Catholic Citizen

faith informs life

Bush era coming to a close – but maybe not soon enough?

As the world’s economies reportedly teeter on the edge of collapse after the resounding “NO”  by House Republicans to the hurriedly revised plan presented to the House for a vote, it seems an appropriate end to the GW Bush administration.  The American people have continued to function under the circumstances of 9/11, years of useless wars, and dropping economic values amid constant lies and misrepresentations up and down the chain of command.  It seems as though to participate in any position in the Bush administration one had to start with the requirement of having bad character. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, Libby – many others.

As a Christian, it hurts me that this came from a man who claimed to be a “born-again” Christian, saved from alcoholism and a purposeless life. This President, who sent the highly respected General Colin Powell to the UN to falsely assure the world that Iraq was an imminent danger to itself and others, now asks us to believe that if we don’t double the already massive debt this nation faces for generations to come, economic disaster will result.  Not even his own party believes him anymore.  One would expect that many Democrats would vote against his plan, but the fact is that his party gave him an overwhelming “NO” when told “We must do this or the country will fall into depression.”

A day after the most precipitous drop in the market in one day ever, the market has regained half of what it lost yesterday at this writing.  Does the market need a bailout or not?  We are told the only way that this will work if almost a trillion dollars is used to buy up bad mortgages.  And because of these bad mortgages, the “credit market” has “frozen.”  Now no one can get a loan.  Small business can’t get short term loans to make payroll, so people will need to be laid off.  (The economy has already lost a record number of jobs this year.)

So what kind of a finale can our President come up with?  How about declaring emergency martial law, dissolving the Congress, nationalizing all banks and financial institutions?  Is it possible that this is an attempt to put the country into such massive debt that many of the “social programs” on the Obama agenda can never be implemented, locking up domestic policy as he has tried to do with foriegn policy?  Is it just a money grab by him and his cronies on the way out the door?

This is what happens when the bond of trust between a government and it’s people is broken.  After 9/11, the people would have accepted the decisions of our leaders no matter what they said needed to be done.  And so this President led us down the wrong road, and as he leaves office, he leaves our relationship as a country with Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, Russia and many others in much worse shape than he found it.  He leaves our monetary situation as a government in much worse shape than he found it.  The cultural wars that he and his supporters stirred up have divided the country in a way never seen before.  There is no trust between the government and its citizens, the right and the left.  We are no longer a country united with a common purpose defined by a Constitution.  The Constitution has been denigrated and trampled on by this administration.  We the people have become party to torture.  Perhaps a million Iraqis have died in the name of “freedom and democracy.”  More Americans have died than in Vietnam.

And now the working people, who work for less and less, if work can be found at all, as more and more jobs are moved overseas to maximize corporate profit, are supposed to take on the failures of these same corporations in the form of a $700 billion bailout?  Can we at least force these Corporate Masters of the Universe to “re-create” some jobs in this country?  Can this country start producing “something” that it can export beside exporting our jobs?

Maybe we should restart the “Always Buy American” campaign of years ago.  I know it would be hard to find all the things we need made in America.  I understand there are no American shoes anymore.  I wonder if the Garment Workers Union still has any living members?  Do they still make steel in Pittsburg, Buffalo or Gary?  Are any car parts actually made here anymore, or do we assemble them in Mexico?  Are their any family farms left, or has all the land been sold to foreign agribusiness corporations?  Are any computers made in this country, or all they all imported from China?  Are there any corporations that actually open manufacturing plants in America left?  Or are we supposed to bail out these millionaires and billionaires while working in the “service industry” for $12 an hour?  Or has America itself been outsourced?

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September 8, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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