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Does Bush's Agenda Bow to Events?

October 07, 2002

Re "White House Economic Policies Are Bankrupt," Commentary, Oct. 2: Joseph Stiglitz has it turned around. Those on the Bush team came to power with a preconceived agenda. Their tax cut was at the top of the list, and they utilized whatever the current situation presented to achieve it. The tax cut was, by turns, pushed as the solution to keeping the economy booming, then preventing recession and now moving the country toward recovery. In reality, the tax cut was seen by these people as an end all by itself. Whatever economic situation the country happened to be in at the time was just the window dressing used to push the real agenda: Pass the tax cut.

In similar fashion, a war in Iraq is being pushed as the solution to rid the world of Saddam Hussein and his supposed weapons of mass destruction.

The Bush people are desperately trying to link Hussein with Al Qaeda and 9/11, but once more, this is just window dressing to enlist popular support. The war is really about controlling the region's oil and establishing American dominance, not only over the Middle East but over the entire world. Hussein is just a convenient puppet or boogeyman, who we created and who is useful for this one last purpose.

Kirk Evans

Canoga Park

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Stiglitz should have his tenure terminated for this biased attack. While President Bush may not deserve better than a C grade, he certainly has not failed in the face of the conditions he inherited from President Clinton and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The tax cut was broader and, therefore, more effective in boosting a slowing economy than anything funneling money directly to the states could have done for the same price in the same time window. The Ferrari analogy is inappropriate.

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, caused a serious redirection of attention by the government. Resources were reallocated to accommodate the needs of the country. Another impact was the devastating blow to the psyches of the people and the economic fallout hitting an already struggling economy. We serenely thought the government had protections in place to deal with the brazen corporate crooks. They crossed lines thought unbreachable. Bush didn't cross the line. He is rightfully demanding punishment for the bad guys. Everyone deserves a piece of the blame, including the president, Congress--and Stiglitz, for not recognizing the storm clouds over the economy as Clinton's chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.

Michael Wolfstone

San Gabriel

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