President George W. Bush has evidenced his personal strength and ability to lead the United States in many ways. On foreign affairs, he has been willing to pursue a policy that is disliked by many and has severely threatened his political career, and yet is in the best interests of America. Economically, Bush’s policies have been exactly what the country has needed.
Senator Kerry, on the other hand, has shown a lack of character and leadership ability, particularly in the latter stages of the current campaign.
On Social Security, Kerry has sought political advantage by making false statements to scare some of the more vulnerable citizens of the United States. He has told seniors that President Bush has a secret plan to privatize Social Security and cut their benefits by up to 45 percent. In fact, the president has not proposed mandatory privatization or any reduction in benefits for current recipients.
On fiscal policy, John Kerry would reverse Bush’s tax cut only in the top two income-tax brackets. His position is both deceitful and hypocritical. It is deceitful because Kerry has claimed that the change would only affect people making $200,000 a year or more. Based on the 2003 tax-rate schedules, the Kerry plan would actually affect couples filing jointly who have a taxable income of $175,000 or more and single taxpayers who have a taxable income of $143,000 or more. It is hypocritical because Kerry’s recently released partial tax return shows that he and his wife earn more than $5 million a year, but are not subject to either of the top two tax brackets.
Kerry’s real position is that only middle-class taxes should be increased while taxes on the truly wealthy should stay the same.
Four years ago George W. Bush inherited an economy in collapse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics makes it clear that the rate of new net job creation started declining rapidly almost immediately after the implosion of the Nasdaq in March 2000, and didn’t begin to recover until September 2001 when it suffered a further setback as a consequence of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Bush’s tax-reduction and deficit-spending policies have caused this inherited recession to be shorter and shallower than it otherwise would have been.
President Bush has also made America safer, even in the face of extreme foreign disapproval. He has done so by removing the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, by ensuring the capture or death of most al Qaeda’s leadership, and by stopping the nuclear-proliferation activities of A.Q. Khan in Pakistan. He has also removed Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and caused Libya to terminate its own WMD programs.
None of these results would have occurred under a Kerry administration: The military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq were opposed by France, Germany, Russia, and China, and Kerry has said he would subject America’s foreign enterprises to a “global test.”
John Kerry has even gone so far as to say that it would be appropriate for a United States soldier to die in service to the United Nations, but that such a sacrifice would not be appropriate in an American military action not sanctioned by the UN. George Bush will do what he and his advisors believe is right for America. John Kerry will do what Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, and Vladimir Putin believe is best for their respective countries.
Throughout his life John Kerry has idolized John Kennedy and has often said that he would be the next JFK from Massachusetts. It is ironic then that it is George Bush, not Senator Kerry, who has emulated John Kennedy by understanding the economic benefits of lower marginal income-tax rates and by “letting every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
–Courtney Sorensen is a junior at La Jolla High School in La Jolla, Calif. This essay was excerpted from a paper she wrote for her AP United States history class. The assignment was to write an “endorsement” for one of the presidential candidates. Courtney, in the opinion of the editors of NRO Financial, truly gets it.