May 22, 2005

Summer Time Blues

First off, congratulations to our recent graduates. We hope for the best in your future, and that you can overcome this simply dismall job market for college graduates. Unfortunately, that's not the only thing the Class of 2005 faces as they leave Maryville College. Even for the rest of us, things could be so much better in our great nation.

Here are the top ten reasons America is feeling the "Summer Time Blues," performed not by singer/songwriter Alan Jackson, but by George W. Bush and Co.

10. Opposes increasing the minimum wage, even though more and more Americans have to work two jobs to stay above the poverty line and young people are struggling to keep up with rising health care and education costs. Keep this in mind as you try to make ends meet with your summer job.

9. Failed to provide a real energy plan, because the Bush energy policy is crafted by the energy industry, for the energy industry. By continuing to rely on fossil fuel and foreign oil -- and only paying lip service to renewable energy and conservation -- the Bush administration has failed to address the real problems. Remember this everytime you fill-up this summer.

8. Rolled back environmental regulations that protect clean air and water, endangering our health; and slowed down the clean up of toxic waste sites while insisting that taxpayers pay the burden! Remember that "Clean Air Act" sham job they pulled in his first term?

7. Rolled back years of Civil Rights advances by opposing affirmative action and appointing judges who defend cross-burners and oppose voters' rights. Rather than working to unite Americans as he promised in 2000, President Bush has sought a constitutional amendment opposing gay marriage to divide Americans. History will not be kind to this president.

6. Undermined women’s right to choose -- selecting vehemently anti-choice judicial nominees; trying to cut funding for family planning; even overruling the government's own scientific panels to refuse over the counter sale of emergency contraception! They also refuse to fund sex education courses in high schools, or free contraceptives.

5. Offered huge tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans while students and middle-class families are losing access to health insurance and health care costs continue to escalate. Keep this in mind as your graduation date nears.

4. Failed to adequately protect our homeland security by under-funding state and local security efforts, including police, fire and health first-responders, and failing to adequately secure chemical plants, airports, airlines, ports, borders and other terror-sensitive points. Lot's of talk, no action.

3. Misled the American people to sell the War in Iraq; irresponsibly sent young people overseas to fight for their country without a plan for winning the peace; and has gotten us stuck in a quagmire in Iraq and squandered the good will of our allies. How many more men and women are going to die needlessly, Mr. President?

2. Inherited record surpluses, a balanced budget, and steady job growth and blew it. The budget deficit is ballooning, Bush has lost more jobs than any President since the Great Depression, and now even well-paying, highly skilled jobs are being shipped overseas. Are you better off than you were four years ago?

1. Has stood by as college tuition has soared 35 percent -- Bush broke his campaign promise to increase the size of Pell Grant awards, has cut other financial-aid programs, and has time and again chosen to reward his wealthy friends over increasing the accessibility and affordability of higher education.