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John Kerry: A renewal of responsibility

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, September 13, 2004

A recent Observer columnist wrote that a vote for president was somehow a more difficult, but ultimately more rewarding path. This claim of President Bush’s more tough-minded approach is nothing more than a reiteration of the president’s political persona: unyielding bravado. A quick comparison of Mr. Bush’s record and Sen. John Kerry’s plan reveals that John Kerry will return a much-needed responsibility to the presidency.

Two key examples, among many possibilities, provide an adequate glimpse of President Bush’s reckless first term in which political concerns most often trumped serious issues.

First, Mr. Bush’s enormous tax cuts have provided scant economic stimulus and are little more than a boon for his more wealthy constituents. They have turned a projected $400 billion surplus into a $500 billion deficit: a $900 billion regression. The Economic Policy Institute says these cuts will not engender needed investment and only lead to large debts. Instead, Mr. Kerry would take the sensible approach of rolling-back the tax cuts for only the wealthiest Americans, while retaining the tax cuts for the middle-class and working poor. Sen. Kerry is also known for a rigorous policy of costing-out all proposals so that every piece of his plan for America has a definitive revenue source.

President Bush thrust the United States into an unnecessary war and grossly mismanaged occupation of Iraq as he foolishly succumbed to the neoconservative block among his advisors, who believe that hawkish and risky military operations are the only way to promulgate democracy in the world. Sen. Kerry, who voted for the use of force in Iraq as a last resort, would have only invaded Iraq if the U.S. had exhausted all other plans and been sure that Iraq was a danger to the region and to the United States. This was not the case with President Bush. More importantly, Mr. Kerry would have led an occupation of Iraq that anticipated the residual troubles of a war-torn Iraq.

In the end, the U.S. has encountered many serious problems during Mr. Bush’s tenure and he has failed to address them. Opposite the Bush record, Mr. Kerry’s plans show his commitment to responsible and thoughtful leadership.

Colin Taylor

Co-President, College Democrats


Keough Hall

Sept. 12