Thank you for your letter. Let me respond to each of your issues:
1. Bring my peers home from Iraq and never, ever again send them into an unjustified war.
Well Brett, every single one of your peers joined the military under their own volition. When they volunteered for military service they understood that they might be sent to war. I'm sorry that you disagree with my policy towards Iraq, but perhaps when you're a bit older (and maybe finish HS
) you'll realize that the world is not black and white and that the decision the President makes have global geopolitical implications.
While the death of any American in the service of our country is disturbing, our casualties in Iraq over almost 2 years are 1/40th the number of Americans who die on our roads each year. The American people elected and re-elected me to lead them. Perhaps one day (between 15 and 19 years from now) you can run for office and get 55M Americans to put their trust in you.
2. Be humble and admit your mistakes. Believe it or not, changing your mind is ok.
I agree that admitting mistakes is fine, but a leader need not define policy based on the ebb and flow of popular sentiment.
3. Watch your rhetoric. Right now, if I disagree with you I am considered un-American and "with" the terrorists. Let's work on that.
Please give me a single example where I've said that? Don't believe everything you hear on CBS. They've been known to be wrong and to represent opinion as news.
4. Allow civil unions between consenting adults. My friend's mom is happier than she's ever been now that she is with her partner. Let them have some hope.
Brett - have you taken American government yet? Have you read the 9th and 10th Amendments. It is not the role of the President to allow or disallow civil union under our Constitution, it's up to the States. By the way, please send me a picture of your mom and her friend.
5. Allow prescription drugs in from Canada - now. My grandparents are running out of money.
As soon as the FDA shows that it is safe to do so and Congress allows me to, I will. In the interim, I've passed a prescription drug benefit to medicare that will greatly assist your grandparents. Imagine how much better off they might be today if the 15.3% in payroll taxes they paid over their working lives were invested in private retirement accounts.
6. Stop using scare tactics. People have enough to worry about with their jobs, families and school.
Again, what are you speaking about? Terrorism is a real threat. The biggest danger is complacency. We grew complacent under the previous administration. We believed that the end of the Cold War meant that we were safe. We invited terrorist to the White House. We passed on the opportunity to kill OBL
when we had it. Eternal vigilance is the cost of freedom. If we don't do it, who will? The French?
7. Do not laugh unnecessarily. When you make bad jokes you look silly, and most people don't want the leader of their country looking like that.
Yeah, I probably need to work on that.
8. Allow stem cell research. Please, please do this. I don't feel I should have to explain why.
Again, I don't feel that a high school student has any appreciation of the multitude of issues involved in this matter. By the way, stem cell research is still completely legal within the US - my action only limited federal spending on this research to the 12 existing stem cell lines that existed as of Aug 01. You might notice that the voters of CA
just authorized over $3b of spending on this research.
9. Keep Dick Cheney off of TV
. He scares so many people.
That's very mature of you.
10. Raise taxes on the rich. Another no-brainer.
Have you taken economics in high school. You might want to go read up on the Laffer Curve.
11. Stop using September 11th in campaigns where it isn't necessary.
12. Do not refer to yourself as a "war time" president.
If you don't believe that we are at war against terrorism, you should watch the news a bit more. Put down the PS2 controller and read.
13. Do not make decisions based on your religion.
What decision have I made as a result of my religion?
14. Stop giving tax breaks to companies that outsource.
Please go read Internal Revenue Code Sections 367 and 954. Run a google search on "outbound transfers" There simply aren't any tax breaks for companies that outsource or expatriate. That's okay, they don't cover this in high school and you really can't expect the media to explain all these details to you. You might need to research an issue yourself before mindlessly repeating something someone else told you.
16. Give us back our freedoms that were taken in a "guise" to make us safer.
What freedoms are you referring to.
17. Help fund the arts in schools.
Instead of spending money on arts, it seems that you might be better served spending some time hitting the economics books, the biology books and your civics classes.
18. Stop the media from destructing the country. Their ethics and supposed "objectivity" disgust me on some days.
Please refer to the 1st amendment. In light of that how would you propose I "stop" the media from doing anything? By tthe way, I'm not sure "destructing" is a word - were you trying to say "destroying"?
19. Apologize for misleading the country about Iraq/WMDs/etc. Even if you didn't know, even if it was bad intelligence - apologize. This country deserves it.
I think that over 55M people just stated what they think and what they feel they deserve.
By the way you skipped the number 15 on your list. Perhaps a bit of remedial math wouldn't hurt.