications[CIS Citizenship & Immigration Services] has a massive backlog and is inadequately funded to meet existing, much less increased demand.

In a Jan. 5 letter to the top members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, GAO reports that from fiscal 2001 through 2003, the agency's operating costs exceeded the fees collected from applicants by almost $460 million.

The audit agency also reports that CIS has not met the goal, set in March 2002, of a 6-month processing time for immigration applications and that the agency has no system to track the status of individual applications as they move through the process. CIS has not even performed an analysis of the steps needed to reduce processing times.

But most important is the fact that despite a funding increase of $80 million annually starting in 2002, the number of pending applications had increased by 59 percent, or more than more than 2.3 million to around 6.2 million by Sept. 30, 2003, the end of the fiscal year.

In addition, the full costs of the agency's operations cannot be determined because analyses of the costs to process incoming and pending applications as well as administrative and overhead costs have yet to be completed.

Although Bush has proposed that immigration recognition include a fee and a penalty, this makes it impossible to see if those fees will cover the increased costs to the agency.

Some critics contend the program would not result in a massive influx of applications from illegal workers or Mexicans seeking work north of their border, they can already, after all, get jobs here without paying a federal penalty.

I think Bush is VERY foolish for going to the wall on this illegal alien issue for Vinnie and Big Business.

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Morgan, there is another thread on the Amnesty question re Immigration.

I will reply to you on that thread on those issues.

Re the SN address - Bush hit the high themes that will sweep him to victory.

It appears that the Dumbo's have figured out that 1. Dean IS an idiot. 2. Clarke is a coward who can't fight wars and knows nothing of economics and 3. It is NOT the economy stupid.

Bush hit the major themes well, and if he stays on message will easily win reelection.

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Re: the state of the union, no surprises there, really. A little surprised he didn't reiterate the Mars plan...

Genuine question: Why privatize Social Security?

Like Morgan and RTOR, I was quite surprised that the immigration plan wasn't mentioned... that seems to be the biggest issue for him at the moment, and he doesn't mention it? What does it mean (if anything)? Maybe dropping the plan quietly... or trying to avoid attention...

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udawg,

Bush mentioned the immigration proposal in his address...about a paragraph's worth...40 seconds...no different than his other domestic plans.

Actually, I was surprised he DID mention it, because he's getting alot of flak even from neo-con conservatives who are usually in step with him.

Mars...I'm not whether it was because he thought he might cause a massive collective heart attack in his Republican party caucus because of his other big ticket plans. Bush is really under the gun with party loyalists for being such a big spender.

Here's another negative take on Bush's guest worker plan this morning on FOX News online site by an experienced immigration lawyer, Matt Hayes.Nasty.

Bush Amnesty Plan Threatens the US Economy, Jan.21/04, Matt Hayes, FOX News

Three weeks ago there was no one among Republican voters who would have said that fixing the problem of illegal immigration to the U.S. meant granting amnesty to an estimated eight million illegal aliens, the majority of whom have entered the U.S. without a visa by walking across our border with Mexico.

But that is precisely what President Bush said last week he intends to do, as he posed for pictures before a Mexican flag in Monterrey, Mexico. To his left was Mexican President Vicente Fox who -- in an even more alarming image -- was framed by the Stars and Stripes as he smiled for the cameras.  Americans should get used to scenes like this, and all they portend.

Despite an enormous backlash from core Republican voters, conservative groups and a growing number of Congressional Republicans, the Bush administration seems determined to curry favor with Hispanic voters, and has chosen an immigration amnesty as the means to achieve that. 

The President has said repeatedly that what he proposes is not an amnesty, though by the accepted definition it is precisely that, and more. An amnesty is a general pardon granted by a government for a past offense. Crossing a U.S. border without a visa is a misdemeanor under federal law, and reentering the U.S. after a prior order of deportation is a felony. Under Bush’s proposal, these crimes will not be prosecuted, and that means it is an amnesty. But Bush goes on to offer the perpetrators visas and work permits, so it is not entirely accurate to call the Bush proposal an amnesty. It is an amnesty with an awards program.

The Bush Amnesty will certainly have effects on our economy if it ever comes to pass, because what the president actually proposes is to end the unskilled and semi-skilled labor market in America. 

First, there is no cap on the number of illegal aliens in the U.S., or aliens outside the U.S., who would be allowed into the country, provided they could find some form of employment.

Any employer in any area of business -- no matter how difficult or hazardous the work -- could decide to open a new business, or lower wages in an existing business, to federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour and wait for citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply. When none do, the employer could then order up the needed workers from anywhere in the world.

Under the Bush amnesty, we could see a crew of Saudis cleaning nuclear reactors for $35.20 each per day.That should make clear just how calculated a political move the Bush proposal is.

Then consider that at the moment, approximately nine million Americans are unemployed. The majority of them once occupied unskilled and semi-skilled jobs.

Since 1997, when the National Academy of Sciences conclusively linked immigration and the depression of wages of unskilled and semi-skilled American workers, it has been beyond argument that an ever-increasing number of Americans compete directly with legal and illegal immigrants for jobs.  (The NAS showed that immigrants taking the jobs of Americans without a high school diploma lowered prevailing wages by between 40 to 50 percent.)

While a responsible steward of the economy might crack down on unethical U.S. employers that commit the felony of hiring illegal aliens, this president seems to think even greater slack is needed in the unskilled labor market and he is prepared to inject into that market an additional eight million or more people.

When Republicans voted for Bush in 2000, they expected to get a president who would uphold the law, not change it in an ill-advised attempt to garner a few more votes. California’s last governor lost his job in part because core Democrat voters instantly saw his decision to grant illegal aliens driver’s licenses for what it was: blatant ethnic pandering in exchange for votes. In November, Republican voters may be faced with a similar choice.  

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i think bush is one step up from green algea on the intelligence scale, but the weeks of preperation and practice paid off. it was his most reasonable speech to date. but then again, most people i know could speak like that given all the training his guy has had in 3 years.

its just propaganda anyways, the reality is day to day life.

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its just propaganda anyways, the reality is day to day life.

Agree to that... I have never understood the point behind having a state of the union address, other than just one more opportunity for the president to inflict his views (or those of his advisors) on the American public.

Actually, it's alot like a campaign speech. Alot of promises, very little actual substance. Kinda like, we'll see what he actually does...

The state of the union address, if it were to be true to it's name, would be comprehensive review of the past year, including successes and failures. It could still be given by the President, but could provide a time for him to acknowledge mistakes in unison with all the propaganda. Then the public would actually learn the "state of the union", not just hear a sanctioned campaign speech.

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Funny how Bush loves to dictate his speeches but, never answers questions on all of the bull he throws out there.

Anyone can get out there and tell you of all the good things but, a true leader would come out and take questions cause he HAS NOTHING TO HIDE!!!

State of the Union made me sick to my stomach, another speech misleading the American public.....pure deception by this administration!

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  • Forum Admin

Cut the petty insults out. The next person to use the words "dumbocrud", "dumbocrat" or "idiot" will be rewarded with a one week suspension from the MLW forums.

I'm getting really tired of this childish behaviour.

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Bush violated his oath at least 3 times when he addressed the nation. giving work permits to illegal immigrants,telling the Judiciary they have no right to review laws that congress passes.The Constitution gives the Judiciary that right.The marriage B.S. there no benefit to marriage other than it pleases the church. You can't get medicare ifyou're married,no SSI if married.So remind me again why a person needs to marry. Oh yeh the Bush administration is guilty of Malfeasance for violating his oath of office.

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  • 2 weeks later...
telling the Judiciary they have no right to review laws that congress passes.The Constitution gives the Judiciary that right

He's refering to the unconstitutional practice of judical legislation in which liberal activist judges essentally make law from the bench while circumventing the legislature all together. He's saying that if the people want gay marriage, then congress will pass a law. It's not up to individual judges to determine the will of the people. At least 2/3 of Americans are opposed to gay marriage.

There is an entire thread on this subject regarding the abuses of power by US 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.

9th Circuit At It Again

The marriage B.S. there no benefit to marriage other than it pleases the church.

Marriage is the foundation of a healthy society and is essential to raising children effectively for starters. Legally yes, there are too many penalties on marriage, and thats why Bush wants to remove those obsticles to promote marriage because he understands how socially important it is.

You can't get medicare ifyou're married, no SSI if married.

That's ridiculous, of course you can. In fact, you benifit more through marriage.

2004 Medicare Co-Payments & Eligibility Guidelines

It's incredible how misinformed you are on a whole range topics.

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I thought that the Dictator himself, George W. Bush tried again to mislead the American public. He loves to tell half the story, the part that sounds good.

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, quoted an old joke concerning misconsceptions such as the State of the Union:

"Someone once asked M. Gorbechev to define the Soviet Economy in ONE word and he responded, 'GOOD.' Then he was asked to define it in TWO words and he responded, 'NOT GOOD.'"

That's exactly what Bush is doing!

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You look like a fool when you use terms like Dictator to describe Bush. I don't even know why I respond to your posts. Then again, why are you even allowed to post here? Shouldn't you be out on a street corner with a sandwich board getting laughed at?

The economy is coming back on line after a recession caused by mostly cyclical factors among other things. You understand nothing about business.

Friedman by the way, who has a first graders understanding of economics, doesn't realize the obvious benefits of stimulating activity by reducing the tax burden on consumers and businesses. Government doesn't create jobs, businesses do.

Here's a challenge for you BMG: explain to me why tax cuts don't stimulate economic activity. And don't give me the "tax cuts for the rich" BS. All Americans recieve tax cuts that are proportional to the amount of taxes they pay to the federal government.

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Bush fits the Dictator role. He's perceived that way in many countries but, what would you know?

"Dictator" Bush

The economy went so far under with Bush, that all it can do is come up and you think that's a miracle or something that Bush is performing.

Jobs are a true indicator, not max. corporate profits as you Right Wingers like to think...that's a shame!

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Here's a challenge for you BMG: explain to me why tax cuts don't stimulate economic activity.

Of course they do stimulate economic activity, but they also have created a deficit. Where is the balance ?

The Bush administration sees a deficit of $527 Billion for 2004. If the tax cuts are to account for half of that, then that gives us $260 Billion extra in deficit.

Now... how many jobs can be created by spending $260 billion ?

5.2 million jobs at $50,000 per year.

The President predicted by the end of 2004 there would be 2.6 million new jobs created.

Washington Post

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"Dictator" Bush

I can't believe your making a reference to "Gulf newspapers" here. The press is free in that part of the world is it?

So, if Bush loses the election, does that mean he's going to dictate himself into office? Get serious.

The economy went so far under with Bush, that all it can do is come up and you think that's a miracle or something that Bush is performing.

Not at all. I think the tax cuts unquestionably helped make the recession shorter in duration, but as I made the point in previous posts, economic cycles are largely uncontrollable by the government.

In 2000, around the time that the recession began, the economy had been experiencing growth for 8-10 years. The economy could not sustain that level of growth indefinately so a natural correction occured. Now it is basically "time" for the economy to begin expanding at a faster rate again. This happens about every ten years like clockwork.

Fiscal policy enacted by the President and Congress, such as tax cuts, spending etc., has a negligible effect on the economy when compared to the influence of monetary policy controlled by the Federal Reserve and Greenspan, such as interest rates (cost of money).

A President's control over the economy is severely overrated and he recieves far too much credit or criticism that he deserves.

Jobs are a true indicator, not max. corporate profits.
Actually both are indicators. But employment is a lagging indicator, meaning that businesses typically milk productivity for as long as possible and invest in new equipment and infrastruture before hiring new labor. The labor market is starting to come on line now. Monster.com is even starting to advertise again.

Corporations employ millons of Americans. High profits mean higher wages and new jobs. Profit is good for everyone, not just CEOs. Ofcourse, if CEOs abuse their power, they should be stripped of everything and thrown in prison.

Since you didn't answer my last question, here's another one: What is it you think the President has done to cause the recession? Explain how what he did caused the recession.

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Corporations employ millons of Americans. High profits mean higher wages and new jobs. Profit is good for everyone, not just CEOs. Ofcourse, if CEOs abuse their power, they should be stripped of everything and thrown in prison.

I don't see why corporations would raise wages just because they're making more money. The labour market is in decline in several sectors.

Since you didn't answer my last question, here's another one: What is it you think the President has done to cause the recession? Explain how what he did caused the recession.

He shouldn't be blamed for causing the recession, but rather, he should be graded on his ability to steer the nation through it and hopefully out of it.

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Now... how many jobs can be created by spending $260 billion ?

5.2 million jobs at $50,000 per year.

I think that's an over simplification. The Government can't buy jobs. However, the government can spend money which can help create jobs.

Albiet the deficit it high, but the federal government is suppose to run a deficit during economic downturns. In that case, creating jobs and stimulating the economy is more important than maintaining a balanced budget because when the economy eventually grows, the deficit will shrink. This is how it happens historically.

Furthermore, budget deficits have never been shown to negatively influence interest rates. Right now for example, IR are at 40 year lows with the biggest deficit (present value) on record.

Granted, deficits are never good, but they're more of a symbolic political football than anything else.

The President predicted by the end of 2004 there would be 2.6 million new jobs created.

That prediciton may be off but no one can argue that the economy is headed in the right direction.

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I think that's an over simplification. The Government can't buy jobs. However, the government can spend money which can help create jobs.

Albiet the deficit it high, but the federal government is suppose to run a deficit during economic downturns. In that case, creating jobs and stimulating the economy is more important than maintaining a balanced budget because when the economy eventually grows, the deficit will shrink. This is how it happens historically.

Ok.

Furthermore, budget deficits have never been shown to negatively influence interest rates. Right now for example, IR are at 40 year lows with the biggest deficit (present value) on record.

Granted, deficits are never good, but they're more of a symbolic political football than anything else.

That's odd. They were certainly painted as being the root of all economic evils ten years or so ago.

But I'll remember your statment that they're more of a symbolic football.

That prediciton may be off but no one can argue that the economy is headed in the right direction.

I guess I'm wondering where the tax cut campaign will end. We've been cutting taxes (especially for the highest earners) since the Reagan administration.

Is the end goal 0 taxes ? Certainly we can't expect all users to pay for defense, healthcare, infrastructures and education.

IMO, the highest earners are getting too many benefits from this while average earners are seeing things get worse and worse. Often we find ourselves getting nostalgic for the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. These eras all had their booms and busts, but much of our societal infrastructure was built in this era - an era of higher tax rates for the highest earners.

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Righturned,

Funny how you and the administration have to defend the right wing position so much, evidently something isn't correct when you defend all of those positions and it gathers so much negativity.

I don't have to defend myself or my views and answer to you, I'm not the one that's defending anything!

Must be hard to come up with so much baloney to defend what's obviously and blatantly ridiculous.

Cutting taxes during war time, which happened to be unecessary and overdramitized along with underestimating (once again) Health Care by a significant 33%. If an estimator here at work miscalculated by that much (again) he would be fired on the spot!!

On the tax cut issue, is it correct to help someone in need, or someone not in need?

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Also, I notice that the US federal debt is estimated at about 6.5 trillion. So the debt will be boosted by .5 trillion in this year ?

CDN budget ~$CDN 180 billion

US budget ~$US 1.8 trillion

CDN debt ~$CDN 500 billion

US debt ~$ US 6.5 trillion

Their debt is something like 20X the size of ours, with an economy about 10X the size of ours.

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