Release date: Jan. 25, 2002
Contact: Nancy Seideman, Director: 404-727-0640 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors and reporters: Home phone numbers are available
on request for those experts available immediately following the address.
Emory Experts Weigh in on President's State of
the Union Address
* Military Spending Plan at Odds With Economy, Nature of Terrorist
Doubling spending on domestic security will be one of three central
themes in President Bush's state of the union address on Tuesday, but
according to political scientist Robert Pastor, the proposal is at odds
with the nation's economic condition and the nature of fighting a terrorist
war in the 21st century.
"Our military strength relies on our economic strength, and that
has been significantly eroded in the past year by Bush's tax cut and
by a recession. The proposed build up would boost our spending on the
military to more than the six other most powerful nations in the world
combined," says Pastor.
Moreover, the president's idea of winning the terrorist war in the
21st century mistakes the nature of that war. "It's not like World
War II; it's like the drug war or the war on organized crime. He can
beat Al Capone, but he'll always have the Sopranos to cope with."
Pastor can be reached at 404-727-6969.
* Congress and the President May Get Back to "Politics as Usual"
as Midterm Elections Approach
As Sept. 11 recedes and midterm elections approach, Congress and President
Bush are back to sparring over issues such as an economic stimulus package,
missile defense, health care/prescription drug costs and campaign finance
reform--the latter enjoying a rebirth thanks to the Enron scandal. Political
scientist and congressional expert Randall Strahan says that it will
be interesting to see how Bush's "sky-high" approval ratings
impact the outcome of midterm congressional elections in Nov. 2002.
"The president's political party usually takes a hit in midterm
elections, especially when the economy is weak," says Strahan.
"Right now no one really knows whether the strong public support
for Bush arising from the war on terrorism will help Republican candidates
for the House and Senate. It also will be interesting to see, if the
war winds down, whether Democrats will benefit from a shift in focus
to domestic issues. That certainly occurred with the president's father
after the end of the Gulf War." Strahan can be reached at 404-727-7913.
* A Big Boost in Defense Spending Indicates Deficit Spending is
A big boost in defense spending traditionally means tradeoffs between
defense and other categories, so political scientist and defense economics
expert David Davis is interested to hear how Bush plans to finance a
doubling of the security budget. "I gather from the current numbers
that the administration is going to run deficits to fund these security
priorities," says Davis. "They could raise taxes, which isn't
going to happen when they aren't even going to slow down the rate of
tax cuts. The alternative is to cut tremendous amounts of spending in
other areas, and I don't see that happening either." He was interested
to hear Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan make comments Thursday
encouraging Congress to put measures in place to prevent huge deficits
caused by cutting taxes while boosting spending.
Davis notes how the increased defense budget money is allocated will
determine how beneficial it is for the economy. "The money spent
on a military pay increase would be a positive influence on the economy,
because the personnel will turn around and spend those dollars, but
expenditures on high tech weapons would not be as beneficial. A relative
few defense contractors would benefit from that." Davis can be
reached at 404-727-0109.
OTHER EMORY EXPERTS AVAILABLE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING
* On the Economy:
President Bush is addressing a nation that realizes its economic fate
is increasingly tied to the international situation. Global marketing
strategist Jagdish Sheth can comment about the president's strategies
mesh on both the economic and international fronts. He can be reached
at 404-727-7603 or Jagdish_Sheth@bus.emory.edu.
The president will make his economic stimulus package and job creation
a central feature of his talk to the nation. Emory economist Hashem
Dezhbakhsh can comment on whether the president's plan packs the punch
the nation needs to pull itself out its economic slump. Dezhbakhsh (pronounced
DEZ-bosh) can be reached at 404-727-4679 or email@example.com.
* On Bush as the Nations Moral Leader:
Religious faith in the public arena has taken on new prominence in the
days since the terrorist attacks. President Bush has made clear on many
occasions what his religious faith means to him in facing the challenges
of leading the nation. Candler School of Theology's Thomas G. Long,
named by Newsweek Magazine as one of the nation's top preachers, is
available to discuss how the president's faith intersects with his role
as "chief communicator" to the nation. Long can be reached
at 404-727-5144 w or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* On the War Effort:
Political scientist Dan Reiter, author of the forthcoming book, "Democracies
at War," argues that democracies wage war differently from the
way dictators or one-party states enter conflicts. He is available to
talk about the president's state of the union comments on the war on
terrorism. Reiter can be reached at 404-727-0111 or email@example.com.
* On Bush as "Chief Communicator":
Management communications experts Sherron Bienvenu and Molly Epstein
lecture widely on communications styles and strategies. They are available
to discuss the president's communications credibility, how he demonstrates
his concern, his knowledge, his power and his confidence, both verbally
and non-verbally. Bienvenu is available at 404-727-0437 or Sherron_Bienvenu@bus.emory.edu.
Epstein is at 404-727-6715 or Molly_Epstein@bus.emory.edu.
* On Healthcare
Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D., of Emory's Rollins School of Public Health,
can discuss issues related to Medicare reform, prescription drugs for
the elderly, and access to health care by the uninsured that could come
up in Bush's address. Thorpe was deputy assistant secretary for health
policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the
Clinton administration. In this capacity, he coordinated all financial
estimates and program impacts of president Clinton's health care reform
proposals Thorpe can be reached at 404-727-3373.
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