09 October 2004

'Bush Vs. Reality -- Wrap Up' 

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Kerry-Edwards Fact Sheet: 'Bush Vs. Reality -- Wrap Up'

Contact: Chad Clanton or Phil Singer, 202-464-2800, both of Kerry-Edwards 2004; http://www.johnkerry.com

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following fact sheet "Bush Vs. Reality -- Wrap Up" was released today by the Kerry- Edwards campaign:

BUSH vs. Reality

BUSH SAID: We're going to train troops, and we are. We'll have 125,000 trained by the end of December.

REALITY: Back in February, they said 200,000 and Interim Prime Minister Allawi recently told a joint session of Congress that only 50,000 are ready. And, according to documents provided by the Pentagon to Rep Obey, only 22,700 security personnel have enough training to be "minimally effective." (Rumsfeld, Department of Defense Briefing, 9/7/04; Allawi, Address to Joint Session of Congress, 9/23/04; Appropriations Committee, Democratic Staff; Rep. Obey; Fact Sheet, 9/24/04)

BUSH SAID: That's an odd thing to say, since we have tripled the homeland security budget from 10 to 30 billion dollars.

REALITY: The Bush administration's own estimates show that the Department of Homeland Security did not even double its budget. (OMB, Budget FY 2005, page 178)

BUSH SAID: When a drug comes in from Canada, I want to make sure it cures you and doesn't kill you.

REALITY: Congressional Research Service issued reports in 2001 and 2003, concluding both times that the Canadian drug supply was safe for importation to the US. (New York Times, 6/21/03; Knight Ridder, 11/27/03; USA Today, 8/12/03)

BUSH SAID: Q: Why did you block the reimportation of safer and inexpensive drugs from Canada which would have cut 40 to 60 percent off of the costs? Bush: I haven't yet.

REALITY: White House Opposed Drug Re-Importation During Medicare Debate. In a Statement of Administration Principals issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget on July 23, 2003, Bush stated his strong opposition to drug re-importation. (Office of Management and Budget, SAP on HR 2472, 7/23/03, http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb)

BUSH SAID: They create government-sponsored health care. Maybe you think that makes sense. I don't. Government-sponsored health care would lead to rationing. It would ruin the quality of health care in America.

REALITY: Independent Analysts Agree That Kerry's Plan Would Not Disrupt Coverage -- But Would Actually Expand It. "Kerry's proposal avoids the usual pitfalls of Democratic health reform efforts. It is not overly prescriptive, and it wouldn't disrupt current health insurance." (Jeff Lemieux, Centrists.org, 8/25/04)

BUSH vs. Reality Debate Wrap-Up

TAXES: The Truth Behind Bush's Attack

BUSH SAID: "Yeah, he's got a record. He's been there for 20 years. You can run, but you can't hide. He voted 98 times to raise taxes. I mean, these aren't made-up." - GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: BOGUS ATTACKS: These Attacks Have Been Declared Iffy And Misleading "Wrongly Claimed," "Iffy:" "Cheney accused Kerry of voting for taxes 98 times. That's down from the 350 times wrongly claimed by Republicans, but it's still iffy. Those 98 votes include times when many procedural votes were cast on a single tax increase or package." (Woodward, AP, 10/6/04)

"Misleading" Says NBC: LISA MYERS: " Misleading...The ad inflates the numbers by adding procedural votes and even counting Kerry's votes to cut taxes by less than others proposed. (NBC Nightly News, 10/5/04)

Kerry Has Gone On The Legislative Record Over 640 Times For Lower Taxes. (Congressional Quarterly Votes; CQ's Congress & The Nation; CQ Almanac; Senate Republican Policy Committee; Congressional Research Service bill summaries (via thomas.loc.gov), bill texts (via thomas.loc.gov))

George Bush's Plan Shifts the Tax Burden to the Middle Class. In contrast, under the Bush plan the "Tax Burden Shifts to the Middle" according to a Washington Post headline, and middle America -- average annual income $75,600 -- saw its share of the federal tax burden increase from 18.5 percent to 19.5 percent." In addition, George Bush has imposed a tax of thousands of dollars on families through higher costs for health care, gasoline, college tuition, and state and local taxes. (Tax Policy Center, "Kerry Plan vs. Current-Law, Size of Individual Income Tax Change, 2005," 9/16/2004 and Washington Post, 8/13/04)

Cheney Voted For 144 Tax and Fee Increases Which Became Law. Factcheck.org has said that "Bush Still Fudging the Numbers on Kerry's Tax Votes." Michael Kinsley pointed out in the Washington Post that applying the same logic would show that George Bush has proposed dozens of tax increases as President. And an analysis of Cheneys voting record shows that Cheney voted for higher taxes 144 times, including the largest peacetime tax increase in history in 1982. (Factcheck.org, "Bush Still Fudging the Numbers on Kerry's Tax Votes," 8/30/2004; Washington Post 3/24/2004; HR 4961, 1982 CQ Almanac, vote No. 289, 84-H; Wall Street Journal, 10/26/94; FY85-90 Federal Budgets, internal calculations; Tax descriptions from the 1982 Congressional Quarterly Almanac)

IRAQ: Bush Threatened to Veto Funding for Our Troops in Combat

BUSH SAID: "He said he voted for the $87 billion or voted against it right before he voted for it. This is a confusing signal for people." - GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: Bush Threatened to Veto $87 Billion. The White House threatened to veto funding for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan if Congress made reconstruction aid for Iraqis a loan, rather than a grant as Bush wanted. "'If this provision is not removed, the president's senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill,' Joshua B. Bolten, the White House budget director, wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders." (New York Times, 10/22/03)

John Kerry Voted to Pay for Iraqs Reconstruction Through Shared Sacrifice, Not a Blank Check for a Failed Policy. After witnessing the way in which the president went to war -- without our allies, without properly equipping the troops, without a plan to win the peace John Kerry supported a responsible plan to pay for George Bushs $87 billion Iraq reconstruction plan, co-sponsoring and voting for an amendment to rescind the tax cut for the wealthiest Americans in order to pay for Iraq. (SA 1796, Kerry original cosponsor 10/1/03; Vote #373, 10/2/03; Vote No. 400, 10/17/03; Kerry statement, Congressional Record, 10/17/03)

IRAQ: The Kerry Plan vs. The Bush Plan

BUSH SAID: "My opponent says he has a plan. It sounds familiar because it's called the Bush plan." - GWB, 10/8/04

KERRY SAID: "I have laid out a different plan because the president's plan is not working." JK, 10/8/04

REALITY: John Kerry Has a Plan to Win the Peace in Iraq. John Kerry and John Edwards believe the following principles should guide American policy in Iraq right now: internationalize, because others must share the burden; train Iraqis, because they must be responsible for their own security; move forward with reconstruction because that's an important way to stop the spread of terror; and help Iraqis achieve a viable government, because it is up to them to run their own country. (www.johnkerry.com)

Bush Rushed To War With No Plan To Win The Peace. Bush told the country that the administration would "plan carefully" for a war in Iraq. Yet in August 2003, the Joint Chiefs of Staff prepared a secret report assessing the post-war planning for Iraq. The report blamed "setbacks in Iraq on a flawed and rushed war-planning process." It also said "planners were not given enough time" to plan for reconstruction. A New York Times report found that, "A yearlong State Department study predicted many of the problems that have plagued the American-led occupation of Iraq." The study was produced by experts on Iraq from various fields, yet "several officials said that many of the findings in the $5 million study were ignored by Pentagon officials" until after the war. (Bush Remarks, 10/7/02; Washington Times, 9/3/03, emphasis added; New York Times, 10/19/03)

IRAQ: Bush Didnt Listen to His Generals

BUSH SAID: "I remember going down to the basement of the White House the day we committed our troops as a last resort, looking atommy franks and the generals on the ground, asking them do we have the right plan with the right troop level? And they looked me in the eye and said yes, sir, Mr. President. Of course I listen to our generals." - GWB, 10/8/04


Bremer: "We Never Had Enough Troops." In recent days, former Coalition Provisional Authority Adminstrator Bremer repeatedly criticized the Bush Administration for failing to send enough troops to keep order in Iraq. "We never had enough troops on the ground," Bremer said. In mid-September, Bremer stated that "the single most important change -- the one thing that would have improved the situation -- would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout." (Associated Press, 10/5/04; Paul Bremer Remarks, DePaul University, 9/16/04)

Echo Gen. Shinseki's Estimate that "Several Hundred Thousand" Troops Would Be Needed for a Postwar Occupation of Iraq. "More than a year ago then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress the occupation of Iraq would require 'several hundred thousand' troops. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz called that estimate 'wildly off the mark.' The Pentagon leaked the name of Shinseki's replacement months before his scheduled retirement, rendering him a lame duck." (UPI, 4/12/04)

IRAQ: Iraq Could Not Have Passed WMDs to Terrorists

BUSH SAID: "Saddam Hussein was a threat because he could have given weapons of mass destruction to terrorist enemies." - GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: Bush Admitted Yesterday That Iraq Did Not Have WMD. Bush: "Chief weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, has now issued a comprehensive report that confirms the earlier conclusion of David Kay that Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there." (Bush Remarks, 10/7/04)

New Duelfer Report Concluded No WMD. "The 1991 Persian Gulf War and subsequent U.N. inspections destroyed Iraq's illicit weapons capability and, for the most part, Saddam Hussein did not try to rebuild it, according to an extensive report by the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq that contradicts nearly every prewar assertion made by top administration officials about Iraq. Charles A. Duelfer, whom the Bush administration chose to complete the U.S. investigation of Iraq's weapons programs, said Hussein's ability to produce nuclear weapons had progressively decayed since 1991. Inspectors, he said, found no evidence of concerted efforts to restart the program." (Washington Post, 10/7/04)

NORTH KOREA: Bush's Failed Policy of Neglect

BUSH SAID: "Let me talk about North Korea. It is naive and dangerous to take a policy that he suggested the other day, which is to have bilateral relations with North Korea." - GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: North Korean Nuclear Capability Has Quadrupled Under Bush's Watch While He Sat By and Failed to Do Anything. The Bush administration's erratic handling of the North Korean nuclear crisis has served only to create confusion and put North Korea's despotic leader, Kim Jong Il, in the driver's seat. Bush initially said he would "not tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea," yet since he took office, North Korea's nuclear capability has "quadrupled," with U.S. intelligence services estimating that Pyongyang now has fuel for up to eight nuclear weapons. According to Bush Administration officials, "The United States has determined that North Korea is working on new ballistic missile systems designed to deliver nuclear warheads and that it is testing the technology by proxy in Iran." (ABC, "This Week, 9/12/04; Christian Science Monitor, 9/15/04; Associated Press, 8/5/04; NYT, 9/12/04)

Former Bush Special Envoy to North Korea Said Bush Lacked An Effective Strategy To Deal With North Korea. Charles Pritchard, formerly Secretary of State Colin Powell's top official dealing with North Korea, has warned for months that "the White House lacks an effective strategy to dissuade North Korea from building up its nuclear arms." Under Bush's watch, "North Korea's nuclear arsenal, which was once thought to number one or two weapons, appears to be growing substantially." According to Pritchard, the situation has deteriorated because "the administration has neither offered much of a carrot nor wielded a stick." The administration has refused to engage North Korea in direct negotiations or "put the North Koreans on notice that further developments will trigger economic sanctions or perhaps even military actions." (United Press International, 9/21/04)

TAXES: Bush's Tax Cuts Are Shifting the Burden to the Middle Class

BUSH SAID: "Created a ten percent tax bracket for the low-income Americans. That's right at the middle class. He voted against it and yet he tells you he is for a middle class tax cut. You have to be consistent when you're the president." - GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: George Bush's Plan Shifts the Tax Burden to the Middle Class. In contrast, under the Bush plan the "Tax Burden Shifts to the Middle" according to a Washington Post headline, and "middle America - average annual income $75,600 - saw its share of the federal tax burden increase from 18.5 percent to 19.5 percent." In addition, George Bush has imposed a tax of thousands of dollars on families through higher costs for health care, gasoline, college tuition, and state and local taxes. (Tax Policy Center, "Kerry Plan vs. Current-Law, Size of Individual Income Tax Change, 2005," 9/16/2004 and Washington Post, 8/13/04)

HOMELAND SECURITY: Bush Hasn't Doubled Budget

BUSH SAID: "We've doubled the size of the budget for homeland security." - GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: Bush Overstates What He has Spent on Homeland Security: Bush said, "My administration has tripled the amount of money we're spending on homeland security to $30 billion a year." In reality, Homeland security spending did not come close to tripling under Bush. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), "Gross budget authority for those functions in that year, excluding supplemental appropriations enacted immediately after September 11, totaled about $17 billion. Adding the supplemental appropriations raises that figure by almost $4 billion, bringing total funding for 2001 to $21 billion. The Congress and the President increased that amount to... an estimated $41 billion for 2004." These CBO estimates are for the homeland security function, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. The Bush administration's own estimates show that the Department of Homeland Security itself did not even see its budget double: growing from $19.7 billion in FY 2001 to $36.5 billion in FY 2004. (CBO, "Federal Funding for Homeland Security," 4/30/2004 and OMB, Budget FY 2005, page 178)

INTELLIGENCE: Bush’s False Attack On Intel Cuts

BUSH SAID: "My opponent is right. We need good intelligence. It's also a curious thing for him to say since right after ’93 he voted to cut the intelligence budget by $7.5 billion."- GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: Kerry Wanted to Cut Slush Fund, Republicans Announced The Same Day They Wanted to Cut The Same Fund. Kerry was part of bipartisan effort to cut waste & abuse in the National Reconnaissance Office. The $1.5 billion cut Kerry proposed represented about the same amount Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), then chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told the Senate that same day he wanted to cut from the intelligence spending bill based on unspent, secret funds that had been accumulated "without informing the Pentagon, CIA or Congress." (Washington Post, 3/12/04, 9/25/95)

Porter Goss, Hand-Picked By Bush to Head CIA, Wanted to Cut Intel More Than Kerry. The cuts Goss supported are larger than those proposed by Kerry and specifically targeted the ‘human intelligence’ that has recently been found lacking. The recent report by the commission probing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks called for more spending on human intelligence." (Washington Post, 8/24/04)

Washington Post: Republican Criticism on Kerry Intel Record is Wrong. In fact, the Republican-led Congress that year approved legislation that resulted in $3.8 billion being cut over five years from the budget of the National Reconnaissance Office -- the same program Kerry said he was targeting." (Washington Post, 3/12/04)

Kerry Strongly Supports Increased Intelligence Funding -- Including $250 Billion in the Previous 8 Years -- A 50 Pct. Increase Since 1996 -- John Kerry has strongly supported recent increases in Intelligence funding, and, in the wake of 9/11, has supported the bipartisan call for an even larger increase in intelligence funding. According to a report issued by the Center for Defense Information entitled "Intelligence Funding and the War on Terror" John Kerry has supported approximately $250 billion in Intelligence funding over the past eight years alone. The report concludes that Kerry has supported a 50 percent increase in intelligence funding since 1996. (Senate Intelligence Authorization Funding voice votes 9/25/02, 12/13/01, 12/6/00, 11/19/1999, 10/8/98 & 9/25/96; 1997, Senate Roll Call vote No. 109; Jewish News Bulletin of Northern California, 4/5/02)

SPENDING: The Truth About Bush's "Tax Gap"

BUSH SAID: "The reason I bring that up, is because he's proposed 2.3 trillion dollars in new spending." -GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: Washington Post Bush’s $3 Trillion of Spending "Far Eclipses" Kerry; Goldman Sachs Says Kerry is More "Credible" On The Budget. According to the Washington Post, "The expansive agenda President Bush laid out at the Republican National Convention was missing a price tag, but administration figures show the total is likely to be well in excess of $3 trillion over a decade....The cost of the new tax breaks and spending outlined by Bush at the GOP convention far eclipses that of the Kerry plan." This is why Goldman Sachs says that, "on the budget, Senator Kerry is more credible." (Washington Post, "$3 Trillion Price Tag Left Out as Bush Details His Agenda," 9/14/2004; Goldman Sachs, "Bush vs. Kerry," 9/10/2004)

Bush Has Failed To Balance a Single Budget: $5.6 Trillion Surplus Replaced With $2.3 Trillion Deficit. The $5.6 trillion ten-year surplus projected in January 2001 is gone, replaced with $2.3 trillion in deficits over the next ten years—a fiscal decline of $7.9 trillion in just three years. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal budget deficit will be a record $442 billion in 2004. [CBO, The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update, 9/04]

Fiscal Conservatives Have Attacked Bush's Irresponsible Policies. "Conservatives are angry," including Dick Armey is upset about spending and says Republicans "own the town" on deficits, while the Heritage Foundation says the President isn't doing "nearly enough." Conservative Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform says spending is "growing too rapidly" and the American Spectator says Bush's leadership has been "non-existent." Stephen Moore of the Club for Growth said that "There's now not any pretense that Bush is committed to smaller government." (Wall Street Journal, 1/30/04; Washington Post, 12/6/03; "The State of Spending," Heritage Foundation, 1/21/04; "Supply-Side Economics," American Spectator, 11/26/03; Washington Post, 12/6/03)

MOST LIBERAL: "Just Plain Wrong"

BUSH SAID: "First, the national journal named Senator Kennedy one of the most liberal senators of all, and that's say saying something, that bunch."- GWB, 10/8/04

REALITY: National Journal stated that use of their rating is, "Disconcerting because the shorthand used to describe our ratings of Kerry and Edwards is sometimes misleading -- or just plain wrong." (National Journal, 8/2004)

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