March. 11, 2005


Bush’s Bubble
by Jim Hightower

Do you think George W has ever even visited the real world? Or has he spent his entire life in the bubble of special privilege to which he was born and in the political bubble maintained so carefully by his White House handlers?

Take the economy, which he keeps telling us is fantastic. Even in the rare case when economic reality confronts him, George doesn't get it. He recently flew to Omaha for one of his made-for-TV "conversations" with the people — although "the people" allowed in are always a handpicked rent-a-choir for his political message-of-the-day.

On this day, however, reality inadvertently intruded. A single mother named Mary told George that she has a young, mentally challenged son and two daughters. Bush blurted out, "fantastic," cheerfully telling the audience that Mary has "the hardest job in America, being a single mom."

Well, yes, Mary said, but she also has to work three other jobs to make ends meet. From deep within his personal bubble, the effervescent president then exclaimed, "fantastic," calling her experience "uniquely American," as though she was offering up her family's hard reality as some sort of uplifting Horatio Alger tale. Then, George made a little joke of her situation, asking if she gets any sleep.

This would be either laughable or pathetic if it were not so vicious — vicious in the sense that government policy, which could do something to benefit the millions of Marys in today's economy, instead is being shaped from within George's bubble to do them more harm.

Bush's budget, for example, cuts education, housing and food programs, claiming that there's no money in the public treasury, while shoveling out $1.3 trillion in tax giveaways to America's richest people, who share Bush's bubble.

Our elitist leaders have lost all sense of economic morality. They can live in their bubble, but they can't hide in it. And the day is coming when that bubble will burst.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Let’s Stop Beating Around the Bush, on sale from Viking Press. For more information, visit www.jimhightower.com.


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