George W. Bush presidential campaign, 2000
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|George W. Bush for President 2000|
|Campaign||Republican primaries, 2000
U.S. presidential election, 2000
|Candidate||George W. Bush
46th Governor of Texas
17th United States Secretary of Defense
|Status||Announced: June 14, 1999
Official nominee: August 3, 2000
Won election: November 7, 2000
|Slogan||Reformer with Results
(archived - Oct. 14, 2000)
The 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush, the 46th Governor of Texas, was formally launched on June 14, 1999 as Governor Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
- Compassionate Conservatism: The Bush campaign made extensive use of the "Compassionate conservatism" concept, based in large part on a book by Marvin Olasky of the same name, with a Foreword by then-governor Bush.
(thousands of dollars)
- Foreign Affairs: Bush promised a humble foreign policy with no nation building. He had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that."
- Economy: Bush promised tax breaks for all, sometimes using the slogan "Whoever pays taxes gets a tax break." The rich pay the most taxes, and the current system weighs the income tax against the upper income brackets. Bush also supported raising the Earned Income Tax Credit, which would primarily benefit the lower brackets of income-tax-affected citizens.
- His 2003 tax proposal offers a sweeping package of tax cuts and incentives that would eliminate all federal taxes on stock dividends, quick tax relief for married couples and a $400 per child increase in the tax credit for families with children. Economists are divided on the effectiveness of Bush's proposals for helping the economy. John Leonard, the chief of North American equities for UBS Global Asset Management, said eliminating the dividends tax would spur the economy by sending more money into the economy; on the other hand, other economists, including Allen Sinai of Decision Economics and Andrew F. Brimmer, a former Federal Reserve Board member who heads a consulting firm, argued that the dividends tax cut would be largely ineffective. The administration's proposal would also lower taxes for small business owners by expanding the amount of equipment purchases they can write off as deductions from the current $25,000 to $75,000. Opponents argue that this tax proposal would primarily benefit the rich. According to a New York Times analysis published on January 21, 2003, $364 billion out of the $674 billion "economic stimulus" plan is devoted towards eliminating the tax on dividends; however, the poorest fifth of Americans have an average of $25 in dividend income, while the richest fifth have $1,188. The Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center produced the following table describing the impact of Bush's plan on average taxpayers:
- Education: policy named No Child Left Behind, includes mandatory national testing and some support for school vouchers.
- The No Child Left Behind Act provides increased funding for schools, while requiring greater accountability for results. It gives parents the option to transfer their children to another school, if the current school is failing. It requires teachers to have a degree specific to the subject they are teaching, which had not been federally required in the past. It also makes high school academic records available to military recruiters.
- Energy: The Bush campaign supports a comprehensive energy reform bill which includes initiatives for energy conserving technologies as well as decreasing the foreign dependence on oil through increased domestic production and the use of non-fossil fuel based energy production methods.
- Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and other domestic fields would decrease dependence on oil imports, particularly from the Middle East. However, many environmentalists hold that it will produce such small amounts of petroleum as to be effectively useless and will needlessly harm the environment.
- Opponents of such drilling recommend alternate courses of action such as to complete research on and implement as a matter of urgency alternative, safe and renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and tidal power - but not nuclear. Although perhaps requiring greater initial investment, in the long run these are now accepted by many informed environmentalists and scientists as being the most viable alternative to what they see as the vigorously anti-environmental approaches of the Bush administration.
- Supporters of drilling in ANWR argue that the Administration has agreed to a number of measures to minimize the impact of drilling on the Arctic environment. For example, roadways would be constructed of ice that would melt in the spring, when activity on the roads would cease. Also, supporters say that the total surface disturbance due to drilling would be limited to not more than 2,000 acres (8 km²).
Because of the Bush Administration's close connections with numerous energy companies, many of Bush's Cabinet members have come under immense scrutiny from environmental groups, in particular J. Steven Griles, the deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior. National Environmental Strategies (NES), the oil and gas lobbying firm which Griles worked for, was paying him $284,000 a year as part of a $1.1 million payout for his client base. As deputy secretary of the Interior, Griles was charged with overseeing and revamping environmental regulations that affect the profits of his former clients and NES’s current clients.
- Redesign of military with emphasis on supermodern hardware, flexible tactics, speed, less international deployment, fewer troops. This includes developing a system to defend against ballistic missile attacks, despite strong objections both domestically and internationally. Many commentators were critical of Bush when, in his very first policy statement after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Bush reiterated his intent to place missile attack intervention highest on his list of priorities (despite the fact that no such system could have prevented the type of sneak attack the country had really, not theoretically, experienced). However, other commentators have endorsed Bush's position, noting, for example, the continuing development of long-range missile technology by North Korea, along with that country's threats to resume its nuclear weapons program.