George W. Bush

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George W. Bush
George w bush.jpeg
43rd President of the United States
Term of office
January 20, 2001 - Present
Political party Republican
Vice President Dick Cheney
Preceded by Bill Clinton
Succeeded by Barack Obama
Born July 6, 1946
New Haven, Connecticut
Spouse Laura Bush
Religion United Methodist

George Walker Bush (born New Haven, Connecticut 1946) was the Governor of Texas (1996-2001) and has served as the 43rd President of the United States of America since 2001. Campaigning on the notion that the United States should not be in the business of nation-building,[1] he won the office by a narrow margin in the decisive State of Florida in the 2000 Presidential election. Legal challenges to the certified vote count went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when liberal Democratic contender Al Gore, who initially conceded defeat on the night of the election, then contested the outcome for weeks until the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore.

In the 2004 Presidential election Bush won reelection, helped in part by a 300,000 vote victory (5%) in the State of Florida, where the outcome had been so close in 2000.[2] Leftist Democratic candidate John Kerry conceded defeat the day after the election.

Presidency (2001-2009)

Economic issues

Upon gaining office in 2001, Bush signed into law a $1.35 trillion cut in taxation over 10 years. The plan included the objectives of doubling the child tax credit from $500 to $1,000, reducing the tax penalty on married couples and fully repealing the tax on estates. A United States Senate Finance Committee Report estimated that with all the planned reductions fully phased in, the average family of four making $50,000 would save $1,825 per year.[3]

Since the tax cuts, IRS revenues increased from $1.78 trillion in 2003 to $2.56 trillion in 2007 with a 46.3% increase of individual income tax receipts. Surging $785 billion since the 2003 investment tax cuts, it is the largest four-year revenue increase in U.S. history[4]

Bush has presided over a period of general economic growth. This is partially due to changes in the stock market that lead to a record high in 2007, although the NASDAQ is still down considerably from the levels it was at before the Dot-com bubble burst. Corporations show profits growing by double digits growth.[5] Even the working class is benefiting from the Bush economy, as unemployment hits an all time low in March 2007.[6] Bush signed into law a minimum wage increase, one of the platforms for the Democrats in the 2006 Congressional elections, after the House and Senate included Bush's request of provisions for small-business tax breaks.[7][8] Tax policies have been favorable to reducing the Capital Gains Tax, with a subsequent surge in investment.


Foreign policy

George W. Bush has spent most of his Presidency focusing on foreign policy issues, namely the war on terror in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the USA, when a series of terrorist attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and severely damaged the Pentagon, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 3,000 people. On October 8, 2001, during an address to Congress, President Bush announced the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. In his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, he asserted that an "axis of evil" consisting of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq was "arming to threaten the peace of the world" and "pose[d] a grave and growing danger".[9] Since then, the Bush administration has pursued military action in Afghanistan and, more controversially, in Iraq, with the stated aims of eliminating threats to United States security and combating terrorism.

Afghanistan

On October 7, 2001, US and Australian forces were deployed in Afghanistan, then governed by the Taliban, an extremist Islamic government -- a decision that was backed by most of the industrialized world. The Taliban had been fighting an active insurgency who they had bottled up in a tiny portion of the country, but never defeated. The US and Australian forces initiated a bombing campaign which turned the tide as they could no longer bottle up, or stop, the insurgency who attacked them after each bombing campaign. This led to the Taliban losing control of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city, on November 13. By December 2001, an "Afghan Interim Authority" had been installed, led by current Afghan President Hamid Karzai.[10] The stated aims of military action in Afghanistan were to topple the Taliban and to eliminate or capture key leaders of the terrorist group al-Qaeda, as well as destroying all al-Qaeda bases and activities in Afghanistan. However, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden escaped a battle in December 2001 in Tora Bora and has not yet been successfully captured.[11]

Despite the US troops' early success in removing them from power, the Taliban was regrouping and amassing funds and recruits by 2003.[12] In 2006, offensives against the Taliban such as Operation Mountain Thrust attained limited success.[13] The Taliban remain a major threat to security in Afghanistan today, with US and allied troops working alongside the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai to combat the Taliban.

Iraq

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek and Libyan Socialist General Secretary Muammar Gaddafi in negotiations with Saddam Hussein relayed a message through Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush] that Saddam would be willing to avoid removal by force and voluntarily go into exile, provided Saddam was allowed to take $1 billion dollars and "all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction." [14][15][16][17]

In a show down with Congressional Democrats after taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in the 2006 Congressional Midterm elections, Democrats retreated on their pledge to end the Iraq War early and bring the troops home. Democrats had threatened to withhold funding for the troops unless a date certain for withdrawal was set. After the final vote, 280-142 in the House and 80-14 in the Senate, the anti-War movement was defeated. The deal cut with Democratic leaders in exchange for their acquiescing to fund the troops calls for the President to sign legislation raising the minimum wage. [18] One commentator remarked, "Despite all the talk of standing up to George W. Bush, despite all the bravado about taking control of Congress, despite the so-called mandate to change direction, Democrats caved....They claim that the majority of Americans are with them on the Iraq issue, but...President Bush, at the weakest moment of his presidency, still bested his Democratic rivals." [19]

Involvement in the 2008 Presidential election

In March 2008, Bush endorsed his one-time rival John McCain as the Republican candidate for President of the United States. However, due to the President's declining popularity in polls, McCain appeared to distance himself from Mr. Bush on the campaign trail. At the same time, Democratic candidiate Barack Obama tried to portray a McCain presidency as four more years of George W. Bush. The President spoke by videolink at the 2008 Republican National Convention, while his wife Laura appeared on stage with McCain's wife Cindy.

John McCain lost the election to Senator Obama, and President Bush met with the new president-elect to discuss the presidential transition between his administration and Obama's, which he promised would be efficient and without problems. George W. Bush's term ends at noon on January 20, 2009, at which point President-elect Obama will be inaugurated. In an interview with ABC's Charles Gibson in December 2008, Bush said his retirement plans included moving back to his home state of Texas and writing a book. He also wants to build an institute at the Southern Methodist University to serve as a non-partisan public policy forum, to debate issues and run volunteer projects from.

Family

President Bush admires pictures of his family in the Oval Office.

George W. Bush is the son of George H. W. Bush, who served as vice-president from 1981 to 1989 and as president from 1989 to 1993, and Barbara Bush. President Bush is married to Laura Welch Bush, a former teacher and librarian, and they have twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna. John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, Neil Bush and Marvin Bush are his brothers. Dorothy Bush Koch is his only surviving sister, as Pauline Robinson Bush died at age four of leukemia.

Faith

George W. Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church, and most people feel that George W. Bush's faith is sincere and profound. The Faith of George W. Bush, a non-political book by author Stephen Strang, made the New York Times best-sellers list. [20] When asked where he would be without the influence of family friend Billy Graham, George W. Bush said "I wouldn't be president." "It was just a conversation," said the younger Bush about a talk with Graham in the mid-'80s that changed his life. During the pivotal conversation Bush recalled saying, "'You know, Billy, I'm longing for something.' And I know that he sent me a Bible I still have. All I can tell you is that as a result of being inspired by Billy Graham, I started reading the Bible and shortly after, I quit drinking." [21] Bush's faith led him to veto a bill which would have provided for federal funding of immoral embryonic stem cell research.

Polls

When President George W. Bush entered office, his popularity rating was near 50%. However, after the September 11 attacks, his popularity rose significantly, reaching an all-time high of 90%.[22] Since, then, though, it declined as some of his policies have become unpopular (largely due to the media's persistently negative -- and biased -- reporting on the Iraq War and misrepresentation of his policies).[23] In 2007, George had an approval rating of only 24%. [24] The same poll gave the Democratic controlled Congress an approval rating of only 11%). [25]
  1. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/debates/transcripts/u221003.html
  2. Florida Election Records, Florida Dept. of State
  3. $1.35 trillion tax cut becomes law, CNN, 21 June 2001
  4. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119189497675953035.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
  5. http://www.usatoday.com/money/markets/us/2006-05-08-mart-usat_x.htm
  6. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/economy
  7. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/20/AR2006122001784.html
  8. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/10/AR2007011001666.html
  9. Presidential State of the Union Address January 29 2002.
  10. Fact Sheet, Center for Defense Information, 2002-02-14
  11. U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight, The Washington Post, 2002-04-17
  12. Taliban Appears to be Regrouped and Well-Funded, Christian Science Monitor, 2003-05-08
  13. World Cannot Give Up On Afghanistan, Coalition Officials Say, US Department of Defense, 2006-02-28
  14. Saddam Risked His Life for WMD Secrets, WeeklyStandard.com. September 29, 2007.
  15. Scoop for Spanish Daily: Transcript of Private 2003 Bush Talk Promising Iraq Invasion, Editor & Publisher, September 26, 2007.
  16. Report Says Hussein Was Open To Exile Before 2003 Invasion, He Is Said to Have Sought $1 Billion and Information on Arms, By Karen DeYoung and Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post, September 27, 2007; Page A17.
  17. Llegó el momento de deshacerse de Sadam, El Pais, 26/09/2007. (In Spanish).
  18. Congress OKs war bill sans time-line, By S.A. Miller, The Washington Times, May 25, 2007.
  19. Democrats Show True Colors, Tony Phyrillas, New Media journal, May 29, 2007,
  20. http://www.christianlifemissions.org/ministries/georgewbush.htm
  21. Billy Graham and the White House [3]
  22. USAT Gallup Poll
  23. Historical Bush Approval Ratings from University of Minnesota [4]
  24. Voters unhappy with Bush and Congress, Reuters, October 17 2007
  25. [http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews

    See Also

    References

    1. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/debates/transcripts/u221003.html
    2. Florida Election Records, Florida Dept. of State
    3. $1.35 trillion tax cut becomes law, CNN, 21 June 2001
    4. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119189497675953035.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
    5. http://www.usatoday.com/money/markets/us/2006-05-08-mart-usat_x.htm
    6. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/economy
    7. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/20/AR2006122001784.html
    8. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/10/AR2007011001666.html
    9. Presidential State of the Union Address January 29 2002.
    10. Fact Sheet, Center for Defense Information, 2002-02-14
    11. U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight, The Washington Post, 2002-04-17
    12. Taliban Appears to be Regrouped and Well-Funded, Christian Science Monitor, 2003-05-08
    13. World Cannot Give Up On Afghanistan, Coalition Officials Say, US Department of Defense, 2006-02-28
    14. Saddam Risked His Life for WMD Secrets, WeeklyStandard.com. September 29, 2007.
    15. Scoop for Spanish Daily: Transcript of Private 2003 Bush Talk Promising Iraq Invasion, Editor & Publisher, September 26, 2007.
    16. Report Says Hussein Was Open To Exile Before 2003 Invasion, He Is Said to Have Sought $1 Billion and Information on Arms, By Karen DeYoung and Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post, September 27, 2007; Page A17.
    17. Llegó el momento de deshacerse de Sadam, El Pais, 26/09/2007. (In Spanish).
    18. Congress OKs war bill sans time-line, By S.A. Miller, The Washington Times, May 25, 2007.
    19. Democrats Show True Colors, Tony Phyrillas, New Media journal, May 29, 2007,
    20. http://www.christianlifemissions.org/ministries/georgewbush.htm
    21. Billy Graham and the White House [1]
    22. USAT Gallup Poll
    23. Historical Bush Approval Ratings from University of Minnesota [2]
    24. Voters unhappy with Bush and Congress, Reuters, October 17 2007
    25. [http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews

      See Also

      References

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