80 Failures in 100 Shrub Daze
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington DC - On April 29, 2001, President Bush completed his first 100 days in office. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney responded to this milestone with an analysis of what our new President has accomplished.
"President Bush introduced America to the idea of compassionate conservatism, and indeed Bush has demonstrated a high level of compassion. Unfortunately, his compassion has been reserved for the moneyed interests who filled his political coffers and helped to secure his theft of the Presidency. Afterall, special interest groups contributed an unprecedented amount of campaign contributions, and now the chickens have come home to roost," McKinney said.
Ms. McKinney compiled a list of 80 failures that the Bush Administration has produced in his first 100 days.
"Bush calls himself a 'Reformer with results'. But he only seems bent on reforming laws that were intended to protect America's families, America's workers, and America's environment. The results have been a boon for corporate interests, and devastating for the American people," McKinney concluded.
For more information on the first 100 days of Bush, or to add more failures, please contact Jon Fremont at (202) 225-1605 or email at Jonathan.Fremont@mail.house.gov.
1. Bush campaigned on a pledge to provide a $1.6 trillion tax cut to America's wealthiest families.
2. Bush named the wealthiest cabinet in the history of the United States.
3. Bush's Cabinet stumped for the President's tax cut proposal.
4. Bush's number one priority in his first 100 days has been promoting a tax plan that will cost $2. 6 trillion over the next ten years. 45% of his cut will benefit the wealthiest one- percent of taxpayers, people with an average income of $915,000.
5. The Bush tax plan against women and lower income earners gives no tax relief at all to those families too poor to pay income taxes (12 million families with 24 million children), no tax deductions for 53% of Black and Hispanic families; and no tax cuts made for single persons earning between $6,001 to $27,050 nor for married persons earning $12,001 to $45,200.
6. The administration's proposal also fails to make adjustments that would make tax rates truly progressive. Completely untouched is the regressive payroll tax that places the heaviest burden on low to middle income workers, predominately female, while leaving in place a substantial break for high income earners who make no payroll tax contributions above the $80,400 level (most of whom are men, of course).
7. Bush' tax cut would wipe out the rest of any funds available, leaving nothing for future contingencies, including shoring up Social Security.
8. The richest cabinet in history will get a kickback of over $100 million through Bush's efforts to push the Estate Tax legislation through Congress.
9. The Republican party is so devoid of talent that Bush named a record number of George Herbert Walker retreads to his Administration. There's no question about one assignment that's going to get a big, fat "Incomplete" --installing the 487 top officials who will run the executive branch the next four years. 90% of assigned positions are unfilled.
10. Our new Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham, recently campaigned on eliminating the Department of Energy, the very program he now runs, while also leading efforts to prevent increased fuel efficiency in vehicles.
11. Our Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, has led efforts to rollback endangered species protection and allowed mining company polluters to escape clean up requirements and liability.
12. Bush appointed Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior because she believes that corporations have a constitutional right to pollute.
13. Gale Norton's first concrete attempt at a regulatory rollback was a proposal to gut updated environmental mining regulations that went into effect at the end of the Clinton administration. Independent reports estimate that taxpayers could be on the hook for about $1 billion in environmental cleanup costs from today's mines.
14. President Bush's choice for the No. 3 spot at the Department of Energy is Robert G. Card, who until recently was CEO and president of a nuclear cleanup contractor that has been fined or penalized more than $725,000 for numerous worker safety, procurement and other violations since 1996.
15. The New Attorney General has a history of blocking enforcement of environmental laws; and throughout his career, Ashcroft has worked tirelessly to restrict a woman's right to choose.
16. The new head of the EPA, Christine Whitman, who doubts that global warming is a serious problem, defended global warming and got kicked by Bush. In a memo from Whitman to Bush, the EPA Administrator stressed the need for Bush to "appear" to be engaged in addressing global warming, as if the environment responds to appearances.
17. Tommy Thompson, the new Secretary of the Department Of Health And Human Services was one of the country's most anti-choice governors and now heads up the department that wields the greatest influence over policies affecting women's reproductive health.
18. Bush named Don Eberly, a right wing activist who was an official with the National Fatherhood Institute, to head up a White House office for faith-based programs. Some women's rights advocates are concerned that Eberly will utilize the office to help funnel even more federal monies to misogynist groups who promote so-called fatherhood initiatives.
19. John Negroponte, Bush's appointee for UN Ambassador has a track record of disrespecting human rights. During his tour as ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte earned his reputation for being soft on human rights abuses. Under the helm of General Gustavo Alvarez Martínez, Honduras's military government was both a close ally of the Reagan administration and was disappearing dozens of political opponents in classic death squad fashion. Negroponte turned a blind eye to human rights abuses and even helped to cover up extrajudicial killings.
20. Bush's appointee for Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton, does not belong in the arms control job because, as the director of the Carnegie Non-Proliferation Project, Joseph Cirincione, says: "Bolton is philosophically opposed to most of the international treaties that comprise the nonproliferation regime."
21. The nomination of Cuban-born Otto J. Reich as the State Department's top Latin America official is drawing Democratic criticism based on his role in the 1980s Central American wars. The Democrats' concerns over Reich focus on his leadership of the State Department's one-time Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean. The office - which Reich led from its inception in June 1983 until January 1986 - was accused of running an illegal, covert domestic propaganda effort against Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government and in favor of the Contra rebels.
22. Bush named Linda Fisher, an executive with Monsanto Co., a leading developer of the world's most dangerous chemicals and biotech foods, for the second-ranking job at the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House said yesterday.
23. Energy interests gave $2.9 million to Bush for his political campaign, and then kicked in an additional $2.2 million for his inauguration fund.
24. Bush plans to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and to sell out our public lands to private interests
25. He did a big favor for major electricity wholesalers by keeping the federal government largely out of the California energy crisis, which has produced major profits for energy companies including Dynegy Inc., Enron Corp. and Reliant Energy Inc., all of which are based in Bush's home state of Texas.
26. Bush showed his loyalty to the coal mining and electricity industries when he reversed a campaign pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which may have saved an estimated 30,000 lives a year of those who die due to respiratory illness.
27. Bush endangered the world's future and damaged our credibility in the International community when he announced the United States' withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol; an international treaty aimed at combating global warming. Seems that he's more interested in changing the global climate than the political climate.
28. Dick Cheney formulated crucial energy policy decisions behind closed doors.
29. Cheney's task force focused heavily on incentives for production; easing regulatory barriers for energy development; and opening more public lands to drilling including national monuments and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
30. Americans, by a remarkable 7-to-1 margin, think that Bush is less concerned about protecting the environment than about protecting the interests of the energy industry.
31. Despite objections from his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, he plans on auctioning offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Seems that natural gas is thicker than blood.
32. The Bush administration announced that it will block a rule from Clinton's administration requiring more energy efficient air conditioners.
33. Republican representative Sherwood Boehlert said that the Bush first 100 days deserve the grade of "incomplete in dealing with the environment."
34. Bush's budget proposes slashing more than $200 million from federal renewable energy and efficiency research programs, even as his administration declares the United States needs to find ways to cope with an "energy crisis."
35. The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro melt away as global temperatures and ocean levels rise, Bush plans nothing to address it.
36. The Environmental Protection Agency announced it would withdraw the pending decrease in allowable arsenic for drinking water, prepared during the final days of the Clinton administration.
37. Bush asked Congress to remove from the Endangered Species Act a provision that allows environmental groups and others to sue the Interior Department to get rare plants and animals listed as endangered.
38. The Bush Administration plans to suspend rules that require federal contractors to comply with environmental, civil rights and labor laws.
39. In Quebec, Bush announced his intention to promote a trade plan for the Americas based on the failed NAFTA model. This will lead to further erosion of labor rights, human rights, and environmental protections throughout the hemisphere.
40. And Bush is looking to kill the roadless policy rule that will protect millions of acres of public land from taxpayer subsidized logging.
41. A Bush White House aide confirms that Bush is taking a look at recommending easing clean air regulations without Congressional actions, thus saving utilities and coal-mining companies billions of dollars of violations of clean air regulations and at the same time mooting legal action against polluting companies.
42. Bush was the top recipient of contributions from tobacco companies. Through carefully orchestrated budget cuts, Bush has managed to kill the lawsuit that the Justice Department has against big tobacco for deliberately deceiving the American people on public health issues. This move could potentially save big tobacco billions.
43. Speaking of Bankrupt public policy. Legislation championed for years by the financial industry that would make it harder for consumers to wipe away their debts was passed by an overwhelming margin in both chambers of Congress. Though a similar measure had been approved last year, President Clinton vetoed it. Bush, however, has signaled he will sign the bill, a move that could generate an estimated tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue for major credit card companies.
44. Where did Bush's enthusiasm come from? Charles Cawley, President of MBNA America personally raised at least $100,000 for the Bush campaign, qualifying him for admission into the Pioneers, the campaign's roster of top supporters. Last January, Cawley broke out his checkbook again, writing a $100,000 check to the Bush-Cheney Inaugural Fund.
45. The US Chamber of Commerce contributed more than $514, 000 to candidates and parties, 94% of that money went to Republicans, and the National Association of Manufacturers spent $12.8 million lobbying Members of Congress from 1997 to 1999.
46. In a private meeting in late February, Bush and Republican congressional leaders decided to kill the ergonomics rule put forth by the Clinton Administration, which would protect workers from workplace related injuries.
47. Following his pledge to leave no [rich] child behind, President Bush's budget reduces resources for the Child Care and Development Block Grant projects by $ 200 million. That means that many low-income children will no longer be eligible for childcare, making it more difficult for their parents to work.
48. Bush plans to eliminate all funding for the Early Learning Opportunities program, which would have supported parent education and family support services.
49. Bush's budget will shortchange vital education programs; including efforts to reduce class sizes, improve teacher training, repair crumbling schools, promote after-school programs, and increase the number of Pell Grants available to low income freshmen.
50. Bush plans to cut in half grants that help states investigate and prevent child abuse and neglect.
51. President Bush has proposed a regime of annual testing for all students between grades three and eight. Schools that demonstrated an improvement in performance would be granted increased federal funding. Students at schools designated as low-performing would, after three years, be able to use their share of federal funds to attend other public or private schools. The school would then be privatized with the assistance of the federal government.
52. Bush's budget does not even provide funds to keep up with inflation for the WIC program, which provides vital nutrition assistance to low-income women, infants, and children.
53. On the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, President Bush ordered the reinstatement of the global "gag" rule on international family planning programs, programs that strive to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce abortion, and avert hundreds of thousands of infant and maternal deaths worldwide each year.
54. Bush is prepared to unilaterally abrogate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
55. Bush strongly advocates the National Missile Defense System or "Star Wars". This program has cost taxpayers over $40 billion to date, and yet it has failed repeatedly in carefully orchestrated tests. The program is destabilizing and China has already indicated that it would initiate an arms race if the US pursues the program.
56. The Bush administration has put its European allies on notice that it intends to move quickly to develop a missile defense and plans to abandon or fundamentally alter the treaty that has been the keystone of arms control for nearly 30 years.
57. Bush said he would suspend negotiations with North Korea, this strict stance on Korea has soured once-improving relations with North Korea.
58. The US bombs 10 miles outside of Baghdad- -a major metropolitan area- -saying that the area was "unpopulated."
59. Plans by US President George W Bush to sell weapons including eight diesel-powered submarines to Taiwan have received an embarrassing setback at the hands of European governments. Neither the Germans nor the Dutch, who have sown up the market in diesel submarines, are willing to allow the sale of the subs to Taiwan.
60. Under Bush, there has been a growing Anti-US feeling in the EU and around the world.
61. Bush's decision to proceed with arms sales to Taiwan-China has said that offensive weapons such as subs will only lead to greater tensions in Asia.
62. Bush's commitment to the Balkans. While trying to build peace he is reducing US commitment to peacebuilding. Same with the Middle East where tensions are growing and he is seeking to be less involved.
63. Bush has continued use of drug certification and the nomination of another hard liner to lead the War on Drugs.
64. President Bush worked with the CIA and a Private Military Company to cover up their responsibility in the deaths of two American missionaries killed by a Peruvian fighter as part of US drug war strategy.
65. For women who depend upon government to advance economic equity in an economically unjust society, there would be little or no money for improved child care/early childhood education programs, effective Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforcement against discrimination and harassment.
66. There will be little or no money for expansion of Violence Against Women programs, few options for expansion of health care coverage to the 43 million uncovered, no funds for a new prescription drug benefit for seniors.
67. A multi-trillion dollar tax cut may also jeopardize the future financial solvency of Social Security and Medicare -- the majority of beneficiaries being women -- and there will be few resources remaining for critically needed social investments.
68. Bush proposes to privatize Social Security, a move that jeopardizes the financial future of millions of Americans.
69. President Bush announced an expanded faith-based initiative and a vigorous, but misguided campaign to turn over social service programs to religious organizations. Faith-based initiatives, a more pernicious version of the old "charitable choice," would permit direct federal funding of programs run by religious organizations, free to proselytize and discriminate, that would have little public accountability.
70. Bush's faith based initiative faces major setback: people of faith have little faith in it!
71. President Bush's budget will propose deep cuts in a variety of health programs for people without health insurance. Services providing "health care access for the uninsured," would be reduced 86 percent, to $20 million, from $140 million in the current fiscal year.
72. Mr. Bush's budget request would also cut federal spending for the training of doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals.
73. Bush put a stop to giving unions preference on contracts for federal building projects.
74. Senator Pete Domenici disagrees vehemently with Bush's decision to hold all federal spending to no more than a 4% increase.
75. Kathy Harris, symbol of a purposely-failed election, travels to Washington to testify before Congress on the need to have elections that the people can believe in.
76. George W. Bush needs to win the Florida electoral college vote more in 2004 than in 2000. Therefore, don't look too soon for any election reform from this President.
77. According to David Broder, "The Bush White House so far has not made changing the election system a priority. The President's proposed budget, along with the budget resolutions of the House and Senate, set aside no fund for federal aid for improving election equipment or administration.
78. Republican Jim Ramstad said that Bush White House interference in Minnesota politics could end up hurting the party. A phone call by Dick Cheney to dissuade a potential candidate from running has all the markings of Bush and Cheney trying to be a "kingmaker" thwarting the will of the people.
79. World reaction was tepid, critical or simply silent to President Bush's announcement that the United States would build a shield against ballistic missile attacks.
80. President Bush throws a bash featuring 535 Members of Congress to celebrate his first 100 days and schedules it on a Monday when few Members of Congress are in town: fewer than 200 Members of Congress bothered to show up.