Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Dobbs: Bush, Congress tell working folk to go to hell
By Lou DobbsCNN
Wednesday, May 24, 2006; Posted: 12:30 p.m. EDT (16:30 GMT)
Editor's note: Lou Dobbs' commentary appears every Wednesday on CNN.com.
Lou Dobbs says President Bush and Congress are part of an "elitist war on the middle class"
NEW YORK (CNN) -- President Bush says that the installation of the new Iraqi government was a "watershed event," but at the same time warns Americans of the challenges and loss as we continue to prosecute the war against Iraqi insurgents. Sen. Harry Reid declares that legislation that would render English the national language is racist.
Thirty-seven Democrats vote for full amnesty for all illegal aliens in this country, even though nobody really knows whether the number is 11 million, 12 million or 20 million. The Senate Republican leadership demands that a "comprehensive immigration reform" plan must be passed before this Memorial Day weekend. And the president signs into law a tax cut that raises taxes on the educational funds of teenagers saving for college.
Never before in our country's history have both the president and Congress been so out of touch with most Americans. Never before have so few of our elected officials and corporate leaders been less willing to commit to the national interest. And never before has our nation's largest constituent group -- some 200 million middle-class Americans -- been without representation in our nation's capital George W. Bush's approval ratings have slumped to the lowest of his presidency. The approval rating for Congress is even lower, and nearly three-quarters of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
But what is our government doing about that? The president is staying the course in Iraq and apparently demanding little of his generals to create a new, far more effective strategy for urgent success. Of course, he also wants a guest-worker program and amnesty of millions of illegal aliens. And Congress, faced with midterm elections in just over five months, is intent on giving the president what he wants and telling working men and women and their families, American citizens all, to go to hell.
Illegal aliens are more important to this Congress than securing our borders and our ports, more important than those legal immigrants who have waited in line and who follow the law. The Senate has added to the litany of lunacy that makes up what it calls reform: Illegal aliens would only have to pay back taxes on three of the past five years, they will not be prosecuted for felonies such as identity theft or purchasing or using fraudulent Social Security cards, and unlike millions of visa holders who have to leave the country to have them renewed, they may simply remain in the United States while this Congress and this president give away all the benefits and privileges of American citizenship.
This is an outright assault in the elitist war on the middle class. And working men and women who've already borne the pain of losing good-paying manufacturing jobs and having middle-class jobs outsourced to cheap foreign labor markets are faced with the onslaught of more illegal immigration and cheap labor into the American economy. This president and Congress talk about bringing illegal aliens out of the shadows while they turn out the lights on our middle class.
President Bush and his most trusted advisers tell us how well our economy is doing, how many jobs have been created and how so-called free trade will enrich the lives of the same people whose livelihoods these policies are destroying.
It's hard not to think of the trusted adviser to Catherine the Great who sought to hide from her the embarrassing and shoddy condition of Ukrainian and Crimean villages by having elaborate facades built to divert her attention and to mask an uncomfortable reality. I don't know whether Karl Rove is President Bush's Grigori Potemkin or whether George Bush has created Potemkin villages all by himself. But the facades are cracking, and phony fronts of failed policies are quickly crumbling.
Six thousand unarmed National Guardsmen working as adjunct rear support to our undermanned, under-equipped Border Patrol is not border security. Three million illegal aliens continue to cross our borders and depress wages by hundreds of billions of dollars every year. The millions of manufacturing and middle-class jobs lost over the last five years have been replaced by lower-wage employment.
The president's faith-based commitment to so-called free trade will likely lead to a $1 trillion U.S. current account deficit this year and a trade debt of $4.5 trillion after 30 years of trade deficits. And while the president and Congress point to No Child Left Behind as a solution to our educational crisis, we're failing an entire generation of Americans whose test scores continue to fall and whose high school dropout rates would be embarrassing to a third-world country.
And a third-world country is what we will be if our elected officials don't soon come to their senses.