Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Gov. George W. Bush Jr.

More Clinton Than Clinton

Let me state first off this isn't the best anti-Bush page on the web. It's doesn't even begin to cover everything that this man has done to destroy the state of Texas and it's schools. It's not even all that funny and most of what we have to say has been covered in better detail elsewhere. And yet, inspite of this, it still exists.

This page has a very deep and personal meaning to me. I lived in Arlington Texas, during the time of the events you will see described. I attended the public schools while this man was in office. I still live in Texas to this day. Therefore, I feel especially qualified to list the sins of this George W Bush Jr. I also feel it is my duty as a citizen who has suffered at the hands of this man to raise my voice in protest while I still can and rage against the dying of the light.

Part One: "A Wild Youth Until 40" or "Sex, Drugs and Hypocrisy"

First, let's talk over Bush's past. If you were to believe the image that Bush paints of himself, he was born in the heart of Texas to a family of simple means.

Well, not quite. While he did spend his childhood in Midland and Houston, but he was born in New Haven, Conneticut. He never mentions this though, claiming to be a Texan by birth. And as for a family of common means, there is a famous story about how he and his mother once got into an argument over a religious matter. They settled it by calling up their close friend Billy Grahmm. Additonally, Bush got his education at Andover Prep and then Yale. One has to question the Texanity of any man who would go to Yale over UT or A&M.

It was during his time at Yale that Bush developed a reputation as quite the party animal. Immediately below is a list of some of the more famous tales about George's youth. (Note: in some cases, the defintion of 'Youth' is greatly exageratted as per Bush's own definition of "young")

1.) Sex- There have been several (so far) unsubstantiated rumors as to Bush's having illigitmate children. When asked about this question Shrub has either dodged the question ("I refuse to play that game") or has given an answer that irrelevant to the question, like "My wife and I have had three children together."
Okay. You and your wife have had three children. Now how many have YOU had total?

Bush has also been accused, by Professor Bradford Lee, of the elite Naval War College in Newport, RI of having participated in cruel, sadistic and homoerotic faternity hazing practices back in college. According to the professor, Bush chased him, spanked him and made him bend over a desk with his pants down while he was branded like a pig with a triangle-shaped branding iron. He still has the scars, physical and emotional to this day.

2.) Drugs- Even before the campaign, George has harped on and on to young people about the importance of celibacy, sobriety and not experimenting with drugs. This directly conflicts everything that George himself has said about his past. Or rather, what he has not said. George holds the attitude that his past is unimportant. Well, we beg to differ. We think it is very important to know if our next president is a crack-smoking, goat-molesting, hard-drinking frat boy who has left behind a string of broken hearts and abandoned children. (NOTE: To be fair, there is no proof Bush has ever had an molested a goat...yet)

Of course we hardly need to mention Bush's dodginess when it comes to the issue of drug use. To this date (8/20/99) he is the only Presidential canidate to have refused to have taken the pledge of having never done cocaine.

Frankly, I think most people would not care if he has. After all, most of the people I know were more upset by Bill Clinton's lying about his affairs rather than the act of the affairs themselves. Similarly, Bush's continual refusal to admit to anything that might potray him less than perfect darkens his image in the minds of right-minded people anywhere.

In fact, it was on this date (8/20/99) that Bush said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News, that he could answer 'no' to the current question about illegal drug use that is asked on FBI background checks of administration appointees. That question asks prospective appointees whether they have used illegal drugs in the past seven years. This would be just a scant two years before he was elected governor.
But later that same day, at a press confrence, Bush said he could have passed the standards during his father's reign as President, when the FBI background check went back 15 years.
Even later that day, Bush spokeswoman Mindy Tucker later said the Bush has not used any illegal drugs in the last 25 years. By the end of that Thursday, Bush was back to his standard answer of having learned from his past mistakes.(1) For Gosh's sake, pick a story and stick with it!

Interestingly enough, drug use among minors in Texas has been growing since Bush has taken office as governor of Texas.

Part Two: Limits To Our Freedom

Even before hitting the campaign trail, Bush has shown himself to have a rather bizzare view of what rights we, as Americans have. Consider the following cases...

1) At a Republican rally in Round Rock, Texas, a reporter for radio station KJFK by the name of Alex Jones asked Bush a question pertaining to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission; organizations considered enemies of American sovereignty by many. On Mr. Bush's cue body guards swooped down, overpowering the reporter and TV producer Mike Hanson. Witnesses claim that as the two media members were handcuffed and carried away, the state police wondered out loud what law they could use to jail them. They were later released. (2)

2) As Governor of Texas, Bush Jr. has sent the state police to arrest peaceful demonstrators outside the Governor's Mansion and State Capitol. While previous Governors allowed peaceful protests on the sidewalks at both locations, Bush has claimed that they are blocking public access and had them arrested. It should be noted that not all protestors get this treatment... just the ones the Govenor doesn't want protesting. (3)

3) Bush has shown an particular maliciousness towards free speech on the Internet. Using campaign funds he has quietly, and possibly illegally, bought up over 200 website domain names that have anti-Bush meanings, such as bushsucks.com, bushblows.com, bushbites.com. Moreover, these domain names have been linked in such a manner that typing them will take you to George Bush's own website.

4) In one of the most widely publicized cases, Bush has filed charges with the FEC to shut down gwbush.com, a satire site that discuss various allegations about Bush in a humorous light. In particular, they focus upon his refusal to discuss wether or not he has used cocaine in the past. Bush apparently was not ammused, despite the fact that the makers of the site run a similar site for Al Gore. In regards to the site, Bush later commented to Austin reporters, "There ought to be limits to freedom".(4)

Part Three: Cattle Futures should be this profitable

Recent reports, indicate that Bush has a fortune of nearly 20 million dollars. One might wonder how a man who just appeared in the political world just a little over five years ago might aquire those funds. I know I do. For when one looks at the record, one sees very little to suggest George Jr. was an excellent businessman or even a competent one. His business, by most reports, cut corners at every opportunity and lost a good deal of money. Even more interesting is the fact that every one of these enterprises were also invested in my rich conservative backers of George Sr. and many of these investors later recieved preferential treatment from the government either from the President or Governor's offices...

Investing in Oil- And you thought Willie was Slick! : Upon graduating, Bush returned to Midland, Texas and invested $20,000 into an oil company called Arbusto (Spanish for bush). who were "mainly friends of my uncle" in Junior's own words, put in $4.7 million and lost most of it. Junior claims that investors "did pretty good," but Bush family friend Russell Reynolds told the Dallas Morning News: "The bottom line was there were problems, and it didn't work out very well. I think we got maybe 20 cents on the dollar."

Cut to 1984 when Arbusto nearly busted. The company was bought by Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation, which made Bush their CEO and President despite his poor track record running Arbusto. Spectrum 7 was owned by two staunch Reagan/Bush Sr. supporters (Mercer Reynolds and William DeWitt) These two were also owners of the Texas Rangers and allowed Bush Jr. to purchase a small chunk of the team cheaply.

Within two years, Spectrum 7 itself was in trouble having managed to lose $400,000 in it's last six months alone. Again, Bush's failing company was bought by another conservative-owned company. Harken Energy Corporation gave Junior $227,000 worth of Harken stock as well as being allowed to buy Harken stock at 40% below face value. They also made Bush a part of the board of directors, paid him $80,000 to $100,000 a year as a "consultant" to Harken. A salary he collected well into the early to mid 90's. He also borrowed $180,375 from Harken at very low rates. The company's 1989 and 1990 SEC filings also not that they "forgave" $341,000 in loans to unspecified executives, but evidence suggests Bush was one of them.(5)

Little is known about what George did as a consulant, but shortly after he was appointed to the job, things started happening for Harken...
1.) a 25 Million dollar stock offering from Stephens, Inc., an Arkansas bank whose head, Jackson Stephens, was a part of the Bush 100 (a group of conservatives who donated over $100,000 each to Bush Sr. campaign)
2.) Harken was chosen by thesmall Mideastern country of Bahrain for an exclusive offshore oil drilling contract. This despite the fact that had no experience at all in off-shore drilling.
3.) Talat Othman, a member of the Board of Directors of Harken, was added to a group of Arabs who met with George Bush and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft three times in 1990. One of these occasions came just two days after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The Tricks of the Insider Trading : George Bush, Junior sold most of his stock in Harken Oil in June, 1990 for $848,560. That was amazing timing, for as we all know, in August, Iraq invaded Kuwait, dropping oil stocks everywhere. Harken's stock dropped 25%. Soon after, a big quarterly loss caused it to drop further. A secret State Deparment memo in May of that year had warned that Saddam was out of control, and listed options for responding to him, including an oil ban that might affect US oil prices.
We can't be sure that the President or an aide mentioned these developments to his son, or that Harken's representative who was admitted to meetings with the President picked up something and reported back to Junior. It should be noted that the Bush family acknowledges that George Senior and his sons consulted on political strategy and other matters constantly. Thus, it seems likely that somehow, George Jr. aquired forewarning of a war that would cause oil price drops through illegal means: a clear violation of the SEC trading regulations.

Junior also violated another SEC rule. He was required to register his sale as an insider trade by July 10, 1990, but didn't until March 1991: six months after the Gulf War was over. He was not punished or cited, probably because his father was in charge of the SEC at this time.

Bush The Bandito and the Texas Rangers : It would be fair to say that Bush made out like a bandit on his dealings with the Texas Rangers. In brief, he was given $600,000 by the owners of Spectrum 7, and used it to buy a 1.8% share of the Rangers, which was also owned by Spectrum 7. In essence, he was given 2% of the team. He was also named General Manager of the Rangers, despite having no qualifications other than running a near-bankrupt oil company and being the son of the Vice-President.

Later, Bush made tripple his investment. But his real wealth came when he recieved 10% of the team as a bonus for "putting together the investment team." for a new stadium. This bonus came out to about 12.2 million dollars: an absurd ammount, even if the "investment team" George assembled had consited of more than one old frat buddy from Yale.

There was one major obstacle though. None of the people who owned the land where the Rangers wanted their stadium wanted to sell. After having a very low offer for the land refused, they arranged for ASFDA (Arlington Sports Facility Development Authority) to condemn the land for them. Offering the landowners an outrageously low sum (a jury later ruled it 1/7 what the land was worth), the city of Arlington donated the money to the Rangers. They also floated bonds, financed by a 1/2 cent sales tax increase, in order to help with paying for the stadium.

In essence, this ammounted to at least 140 million dollars in government subsidies to Bush and his investors. Considering that combined, they originally invested 80 million dollars in the team and the stadium and later sold the franchise and the stadium for a sum over 250 million dollars, it's pretty obvious where the money came from.(6) To put it bluntly,

George Bush Jr pocketed several milion dollars in Tax Payer Money!

It is also noteworthy that the deal for the new Stadium, under Bush's management, would have fallen apart had it not been for the aid of an investment group led by Fort Worth Billionaire Richard Rainwater and Dallas investor "Rusty" Rose. It should be noted that since that time, both men have profited greatly from business with the Texas administration of George Bush. Rose personally invested $3.2 million and became the other general manager of the team. Under the team partnership agreement, Bush Junior couldn't take any "material actions" wihtout Rose's prior approval. There was also a method for removing Junior as a general partner, but no way to remove Rose. Yet Rose's "bonus" for his role in setting up the deal was less than half of Junior's.

It is also noteworthy that Bush and his cronies cheated the city in another way. Bush promised that the stadium would only make the team more profitable for the city. In fact, the only value contained in the Rangers franchise when it was sold was it's expensive new stadium and the many many acres of land between it, and the Six Flags theme park just down I-30.

Part Four: Potpourri

Well, let's see...

Bush somehow managed to get into the National Guard of Texas during Vietnam. More over, he somehow managed to get past the waiting list, get the last rare training slot for pilots (in spite of the fact that he scored the lowest allowable score - 25/100 - on a pilot's aptitude test). He was also assigned to fly an older plane (the F102) which was being phased out at the time. This, in essence, meant he had as much chance of seeing Vietnam as a snowman does of seeing Mexico. Of course, I'm sure this had nothign to do with his father being a congressman and his grandfather having been a popular senator.
Bush has weaseled around on this record in a way to do Clinton proud. What's more, he didn't even serve a full tour in the National guard, having recieved several months off to work on a politcal campaign AND being released six months early to work another campaign. Finally, he was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant in just under 4 months.

Under Bush's time as Govenor, the schools have gone downhill in too many ways to adequately describe. One now famous story is that congressmen, following a budget written by Bush, used various state level education funds to finance a large tax cut, despite all protests from voters, 9/10 of whom were against sacraficing one dollar of education to make a tax cut. Bush compromised, taking less money for the tax cut. So now Bush has a huge taxcut to carry with him as he runs for the presidency. A curosry glance reveals that this tax cut is mostly going to... guess who... Bush's buddies in the oil industry!

Bush, it might be noted, is also a heavy proponent of the voucher system. This plan would use taxpayer funds to send underpriviliged children to private schools, if they get accepted. The catch here is... IF they get accepted. It's no suprise to anyone that most of the rich, white private schools are loathe to take in minority kids or kids from the ghetto. This leaves the kids back were they were, only with less money than before. Bush also used his influence to push back a teacher's union wage increase, despite the fact that a Texas's teacher's salary is far below the national average. And to think he calls Education his number one priority. Apparently, that means it's the one he pisses over first.


UPDATE: 11/9/99: Student Marla Morris of Oklahoma had to do a project for English Class where she had to write a character description in the style of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. She chose to write her's on George W. Bush. She sent it to the good people at American-Politics.Com and we've reprinted it here.


UPDATE: 3/8/00:

And now, a response to all the people in chatrooms, on BBSes, radio and TV who have been telling us about how great things are in Texas with George W. Bush in charge and that he should be the President.

Bush on Education

Texas is 36th in Teachers salaries. (halfway through first term)(7)
Texas is 38th in Teachers salaries. (beginning of 2nd term) (7)
Texas is LAST in Teachers salaries. plus benefits. (7)
Texas is 41st in average spending on a student kindergarten thru 12th grade. (14)
Texas is 46th in High School Completion Rate. (8)

Bush on Children and The Family

Texas has the 2nd Highest number of children living in poverty. (9)
Texas has the 2nd Highest number of children without health insurance. (9)
Texas has THE HIGHEST percentage of children without health insurance. (9)
Texas has THE HIGHEST percentage of poor working parents without insurance. (9)
Texas has the 2nd Highest percentage of population without health insurance. (9)
Texas has the 5th Highest Teen Birth Rate. (10)
Texas is 48th in Per capita funding for public health.(10)
Texas is 47th in Delivery of social services. (10)
Texas is 45th in number of Mothers receiving prenatal care. (15)
Teen smoking - down nationally, flat in Texas. (11)
Teen drug use - down nationally, up in Texas. (11)

In fact, Teen Drug Use in Texas has gone up substantially under Bush's time as governor.

Teen drug use is now 30 percent higher than under Ann Richards governorship. (11)

1994 1996 1998
Ever Used Any Illicit Drug
Ever Used Inhalants
Ever Used Marijuana
Ever Used Cocaine/Crack
Ever Used Hallucinogens
Ever Used Uppers
Ever Used Downers
Ever Used Alcohol
Ever Used Tobacco
27.8%
18.7%
25.3%
5.6%
5.9%
7.0%
4.5%
74.1%
54.5%
33.7%
19.8%
31.2%
7.1%
7.4%
7.9%
5.6%
73.3%
55.2%
36.1%
22.0%
34.5%
9.3%
7.3%
8.2%
6.6%
72.1%
 54.7%

Bush on The Environment

Texas is FIRST in Pollution released by manufactuting plants. (12)
Texas is FIRST in Pollution by industrial plants in violation of Clean Air Act. (12)
Houston is FIRST in number of Smog Days. (12)
Texas is 49th in spending for the environment. (14)

Bush on Quality of Life

Texas is 48th in spending for parks and recreation. (13)
Texas is 48th in spending for the arts. (13)
Texas is 46th in number of Public libraries and branches. (14)
Texas is 48th on a list of "The Best States to Raise Children"(15)
(It was 29th when Bush was elected)

Texas is FIRST in number of poor counties. (14)
Texas is THIRD in Overall Hunger (adults and children) (14)
Texas is 48th in Literacy. (14)
Texas is FIRST in deaths as a result of DWI. (14)
Texas is FIRST in gun-related child injuries and deaths. (14)


UPDATE: 6/13/00:
We all know that crime has been going down all around the nation, right? Well, maybe not ALL around the nation. It turns out that Texas, despite having committed more executions than anyplace else in the Western Hemisphere... despite having concealed handgun laws that allow a weapon to be carried almost anyplace... despite having some of the most well armed citizens this side of the Michigan Militia... crime in Texas has gone up during Bush's term!

Click here to read the full FBI report (Must have Adobe Acrobat Reader) or check out a few choice picks from the bigger cities below.

Austin, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 39,446.
Austin, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 40,185.

Beaumont, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 9,355.
Beaumont, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 10,144.

Brownsville, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 7,783.
Brownsville, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 8,669.

Dallas, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 101,974.
Dallas, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 106,342.

El Paso, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 35,787.
El Paso, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 36,125.

Fort Worth, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 35,491.
Fort Worth, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 37,354.

Houston, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 127,817.
Houston, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 131,776.

Waco, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 9,535.
Waco, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 9,832.

Further evidence shows that this crime problem is limited to Texas and not a regional one.

Crime Index Trends By Geographic Region

Region

Total -7
Northeast -7
Midwest -8
South -4
West -10

Every region of the nation saw a reduction in crime to some extent. But note that the South, under which Texas is included in the FBI's crime reports (Click here for a listing of states by FBI region), had a much smaller drop than did the rest of the nation. That's because of the across-the-board crime upswings throughout the State of Texas.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Crime Totals for 1998: 24,569
Baton Rouge, Louisiana Crime Totals for 1999: 21,668

And, in case you were wondering, Arkansas is counted as a Southern state by the FBI as well:

Little Rock, Arkansas Crime Totals for 1998: 18,604
Little Rock, Arkansas Crime Totals for 1999: 17,499

Meanwhile, here's a Midwestern neighbor:

Wichita, Kansas Crime Totals for 1998: 23,303.
Wichita, Kansas Crime Totals for 1999: 20,977.

As falls Wichita, so falls Wichita Falls? Not where crime is concerned:

Wichita Falls, Texas Crime Totals for 1998: 5,891.
Wichita Falls, Texas Crime Totals for 1999: 5,973.


UPDATE: 6/14/00:
A recent Boston Globe story, later reprinted by AMPOL, proves that the allegations made in the book Fortunate Son, regarding George W. Bush going AWOL to work on a campaign are true. Click here to read the full story.



UPDATE: 6/25/00:

Bush and the Legislature

Would you believe that Bush's first major battle with the legislature as Governor was over his trying to cut a program that would give state-sponsored health care to uninsured children so he could fund an oil-man tax cut? Take a look at this account of the incident by Sylvester Turner, a member of the Texas Legislature for many years.

The House was at work on the first piece of his 1999 agenda. "There's a lot of people hurting," the governor had said this past January when he requested that the Senate waive its procedural rules and immediately bring to the floor a $45 million tax break for the oil-and-gas industry. The decline in oil-and-gas prices, Bush argued, erodes the earnings of thousands of "stripper well" owners (most unaccustomed to seeing their annual individual income fall below $100,000). And it threatens the flow of tax revenue the wells provide to a number of Texas school districts.
The relief bill for owners of these marginally productive wells was not going to be stopped in the House, the last redoubt of the Texas Democratic Party after Bush's defeat of hopelessly underfunded Land Commissioner Garry Mauro carried Republicans into all twenty-seven statewide elected offices, from attorney general to land commissioner. In fact, House Democrats couldn't even hold their six-seat majority together to limit oil-and-gas tax relief to $200,000 per individual. But a veteran black legislator from Houston did use the debate to direct legislators' attention to another bill, which the governor and his staff were opposing. The oil-and-gas bill is about relief, "about helping people out," Sylvester Turner said, praising perhaps too effusively the tax bill and its Republican sponsors. So he was going to vote for it. Then Turner challenged every representative who was going to cast a vote for the governor's oil-industry bill to vote for adequate funding of the federal/state Children's Health Insurance Program, which would be on the House floor within a few weeks.
While Bush and his staff were pushing the oil-and-gas tax bill through the legislature, they were also fighting to hold the line on health insurance for children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to purchase private health insurance. There are 1.4 million children in Texas who have no health insurance. If eligibility were set at 200 percent of the federal poverty level, more than 500,000 of them would qualify to purchase low-cost insurance policies. Bush insisted, however, that the line be set at 150 percent, eliminating 200,000 children in a state second to California in the number of uninsured children and second to Arizona in the percentage of uninsured children. "It shouldn't even be a fight," said Austin Democratic Representative Glen Maxey, adding that Republican governors in Michigan, California, Florida and New Jersey all agreed to their states' participation in the program. "Christine Whitman is even going to 300 percent," he noted.
That is how the 76th Legislature began in Texas, with the governor flogging a tax break for oil-well owners while limiting a children's health insurance program that brings the state a three-to-one match in federal funds. The two bills illustrate Bush's dual welfare policies: expanding benefits for clients of the corporate welfare state while imposing harsh restrictions on people in need of help.
Not very compassionate, is it? Some of Bush's other legislation has been equally shocking.

Bush likes to site his efforts in "tort reform" whenever he lists his accomplishments. In this case, tort reform equals a package of bills that placed caps on actual and punitive damages for injured parties, raised standards of proof for plaintiffs and established a hometown advantage for defendants.
This accomplished two things. First, it cut off one of the major financial taps that was funding the Texas Democrats: donations from idealistic, liberal plantiff attorneys. Secondly, it gave a further layer of protection to Big Business from lawsuits in what is already one of the weakest Organized Labor states in the nation.

Talking of Labor, Bush has also turned the Conservative Legislatures into a stonewall against pro-Labor laws. "We approach every session knowing that whatever we get passed will stand a good chance of being vetoed by the governor," says AFL-CIO legal director Rick Levy. "I can't think of a single issue of substance where he has been on our side." The Texas Workers Compensation system has been largely dismantled, the days when labor would attempt a big push for something like a farmworkers' minimum wage are past and labor conventions where delegates talked of repealing the state's right-to-work law are so remote that they are almost folkloric.
One famous example of Bush's anti-Labor attitudes is the time Bush vetoed, then beat on the House floor, a measure that would have granted some state employees minimum rights. "It was a little bill that gave Texas Alcohol Control Board agents the right to be told why they are being fired, to be confronted by their accusers," Houston Representative Ken Yarbrough said of the measure, which Bush vetoed in 1995. "The bill would grant [employees] a due process property interest in their employment positions,"

To a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court, Bush appointed a defense lawyer from Houston who has written what many believe to be the most radical antilabor decision handed down by one of the most conservative courts in the nation. Texas-Mexican Railroad v. Bouchet eliminated all job protections for workers who take employment-related complaints to attorneys. The result has been the abandonment of countless causes of action, as plaintiffs' attorneys feel compelled to warn potential plaintiffs that if they file suit against their employers their action will very likely cost them their jobs. And to a newly formed Workforce Commission that combines the functions of the state employment commission with new workfare initiatives, Bush appointed a disgraced former UAW official who had reassuringly stated in a letter of application that "my goal for the past twenty-one years of working as a union official has not been for the proliferation of organized labor."

Bush has been a relentless supporter of NAFTA. Even as the needle-trade industry all but disappeared in Texas, with a final wave of Levi's plant closings in January and February marking the fifth anniversary of the signing of the trade agreement, the governor had neither a program nor a word of consolation for displaced workers. "NAFTA is good for Texas and good for Mexico," Bush said in his January State of the State speech.

With all of Bush's pandering to big business, the environment has suffered greatly. Most of this can be blamed upon Bush's appointment to the commission chair of the Natural Resources Conservation Commission; Barry McBee. McBee, a fundamentalist Christian who has been known to fall to his knees and invoke divine guidance before casting a vote, was a lawyer best known for dismantling a Texas Agriculture Department program designed to keep farmworkers out of fields that are still "hot" after pesticide application.
Texas is the largest polluter in the nation, and while Bush has been in office it bottomed out at forty-ninth in spending on the environment. Under McBee the Conservation Commission refused to do an inventory of the state's grandfathered plants, opting instead to allow polluters to use crude emission-control systems put in place before the 1971 Clean Air Act. The savings to an industry not required to retrofit obsolete plants are as large as the public health consequences. And industry has responded. Among the Bush donors who gave more than $75,000 to his 1998 campaign fund, for example, are four refinery and energy CEOs who contributed a total of $325,000. Not surprisingly, Bush continues to defend a voluntary modernization program.




Bush and "The Surplus"
By his second legislative session in 1997, Bush had developed his own agenda, and its centerpiece was clearly his first real use of the legislature as an extension of his presidential campaign. Bush seized on a $1 billion surplus in his initial proposal to help fund a $2.8 billion property-tax cut: Texas has no personal income tax and depends instead on a mix of sales taxes, corporate franchise taxes, severance taxes on minerals and property taxes. In that mix, the sales tax is the most regressive while the property tax, based on the assessed value of real estate, is the most progressive. To reduce the annual bill on a $60,000 home by $333, Bush proposed increasing one of the highest sales taxes in the nation--from 6.25 to 6.75 cents on the dollar. In cities such as Houston, where the local sales tax already pushed the level up to 8.25 cents, Bush's proposal would have meant 8.75 cents of every dollar spent would be taken as sales tax. Meanwhile, the greater the value of your home--or vacation home or weekend ranch or refinery--the greater your property-tax relief. And the 40 percent of Texas residents who rent homes or apartments would have got nothing.

Republican legislators bolted in droves as their governor proposed raising one tax and capturing untaxed wealth by creating a new Texas business tax. In the end it was Democrats who passed Bush's tax bill, which bore little resemblance to what he had originally proposed. It did return a more modest $1 billion to homeowners, who quickly saw their tax break disappear as school districts raised rates to make up for revenue lost in Bush's property-tax reduction. Never mind that the very late interim committee that Bush sent out in search of a property-tax rebellion found none. He produced a bill anyway. And he managed to give away a budget surplus in a state that is forty-seventh in the delivery of social services and thirty-eighth in teacher salaries. "As long as he's in office," one Democratic legislator complained, "we're going to have to tax people high enough to have a surplus while we fail to provide them with basic services."

This session Bush has proposed adding $1 billion to the state's public education budget, to which the Texas House Appropriations Committee has added an additional $2 billion. "We have $12 billion in needs and will have to be the wise Solomons that can divide that $3 billion among $12 billion in very legitimate needs," the vice chair of the state's House Public Education Committee said. There are other factors that erode even the $1 billion increase. The state's peculiar fiscal process does not factor in growth and inflation, and the governor's proposed $2 billiongiveback in property-tax relief increases state funding of schools while lowering local funding. "It's a wash," said a member of the appropriations committee. When you run the numbers on what the governor's voucher program does to school funding at the local level, the wash becomes a loss.

Higher education hasn't fared any better. "Not a word about higher education," Texas House Higher Education chairwoman Irma Rangel said to me at the end of Bush's January State of the State address. For Texas universities and community colleges, the governor proposed only a $387.6 million increase, or 4.7 percent, for a system that continues to grow.

The above was quoted from an article in the Texas Observer by Louis Dubose



In preparing this page, I have read more about George W. Bush Jr. than anyone should have to... and frankly I am disgusted and sickened by this page. And so as I conclude this page, I ask you to join me in giving two BIG fingers up to George II, our latest Rushie winner.


Sources

1. Associated Press, "Bush denies using any illegal drug during the past 25 years" CNN On-Line
2. Habecker, Rick S.,"A Criminal Act or Protected Speech? The Videotape Doesn't Lie" USA Journal Online
3. "Activists to challenge policy against protest gatherings near the Governor's Mansion"
Fort Worth Star Telegram
4. Slater, Wayne, "Bush criticizes Web site as malicious", The Dallas Morning News 5/22/99
5. York, Byron, "George's Road to Riches", The American Specator
6. Jackson, Brooks, "Bush as Businessman: How the Texas governor made his millions", CNN On-line
7. National Education Agency
8. U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Development
9. U.S. Bureau of Census, Current Populations Trends
10. U.S. Dept Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics
11. 1998 Texas School Survey of Substance Use Among Students: Grades 7-12,
Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
12. U.S. EPA, Office of Pollution and Prevention
13. Texas Observer
14. Statistical Rankings by State
15. Children's Rights Council



Click here to join the fight against King George's censorship of the Internet!

Send Shrub a Letter to voice your concerns!

Return to the Main Page.