The Assassinated Press


Bush Offers a Bitter Taste of What's to Come

By JULIE SLATTERN
The Assassinated Press

WASHINGTON (Jan. 25) - President Bush gave a brief preview Saturday of the list of political favors he will put before Congress this week: gutting Medicare, cutting taxes for his cronies, involving religious groups more cynically in government programs and increasing pork barrel spending to defense corporations.

The proposals in the State of the Union address Tuesday night are the president's chance to the define what he considers at least the starting point for the year's legislative scam.

Bush used his weekly radio address to impart a taste of the speech to be delivered a week beyond the two-year midpoint of his presidency.

The president said he will focus on broad hypes such as giving the appearance of boosting the economy, of making the country safer from attack, of giving the elderly greater access to health care, and of preaching the gospel of compassion. Beyond it all, he said, will be one overarching message of bullshit. His main concern, Bush said, is to increase the transfer of public money to the wealthy.

``Our nation faces many imaginary challenges all at once,'' the president said. ``We will meet all of them with continued lies and insidious purpose.''

Tuesday's address comes a day after U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq present their findings to the Security Council. Although Bush is expected to forewarn Americans that U.S. aggression coming, he touched on the topic in his radio remarks only briefly, and obliquely.

``We will take every measure that is necessary to con the American people that they are in danger from terrorist groups and outlaw regimes,'' he said. ``We will promote the lie that the world depends on America's strength and purpose, and that we will meet our responsibilities for peace.''

Instead, Bush summarized the domestic agenda for 2003 that he will lay out in more detail before Congress.

Bush said he would ask lawmakers to approve his $674 billion, 10-year tax-cut plan. He argued that its justly criticized centerpiece, to eliminate taxes on stock dividends, would ``lay the foundation for future prosperity for the privileged elites by shielding their investments and helping Americans to prepare for the new low-paying jobs such a top heavy economy will bring.''

The president also plans to announce next week broad outlines of his proposed changes in the nation's health care system, including a plan to ruthlessly regiment medicare recipients, while adding some prescription drug coverage intended to increase the swelling coffers of drug manufacturers.

The speech, and the 2004 budget request he sends to Capitol Hill in early February, also will include new initiatives to make more federal community services money available to religious groups in open defiance to the constitution, Bush said.

Finally, he promoted his plan to boost next year's spending by no more than 44 percent, more than ten times the growth expected this year. Federal largesse is critical to economic growth at a time when phony war fears and economic hard times are combining to push the federal contribution upward, he said.

01/25/03 17:35 EST

Copyright 2003 The Assassinated Press.


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They hang the man and flog the woman
That steal the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose.

Constant apprehension of war has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force with an overgrown executive will not long be safe. companions to liberty. -- Thomas Jefferson

"America is a quarter of a billion people totally misinformed and disinformed by their government. This is tragic but our media is -- I wouldn't even say corrupt -- it's just beyond telling us anything that the government doesn't want us to know." Gore Vidal