Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Veto Heard Round The World

President George W. Bush on Wednesday issued his expected veto of $35 Billion in children's health care funding. In short order the commentary and criticism of this move have rippled through not only our own national news, but across the the global media as well. Here is a quick World Tour of reactions to this fourth veto of President Bush's career:

The first stop on our world tour is Korea, where we pick up a copy of The Korea Times and read about the SCHIP legislation:

The bill has problems. It is expensive, $35 billion over five years; the use of a cigarette tax to finance it is questionable; and it may indeed cover some families who could afford private insurance.

But it is not, as some overheated opponents charge, socialized medicine or anything like it. Some Republicans charge that SCHIP is the first step toward "HillaryCare," but even if that were in the back of the Democratic candidate's mind, it would be beside the point.

Then we head over to nearby China to see what The Xinhua News Agency has to say:
The veto of Bush was seen by analysts as a high-risk gamble that might impair his party's efforts to compete with democrats for the next presidency and the dominance in Congress.

Lets shift perspective to Western Europe, how are they viewing this? A quick glance at The Economist (UK Edition) unearths the following:
Up with children, down with smokers: it was, in other words, an easy sell. But Mr Bush balked for several reasons. He said that expansion would mean shifting the programme's focus away from poor children. Better off parents might be tempted to drop their private coverage in lieu of the government option, nudging the country down the dangerous road to nationalised care. Mr Bush objected to the tax increase. And although this White House is not known for fiscal restraint, it thought the expansion would cost too much. Mr Bush had previously said that a $5 billion spending increase would be about right.

Getting a bit closer to home we find the Dominican Republic rejoicing at the veto. Why? As Dominican Today reports, it has saved their industry:
Tobacco farmers of the country's north region (Cibao) yesterday heard with joy the news that U.S. president George Bush's vetoed a bill passed by Congress, which threatened to decimate the Dominican and Central American tobacco industries.

The president of the Cibao Tobacco Harvesters Federation, Jorge Mercado, said the U.S. president's decision would reactivate the north zone's tobacco industry, mainly in Santiago province. "The veto of the law represents hope and relief for more than 300 harvesters in this region who have lived off the production of tobacco for centuries."

Agriculture minister Salvador Jiménez, quoted by the newspaper Diario Libre, said if the bill had been signed into law the country would've lost some 54,000 jobs.

Stay tuned.

SOURCE: "Veto of Child Health Bill" 10/04/07
SOURCE: "Bipartisan Tension Tightens as Bush Vetoes Program" 10/04/07
SOURCE: "Why Did George Bush Veto a Popular Health Care Bill?" 10/04/07
SOURCE: "Bush Veto Saves The Dominican Tobacco Industry" 10/04/07
photo courtesy of Bluedharma used under this Creative Commons license

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