Friday, October 05, 2007

In Which I Again (Initially) Defend George W. Bush

The president is getting a lot of flak for saying this:
Expansion of this business has provided people new opportunity employments -- new employment opportunities here in Lancaster County. You know, when you give a man more money in his pocket -- in this case, a woman more money in her pocket to expand a business, it -- they build new buildings. And when somebody builds a new building somebody has got to come and build the building. And when the building expanded it prevented [sic] additional opportunities for people to work.
OK, taking the [sic] first: Clearly he meant "presented." I've seen enough sloppy transcription in my day to believe he may have even said it. Even on his best days, he's imprecise in his diction, so most likely he slurred something like "prebtnented," which the poor soul hired to transcribe his rambulatations just couldn't quite make out.

(OK, I've now watched the video, and he definitely said "prevented." The man's just not a good public speaker. Horrible body language, too.)

Anyway. The other stuff -- the inversion of the polysyllabic terms, the man suddenly turning into a woman, the sudden change of "thought" in midstream, the awkward construction of "somebody has got to" and "when the building expanded" -- those are just his normal rhetorical hiccups. Lots of people have them when they speak extemporaneously, although most of them aren't the preznit of the untied sates of ummerka.

The bigger problem is this: Is he daft enough to believe that this is how people make business decisions in a free market economy? "Hey, I've got a few extra bucks, I think I'll expand my business!" Now, I'm just a former liberal arts major, but don't most business people do their due diligence, looking at things like projected revenue vs. costs, interest rates for borrowing money, and, perhaps most importantly, whether there's a "demand" for the extra "supply" that would result from expanding their business?

(Hey! Bush recently said this: "I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." Couldn't you use that same "logic" to argue that business owners have access to investment capital in America -- after all, you just go to a bank?)

Sure, having some spare cash on hand can help push the decision, but I've got to bet that lots and lots and lots of business owners are taking the cream skimmed from Dubya's tax cuts and buying vacation homes, investing in the stock market, and, I dunno, upgrading their Netflix subscriptions. Sure, sure, those things all affect the economy too, but nobody's just deciding, what the hey, I guess I'll expand my business, just because they've got a few dollars more thanx to this administration's Norquistian fetish for cutting taxes, are they?

Then again, given the way Bush ran Harken Energy (not to mention how his pal Kenny Boy ran Enron), maybe he does think this is how it's supposed to work.

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