Tuesday, January 15, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 72


 
 









 

Leftover stocking stuffers abound

Mary Carradine

Things are finally returning to normal in Washington, D.C. The Sept. 11 smokescreen is waning, and the Bush agenda is starting to fade
through the once-clouded air.

Over the winter break, President Bush went back to being President Bush by making irrational political decisions that reek of special interest
and right-wing conservatism.

Bush used a recess appointment to catapult an unqualified Scalia family member to a key Labor Department position. Eugene Scalia, the lucky
new appointee, is the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Daddy Scalia must be proud of his son's new employment, and will
undoubtedly repay the favor to the Bush administration at some point, just as Bush did for him.

Oh, the "good ol' boy" system. You can take the man out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the man.

Bush-43 passed "sweeping" education reform and somehow managed to garner the support of Democratic bastion Edward Kennedy. Don't be
fooled, though. The plan basically consists of money.

Why is this plan being referred to as "landmark"? We have always sunk money into education; it's just never produced any results. Basically,
Bush carefully wrapped his draconian plan in billions of dollars and gave it to us like a secondhand Christmas present. If a school is deemed
sub-par, students are allowed to transfer to other schools.

But how will these students get to the schools? Poor schools are located in poor neighborhoods and economically disadvantaged people don't
have the time or money to transport their children to non-local schools. The poor lose, which is a common theme throughout this administration.

While Bush enjoyed soaring approval ratings last semester, Americans were enjoying an economic recession. Only now has Bush begun
talking up economic stimulus.

At this point, however, economists have advised against a stimulus plan. The economy is starting to rebound on its own, and stimulus at this
point will only lead to inflation. Stimulus plans involve timing, which was proven in the 1964 economic stimulus plan passed under the Kennedy
administration.

The economy needed to be spurred months ago. For Bush, the timing is now conveniently falling within an election year. Republicans will
applaud stimulus as a way to buy the vote, as they consistently do. Democrats will push for a smaller plan, not because they really want to, but
because they can't be labeled as "the party who did not want to give you money."

The tax rollback of 2001 was an obvious mistake, as we will certainly go into deficit spending with the new budget. When Senate Majority
Leader Tom Daschle pointed this out in a refreshing renewal of actual Washington politics, Bush began crying for "bipartisanship" and
reassured his constituents that taxes would only be raised "over his dead body."

How embarrassing it is for our nation's leader to speak in such terms. It's as if he is acting alongside NRA champion Charlton Heston in a
ridiculously horrible Western movie. His cry for "bipartisanship" is the Bush way of keeping public opinion packed together, as it has been since
Sept. 11.

But bipartisanship does not actually exist in Washington, D.C. It's a phantom phenomenon politicians will boast about in an effort to reassure
Americans they are not the evil party loyalists we know they are.

It's time for another semester, another set of new classes and another embarrassing cluster of decisions made by our federal government. War
is not glue, and we don't have to pander to this administration, as they would love us to do.

Carradine, a senior computer engineering 
technology major, can be reached at mbcarradine@hotmail.com.


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