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Quotes - Dubya the Policymaker (2005)
(Dubya's command of the issues in full relief)
Every new citizen of the United States has an obligation to learn our customs and values, including liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God and tolerance for others, and the English language.
Now, I'm no Constitutional scholar or immigration expert, but I'm pretty sure there's no legal obligation to associate equality with God. Tucson, Arizona, Nov. 28, 2005
See, believe it or not, up here in Washington, there's a lot of programs that simply don't deliver results. And if it doesn't deliver results, we ought to get rid of them.
In addition to the singular/plural mismatch, we also have the proposition that government programs that do not work should just be tossed out rather than repaired. Let's hope he doesn't decide to dispense with Social Security or food stamps... Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 2005
And so I've made some proposals to the Congress, proposals that work with how fast benefits will go up, proposals that said if you're in the — a poor American, nothing is going to change for you. If you're a wealthy American, your benefits will grow, but at a slower rate.
Wow, is that what he really meant to say? Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 2005
We had the chief of staff, and his spokesperson is a lovely lady who is a very well-educated person, went back to the — to Palestine to try to serve what she hopes will be a country. I was impressed by these young, dynamic, capable, peace-loving people. And so I think we've got a very good chance to succeed. I want it to happen before I'm President, but it's not about me. That's my point. It's about the Palestinians, and it's about the Israelis, all of whom want to — many of whom want to get rid of the past and have a more glorious future by living side-by-side in peace and democracy.
Before he's president of Palestine, or before he realizes he's already the President of the U.S.? White House, Oct. 24, 2005
If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country, and how do you then enforce a quarantine? When — it's one thing to shut down airplanes, it's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. And who best to be able to effect a quarantine? One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move. And so that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have. I noticed the other day, evidently, some governors didn't like it. I understand that. I was the commander-in-chief of the National Guard, and proudly so, and, frankly, I didn't want the President telling me how to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Texas Guard.
I don't think ego is the driving force behind people's reluctance to subvert constitutional safeguards, but perhaps it is behind Dubya's apparent willingness to do so? White House, Oct. 4, 2005
If you want to grow something, you shouldn't tax it. If you want to encourage small business growth, we ought to incent it to grow in that part of the world. Somebody said the other day, well, that's a tax break. That region is going to have zero income anyway.
So which is it? Is "that part of the world" going to have business growth, or zero income? Also, nice use of "incent", although it seems to be basically restating "encourage" from the clause before it. Washington, D.C., Sep. 21, 2005
First of all, as you know, uhh, we have made — strong steps, ibs, uhh, uhh — we've, we've condemned strongly Iranians' attempt to develop — uhh, any kind of program that would allow them to, uhh, enrich uranium to develop a weapon. In other words, the Iranians, uhh, said they were in compliance with certain international rules, and yet — we found out they weren't in compliance of those rules, and so we're very deeply suspicious of their desires.
Dubya offers up an "uhh-fest" and problematic grammar in a discussion of the Iranian (ihr-rain-ian: pronounced almost exactly the same as uranium) nuclear program, Crawford, Texas, Aug. 9, 2005
First thing that Medicare has done is it says that if you're — when you join Medicare, you get preventative screenings. Put in Texas terms, in order to solve something, you got to diagnose it.
What is it about this statement that makes it Texan? Atlanta, Georgia, Jul. 22, 2005
MCDONALD: Many countries are expecting international legal binding agreements on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Can they expect your support in doing that?
DUBYA: If this looks like Kyoto, the answer is no. On the other hand, if people want to come together and share technologies and develop technologies and jointly spend — and spend money on research and development, just like the United States is, to help us diversify away from fossil fuels, more than willing to discuss it.
MCDONALD: But they're wasting their time if they think that they'll get from you an international binding agreement about mandatory curbs on greenhouse gases?
DUBYA: I have — I have no idea — look, you're asking me to design a treaty here with you on the set of the — right here on the set of this — on this beautiful set. I mean, that's kind of — but I'm telling you, if you're trying to get me to say, we support Kyoto, the answer is no, we don't. And it's a bad deal for America. ...America is the largest investor in the technologies necessary to be able to say to people, you can grow your economy so people's standard of living can improve, and at the same time be good stewards of the environment.
MCDONALD: But pollution in this country has increased amazingly since 1992.
DUBYA: That is a totally inaccurate statement.
MCDONALD: It's a U.N. figure.
DUBYA: Well, I just beg to differ with every figure you've got. The environment has — the quality of the environment has improved, in spite of the fact that we've grown our economy.
MCDONALD: Mr. President, thank you.
DUBYA: Always a pleasure.
Dubya has a discussion on the environment with ITV's Trevor McDonald, Washington, D.C., Jun. 29, 2005
One of the reasons why I've come to this center is to encourage care givers and sons and daughters and community and faith-based groups to help seniors understand, one, what's available in the new program, and, two, to encourage seniors to fill out the simple, four-page form so that they can take advantage of this good deal. And it's a good deal. This isn't political talk. This is true.
Dubya perhaps being a bit too candid about the truthfulness of his political talk, which I guess we have to assume this isn't. Maple Grove, Minnesota, Jun. 17, 2005
I appreciate the President's good advice — and we share the same goals — peace on the Korean Peninshula — and peace throughout the world. We share the same goals. We want our peoples to grow up in a peaceful society that's a prosperous society... I would say the alliance is very strong, Mr. President. And I want to thank you for your, your frank assessment, uhh, and, uhh, of the situation on, on the peninshula. And I'm lookin’ forward to having lunch with you. I'm hungry, like you are... Uhh, no, I, I, I, I – the South Korea and the United States share the same goal, and that is a Korean Peninshula without a nukyular weapon... We're making it very clear to him that the way to join the community of nations is to, uhh, is to listen to, uhh, uhh, China and South Korea and Japan and Russia — and the United States — and that is to give up nukyular weapons. And, uhh, we'll continue to work, to have one voice.
Uhh, Dubya serves up a heaping helping of "peninshula", coupled with a generous helping of "nukyular" in his press availability with President Roh of South Korea. White House, Jun. 10, 2005
DUBYA: First thing is, is there any doubt in your mind that you're going to get your check?
MRS. CEGLINSKI: I'm getting my check, and it's wonderful.
DUBYA: They're still coming.
MRS. CEGLINSKI: It's still coming. And I'm planning on it for a while yet.
DUBYA: Well, you need to, yes. Heading toward 80.
MRS. CEGLINSKI: That's right.
DUBYA: Right around the corner. You look great.
MRS. CEGLINSKI: Thank you very much.
DUBYA: You look like 100 to me. That's where you're going to be. Thirty more years?
Exchange staged to assure retirees that they'll keep receiving their Social Security checks, even if their children and grandchildren probably won't, and embellished upon in true Dubya fashion, Greece, New York, May 24, 2005
REPORTER: What is your reaction to the news about the South Koreans on embryonic —
DUBYA: I'm — first, I'm very concerned about cloning. I worry about a world in which cloning becomes acceptable. Secondly, I made my position very clear on embryonic stem cells. I'm a strong supporter of adult stem cell research, of course. But I made it very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers' money to promote science which destroys life in order to save life is — I'm against that.
Side note: embryonic stem cell research actually utilizes genetic material otherwise destined for destruction by fertility clinics, so the destruction will actually continue regardless of the whether the research does or not. White House, May 20, 2005
We're talking about a part of the world in which, uhh, you know, our foreign policy was, let's just hope for the best and tolerate the fact there's no free societies. And — what ended up happening was, there was a — tyrants have emerged, tyrants that threatened our security. And so not only was the action worth it, the action is worth it to make sure that democracy exists, and, uhh, because democracies will yield peace, and that's what we want.
1983, uh, Tip O'Neill, Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole said, we've got a problem, let's, stret, see if we can't fix it. And they put together a 75-year fix, they said. First of all, I appreciate the spirit of Republicans and Democrats comin' together. But it wasn't a 70-yah, 5-year fix. This was 1953. We're only in 2005.
Dubya speaks of shortsighted government fixes, while doing a sterling job of messing up the point of his argument, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mar. 30, 2005
MR. MOORE: Today I'm very grateful that I have that safety net. But I'm also fully aware, sir, that this is not about me, it's about the 30-year-olds today, and the children and the grandchildren today — of which I'm happy to say that two, wherever they are, Heather and Alicia —
DUBYA: Don't hide now. There they are. Lousy seats. Wait a minute. You thought they would get a better seat, with their grandfather up here starring, the way he is. Sorry about that. Talk to the advance man, you know. Blame it on the Chamber. This is a generational issue. Jack, do you have any concern that you're not going to get your check?
MR. MOORE: Oh, not a bit. This is not about me.
DUBYA: I appreciate him understanding that. Some are concerned you're not going to get your check. I know that. Some seniors hear the debate, and all they think is, well, that just means old George W. is going to make sure I don't get my check. That's just not the way it's going to work, folks. And Jack understands that. Once you understand that, if you got your check here in Arizona, then do you know what the next question is going to be? Just like Jack — what are you going to do for my grandkids? You've got a problem, members of Congress, Mr. President. Go fix it now so that we don't saddle my grandkids with an unnecessary burden.
Dubya doesn't let this gentleman's obvious concern about his grandchildren get in the way of the day's message that senior citizens shouldn't worry about their Social Security checks not coming in, Tucson, Arizona, Mar. 21, 2005
I repeat, personal accounts do not permanently fix the solution. They make the solution more attractive for the individual worker. And that's important for people for understand, John, and that's why it's very important for Congress to discuss this issue.
I'm glad he's willing to admit they don't fix the solution, Washington, D.C., Mar. 16, 2005
It's an important concept for our fellow citizens to understand, that no one in need will ever be forced to choose a faith-based provider. That's an important concept for people to understand. What that means is if you're the Methodist church and you sponsor an alcohol treatment center, they can't say only Methodists, only Methodists who drink too much can come to our program. "All Drunks Are Welcome" is what the sign ought to say.
What an inspiring, thoughtful way to put it... Washington, D.C., Mar. 1, 2005
Iran is not Iraq. We just started the diplomatic efforts, and I wanna thank — uhh, our friends for taking the lead and I — we will work with them, to convince the moolahs that they need to give up their nukyular ambitions.
WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: I don't really understand. How is it the new [Social Security] plan is going to fix that problem?
DUBYA: Because the — all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those — changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be — or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the — like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate — the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those — if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.
Dubya explains the virtues of his Social Security plan, Tampa, Florida, Feb. 4, 2005
To give you an example, in 2027, the system will be $200 billion short. In other words, they collect X amount of payroll taxes, but because baby boomers like me are living longer and have been promised greater benefits, we're $200 billion short that year — that year. And the next year is bigger than $200 billion. In 3037, it's like $300 billion. And finally in 2037, it's $300 billion.
Dubya goes long range, extending Social Security projections over 1000 years, Tampa, Florida, Feb. 4, 2005
Now, there's some rules, and it's important for you to know the rules. One, you can't take your money that you set aside in the personal account and go to the race track. ...Secondly, you can't pull it all out when it comes time to your — you can't take it all and then go to the track.
Is it just me, or do the first and second rules sound rather similar? Tampa, Florida, Feb. 4, 2005
A bunch of baby boomers who are going to live longer and have been promised greater benefits are fixing to retire. And so the system goes into the red. And it goes into the red — that means negative, that means losing money — quite dramatically. In the year 2027, it will be $200 billion in the red — $200 billion for one year alone. And in 3032, it's like $300 billion. And in 20 — I mean, 2032. And in 2042, it's bust.
And again... Fargo, North Dakota, Feb. 3, 2005
I also believe that some of the decisions I've made up to now have affected our standing in parts of the world. I remember in the debates, somebody asked me about Europe. And I said, well, they wanted us to join the International Criminal Court, and I chose — I said, that's not the right posture for the United States of America, or some saying I should have negotiated with [Yasser] Arafat for the four years I was president — obviously, prior to his death.
You have to wait to the end for the payoff, but it's worth it, Air Force One, Jan. 14, 2005
WASHINGTON POST: Will you talk to Senate Democrats about your privatization plan?
DUBYA: You mean, the personal savings accounts?
WASHINGTON POST: Yes, exactly. Scott has been —
DUBYA: We don't want to be editorializing, at least in the questions.
WASHINGTON POST: You used partial privatization yourself last year, sir.
WASHINGTON POST: Yes, three times in one sentence. We had to figure this out, because we're in an argument with the RNC [Republican National Committee] about how we should actually word this. [Post staff writer] Mike Allen, the industrious Mike Allen, found it.
DUBYA: Allen did what now?
WASHINGTON POST: You used partial privatization.
DUBYA: I did, personally?
WASHINGTON POST: Right.
WASHINGTON POST: To describe it.
DUBYA: When, when was it?
WASHINGTON POST: Mike said it was right around the election.
WASHINGTON POST: It was right around the election. We'll send it over.
DUBYA: I'm surprised. Maybe I did. It's amazing what happens when you're tired.
Dubya employs the "being tired" defense in order to get out of calling his privatization plan a privitization plan, Air Force One, Jan. 14, 2005
That's part of — that's part of the advice my new National Economic Council head will be giving me as to whether or not we need to — here is the plan, or here is an idea for a plan, or why don't you just fix it. I suspect given my nature, I'll want to be — the White House will be very much involved with — I have an obligation to lead on this issue — I think this will be an administrative-driven idea — to take it on. And therefore, that that be the case, I have the responsibility to provide the political cover necessary for members, I have the responsibility to make the case if there is a problem, and I have the responsibility to lay out potential solutions. Now, to the specificity of which, we'll find out — you'll find out with time.
Dubya offers an answer that clearly makes more sense to him than it does to anyone else, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 11, 2005
And why is it [asbestos lawsuits] a national problem? Well, first of all, we spend about $80 billion on asbestos litigation, and that could end up being $200 billion over time. Secondly, these asbestos suits have bankrupted a lot of companies, and that affects the workers here in Michigan and around the country. Thirdly, those with no major medal impairment now make up the vast majority of claims, while those who are truly sick are denied their day in court.
When Dubya gets to the most plausible reason he has to call asbestos lawsuits a national problem, he kinda blows it, Clinton Township, Michigan, Jan. 7, 2005
To address the cost of medical care, we need to apply 21st century information technology to the health care field. We need to have our medical records put on the IT.
I'm not sure how you put records on the IT, but it sounds high-tech enough, Collinsville, Illinois, Jan. 5, 2005
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