Bushonomics 101

Back in the 1970s, George W. Bush, Jr. attended Harvard U., on his way to obtaining a Masters in business administration. Can you believe that this man has a Masters degree from Harvard? And, that he also has a history B.A. from Yale? Bush the Barbarian: a history major! I suspect, but I can’t prove it, that old “Daddy Bush” must have had something to do with getting his junior, with those just above “C” average grades, through these two once-highly-distinguished bastions of Ivy League learning (Ellis Henican’s “Affirmative Action, Bush-Style,” Hartford Courant, 01/22/03).

In any event, one of Bush’s professors at Harvard was Yoshi Tsurumi, who was then teaching a course on International Business. He remembers having old shallow head in his class. I mean, how could you ever forget Bush and that patented dumb and blank look on his mug when he is asked a question that he doesn’t know how to answer. We just saw it again, when at a recent press conference, he stalked out and refused to reply to this query: “What exactly was your relationship with Ken Lay and Enron?” (Capitol Hill Blue, “Bush League,” 07/09/04, http://www.capitolhillblue.com/).

Even though it has been over 30 years ago, Tsurumi “vividly” recalls Bush the student making this stunning statement in his class room at Harvard: “People are poor because they are lazy.” Now this is the same guy, who as president spent 42 percent of his first 8 months in office on vacation at his Crawford, Texas ranch! He has never had a regular job in his entire life, unless you’re counting the sinecures that daddy weaseled for him in the energy business and with the Texas Rangers’ major league baseball club. As governor of Texas, Bush is remembered mostly for this infamous fact: He signed more death warrants for convicted homicide defendants, who were languishing on death row, 155, than any other “elected official in all of recorded American history” (http://www.ccadp.org/serialpresident.htm).

Tsurumi continued reminiscing about this truly unremarkable pupil. He wrote, “Bush was opposed to labor unions, social security, environmental protection, Medicare and public schools. To him, the antitrust watch dog, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities Exchange Commission were unnecessary hindrances to ‘free market competition.’ To him, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was ‘socialism’…” (Inequality.org, 03/01/04).

Bringing things up to date, Tsurumi made this telling point, “President Bush and his brain, Karl Rove, are leading a radical revolution of destroying all the democratic political, social, judiciary and economic institutions that both Democratics and moderate Republicans have built together since Roosevelt’s New Deal.” (Rove is Bush’s chief political strategist within the White House, and a wily character. He has gained a reputation as having a Rasputin-like effect on the weak-minded Yale man. Rove helped to get Bush elected both as Texas governor and as president. See, Wayne Madsen’s biting commentary, ‘Karl Rove: The King of Dirt,” From The Wilderness Publications, 12/05/03.)

On the disturbing jobs’ issue, Tsurumi said, “The U.S. has over 5 million part-time job holders who want full time jobs but cannot find them. In addition, the U.S. has 8 million persons who have had to settle for full time jobs paying far less than their previous jobs. The ‘jobless recovery’ and the widening income gaps are aggravated by massive migrations of good paying manufacturing and service jobs abroad. Such migrations have been accelerated by President Bush’s misguided tax cuts… America’s skewed income distribution is rapidly making the U.S. resemble Argentina or Mexico. The ‘jobless recovery’ is not a political mirage, but a serious problem…The U.S. has a widening income gap between a few ‘haves’ and many ‘have-nots.'”

Blasting away, Tsurumi concluded, “President Bush’s tax cuts have given over 93% of their benefits to large corporations and well-to-do households with over $250,000 of annual income (about 10% of the U.S. households). Moreover…they are abolishing taxes on such asset-based income as stock dividends and capital gains. He is opposed to taxing management aristocrats’ self-dealt stock options (salary payment in kind). He is opposed to requiring the corporations to treat such stock options as their personnel expenses. More than anything else, management aristocrats’ stock options are encouraging many corporations to abandon manufacturing-and-supply procurements at home and switching to imports from China and other lower-wage countries. He is phasing out estate taxes. All of these measures are transforming the past ‘potbelly flower vase’ shape of the U.S. income distribution to the ‘bottom-heavy hourglass’ shape.”

Finally, the IQ-challenged Bush just barely got through Yale and Harvard. And, now, thanks to Professor Tsurumi’s keen analysis of his reactionary economic ideas, “Bushonomics 101,” we know, unless stopped, that they will roll the clock back in this country to the predatory Age of the Robber Barons. Some of Bush’s extremely conservative schemes include: demonizing the poor, sucking up to the ultra wealthy with monstrous tax cuts, shipping our best manufacturing jobs overseas, pushing bloated budgets, incurring huge foreign debts, and by stealth, the dismantling of FDR’s New Deal programs.

For over 1320 days, America has suffered under “Bushonomics 101,” along with his totally reckless invasion and occupation of Iraq. Absent Bush’s defeat in November, he (and his demented brain, Karl Rove) will have four more years to rip this nation even further apart.