I'm writing once again to express deep concerns about the direction our nation is headed, and to discuss President Bush's proposed "Ownership Society". I write with all do respect to our nation's leader, President George W. Bush.
The major obstacles impeding America’s system of democracy and capitalism from leading the world is its great disparity of wealth between the poor, working families, and the rich. Policy that bridge these gaps must be applied before the United States can not only lead militarily, but also economically. In addition we must adhere to policies that can be admired international.
I ask you, to think upon those whom are part of our society that do not own anything? About those that do not have the resources to own a home, business, health insurance, stock, mutual funds, or a retirement plan. About those that are productive citizens but are not concerned with ownership, but with living, paying thier bills, and with simply surviving.
The United States of America, a great nation of wealth, has millions of people in this “society”. They are too the President's constituents rendering the presidency and its powers not simply subject to the agendas of the Republican nor Democratic Parties, but obligated to serve every citizen; rich, middle class, or poor.
President Bush and Congress should make efforts to elevate ALL Americans to a point in which they can participate in this “Ownership Society”? If this is not their collective goal, then they are neglect to their duty to the American people.
Instead of simply criticism I will offer specific examples of programs that must be improved and/or fully funded.
Programs that create Jobs that earn at the minimum a living wage. What do I mean by a ‘living wage’. No American that is a productive tax paying citizen working full time should struggle with: Healthcare, and basic utilities. Is this too much to ask of America?
Fully Funding all programs that offer financial assistance to qualified students. Politicians must posses the compassion to realize that and to not deny a bright young person that happens to come from a poor family the opportunity to gain a higher education.
Economic Development Programs that directly invest and create jobs in improvised communities.
Welfare Programs with incentives linked to education and employment achievements for those capable. And compassion for those not capable.
There are two directions our country can move: forward or backward. The nation’s economic prosperity cannot progress if a segment of the population’s economic stability is not merely stagnant, but moving backwards. The measures implemented in 2000 which will continue passed 2009 that increased the financial foundation for the rich, and corporate America are over weighted favoring the already wealthy. They also show a lack of responsibility to and planning for domestic policy.
Measures such as tax breaks during a recession, high unemployment, wars, and a sky rocketing national deficit show ignorance and an utter lack of compassion on crucial real & pressing money snatching matters affecting the majority of American citizens. Housing, Heating, Insurance, Gas, Utilities, and Consumable prices continue to snatch our money while wages remain stagnant. In light of these conditions this ‘Ownership Society’ will be impossible for millions to reach because they will be left with no disposable income.
The publics apathy and misseducation on these multiplicity of issues is expected, but it is the job of the White House and Congress to give them due attention. "Conservatives" overwhelmingly winning elections though out the nation is not a mandate endorsing a neglect to the responsibility to the pure national good.
Health Care is neither affordable, or accessible. In my opinion Health Care must be gradually converted into a public good. Only after this problem is solved do I believe the public will support efforts to re shape Social Security. How can we in good conscience allow for a corporation to gain at the expense of someone's life and livelihood? There is simply no reason that healthcare should cost what it does, prices are artificially inflated and must be readjusted and regulated. Health Care is not similar to making a bad financial decision. In most occasions health problems are matters out of our control. Yes, there should be room for profit, but also fair to the public. For Example: Most health plans are capped at $100,000. A major surgery and hospital stay can far exceed this amount. This is one of many matters that should be regulated upon insurance companies. Health Care is a right and is in the interest of all Americans. Comprehensive Health Care is a necessity which must be made accessible and attainable to all Americans. The vested interest in insurance companies to earn profit instead of saving lives, and promoting a good quality of life is borderline criminal. And the neglect of the nation’s leaders to correct this problem is pure incompetence.
There are fewer jobs. An Ownership Society CANNOT exist with this condition. The country must be 1) prospering , 2) have low unemployment, 3) and have good paying jobs available (especially if President Bush's Social Security reforms are enacted).
President Bush calls for education and hard work , but he allows for financial assistance (Pell Grants) to be decreased. This is in direct contradiction to his proclaimed goal to create an "Ownership Society". I ask you Mr. President, what society do those that own nothing belong too? I ask you Mr. President to what society do those that have no resources to own a home, business, health insurance belong too? And when you respond as you already have that the key is for them to get an education, I ask you why have Pell grants not been increased? And after these people follow your words and get an education, and at that point in time they only own a $40,000 student loan, I ask you where are the jobs?
President Bush's foreign policy has created a world turned against us, and anxious of our unjustified actions. Russia has reestablished vestiges of a dictatorship. Europe is competing and humiliated us in an economic and cultural struggle. China is unaffected by our sanctions. North Korea and Iran can be expected to make progress towards nuclear armament for only reason, our unjustified invasion and incompetent intelligence. We are criticizing and alienating the United Nations, an ally as committed as Great Britain, simply because they desired to what is procedurally correct, humanitarian, justifiable and credible. The same standards we should never negate. And do we forget this organization is housed in New York City, and that we serve on its Security Council.
We have seen ethical & moral deterioration within Congress and the White House. National policy under the Bush administration possesses an utter lack of respect for and disregard for universal human rights, military codes of ethics, and the policies of the Geneva Convention as indicative at Abu Grave & Guantanamo Bay Prisons. And also seen in Congressional leaders changing rules of ethics to suit their self-interest and neglecting their duty to preserving the pure uncorrupt essence of American Democracy.
We are seeing a decrease in funding for social services while concurrently out of pocket expenses on all levels have increased. The average American citizen has less money and fewer savings.
The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drained the nation of resources and divided us ideologically. Every year President Bush requests $80 Billion more to fund these wars. The justification for these wars has now been disproved and leaders from both parties allow for the White House to change its story and reasons for justification. The ends do not justify the means.
President Bush claims to be a Christian, as I have been all my life. So I must ask where is his compassion towards the poor in this country. Where is his compassion towards the workingmen, women, and families in our country? Where is his compassion to the human beings we imprison, allow to be “tortured” and assert they have no human rights in Iraq & Afghistan (some whom are American citizens). Where is his compassion to Innocent Iraqi citizens & children who are killed in their own homes because of our actions.
In Iraq the death toll of civilians is 10 times greater than that of our soldiers and civilian contractors. Terrorism is growing exponentially and the White House, Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Congress, and the military forgets that a martyr is worth more than an American paycheck towards recruiting countless sympathizers to the causes against our nation. This is simply the result of killing a true (“Fanatical Muslim”) terrorist.
But what! But what about the pure hatred created towards the United States of America because of the death of an innocent child. Do we forget that Christianity itself gets its strength from a martyr, in Jesus Christ? Where, President G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney is your compassion for the streets of Afghanistan, dripping with heroin? And where is your faith towards the dead American soldiers who may have given their lives in vain? And where is there an increase in the area of domestic programs right here in America? And in what ways has your proclaimed faith in God guided and prevailed in any of these matters?
The revelations found within the Downing Street Memo/Minutes where British Prime Minister Tony Blair, our 'closet ally' substantiated claims that President George W. Bush and his Administrators knowingly fixed intelligence to promote the War in Iraq before September 11, 2001 brings heightened importance to my concerns..
This Ownership Society of President George W. Bush would leave millions of American citizens behind. The millions that are concerned with living, paying their bills, providing basic needs for their family and whom presently are not even capable of reaching his idea of "ownership".
What will the White House and Congress do to decrease great economic disparities found in every segment of our nation? For example; clear economic disparities, cultural and structural restraints within the African American community? How can our nation’s leaders expect that the United States can prosper as whole if any segment is left behind and neglected? The working class will have no benefit from President Bush's plans for an “ownership society” and I predict these plans will further put our nation on a road to economic failures. For example: see the value of the dollar, see the trade deficit, see the national deficit, see the stock market, see the decrease in average household income, see the decline in average wages and salaries.
It is my hope that these issues will be brought to the forefront. That these plans for an "Ownership Society" will put forth aggressive programs to deal will economic disparities and enable all Americans willing and qualified to be able grasp the cornerstone to this “society“; an education. And with our nation's present economic situation I pray our nation’s leaders can assure that good paying jobs will be available, which is the foundation for this entire plan of an ownership society. However, this is only true if our President and government are sincere in their intentions and actions.
The current mentality of political leaders is that “government is not the solution, but the problem.” I beg to differ. It is the role of government to allocate tax dollars in the service and interest of its citizens. Our Constitution clearly establishes the role of government in promoting the common good of our nation. Everyman & woman for himself is not inherently an American value. This approach is a plan for failure as seen in our nation's response to Hurricane Katrina. Where was the Government, where were the non-profits, where was the private sector? It was and shall always be the role of Government to act and protect its citizens in such disasters.
In addition as seen with Corporations defaulting on agreed upon Pension Plans the private sector cannot be trusted to uphold its responsibilities to its employees.
It is also my hope that we finally see an end to excuses, diverting the blame for mistakes and a renewed focus on the true needs of All Americans. The accountability for the state of our nation lies more with no one, but our President.
-Anthony T. Brooks