George H.W. Bush 1924 – 2018 Dec 5, 2018 23:22:09 GMT -7
Post by pieter on Dec 5, 2018 23:22:09 GMT -7
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018) was an American statesman and Republican Party politician who served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Prior to assuming the presidency, Bush served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989; he had previously been a U.S. Representative, Ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. During his career in public service, he was known simply as George Bush; after his eldest son George W. Bush became President of the United States in 2001, he was referred to as "George H. W. Bush", "Bush 41", or "George Bush Sr".
A scion of the Bush family, he was born in Milton, Massachusetts to Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Bush postponed his university studies, enlisted in the United States Navy on his 18th birthday, and became one of the youngest aviators in the U.S. Navy.[nb 1] He served until September 1945, and then attended Yale University. Graduating in 1948, he moved his family to West Texas, where he entered the oil business and became a millionaire by the age of 40 in 1964.
Soon after founding his own oil company, Bush became involved in politics. He was defeated in his first election, for the U.S. Senate in 1964, but won election to the House of Representatives from the 7th congressional district of Texas in 1966. He was re-elected in 1968 but was defeated for election to the Senate again in 1970. In 1971, President Richard Nixon appointed Bush as Ambassador to the United Nations, and in 1973, Bush became the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. The following year, President Gerald Ford appointed Bush as Chief of the Liaison Office in China and later made Bush the Director of Central Intelligence. Bush ran for president in 1980 and was defeated in the Republican primary by Ronald Reagan, who chose him as his running mate in his successful bid for presidency. During his eight-year tenure as Vice President, Bush headed task forces on deregulation and the war on drugs.
Bush ran a successful campaign in 1988, defeating Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis, becoming the first incumbent vice president in 152 years to be elected president. Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency: military operations were conducted in Panama and the Persian Gulf; the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and the Soviet Union dissolved two years later. Bush also signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which created a trade bloc consisting of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Domestically, Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise and signed a bill to increase taxes. In the wake of a weak recovery from an economic recession and the diminution of foreign policy as a major issue in a post-Cold War political climate, he lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton.
After leaving office in 1993, Bush was active—often alongside his former opponent Bill Clinton—in humanitarian activities. With George W. Bush's victory in the 2000 presidential election, Bush and his son became the second father–son pair to serve as president, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Bush's second son, Jeb Bush, served as the 43rd Governor of Florida and sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Bush died on November 30, 2018, at the age of 94 years, 171 days. He was the third-longest-lived vice president at the time of his death, and has the current distinction of being the longest-lived president in U.S. history.
Early in his term, Bush faced the problem of what to do with leftover deficits spawned during the Reagan years. At $220 billion in 1990, the deficit had tripled since 1980. Bush was dedicated to curbing the deficit, believing that America could not continue to be a leader in the world without doing so. He began an effort to persuade the Democratic controlled Congress to act on the budget; with Republicans believing that the best way was to cut government spending, and Democrats convinced that the only way would be to raise taxes, Bush faced problems when it came to consensus building.
In the wake of a struggle with Congress, Bush was forced by the Democratic majority to raise tax revenues; as a result, many Republicans felt betrayed because Bush had promised "no new taxes" in his 1988 campaign. Perceiving a means of revenge, Republican congressmen defeated Bush's proposal, which would enact spending cuts and tax increases that would reduce the deficit by $500 billion over five years. Scrambling, Bush accepted the Democrats' demands for higher taxes and more spending, which alienated him from Republicans and gave way to a sharp decrease in popularity. Bush later said that he wished that he had never signed the bill. Near the end of the 101st Congress, the president and congressional members reached a compromise on a budget package that increased the marginal tax rate and phased out exemptions for high-income taxpayers. Although he originally demanded a reduction in the capital gains tax, Bush relented on this issue as well. This agreement with the Democratic leadership in Congress proved to be a turning point in the Bush presidency; his popularity among Republicans never fully recovered.
Coming at around the same time as the budget deal, America entered into a mild recession, which lasted for six months. Many government programs, such as welfare, increased. As the unemployment rate edged upward in 1991, Bush signed a bill providing additional benefits for unemployed workers. The year 1991 was marked by many corporate reorganizations, which laid off a substantial number of workers. Many now unemployed were Republicans and independents, who had believed that their jobs were secure.
By his second year in office, Bush was told by his economic advisors to stop dealing with the economy, as they believed that he had done everything necessary to ensure his reelection. By 1992, interest and inflation rates were the lowest in years, but by midyear the unemployment rate reached 7.8%, the highest since 1984. In September 1992, the Census Bureau reported that 14.2% of all Americans lived in poverty. At a press conference in 1990, Bush told reporters that he found foreign policy more enjoyable.
The Gulf war
George H. W. Bush foreign policy was known for the United States invasion of Panama from 20 December 1989 until 31 January 31 January 1990, , his encounters with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian president Boris Yeltsin, German Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl, the French president François Mitterrand and the British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), codenamed Operation Desert Shield (2 August 1990 – 17 January 1991) for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991), the Somali Civil War, the progress he made in improving relations between the U.S. and Japan, his good relations with Israel and the the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA January 1, 1994).