The Pueblo Chieftain

Monday, September 27, 2004 

George W. Bush

    AMERICANS WHO vote for president this year have a stark contrast in candidates.

    In George Bush we have a decisive chief executive who, almost immediately after the vile attacks of 9/11, told us we are at war with terrorists around the world. In John Kerry we have a sitting U.S. senator who has had just about as many different policy statements about the war on terror, and particularly our campaign in Iraq, as there are points on a compass.

    In the Kerry platform, Sen. Kerry's disagreements with President Bush were distilled to two: He'll never "mislead" the country into war, and he'll persuade (somehow) more of the world to "share the burden."

    During the runup to the Iraq war, President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell were able to put together an impressive coalition of forces, France, Germany and Russia notwithstanding. Now Sen. Kerry promises to bring our "allies" into the fray but declines to tell us how he would do that.
   The war in Iraq is not going as the country might have hoped, but then no war ever does. President Bush, though, has promised to see it through and help the Iraqi people build a stable democracy.

    The Democratic National Convention was a celebration of Sen. Kerry's brief four months in the Vietnam War. But his campaign has been starkly silent about his public life since then. Perhaps, because his voting record rates him the most liberal senator, even more so than fellow Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, he is trying to hide his true political colors.

    Take taxes. Sen. Kerry has openly stated his desire to eliminate Bush tax cuts "for the rich." Unlike the original JFK (John Fitzgerald Kennedy), this JFK (John Forbes Kerry) can't grasp that taxes are a price and a burden. The price we pay on our incomes is the price we pay for working.

    The idea behind tax cuts is very simple: Lower the burden on such good things as productive investment, work and risk-taking and you will wind up receiving more tax receipts. Kerry and his fellows are blind to the fact that the resulting prosperity always means more government revenue.

    When he embraced Sen. John Edwards as his running mate, Sen. Kerry also endorsed his populist "two Americas" rhetoric and placed tax increases at the center of the campaign. So it's fair to ask the two: How much of those tax increases will actually hit the super-rich like them, and how much will end up on the backs of upper middle-class wage earners?

    It turns out that Kerry and Edwards have exploited plenty of tax loopholes over the years. Not to say that anyone should pay more than the law allows, but the complex tax code benefits the wealthy, who can afford tax attorneys and complicated schemes to skirt the law.

    For his part, President Bush has been steadfast in his continued support of tax cuts and urges that they be made permanent. That way people who invest their hard-earned money in job and wealth creation know with certainty that the rules won't be changed in midstream.

    Despite what some are saying about the president, he has pushed for and got the largest federal aid for public education. His No Child Left Behind Act has incentives for schools to increase academic achievement by their students.

    The president backed and signed legislation to create prescription drug help for senior citizens. His faith-based initiative is quietly reaching out and helping people needing it.

    As important as those domestic policies are, the most important issue facing the electorate this year is the war against terrorism. Only one presidential candidate, George W. Bush, has the credentials to lead this nation in this vital mission.

    He deserves four more years in the White House.

Copyright © 2004 The Pueblo Chieftain.  Reprinted by permission.  (Tom McAvoy 10/15/04)

Editorial Board: Publisher Robert H. Rawlings; Assistant to the Publisher Jane Rawlings; Editorial Page Editor Chuck Campbell; Director of Research Tom McAvoy.