January 21, 2004
"The Emperor Has No Clothes": Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Bush's State of the Union Address
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a Chief Deputy Whip and a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement on President Bush's State of the Union address.
"The Emperor has no clothes. President Bush is describing a very different world and a very different America than the one I see and that most people live in.
"In contrast to the rosy picture the President paints is the reality that, under his Administration, American families have experienced job losses, rising health care costs, increased poverty and homelessness. Huge surpluses have become record deficits. And because of his policies, America's standing in the world has greatly diminished, and, as a nation, we are less safe today than we could and should be.
"President Bush, nonetheless, is convinced that we are making real progress. He sees an economy that is growing because of his tax cuts for the wealthy, and a nation that is more secure as a result of his doctrine of preemption and the invasion of Iraq. Most Americans are seeing an entirely different picture of our Union.
"The President is enthusiastic about a 'strong' economy, and so are his rich friends. But nine million unemployed workers live in a different America. They are unimpressed with the creation of 1,000 jobs in December, an average of 20 new private sector jobs per state. Our nation has hemorrhaged 2.4 million manufacturing jobs under President Bush, including 126,000 in Illinois.
"When the President credits his tax cuts with helping middle class families, almost half of Illinois families know better. They will receive less than $100 in 2004 from the latest Bush tax cut and four out of five Americans believe that their tax burden has not been eased by the Bush policies.
"Iraq is a mess. Who can't see that? Five-hundred American soldiers are dead, thousands wounded, $120 billion spent, and continuing chaos. The U.S. Army War College called the war in Iraq 'unnecessary' and the war on terrorism 'strategically unfocused.' And where are the weapons of mass destruction?
"President Bush is declaring victory because the Republican Congress passed a prescription drug bill for seniors. But what most seniors see is a $400 billion giveaway to HMOs and pharmaceutical companies and an attempt by the Administration to dismantle Medicare. Fifty-four percent of Americans believe the Administration has failed to make progress on delivering critical drug coverage to seniors. And when the President speaks of the uninsured, 44 million Americans without health care will ask: Why has President Bush refused to offer a real plan to deal with this rising crisis?
"Democrats are prepared to lead and we have offered a plan to create jobs, get the economy moving again, protect the homeland, provide real drug coverage to our seniors and help the uninsured. The President and the Republican congress have squandered our nation's wealth and security for far too long."
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