Bush's First 100 Days: Barney Frank

I must say, I've been a little bemused to read some journalists saying, Oh, you people were fooled, he's very conservative. In fact, many of us were saying that during the election period. In fact, I think the media collaborated to some extent with Pat Robertson in giving him a pass. It was clear that, you know, this is a man who's going to try to make it illegal for a woman to terminate a pregnancy. He's going to try to make it very difficult for people to use RU-486. He's undone, not just refused to go forward, but undone things that Bill Clinton did to protect people's rights as working people and the environment.


Take the actual budget for me. Is it the document that you expected back in February with all the outlines and what are the major problems that you see with it?

Yes, it is the budget that was dictated by Bush's tax cut. Remember, Bush talks about a number by which he wanted to cut taxes. That's what's driving this whole process. He first did the tax cut. Then you have, in terms of spending on important public needs, simply what's left over.

The biggest problem to me is in Medicare, health care. In the first place, I think we have a terrible crisis in this country for older people who need prescription drugs. You know, you make your plans, you retire on 30, 35 thousand dollars a year. You paid off the home. You think you're going to live pretty well. And then you get hit with a drug bill. Four or five hundreds dollars a month, six hundred dollars a month, is not an unusual drug bill.

George Bush says, because of the amount by which he wants to cut taxes during his entire Presidency, the first four years, he can only afford to propose to help people who make less than $17,000 a year. If you were trying to get by on 22, 24, 26 thousand dollars a year and you have a drug bill of four or five thousand dollars a year, George Bush gives you zero help. That money went to cut the estate tax for multi-millionaires. So if you happen to be old and sick and middle class, the Bush budget has nothing for you. If you are old, rich, and dead, this budget takes care of you very nicely.

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