Like many I, too, watched the State of the Union address by President Bush. Like the world over, I wanted to see the solid evidence we have that we need to go to war with Iraq. And the president did speak quite passionately on the need to eliminate the threat of Iraq. Then I asked myself, “Can I believe what he is telling me?” Next I looked at what he has said and compared it with past results and future projections.

President Bush has taken credit for legislating accounting reform following the collapse of Enron and WorldCom. In actuality, he vigorously opposed it until it became obvious that Congress would pass it unanimously. Since then, the Securities Exchange Commission, under Harvey Pitt, has rolled back the teeth of the new legislation.

“We need to cut taxes to create more jobs,” Bush said. The U.S. has lost 1.4 million jobs since President Bush’s first tax cut to stimulate the economy.

“We need to help small businesses by eliminating the ‘double taxation’ of dividends,” he said. Instead of helping, eliminating the taxes on corporate dividends will make the larger more stable corporate stock more desirable and smaller corporate stock less attractive. As well, tax-free municipal bonds will need to raise their interest to compete with tax-free dividends.

The president proposes reducing air pollution by 70 percent. Is that 70 percent of the permissible pollution levels before or after he rolled back the former restrictions on air pollution?

He is not going to create new problems for future leaders of our country. Even if we don’t go to war, enact the new tax cuts or fund the newly proposed programs, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is projecting huge deficits under Bush’s current programs. Without these added costs, the CBO does not project a balanced budget until 2007, which is when currently enacted tax cuts start to expire.

Do I believe President Bush? About as much as I believed President Clinton when he talked of his relationship with Monica.

John West, Lewiston

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