SUBJECT: George W. Bush Has Left The Building ATTN: Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
It's pretty clear that you never spent any time on active duty. You and many of your fellow Democrats have a difficult time accepting responsibility for - well, anything.
When I was in the U.S. Air Force, If I had started babbling like you do about how the current deficit spending and the voter's anger over it is everyone's fault but your own, my commander would have stopped me and said, "Lieutenant, are you making excuses?" The right answer? "No excuse, sir."
I heard your voice on the radio a couple of days ago, talking about voter anger and how it's justified. Just when I thought I might run off the road because His Highness the Majority Leader was about to speak the truth, you snapped out of it and blurted out the same tired line about "the depth of the recession inherited by the administration and by this Congress."
Enough already, Mr. Majority Leader. If you think the voters are mad at you now, just keep that up. We're not stupid or blind; we can see who's spending what and when.
Yes, President Bush increased the national debt by $3 trillion dollars over eight years. We know President Obama's term began in the shadow of a major economic crisis for which every one of you, and millions of us, bear responsibility.
From politicians in both parties who loosened the terms of mortgage lending to burnish their populist credentials, to the banks who made risky home loans, to the financial firms who took these securities and played the market like it was Las Vegas, and to the borrowers who bought more home than they could afford, there is no one that isn't to blame. If anything, the only voices warning of the dangers these risky mortgages could bring on the economy were -- wait for it -- George W. Bush and John S. McCain.
Incidentally, during the last two years of the Bush Administration, the Congress was controlled by the Democrats, but you were all either on an extended martini lunch break or running for President, because you accept no responsibility for deficit spending in that time frame.
Fine - saying you were asleep at the switch and derelict in your duties under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution is much better than taking ownership of your actions.
Now you've got the whole ball of wax - the White House and both houses of Congress. You can look under the beds if you like - that bogeyman George Bush is gone. Every action you've taken from January 19, 2009 forward belongs to you. How're you doing so far?
According to projections by Obama's own Office of Management and Budget, by the end of fiscal year 2010, this administration and this Congress will have increased the debt by $3.3 trillion - in 20 months!
Let that sink in, people - by October 1st of this year, Obama and the Democrats will run up as much debt in 20 months as President Bush did in EIGHT YEARS!
According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obama's initial budget blueprint will add to the national debt by as much as $14 trillion over the next decade, which is more than the entire national debt as it stands today, and more than all previous Presidents COMBINED.
Unless President Bush is hiding in the Oval Office curtains by day and rewriting budget documents by night like some malevolent elf in the shoemaker's shop, you own every single penny of spending that's occurred on your watch.
The $787 billion stimulus package, heavily slanted toward the public sector and political allies like the labor unions, rather than the private sector where jobs are truly created, and that claimed it would keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent but, in the end, couldn't stop it from reaching 10 percent? Yours.
The $410 billion appropriations bill and the proposed fiscal year 2010 budget totaling $3.69 trillion? Yours.
The proposed $1.9 trillion increase in the debt ceiling, a record increase and an amount that will allow the government to push the national debt to $14.3 trillion? Yours.
As an officer in the United States Air Force, a new duty assignment always presented me with challenges, not the least of which was the situation my predecessor left behind for me. From the moment I assumed command of my unit, however, everything that happened going forward was my responsibility - no excuses and no blame. That is the code of the leader.
Democrats whine that they are being punished for doing something about the economic crisis. No, you are being punished for doing something stupid.
You don't dig out of a deficit by digging a larger hole faster than anyone in history. You don't stimulate the U.S. economy or create jobs by stimulating primarily yourselves and your cronies.
Most importantly, you don't call the American people who oppose what you're doing "un-American," "brownshirts," "Nazis," "racists," "Astro-Turf," or "tea baggers," a vulgar term of which I was completely unaware until you and your allies brought it to the nation's attention. Leaders are expected to know better and set a positive example for others.
I agree with almost nothing Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley does in the policy arena, but I respect his statement when asked about the large protest that recently occurred right outside his public residence in Annapolis - "We welcome dissent, and we welcome the exchange of ideas." Good for him.
President Bush was always conciliatory toward those citizens who opposed him in public, expressing support for their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly and petition and extolling the virtues of our nation's freedoms. He would never have admonished them as this President has done ("Don't do a lot of talking"), nor would he have used the aforementioned vulgar term from the White House podium to categorize his public opposition.
Public servants are supposed to show deference to their constituents, for they serve at the consent of the governed; in short, we're the boss - you are not.
You clearly don't believe that. People who attended your town hall meeting this summer to express their concerns about the health bill - I refuse to use the words "care" or "reform" because it is neither - were dismayed by your open display of arrogance toward them. You created a lot of energized people dedicated to your defeat on that day.
Your recent suggestion that the American public was mistaken in 1994 when they swept the Democrats out of power in the Congress, and mistaken today in their anger over the President's agenda, is further evidence that the people's opinions mean nothing to you.
If a leader isn't successful in persuading those he leads, that's not a "them" problem, it's a "you" problem.
You haven't made a compelling enough case to the American people despite controlling every branch of government, and the pervasive liberal presence in the opinion-shaping institutions of the press, academia and the entertainment industry.
I have learned to trust the common sense and integrity of everyday Americans regardless of their credentials, economic status, or social standing. You have lost your intuition toward anyone outside of the echo chamber in which you, your contemporaries and your dependent constituencies reside.
Your title itself imbues you with the mantle of leadership, and one of your party's notable leaders from the past, President Harry Truman, summed up leadership in a nutshell; "The buck stops here."
Apparently, you and your allies believe the buck stops at Daria Drive in Dallas, Texas.