Charles Murray's WSJ op-ed
on the deceit behind Bush's No Child Left Behind combined with Bill Buckley's recent de-certification
of Bush as a conservative got me thinking whether there is anything in this administration's record that is positive. The Afghanistan campaign was certainly a bright spot, but the quagmire next door has allowed the situation there to deteriorate recently. Beyond that, is there anything even close?
His tax cuts have been followed by a rather tepid recovery, featuring lots of new government jobs, service-sector jobs for immigrants and Sarbanes-Oxley jobs for accountants driven by corporate scandals. The tax cuts no doubt helped people keep their spending up, but the clear beneficiary there has been China. There's no sign that they have led to any significant capital investment. Meanwhile our trade deficit is hideously large - and this is one deficit that we most certainly don't "owe to ourselves."
Far from reforming Social Security - a political failure - he perpetrated one of the most fiscally irresponsible acts in history by pushing through an inefficient and poorly thought out prescription drug plan. That program will surely have to be scrapped once the bills start coming due. And since foreign interests own much of our treasury securities, this is most unsettling.
While no one expected him to push an environmentalist agenda, he has failed to enact any kind of energy poliy because his only approach was to have the energy industry write on for him. He has ceased (except for some recent politically-expedient activity) to enforce our borders, allowing millions to invade our country during his presidency. He has promoted a vision of the presidency as an office that is above the law, not beholden to congressional authority - a very dangerous precedent.
The ill will he has created abroad is unfortunately exacerbated by his lack of success in pursuing his agenda. Ignoring the debacle in Iraq, we now have a very hostile Iran and an out of control situation in Leganon. The world sees the U.S. as a puppet of Israel - an image that is hard to refute as we helplessly watch the country of Lebanon being wrecked over a couple of kidnapped soldiers.
I don't know - I must be in a particularly bad mood because I can't think of anything that this administration can point to proudly right now. What am I forgetting?