Bush aides touting successes in ‘legacy memo’

President Bush’s aides apparently have sent a memo to high-ranking administration officials with some talking points about the successes of the past eight years, in case they’re interviewed about the president’s legacy.

Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau reporter Peter Nicholas says the memo notes that Bush “kept the American people safe” after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, lifted the economy after 2001 through tax cuts, curbed AIDS in Africa and maintained “the honor and the dignity of his office.”

The memo is titled: “Speech Topper on the Bush Record.”

No mention, Nicholas notes, of “the collapse of the housing market and major financial services companies, the flawed intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war, the federal response to Hurricane Katrina or the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.”

And it reminds people that that Bush “responded with bold measures to prevent an economic meltdown.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Mike Kluznik on 12/15/2008 - 10:24 am.

    There’s an excellent article on this subject in the current issue of Harper’s, “The $10 Trillion Hangover: Paying the price for eight years of Bush,” by Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz with graphics by Nigel Holme. In five pages of text and graphics, the authors do a succinct job of explaining how W’s two terms have led to a deterioration in every component of the U.S. economy. The most telling graph of all is “Debt as a percentage of GDP.” Understandably, our national debt was high under Truman because of WW II when it stood at over 80% of our GDP in 1950. It went down virtually every year thereafter until it hit a low of about 30+% at the end of Jimmy Carter’s term and the beginning of Reagan’s first term. Beginning with Reagan, it began to go up at a fast rate. The only time it’s gone down was under Clinton. In ’08, the national debt is once again near 80%.
    True, the U.S. economy grew at good rate during the Bush years, but at what price? We now have a depleted military, we’ve squandered our national wealth on tax breaks for the wealthiest and the Iraq war. We should have been rebuilding our infrastructure, investing in education, finding alternative energy sources, developing electric cars, etc. Instead, we’re left with a national debt of $10-15 billion. Are you better off now than in 2001? Probably not unless you’re a member of the 15,000 wealthiest households in America. Health care is twice as expensive now as it was when Bush took over.
    The Harper’s article ends by saying GOP deficit spending will “cast a long shadow over the next generation of Americans.”
    W was clearly in over his head as our president. I mean this as no disrespect to athletic directors, but W might have done well as the AD in a small division 3 college or university. But even there, he might have failed. He certainly failed as our president and leader of the free world.

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