Never was there a doubt. President George W. Bush said, “Bipartisan education reform will be the cornerstone of my Administration.”  Yet, it never was.  It is not that the Democrats did not wish to work with Mr. Bush to improve our schools and to set a standard of excellence for the nation’s children.  It is that Baby Bush had a truer mission, that of spreading Democracy throughout the world.  This goal has always distracted King George. 

This President has “war” on his mind.  For him, “conflict” is the definition of the democratic process.  He promotes it in his daily travels.  He may speak of erudition; however, he acts on combat.

George W. strives to be the one that unites nations; however, he divides them.  He destroys nations aboard and at home.  He battles, blames, and builds walls, not bridges. 

This President speaks of being a “compassionate conservative,” and just as his father, he envisions himself as “kinder and gentler;” however, the truth is he is leaving millions, billions, and trillions behind.  The rich are getting richer, the poor, poorer; and the children . . . they are left behind. 

* Please Read, Children Left Behind, Washington Post and The Children Left Behind The Institute for Women’s Policy Research

According to the Congressional Budget Office, “The government will spend $217 billion on interest on the debt this year. By contrast, federal spending for the Department of Education is $83 billion.”
These numbers are staggering, as are all the statistics as they relate to the bully, Baby Bush.

Prior to this Bush presidency, the federal budget experienced four years of surplus; these were during the Clinton reign that our budget was well balanced.  The recent extended period of “excess” was the longest since before the Great Depression. Then there is GW.  Under the authority of George Boy Bush, the debt level was increased four times! 

As of today, March 16, 2006, the debt ceiling has been raised.  At the behest of this President, our debt can legally be 70.3 percent of our gross domestic product.  This is the highest since the 1997 increase.

As high as the maximum amount now is, under Bush it could go higher. Last month Bush sent Congress a $2.77 trillion budget request for fiscal 2007 that calls for a deficit of $354 billion.  When considering this we must remember, much of what is spent on defense is not included in the budget.  Then there are disasters, natural and man-made.  These cannot be planned for; yet, they too need funds.  Thus, we finance these as they occur.

We plan and we do not. Bush budgets for defense, though never fully.  He requests more as needed and there are always needs.  Thus far, the unnecessary Iraq war is expected to cost $9 billion a month.  This price is thought to be a stable.  It is not.

Initially, to deploy the troops, Americans spent more.  Originally, we were spending $13 Billion per month.  In the last few days a novel operation has begun, an air attack.  This endeavor will also add to the cost of the war.  No matter, for fighting can always be funded.  Afterall, it is the Bush priority.

What of the children and their education?  Well.  Imagine how many children might be served with dollars such as these.  Think of the minds that might be fed and the bellies; then consider this.  According to the United States Census Bureau, 13 million American children go hungry each and everyday.  War spending can be $13 Billion per month; 13 million American children go hungry daily.  This is an interesting correlation.

Yes, it is well known, a starving body does not allow for the feeding of a famished mind.  Nevertheless. There are priorities, at least for this President.  His is not education, nor is it our children, though he says these are.  Numbers $peak! The cornerstone of the Bush 43 presidency is filling fields with headstones.

For your reference . . .

Betsy L. Angert Be-Think

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