The author of last week’s letter-to-the-editor broadly disparaged President Bush, his cabinet, budget, policies, and even his daughter. While space prevents me from combating every disputable comment, I will refute what I can. The author states that Bush’s appointees are “industrial lobbyists” and “right-wing bully boys.” In fact, Bush chose well-qualified people who have served our nation admirably and continue to today. Bush’s cabinet draws on people from various ethnicities, political persuasions, and occupations. Norman Mineta, Secretary of Transportation, actually came straight from Clinton’s cabinet. I submit that these people do represent us.
The author implies that Bush’s income tax cut would mostly help the wealthy. Actually, the largest percentage reduction goes to families with the lowest income. All Americans will receive tax cuts, but the most affluent Americans would actually pay for a larger portion of the burden. The less a family earns, the larger its percentage tax cut. Bush’s plan also helps families near poverty to move up the economic ladder by decreasing their marginal tax rates. These tax cuts will strengthen our economy by giving more money to consumers.
The author claims that defense budgets increased following the Cold War and that Bush will continue this trend. Not true. Starting in 1991, U.S. military spending has steadily decreased in real dollars. R&D were cut, resulting in aging military equipment. Concurrently, deployment markedly increased, stretching our reduced military budget even farther. Recruitment levels cannot be met, partly due to substandard pay and benefits for military personnel. Thus, an increase in spending is crucial to replace aging equipment and properly pay our troops.
Yet Bush is not increasing defense spending haphazardly. Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell have intimated that we should not act as the world’s policeman. The administration is looking at ways to close unnecessary deployments and streamline our forces worldwide.
Finally, although jokes about Bush’s grammatical foibles have been heard before, the author’s backhanded attack on Bush’s daughter is particularly distasteful. Not only is it irrelevant to his arguments but, as fellow college students, we should let Ms. Bush lead her own life and make mistakes that we are often guilty of making ourselves.