Monthly Archives: October 2010

Economic Policy of the George W. Bush Administration

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During the George W. Bush Administration, the economic policy was distinguished by a mixture of cutting taxes, spending government funds to pay for two wars, and the de-emphasis of the government in the private sector caused by the free-market philosophy employed by the administration.

Hundred Dollar USA Map

In the first term of his presidency, Bush requested and was given the approval of Congress to pass three different tax-cutting acts. There were the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. The function of all these acts was to decrease taxes, reduce capital gains tax, increase the child tax credit, and eliminate the “marriage penalty.” All of these acts, while imposed in different years, are set to expire in 2011.

No matter how you look at it, the truth is that the budget deficit and national debt in 2008 was the result of an increase of more than six times what is was in 2001. The debt rose from $144.5 billion in 2001 to $962.0 billion in 2008. A little over half of the debt incurred between 2001 and 2006 was due to tax cuts. Other major players in the nation’s debt were national security and entitlements.

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America’s Hangover Infographic

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Via: Mocavo Genealogy Search

Political Positions of George W. Bush

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The easiest way to summarize a president’s political position is to examine their actions.  George W. Bush had a number of political positions in the realms of economy, civil liberties, foreign policy and social policy.

George W. Bush and Javier Solana

One economic policy that Bush is most famous for is his generous tax cuts.  He believed this would help the economy at large when in reality it accounted for more than 50% of the deficit increase from 2000-2006.  Bush supported nuclear power and expanding domestic drilling.  His goal was to decrease dependence on foreign oil and increase the option of alternative fuel consumption.  As far as free-market capitalism, Bush stated, “Our aim should not be more government. It should be smarter government.”

Bush’s civil liberty policies stood mostly on anti-terrorism and surveying domestic issues through various information-gathering methods.  In late 2001, after the September 11 attacks, the Presidential Military Order gave Bush the authority to detain and question suspects who had a connection with terrorism as an unlawful combatant.  This power turned into the ability to detain people indefinitely without a charge filed against them, without a court hearing, and without the right to a lawyer.  He also supported the banning of flag burning and supported the regulation of gun control.

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Bush Announced a Global War on Terrorism

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When US citizens watched the news footage of the attacks on America on September 11, 2001, disbelief and shock shivered throughout the nation.  The destruction of the World Trade Center towers and the damage done to the Pentagon by the hijacked airplanes, not to mention the thousands of lives that were lost, clearly can be categorized as the worst terrorist attacks ever performed against the United States.  After the ghastly attacks on one of the most powerful nations in the world, all eyes turned to the president, Mr. George W. Bush.

Attacks on September 11, 200

Before the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Bush administration was criticized for its position on various domestic and international issues.  After Bush addressed the nation and united everyone under the same cause – justice and freedom – he initially gained a great amount of popularity.

Global War on Terror

However, despite the heightened sense of security and unity throughout the country, many people were concerned that the announcement of a global War on Terrorism would result in a crackdown of freedom and human rights in various nations throughout the world.  Also, others are concerned that the War on Terrorism will give leaders the excuse to aim for more aggressive decision making and policies that will negatively affect the rights of citizens.

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Presidency of George W. Bush

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George W. Bush was inaugurated as the United States’ 43rd President on January 20, 2001. He was the second US president to follow in his father’s footsteps into the White House — John Quincy Adams was the first to have a father be president before him. Following two controversial vote recounts, Vice President Al Gore took Bush to court to settle the votes for certain. When it was determined that Florida’s majority vote was in favor of Bush, the 25 additional Electoral College votes gave him enough to beat Gore for a seat in the White House. He ended up being reelected for a second term and served until the baton was handed off to Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.

George W. Bush Photo

The first item of note in the new president’s administration was the launching of warplanes to strike air command centers in Iraq in February 2001. His claims that the country had “weapons of mass destruction” were not verified either before or after the attack. After the terrorist attacks on the US on September 11, 2001, Bush launched the War on Terrorism and ordered the invasion of Afghanistan. These actions led to an increased amount of American activity in the Middle East for the next several years.

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United States Presidential Election, 2000

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The United States presidential election in the year 2000 was one of the most controversial of its kind in history.  The race was incredibly close throughout the entire campaign and called for a month of recounts, and court challenges.  Based on the conclusion of the court case, Bush v. Gore, George W. Bush was announced as the winner over Vice President Al Gore due to 537 votes cast in Florida.  Before any winner was announced, however, they had to campaign.  Both men focused their campaigns on domestic issues like the price of prescription drugs, education, financial reform, and Social Security.  Both candidates suggested that their plans would decrease the national deficit.

Bush vs Gore Presidential Election, 2000

Gore began his campaign against Bush with a strong background.  The fact that he served as vice president for eight years under President Bill Clinton during a time when the economy was thought to still be doing well is part of what helped him win the Democratic primary so easily.  However, because of the scandal surrounding Clinton’s impeachment in 1998, Gore had no interest in using that information as a basis for his election.  As it was, Clinton didn’t do much to help Gore in his campaign anyway.  Gore’s goals were to balance adopting the strong economy from the previous administration while steering away from the moral mistakes of Clinton.

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George W. Bush Biography

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George Walker Bush was born on July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut.  He was the 43rd president in the White House and served as the President of the United States from 2001-2009.  He narrowly beat Al Gore in the Electoral College vote, which made him president despite losing the popular vote of the nation.  This was the first time such an event had happened since 1888 when Benjamin Harrison was elected president.  The most prominent part of his administration was the launch of the Iraq War in 2003.
George Bush Photo

Bush was the firstborn of six children.  His father and namesake, George H.W. Bush, was the 41st president from 1989-1993.  While Bush Jr. was born in Connecticut, he was raised primarily in Texas.  After his time at Phillips Academy from 1961-1964, he attended Yale University and earned his bachelor’s degree in history in 1968.  This is the school his father and grandfather attended as well.  Unlike his forebears, he had only average grades and was not an athlete.  He served in the Texas Air National Guard starting in July 1968, and by June 1970, he was a certified fighter pilot.

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George W. Bush in the Texas Air National Guard

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George W. Bush’s military service began in 1968. He was set to graduate from Yale University which would make his eligible for the draft into the Vietnam War. In all likelihood, he would be drafted and serve his country there. However, Bush sought acceptance in the Texas Air National Guard. Whatever his true intentions were, this would certainly decrease his chances of actually being dispatched to Vietnam. Although his entrance scores were low, he was accepted into the service of the Texas Air National Guard.

George W. Bush military service

In 1968, Bush completed flight school and began further training that would last six months starting in November of 1969. From June 1970 to April 1972, he was reported to have flown with is unit frequently. In May of that year, he decided to run for a position in the U.S. Senate and gained approval to move to Alabama. While in this state, Bush was required to continue his National Guard duty with a unit there. He failed to have his required yearly physical exam and was removed from flight duty in August, 1972. His records show he did nothing in regards to military service from April 16, 1972 to October 28, 1972, and no records show he served with any unit at all in Alabama.

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