The Austin Chronicle

The Hightower Report

By Jim Hightower, April 4, 2003, News

George W. Whacks Aid for Military Kids

If cynicism were a planet, the Bush administration would be Jupiter, the biggest of all.

These people have turned cynicism into political art, routinely claiming in public to be supportive of children, education, veterans, and other popular constituencies, while maneuvering in the back rooms to gut budgets and programs that support these very constituencies. An especially disgusting example is Bush's recent gut job on the program that provides essential school aid for the children of our troops.

Yes -- the very troops that he has put at ultimate risk to fulfill his war and oil fantasies in Iraq. In February, as gung-ho George was rallying the troops to go face death, his budget leaders were quietly pushing a plan to slash funding for a vital education program called Impact Aid. Created during the Truman years, this is a tried-and-true program that provides extra funding to local school districts that serve areas with large military bases.

These school districts are hit with a triple economic whammy -- first, the land of the military base is exempt from property taxes needed to fund local schools; second, the schools are obligated to serve the military children; and third, these children often have special needs, including counseling when mom or dad are about to be sent off to war.

Yet, at a time when school budgets are already stretched beyond thin, and at a time when we ought to be reaching out to support military families -- our "compassionate conservative" commander in chief wants to whack Impact Aid by more than half. For example, the Virginia Beach school district, which serves several military bases, would have its aid cut from $12 million a year to $4.5 million under George's plan. The local school superintendent told New York Times columnist Bob Herbert: "That would be fairly devastating for us."

It also is devastating to our nation's democratic principles of fairness and justice, which are the very values that George says he wants to extend to Iraq.

Our 'Leaders' Have Come Unglued

It's time to say the obvious: The Bushites are insane.

From George W. on down, their behavior toward the world, toward our basic liberties, and toward the real needs of America is delusional and maniacal.

Start with George's war. He's lost in a fantasy of Messianic Mission, and no reality can penetrate it. Forget what liberals, Democrats, and millions of peace protesters say -- people in his own party and the wiser heads from his father's presidency also think the boy has slipped into the weird. Bush doesn't merely think he's right, he thinks he's righteous and that only God and he see the righteousness of his war wrath. He's not thinking victory -- he's thinking Mt. Rushmore ... or higher!

His delusions of grandeur are fueled by the likes of Donnie Rumsfeld and Paul "Howling" Wolfowitz at the Pentagon. These two are bull-goose loopy, driven to their "world-domination doctrine" by an unbalanced and toxic load of bile and testosterone. Watch them on TV -- they reek of hubris, which pours out of their pores like they're soaked sponges, unable to contain the unnatural surge of hubris from within.

And how sick is John Ashcroft? When he holds his press conferences to announce that he's throttled yet another of our essential democratic freedoms in the name of "securing freedom," his face glistens like he's experiencing some combo of religious rapture and orgasmic release. It's creepy.

Likewise, the Bushites' economic policies are further out than Pluto, having long passed the reality layer. They're loading up future generations with trillions of dollars in deficits while they shovel ever more money to the rich and into the war machine, at a time when we're in the longest continuous stretch of job decline since World War II.

It's time for America's true conservatives to step forward and make an intervention, for the Bushites are rabidly building empire and autocracy in the name of "conservatism." These people need professional help.

Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.