Can you imagine where America would be today if Al Gore had won the Supreme Court battle, and the election in 2000? Well, we could have a Republican President today instead of President Obama, which would be disastrous, but life, in general, would probably be a lot better.
The huge tax cut President Bush gave to the rich would likely not have happened, so perhaps we would have had a huge surplus instead of so much debt. The Iraq War would not have happened, further supporting a surplus instead of debt. Perhaps the Afghanistan War would not have happened the way it did. Perhaps other middle-eastern countries would be controlling the Taliban instead of the U.S., which in turn would not have required us to spend so much on that war. So, we can say to a large degree of probability that we would have been much better prepared to head off the devastating effects of the recession financially.
Al Gore is and was a leader in Green Energy, even way back in the 1990s, so perhaps we would have been much farther down the road to conversion to renewable energies than we are now. Thomas Freidman in his July 4th Editorial, “Can I Clean Your Clock?” makes a great point; China is on the move to lead the Green Technology revolution. We are way behind already; eight years behind. China doesn’t need to rely on a Congress to implement Green Technology. All it needs to do is to order it done, and it starts happening. In that regard, democracy hurts us because people like Representatives Boehner (Ohio) and Braun (Georgia) can stand up in front of the House of Representatives and talk others out of supporting the Clean Energy Bill, or water it down or delaying its passing and forcing others in Congress into making deals that costs billions to get the bill passed. Boehner and Braun and others like them carry the water for the oil industry, including Saudi Arabia and other oil producers, who lobby with lots of money to give to keep the status quo. They are voting against America, not for it.
How would have President Gore handle the financial meltdown? It is overwhelming opinion of economists that Obama’s current method is fundamentally right; to meet the recession and to avoid depression with huge influx of cash. That part of it would not have changed and even Secretary Paulson under President Bush finally came to that conclusion and implemented the TARP. Perhaps a Gore Administration could have left a new president a much more fiscally sound government than George Bush left President Obama. Perhaps the housing meltdown could have been foreseen and avoided much earlier than it was. Perhaps the toxic derivatives would have been lessened or avoided entirely and those companies that collapsed into bankruptcy would not have collapsed. But, some very brainy people missed it, so we’ll never know.
What about healthcare? Would President Gore have tackled that thorny issue? I believe he would have because there is no doubt that healthcare in the United States is simply out of sight. We already have no choice of doctor; we are forced to pick the cheapest policy. The uninsured go to the doctor who treats them, not to one of their choice. We already experience long lines unless we can afford, and so few can, better access. We are already controlled not by a government program but because of the lack of a government program.
President Bush’s legacy won’t only be the Iraq War, but complete failure of his administration in all aspects of American life. Like all of his jobs in his life, he failed as a President too.