Bush burns his last remaining bridges

As President Bush and Congress packed up to take the rest of the month off, he suggested that he’s interested in proposing another corporate tax cut.

Bush also said he would veto the highly popular bipartisan bill reauthorizing the children’s health program. He said he opposes a 5-cent-per-gallon increase in gasoline taxes to set up a trust fund to repair thousands of crumbling bridges in the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. He shrugged off the nation’s mortgage woes, indicating the market will take care of the credit crunch and the escalating rate of foreclosures.

Bush is clearly not intending to run for any elective office, ever again.

Supporters may cheer his refusal to be dispirited by low polls, a war that is going badly, a world full of foreigners who distrust him, an uncertain economy and a plummeting stock market. But a lot more people — six out of 10 Americans — are unnerved by his unfettered optimism.

In a pre-vacation press conference, Bush extolled the economy, saying his tax cuts expanded the economy by $1.9 trillion. He did not say that he is adding $1.4 billion a day to the national debt, which now totals nearly $9 trillion, up from $5.6 trillion when Bush took office.

Bush said that in the past four years the nation has added 8.3 million jobs.

He did not say that the number of persons unemployed by job loss is increasing and the number of unemployed workers not actively looking for work has increased because they believe there are no jobs available for them at their skill or salary level.

Asked about falling house prices and the mortgage market, which is sinking some huge firms, Bush said that he is opposed to any kind of bailout for lenders or homeowners struggling to hold onto their homes. He said those who lose their homes should be given “empathy” and that the federal government should make sure that those getting mortgages are financially literate and know what they are signing.

Asked then if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be permitted to buy mortgages beyond their current limits or play a role to revive the mortgage-finance business, Bush said Congress should reform those two institutions first and then he’d think about it. That was essentially a “no.”

But then, asked if corporations are not already making enough money, he confirmed that he is interested in the idea of cutting corporate tax rates if the U.S. tax structure “makes it harder for businesses to compete” globally. He acknowledged that changing the tax code is not easy, but was still considering the proposal.

And then he said that he opposes a bill pending in Congress to close a loophole that now enables many of the nation’s richest people — managers of private-equity and hedge funds and real estate partnerships who earn millions a year through so-called “carried interest” — to pay much lower taxes than normal wage earners pay.

Such a loophole was put in place to accommodate business partnerships, he said, adding, “We’re very, very hesitant about trying to target one aspect of limited partnerships for fear of the spillover it’ll have in affecting small-business growth. And we don’t support that.”

In other words, yes, some multimillionaires do not have to pay the same tax rates as other people, but even though that’s not fair, that’s the way it is.

With the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and a budget from Congress still far away, Bush is vowing to veto spending bills that he does not like. For example, he repeatedly has said he opposes expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, already passed by both the House and the Senate.

The popular SCHIP program provides health care for low-income children.

Democrats have called the bill the “crown jewel” of their agenda, and 18 Republican senators voted for it, seeking to finance $35 billion for it over five years with higher tobacco taxes.

The new spending in Bush’s $2.9 trillion proposed budget would go mainly for the war in Iraq and the military, veterans affairs, foreign affairs and homeland security. Critics charge Bush’s plan would cut Medicare, Medicaid, energy-efficiency development, education, medical research, environmental protection, housing and law enforcement. If Democrats push through $205 billion over five years to fund these programs, Bush charges it would be the biggest tax increase in U.S. history.

Better instead, according to the president, to give corporations another tax break and let Wall Street fat cats keep low taxes on $200 million annual windfalls.

The president is off to party in Kennebunkport and cut brush and relax in Texas. Members of Congress, who have done little this year but squabble with each other and the White House, are off to vacation and visit their constituents at county and state fairs. Maybe when they all return, they’ll come back with enough common sense to know we’re fed up. But probably not.

(Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters has covered the White House and national politics since 1986. Email amcfeatters(at)nationalpress.com.)

29 Responses to "Bush burns his last remaining bridges"

  1. Syona  August 12, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Bush is clearly not intending to run for any elective office, ever again.

    Gee, do ya think so?!
    Yes, it’s obvious he’s no longer concerned with such mundanities of political life as popularity, along with the ones he’s always spurned, like integrity, honesty and competence.

    Why? Isn’t it obvious?
    He doesn’t plan on *leaving* office, ever again.

    Think about it, the only thing protecting him at present is executive privilege. Once he leaves office, his ass is grass. Criminal charges are likely, treason is a definite possibility.

    Granted, he has that nice little ranch in South America, where the USA doesn’t have an extradition treaty, and a few hundred hand-picked troops to keep him safe…

    But I doubt that ‘King’ George is done yet with America. I rather think that the elections are going to be a moot point. Look for a nice October Surprise, or a rather late Xmas present…

    Syona.
    Subversives ‘R’ Us
    Cogito ergo periculosus,
    [ I think, therefore I'm dangerous ].

  2. Bill Robinson  August 11, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Bush may run again, unopposed. He might just suspend all elections and declare himself King, oops, no, I mean “President for Life.”

    If Nixon could be ressurected, there might be hope for Bush. Of course all Nixon did was lie about the break-in at the Watergate, and cover up everything he could as much as he could.

    Look at Regan, there are many calling that dolt a great president. Hell, if Regan can be called a great president, there is a possibility that Bush might run for some office (Lord High Executioner???)–all he would need to do is to follow the Yellow Brick Road and find a brain.
    Bill Robinson

  3. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 11, 2007 at 11:58 am

    I’ve been saying that…

    …for sometime now – how do we know the Dumbass SOB is going to abdicate his throne come January 2009? -

    …after all, we all KNOW his opinion of that piece of paper called the CONSTITUTION -

    …I’m sure he could convince some of the US Attorney types – you know, the ones that serve at the whim of the king – to help him out on this little nagging issue -

    LFTL

  4. JudyB  August 11, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    Bush burns his remaining bridges??? You have got to be kidding..he may let our infrasructures crumble & fall..but trust me..he still has a lot of his own personal bridges he going to try and burn!

  5. Magginkat  August 11, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    “It’s obvious he never intends to seek office again”

    Thank heavens for small favours. If only his Mommy and Poppy had used whatever sense they may have had to prevent that catastrophe from ever seeking office to begin with. But then I guess that is asking for too much….sense and Bush in the same breath.

    I’m all for donating Air Force One to him to take him on a one way trip to Paraguay where he has a large ranch, where his buddy Kenny Boy is residing along with their long time friend Osama Bin Laden.

  6. Pablo  August 10, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Everybody is blaming the Democrats…
    But we knew when we voted these fools in they were really just spineless, lying republicrats. We wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of voting in a liberal majority (and Liberal is not a naughty word, by the way), althoughly oddly, if you talk to most people one-on-one they’ll agree with most liberal principles. The only reason the foolish Unitedstatesian people voted in a democratic Congressional majority is because over half of them are Hillary-style warmonger republicrats. Republican light.
    Yes, until elections are exclusively funded with taxpayer dollars and lobbying with $ is illegal, scum will continue to run for election. However, the people voted in the repugnicrats…the Unitedstatesian people voted them in, not the party. So, although the party as a whole has no spine nor principles (Besides the principle of obtaining lobbying and campaign $) this isn’t necessary the party’s fault.
    Take the presidential election for example, Kucinich and Gravel are truly excellent candidates just there for the taking. But what do the foolish people do?!? People frighten me! There are true progressive Democratic candidates out there but the people won’t vote them in because they believe the mainstream press and are too frightened to look outside their comfortable little boxes to take any risk in life. So history continues repeating…

  7. ekaton  August 11, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    “(and Liberal is not a naughty word, by the way)”

    Definition of “Liberal”

    lib•er•al

    Adjective

    1. Favoring political and social reforms tending towards democracy and personal freedoms for the individual; advocating reform or progress in education, religion, etc.

    2. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; not bigoted.

    3. Open to new ideas for progress; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

    4. Describing Democratic forms of government, as distinguished from monarchies, aristocracies, oligarchies, fascism, etc.

    – Kent Shaw

  8. BeeJay  August 10, 2007 at 10:47 am

    BeeJay

    Bush isn’t optimistic; he just doesn’t care what happens to any of us outside his “class.”

  9. acf  August 11, 2007 at 1:45 am

    Optimism is a poor choice of words for what he feels. This is a man who has never suffered failure in his life. By suffered failure, I mean lived with the consequences of not successfully completing anything on his own. Every time he’s run into trouble, someone, his father, his father’s political and business associates, someone has bailed him out, and not only made him whole, but provided him, if not those unfortunate to be involved with him, profits. With an upbringing like this, it’s no wonder that he has this outlook. This time, with Iraq, personal freedom, health care, the economy, etc, etc, we’re the ones to pick up the tab.

  10. Steve Horn  August 10, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Ahh hell – why help the poor or the unemployed when you can help the rich? Why invest in health and education when you can spend the money on trying to steal oil? Why fix the roads and bridges when you and others of your ilk get flown everywhere?

    And congress, if I’m reading recent history correctly, will do nothing but blow more hot air into our warming environment as the Democratic party prepares to lose the Presidential election in ’08 by giving us a ticket that cannot be elected.

    Peace

    Steve

  11. ekaton  August 10, 2007 at 11:17 am

    ” … as the Democratic party prepares to lose the Presidential election in ’08 by giving us a ticket that cannot be elected.”

    You got THAT right!! Hillary and Obama both want more H1B visas to give away American jobs to foreigners who will move here and work for half the going wage rate. Obama wants to nuke Pakistan. Hillary is a dyed in the wool globalist who wants to bring the USA down to third world living conditions.

    The only Democrats I could vote for would be Kucinich or Gravel and neither has a snowball’s chance of being nominated.

    I MIGHT vote for Ron Paul (R) if he is nominated but he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance either.

    I’m voting for the Green Party candidate. I don’t care if they nominate an earthworm, thats who I’m voting for.

    – Kent Shaw

  12. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 10, 2007 at 11:07 am

    And I guess we don’t…

    …want to help jump start OUR non-war based economy with highway bridge projects? -

    …at least he mastered the word liquidity on Thursday –

    …and I’ll master my liquid-ity this weekend – have a nice Pinot Noir calling me -

    LFTL

  13. ekaton  August 10, 2007 at 11:22 am

    “…want to help jump start OUR non-war based economy with highway bridge projects?”

    I recently read, somewhere, that 188 billion dollars would bring ALL bridges in the U.S. up to spec. Thats roughly the cost of one year of occupation in the Mid East, and yes, it would generate a large number of good paying jobs in the U.S., assuming CITIZENS are given those jobs, otherwise they would pay minimum wage or less.

    Pinot Noir!! Did you see the movie, “Sideways”? Great flick. I’ve seen it 3 or 4 times already. I love the speech the actor gives on the Pinot Noir grape.

    – Kent Shaw

  14. gene  August 10, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Now (LFTL) thats good “and I’ll master my liquid-ity this weekend – have a nice Pinot Noir calling me”…were you attempting to make a funny? If so, consider it a success. Had a pretty dam good chuckle on the pun. Thanks!!

  15. ekaton  August 11, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Oh, yeah, liquidity. Yesterday the Fed “added liquidity” to the banking system. $38 billion dollars of liquidity. Of course the media goes to great lengths to avoid the other half of the truth, which is that the Fed just printed $38 billion dollars, creating money out of thin air. All of this is mega inflationary. What a ride. And so it goes.

    Kent Shaw

  16. ekaton  August 10, 2007 at 11:11 am

    “Bush also said he would veto the highly popular bipartisan bill reauthorizing the children’s health program.”

    Heartless cretin.

    He said he opposes a 5-cent-per-gallon increase in gasoline taxes to set up a trust fund to repair thousands of crumbling bridges in the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

    I guess “the market” will take care of the crumbling infrastructure.

    “He shrugged off the nation’s mortgage woes, indicating the market will take care of the credit crunch and the escalating rate of foreclosures.”

    Of course the market will do so. And destroy many millions of people in the process. The market is amoral. So is Bush.

    “He said those who lose their homes should be given “empathy” and that the federal government should make sure that those getting mortgages are financially literate and know what they are signing.”

    Only an attorney can fully understand these contracts. Is he saying the federal government should send us all to law school?

    “With the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and a budget from Congress still far away, Bush is vowing to veto spending bills that he does not like. For example, he repeatedly has said he opposes expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, already passed by both the House and the Senate.”

    The best thing that could happen is that NO funding bills are passed and the government is forced to shut down. As for the SCHIP program, this would be a perfect opportunity for a congressional veto override. What a heartless cretin, born on third base with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    – Kent Shaw

  17. Steve Horn  August 10, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Ahh Kent – I think I’ve figured out the logic …

    1) drive the economy into the shitter
    2) drive unemployment through the roof
    3) keep the stock market healthy through foreign investment and minimal corporate taxes

    Now – people don’t have the money to drive anywhere SO you don’t need to fix the bridges.

    As for childrens health and education, we’ve got to keep the poor DOWN man – so we can have more bodies to fill those green bodybags coming back from Iraq and other theaters where “the war on terrorisim” is playing.

    All in all it’s become quite obvious, group posing the greatest danger to the American way of life is the Democratic party – in ’06 we sent them to congress with a clear mandate for change and they’ve seen fit to do nothing. The most dangerous individual as far as American freedom goes, however, is “W” – a clear threat to our way of life – and obviously the leader of Pelousy and her co-horts – as they bend to his every request.

    Now if the above doesn’t make me a “person of interest” in the eyes of the administration, nothing will!

    Peace

    Steve

    By the way, Georgie isn’t a “Heartless cretin” – he’s a compassionate conservative …. ;=)

  18. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 10, 2007 at 11:31 am

    If only we would diversify…

    …but he’s gonna keep burying his head in the Iraqi sands – if only he’d set foot there and fight HIS war -

    …I mean, with the housing market tanking, roads and bridges would be a good start – but this bully just starts shit -

    …guess Haliburton and The Carlyle Group don’t have enough interests in THOSE kind of companies -

    …as for Sideways – no, I haven’t BUT let the record note, I was drinking Pinot Noir before it became ‘cool’ -

    LFTL

  19. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 10, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Once again Steve…

    …you have summed it up well -

    …silly me didn’t realize how well Dumbass had things so worked out -

    …and can’t forget all the jobs he’s created -

    …yes, jobs that require four shifts a day to make ends meet -

    …and the last time I looked, there were only three shifts to a day -

    LFTL

  20. kanawah  August 10, 2007 at 11:59 am

    The shrub is a worthless sack of %$^&.

    Between him and the obstructionist republi’scums’ in the senate, nothing will be accomplished until 2009.

    I only hope there is something left to save by then.

    Most of the previous tax cuts need to be repealed, and we do not need any more welfare for the rich programs.

    As to schips, hopefully enough of the obstructionist will get an ear full while they are out doing nothing to realize the fool occupying the white house is now irrelevant.

  21. ekaton  August 11, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    “Most of the previous tax cuts need to be repealed, and we do not need any more welfare for the rich programs.”

    Welfare for the rich? You mean like the $15 BILLION yearly in TAX CREDITS to the oil industry that posted record profits last year amounting to something like $120 BILLION? Tax credits, don’t forget are not a deduction, they are subtracted from the final tax bill. You mean that kind of welfare for the rich?

    Kent Shaw

  22. gene  August 10, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    “compassionate conservative”..Bush?….Hmmmmm..Steve I think you might be somewhat misstaken here. Personnally I rate Bush somewhere between a septic tank overflow and this dam hemorrhoid I been attempting to shrink for the past month.

  23. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 10, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Gene – was your monitor’s

    …sarcasm filter on? -

    LFTL

  24. gene  August 10, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    Of course!!! (LFTL)…I was just playing along. Don’t go getting sensitive on me, have another glass of wine.

    Hmmm..think I will too and do I hear “my love” calling….yes, I beleive I do. Ativan “my darling”…I here you!!

  25. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 11, 2007 at 1:51 am

    Thank you –

    …I will – a very nice Greek white -

    …Saturday will be the Pinot Noir -

    …enjoy your darling Clementine! -

    LFTL

  26. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 10, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    Come on Gene…

    …what do you think? -

    …there usually is a method to my madness -

    …unlike George The 43rd -

    …glad I could accommodate ya! -

    LFTL

  27. JoshuasGrandma  August 10, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    “It’s obvious he never intends to seek office again.”

    And with those kind of decisions, he doesn’t care if any other Republicans do either. He got his and the hell with everybody else. No wonder Bush41 is a ‘sad embittered old man’ – look what he let loose on the world – he should have used a condom!

  28. ekaton  August 10, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    “By the way, Georgie isn’t a “Heartless cretin” – he’s a compassionate conservative …. ;=)”

    Oh… yeah… I forgot for a moment… sorry… and, for sure, he really IS “a uniter, not a divider”.

    No chit, mon!

    Kent Shaw

  29. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 11, 2007 at 1:55 am

    By George…

    …I think he’s got it! -

    …uniter…decider…chimp in charge…emperor without clothes…president dammit -

    …nice to see Gene’s Clementines made it to your neck of the woods Kent! -

    …where do you want the wine sent? -
    LFTL

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