Just a Reminder That The White House is Occupied by a Clueless, Dangerous Man
August 24, 2001 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Just a Reminder That The White House is Occupied by a Clueless, Dangerous Man I'm not sure what to add, except I wish he would just resign. And that I wish the median national IQ would rise into the low 90's.
posted by ParisParamus (61 comments total)

 
When will ridiculous military spending also be considered as big government? "I'll dip into social security if my colossal spending and brinksmanship with SDI causes a war."
Is it just you and I tonight Paris?
posted by machaus at 6:28 PM on August 24, 2001


it's not just his policies; it's that he'll say just anything at all, and the press and public never seem to notice that it's a whole new story or a whole new policy.
"I've said that the only reason we should use Social Security funds is in the case of an economic recession or war," Mr. Bush said.
posted by rebeccablood at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2001


Everyone else with watching NASCAR or out at the mall : (
posted by ParisParamus at 6:32 PM on August 24, 2001


You really don't like NASCAR do you. I can blow my head off if you like.
posted by machaus at 6:34 PM on August 24, 2001


Hey, at least we didn't elect him.
posted by Hildago at 6:50 PM on August 24, 2001


Machaus: I have my vices, too. I've even put money in one of those Coke machines at Home Dêpot with that racecar guy on it.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:56 PM on August 24, 2001


What do you think the chances are that Dubya will dip into the social security "surplus" for one of his two reasons: war or economic downturn? And who wants to bet that he'll use that for military spending?
posted by bloggboy at 7:12 PM on August 24, 2001


<sarcasm>Mr. Bush is a great president. He sent me a check for $300!</sarcasm>

I guess we should be grateful he bothered prefacing it with a justification like recession or war instead of just flat-out announcing that he's going to raid Social Security for his pet missile defense project? Damn tax-and-spend Republicans.
posted by RylandDotNet at 7:29 PM on August 24, 2001


Here's $300, see how nice it is to be bought. Now shuddup while I pay back my owners.
posted by skallas at 7:35 PM on August 24, 2001


In a weird round about way spending all this money on missile defense and what not could actually help the economy. You're employing defense contractors and all those guys that give press releases. Of course if Bush really wants money he should start pushing all those drugs the DEA has stored away.
posted by geoff. at 7:45 PM on August 24, 2001


Can we all get over the Bush is stupid crap. Stupid compared to who? Gore? Sorry, a vocabulary is not a brain. Gore is a moron. Remember the bagel model of government? LOL. This is what happens when you read Who Moved my Cheese at Noah's.
posted by prodigal at 8:26 PM on August 24, 2001


Is it just me or did Ike warn us to watch out for the military-industrial complex?
posted by shagoth at 8:27 PM on August 24, 2001


nasa should merge with the US military. that way,

dubya is please: no need to fund nasa at all! it just comes from the horrendous defense budget

nasa is pleased: no more budget cuts; can simply tell bush that new additions to the ISS are actually part of his star wars plan, really!
posted by dai at 8:28 PM on August 24, 2001


Different guy, different bullshit, same stench. You guys talk like the previous 8 years (or 12, or 20, or 40) weren't the exact same brand of ludicrous crap, only with different names and different players.

It's been a LONG time since your government gave a fart in a high wind about anything but keeping the money train going. Relax. Do the best you can for yourself, your family, your friends and your community. It'll be OK. We're not going to have a nuclear war. We're not going to have a war at all (the Gulf "War" wasn't a war - war as typically defined is over on this planet).

Take your $300 - it was your money anyway - and do with it what you will. Do something nice with it, for yourself or someone you like, because you're not likely to see another of those checks anytime soon.

Big smile, everyone. BIG SMILE :)
posted by UncleFes at 8:32 PM on August 24, 2001


/cry
posted by rushmc at 8:49 PM on August 24, 2001


That's Baby Jesus' job, man.
posted by UncleFes at 8:52 PM on August 24, 2001


There's no such thing as "Social Security funds" for Bush to dip into, anyway.
posted by kindall at 9:30 PM on August 24, 2001


"Take your $300 - it was your money anyway - and do with it what you will. Do something nice with it, for yourself or someone you like, because you're not likely to see another of those checks anytime soon. "

umm... actually, it's just an advance on next year's rebate.

so it's only a loan.
posted by jcterminal at 9:45 PM on August 24, 2001


I was waiting in rapt anticipation for the return of the liberal gestapo. Nice to see they have returned.
posted by revbrian at 9:45 PM on August 24, 2001


I was waiting in rapt anticipation for the return of the liberal gestapo. Nice to see they have returned.

Just a reminder that Metafilter is occupied by clueless, angry liberals.

And the advance on next year's return is an advance of money you would not be getting if not for the tax cut. Your spin isn't working.
posted by aaron at 10:00 PM on August 24, 2001



Different guy, different bullshit, same stench. You guys talk like the previous 8 years (or 12, or 20, or 40) weren't the exact same brand of ludicrous crap, only with different names and different players.

Come on now. Republicans are evil and democrats good. It's as simple as that. There's no middle ground. I know, I've read it here many times, so it must be true.

:)
posted by justgary at 10:05 PM on August 24, 2001


Just a Reminder That The White House is Occupied by a Clueless, Dangerous Man

Thanks for the reminder; And there was me thinking it was occupied by a fucking imbecile.
posted by Kino at 10:30 PM on August 24, 2001


I know it's easy and fun to go from "Bush is stupid" to whatever conclusion you want, but cutting government spending would actually be a huge boon.

We have a certain amount of current resources as a whole. Return on government spending is arguably zero, if not less. Return on private spending is positive. Less government spending, better off in long run.

Non-kook economists have estimated that our present income could be DOUBLE what it is now if it weren't for idiotic social-services experimentation. And as our income grows, we demand more environmental protection, leisure time, and charitable works along with our Slim-Jims and SUVs.

No, Bush is not the best defender of limited government. But I see nothing stupid in these comments he made. Most of you uninformed voters want a squishy middle-ground government anyhow.

Here ya go, enjoy.
posted by marknau at 10:30 PM on August 24, 2001


Blimey. That was quick. Are u a bot?
posted by Kino at 10:41 PM on August 24, 2001


I preface this post by saying that I'm attempting to avoid partisan bickering . . .

The real issue here is not that Bush is "stupid" but that he's changing his story - he's attempting to cast the drastically diminished surplus in a positive light by claiming that it'll impose rock solid limits on those damn liberal democrats.

At the same time, he's changing his tune regarding Social Security funds. Though he (and the GOP in general) never out and out said so, he led the country to believe that those monies would be inviolate - never to be touched under any circumstances. Now we're reminded that there's an exception in the case of an economic recession.

And that recession is looming out there on the horizon, you can smell it in the air . . .

Has this happened before? You betcha. Clinton was accused of "waffeling" on several occaisions - so much so that he often engendered the ire of radical leftwingers like myself. Bush senior did the same; remember "read my lips"?

What's troubling is that Bush Jr. seems to be getting away with it. The "liberal media" that was all over Clinton seems to be somewhat less than interested in sticking it to Mr. Dubya.

Why is that do you suppose?
posted by aladfar at 10:55 PM on August 24, 2001


really? because i thought the issue was that Bush has left this country with no means of recovering from an upcoming recession and doesn't seem the slight bit bothered. Oh yeah, and that he refuses to account for spending on upcoming initiatives. oh yeah, and that the funds he does plan to dip into is Social Security, which we wouldn't have to touch if we hadn't lost our surplus on a tax break giveaway.

hope i didn't upset all the republicans out there by writing my interpretation. hey, i know, post something about how i'm a knee-jerk reactionist!
posted by xammerboy at 11:42 PM on August 24, 2001


Excuse me, but what's really interesting here is that the New York Times actually paid very little attention to the real news here -- the Social Security decision -- and didn't even mention that it's a 180 degrees turn in terms of policy. It's a HUGE story.
During the campaign Bush clearly stated that Social Security was not to be touched. Check out his website, still active, if you don't believe me:

The Social Security surplus must be locked away only for Social Security.
posted by matteo at 3:59 AM on August 25, 2001


xammerboy - amen.
posted by dogmatic at 5:18 AM on August 25, 2001


The notion that reduced revenue constraints can have a silver lining in restraining the growth of spending is not a new thing ... indeed, it was one of the two ideological pillars supporting the late '70s / early '80s supply side movement. They said, "cutting tax rate will spur growth, which will increase the gross amount of tax collections beyond the amount loss by the cut in the tax rate, which will reduce the deficit ... and, even if we don't reduce the deficit, the high deficit will keep Congress from putting money into wasteful domestic programs."

The effect that this had on the economy -- particularly on the welfare / poverty programs side -- was actually quite profound. The high inflation that kicked in the early 70s and which really took off by the late 70s dramatically reduced the purchasing power of public housing and other welfare programs which were not indexed to cost of living. Congress had plent of liberal "welfare rights" and poverty rights advocates who wanted to put very large increases in those programs to bring them back up, in reach purchasing power, to the level where they were in the early 70s.

However, the Reagan tax cuts, and huge deficits, made that impossible ... which led to the continued decay of the public housing stock, the continued loss of the value of AFDC and food stamps, etc.
posted by MattD at 6:27 AM on August 25, 2001


I didn't say "W" is stupid (in the post). I only said, or implied his policies are dangerous and that if average Americans were more intelligent, they wouldn't let him get away with his policies, which also contradict his campaign promises.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:31 AM on August 25, 2001


Ok, you're a knee-jerk reactionist! Happy now?
posted by revbrian at 7:03 AM on August 25, 2001


Why is that do you suppose?

Because you equate the existence of any article about Bush that isn't 100% violently negative about him and his policies as "the media giving him a pass."

As for these "raiding Social Security" claims, repeat after me: The Social Security trust fund is a meaningless fiction. No lock, no box. It doesn't exist.
posted by aaron at 7:24 AM on August 25, 2001



"There is a lot of talk about “raiding the Social Security trust fund” but what does that mean? It certainly does not mean that there will be a dollar less in the trust fund, or that it matters in the slightest."
posted by aaron at 7:35 AM on August 25, 2001


"I wish he would just resign"

Lord help us if anything happens to him! Then Dick Cheney would be president!! *What a twist of fate that would be!*
posted by amypenrose at 7:48 AM on August 25, 2001


As for these "raiding Social Security" claims, repeat after me: The Social Security trust fund is a meaningless fiction. No lock, no box. It doesn't exist.

Even if it only exists/ted as a metaphor, a promise, that hardly negates "W"'s hypocracy. No one really thought there was a physical box with a key anyway (and even if there was one, the government would have the "key," so...) . T

The source of my nausea is the total hypocracy of promising one thing and then reversing course; of denying the validity of the fiscal conservatives who warned about the tax cut.

Next phase of "W's" PR campaign: "small-to-medium sized federal deficits, in line with the historical average, are actually healthy for the economy!"
posted by ParisParamus at 9:42 AM on August 25, 2001


I would take Cheney in a minute. He's more in touch with reality and doesn't have a cult-like base of political support (also, his health might improve, since he would no longer have to be workling behind a curtain). Or, he just might resign.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:44 AM on August 25, 2001


This isn't about bickering between partisan groups. If you look back to when Bush senior was in office it was pretty much the same pattern. Plenty of promises about cost cutting, but what was delivered as obscene growth of the national debt, tax hikes, and growth of the federal government.

Just like with his father, the president is not screwing over the liberal camp but all taxpayers liberal and conservative, to the benefit of those who fund him.

So unless you bought him a ball park, or helped bail out one of his relatives, go to the back of the line.
posted by Sqwerty at 9:53 AM on August 25, 2001


What bothers me about the Bush people is their rhetorical style of talking in circles, not even trying to hide it.

"We're doing (x) because 'it is the right thing to do' (or (X) is "giving the people what they want", an equally cowardly and empty abstraction) To do what is right, we therefore must do (X)."

Someone (Maureen Dowd?) wrote a piece recently where she says Cheney et al. think like CEOs. They make a statement, and are surprised that people then want to debate what to do instead of knuckling under. Spooky.
posted by crunchburger at 9:58 AM on August 25, 2001


Lets all be honest. Bush is dumb. Whether you are a demo-con or a republi-crat this true. The man should have athlete's mouth because he is constantly chewing on his feet. He comes up with the dumbest justification I have ever heard come out of a mouth of a leader of an industrial nation. And with stunning frequency. He is a political-gaffe Ichiro!

Now the question is "Does it matter?" The answer is probably not. He isn't doing anything different from what any other republican president would do. Treaty breaking isolationism is hardly a new American foreign policy. Spinning bad economic news as actually being good is not a new strategy (Though it is strange that he is arguing that it will restrain the liberal democrats - are they in office? I thought it was republican presidency and congress). Leveraging energy crises to push for unpopular initiatives isn't new either.

The only real problem with Bush is that he is damaging to American pride. As the public face of a nation his resemblance to Alfred E. Newman from Mad Magazine is just too striking. The whole world is laughing.
posted by srboisvert at 10:01 AM on August 25, 2001


I don't know how to post links here, so I'll just share this URL that supports the comment made by srboisvert.

http://www.americanpresidents.org/images/42_150.gif
posted by Sqwerty at 10:29 AM on August 25, 2001


I don't know how to post links here, so I'll just share this URL that supports the comment made by srboisvert.

http://www.americanpresidents.org/images/42_150.gif
posted by Sqwerty at 10:31 AM on August 25, 2001


I wish he would just resign.

That doesn't work. Believe me, I tried it for 8 years and failed.
posted by justgary at 11:04 AM on August 25, 2001


Lord help us if anything happens to him! Then Dick Cheney would be president!!

Dick Cheney is already President.
posted by webmutant at 11:22 AM on August 25, 2001


Sqwerty - Hightlight the text you want to link. Hit ctrl-shift-a. Little box pops up, you put your link in there.
posted by dogmatic at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2001


Sigh. I'm not going to get into the debate about Bush. Suffice it to say that wiping out the budget surplus with tax cuts is precisely what fucked over the British economy in 1987: even John Major says it these days, when musing on the mess he inherited from Mad Mrs Thatcher in 1990. Gordon Brown, on the other hand, may be selling our public services down the river, but at least he's not steering the economy into the abyss at the same time.

(If the tax cut is "your money", isn't it right to say that the national debt is "your debts"? And isn't it generally sound financial advice to pay off the credit cards before you cash that nice cheque that arrived in the junk mail? And yes, I do know that a certain level of national debt is inevitable, and sound economics -- though who'd be a bond trader after a decade of equity insanity? -- but it's yet another example of the Party of the Richer Capitalists running the economy in a manner that would drive a company into the bankruptcy courts.
posted by holgate at 1:40 PM on August 25, 2001


I saw nothing in that news article that indicated that President was either stupid or dangerous. Au contraire, he seems to be articulating some very thoughtful and wise opinions - reducing the size of the federal government, ensuring our military can protect our nation & our interests, promoting the idea of tax cuts on the grounds that it belongs to "us" (the people). Not the greatest president (but he's not done yet!), but certainly far from the worst (FDR).

Patience, my pet, patience...
posted by davidmsc at 2:10 PM on August 25, 2001


Is anyone else having DNS trouble with Bush's campaign website? I wanted to read the campaign position, not that catching a president on violating past statements is a major coup in an argument...

I also agree with Aaron that we should take into consideration the fact that there is no "lockbox" when evaluating the budget and the surplus. But in point of fact the surplus is going to be less then previously predicted (notwithstanding the assumptions in the previous models of the surplus were perchance generous.)

Furthermore the lockbox was Gore's response to Republican charges of raiding the trust fund.

The more Bush spends on the military and the tax cut, the less money will be available in surplus funds and general funds. This means debt-reduction, which according to the article linked by Aaron, is going to be less. Social security taxes pay down the debt, meaning surplus Social Security taxes reduce the interest the US pays on that debt over time. This interest owed will reduce the viability of social security without a) debt-reduction now, b) minor adjustments to the parameters of the program. (as suggested by the IMF, filtered through columnist Paul Krugman)

That is, at least, how someone explained it to me once. I'm open to another explanation; if you, Aaron, link another National Review or Washington Times article, I'll read it.
posted by rschram at 5:44 PM on August 25, 2001


Here we go ... This bulleted list halfway down hardly constitutes a campaign promise, but even if it did, so what?
posted by rschram at 6:10 PM on August 25, 2001


No lock, no box. It doesn't exist.

The principle of preserving Social Security guarantees to senior citizens is extremely real, though, and Bush has stepped across a budget concept that Clinton used very effectively to put seniors at ease.

You may not think the lock box is important because it doesn't really exist. But the Bush White House does -- otherwise, it wouldn't have tinkered with 65-year-old accounting rules to make it look like he didn't dip into Social Security funds for general revenue.
posted by rcade at 7:30 PM on August 25, 2001


If the tax cut is "your money", isn't it right to say that the national debt is "your debts"?

Well, I earned my money, but I didn't rack up "my" debts, so no, that would be decidedly not right. Sort of like me saying that I'm going to take your money, and the amount I spend over the amount I take is your debt, since I am purportedly acting on your behalf. Har dee har.

What you're forgetting here is that it was my money BEFORE it was tax money. I just never got to see it, because the government gets their piece of my paycheck before I get my piece of my paycheck. And, that whopping $300 is about 2% of my total annual tax bill, not counting state taxes, local taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, licensing fees, utility surchages, and the like. So please forgive me if I don't get all slaphappy/outraged over the generousity/shortsightedness of our current political leadership.
posted by UncleFes at 8:53 PM on August 25, 2001


What you're forgetting here is that it was my money BEFORE it was tax money.

Or rather: that's what you're led to believe.
posted by holgate at 8:05 AM on August 26, 2001


Ditto, davidmsc, rschram, rcade, UncleFes and holgate.

*whistles and breaks down, awed by this major god gallery: "jpoulos made me do it!"
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:14 PM on March 2, 2002


* (close asterix)
posted by goneill at 9:12 PM on March 2, 2002


That was sweet of you, goneill. Perhaps one day you might teach me the difference between the asterisks and that fascinating /me thanks goneill construction! What does the slash mean? Why the third person? Is it a MetaFilter thing? Best wishes to lucky old mlang too! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:24 PM on March 2, 2002


/me is a MUD command that makes the game display your name followed by the rest of the line you typed. So if I typed ...

/me stares longingly into his own navel.

... in a MUD, the game would display this line:

rcade stares longingly into his own navel.
posted by rcade at 7:25 AM on March 3, 2002


/me thanks rcade, admiring his clarity and adding his books to /me's wish list. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:47 AM on March 3, 2002


I picked the /me command up on IRC, not on a MUD.
posted by aaron at 12:04 AM on March 4, 2002


I never messed with IRC (though I was a bit of a MUD geek on BBSes), so I can't venture a guess about which came first.
posted by rcade at 6:33 AM on March 4, 2002


Yeah, I've been told that I inspire obsesssion.
posted by MUD at 7:53 AM on March 16, 2002


IRC dates back to 1988. MUDs go back to at least 1979, and probably earlier.

As for MeFi's MUD ... I LOVE YOU MANNN!
posted by aaron at 3:27 PM on March 16, 2002


Aw, shucks. I like you too, but I'm just not sure how serious you are. Get back to me once you've written a poem about it.
posted by MUD at 9:42 AM on March 18, 2002


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