HIE PHOTO To the Optimists he said, “The answer to poverty doesn’t lie in a hand-out, a billion-dollar program,” such as “this CCC program in the thirties that failed.” New industry, jobs, and free enterprise are the answer, he said. “I admit this is a vast oversimplification,” he said, but it is a better answer for Texas than trying to “prop up ailing businesses.” In every speech of much length, Bush recites two cases prosecuted, one-two, in the September and October Reader’s Digest: the new industry in Crockett, Texas, that was backed for a while by the Area Recovery Administration, President Kennedy, and Senator Yarborough, but stalled and failed; and the Yarborough-announced $1.8 million urban renewal program in Wink, Texas, which the Digest said subsequently lost popularity, business, and real estate valuations. “I don’t think you can prop up the ailing economy of a dying town,” he told the Optimists. “Sometimes you’ve got to have a man who will resist a hand-out for political gain. I think it’s a question of balance.” In place of federal aid to “failing communities” and “failing businesses,” Bush would work with the Texas Industrial Commission, chambers of commerce, and others to attract new industries to Texas, “find export markets for Texas products,” uphold “enlightened self-interest” in U.S. tariff and import policy, favor a “meaningful oil import program,” free natural gas companies from “utility-type regulation.” He said that the seven years Yarborough has been in the Senate, oil prices have gone down, imports have gone up, and Texas drilling rigs have decreased 55 percent, while cattle prices are “crucifyingly low,” and imports are higher. To the Optimists he said, “Surely it’s not fair to blame him [Yarborough] for all this,” but in other speeches that day he did not add this qualification. “I’m not a ‘hate-the-government creep,” Bush said of a charge against him he attributes to Yarborough. “I believe in a decentralized federal government and in the separation of powers and I don’t like to see encroachment of these agencies into our lives.” He couches his opposition to Medicare medical care for the aged in a flow of argument he follows somewhat closely each time: “I would vote to strengthen the Social Security system,” he said, “but I would vote against medical care under the Social Security system” “I would vote against medical care under social security.” “I favor medical care for the aged, but under Kerr-Mills and ‘Texas 65.’ ” “I would not say to this fella over here, whether you want to or not.’ This isn’t fair. This isn’t the American system. “I don’t believe that we conservatives should be placed in the position of being opposed to compassion for our fellow men,” Congressman George Bush he said. “The philosophy of the left is to stick a hyphen in everybody’s name, and give a little something for every special group.” He said there’s a government program that brings apes and baboons from Africa for experiments in space science, but they have been dying in the ship holds because the air is dank. “The federal government has a new program, a very cheap one, $585 million,” to air condition the holds, Bush said, and the program is called “medical air for the caged.” \(He pronounced the word “caged” as one would pronounce the noun, Optimists laughed. “I would hope it’s one program the federal government will stay out of,” he said. In Cuba, Bush said, we were right when we had “the courage to turn back those Russian ships,” and taking a more forceful position in Vietnam, “we did the right thing.” He would not castigate the President’s loyalty when he disagreed with him, he said. As for now, he said, the United States should “recognize a Cuban government-inexile,” and the United States should then commit itself to “the support of it militarily and economically.” To this he added, “I think we should not be found wanting in courage to help them liberate their country.” He opposes, he said, seeking a neutral government in South Vietnam, giving away Guantanamo on Cuba, or letting Red China into the United Nations, causes he said, that “our opponents are forcing for every day.” “I recognize the complexities of foreign affairs,” he said. But, he said, Senator Yarborough just hasn’t got them sized up correctly. Closing his full exposition of his themes before the civic clubmen, Bush referred to his opponent’s “vicious personal attacks on 34 DECEMBER 29, 1989
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.