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Tuesday, 23 January, 2001, 14:56 GMT
President Bush: Where should his priorities lie?
George W Bush has been inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
Amid signs of an economic slowdown, his start in office won't be easy. He is facing a divided nation to which he has to sell his concept of "compassionate conservatism".
He will also have to deal with the continuing violence in the Middle East and other crisis in the world. And he has to convince America's allies who have deep reservations about the national missile defence system.
With this multitude of issues to be tackled, where should he start? What should George W Bush's priorities be?
Jasmine Guha, Austin, Texas, USA
He should pray!
One of his first priorities should be to reform or abolish the Electoral College system, so that the farce of the last election is not repeated. The popular vote should be the deciding factor in a presidential election.
President Bush should rethink tax cuts because if these are carried out it will greatly reduce US aid to Africa which we desperately need to help us build our economies. Visiting Africa as a Republican US President will be motivating because we need your support.
It is January 23, 2001 - only the third day since Bush was sworn in. Already he has blocked any federal funding for abortion while he had no problem lining them up to die on Texas death row. I hope the people of this country are ready for who they voted for...
"It's the environment, stupid."
Jasmine Guha, Austin, Texas, USA
The question is irrelevant - he's already decided that counselling a woman after an abortion is more immoral than restarting the arms race. He is beyond hope.
I think Bush should pull American troops out of Europe. This represents a ridiculous and unneeded expenditure in the post-cold-war world. It is time for America to disengage from the world, to rebuild our cities and schools, take care of our poor, perhaps begin to dream again about the human adventure in space. The Europeans and Asians are old enough to take care of themselves.
George W. Bush may not appear to be the most educated man to hold the Presidency, but he is not a stupid man.
Stupid men do not earn MBA degrees from Harvard University. He has chosen experienced and capable advisors. Bush needs to restore faith in the integrity of the office of the president, he needs to keep the economy strong, he needs to find a way for all Americans to get affordable health care, and he needs a credible foreign policy. Colin Powell is going to be a very strong Secretary of State, and will shape US foreign policy - with him at the helm, I have no doubt that the US will have a credible and proactive foreign policy.
Education is the way to go, however school vouchers are not the way to go. Most of the schools that have the worst academic reputations are also the schools in the poorest neighbourhoods, and often don't have adequate school supplies, generally get poorer quality teachers. Instead of attempting to take more money away from these schools, perhaps he could invest the money that he plans to spend on more weapons to educate our young people.
Mr. Bush should realise that there's something out there which is not called America, where he's not in power and that those few people have the right to live on this globe as well. So Mr. Bush and America, can you please stop acting like there's nothing but America in this world. Stop wasting fuels and resources like there is no tomorrow, because if you continue like that there will be no tomorrow.
Edward Haworth, UK
Never be dishonest with the American people. When you make a mistake, openly admit it and move on, allowing no cover-up scandals. Use opinion polls as a tool to assess your effectiveness at communicating ideas, not as a means of determining your future positions. Be humble, giving credit where it is due. Be assertive, while remaining respectful of your opposition. In short, ask
yourself what Clinton would do, then do the exact opposite.
Why does Bush need to spend more on the military? Who exactly is going to attack them? The only country with enough firepower is China, and why would China attack it's biggest customer in cheaply made electronics and goods. Bush really needs to face the issues that the world has to deal with not just the privileged few - stop polluting our planet, we all need to breathe, not just oilmen.
I'm not a patriotic person, and I am well aware that there are plenty of areas in which the US leads the world - but I feel I should respond to Nick Schutz when he states that Bush should not aspire to copy the UK - if only because the examples he used were so misplaced. As far as I am aware US unemployment levels aren't much different to those in the UK . Our healthcare system may be flawed, but at least all the population has access to it.
Specific policy priorities: enact the conservative agenda that half the voters endorsed. Tax cuts, education reform (school vouchers), reinvestment in the armed forces, medicare and social security reform. Just as important: restore a sense of integrity and honour in the White House. George W. Bush is precisely the man who can accomplish all this and. That is why he won the election.
What should George W Bush's priorities be? Education, education, education.
Preferably starting with his own!
Alex Banks, Wales/Sweden
Mr. Bush will need a magic wand if he thinks he can cut taxes but increase the quality of U.S. education and health care. To Herr Schutz; Britain may have lines at their hospitals, at least no-one is turned away for not having insurance. How many western industrialised nations does Herr Schutz know that have the same percentage of uninsured (and undernourished) children as the USA? Not many I would say. But the most important thing that Bush should do is to tell the US electorate that the States is just one nation on this planet and that the current consumption of resources is beyond reason.
Despite the poverty, health and education problems on his doorstep, Bush will push ahead with massive military spending, oil and gas exploration and further "cutting back the state". His election is a key step in the continuing collapse of the sound social and economic systems built up over the last 100 years.
Bush's priorities should lie in having a successful democratic process for elections and making sure that everyone's vote is counted.
Accept that self-defence using deadly force if necessary is a fundamental right and don't listen to the liberal hand wringers who say otherwise. Accept that there will always be rich and poor, but give everyone a fair chance to improve their own life. Try to keep hold of the Middle East situation but accept that bombs aren't always the answer. And finally, but most important (to me at least) is help us get rid of the bunch of clowns we call our Government.
Paul Bryant, USA
Bush's first priority should be an English as a Second Language class so I don't have to cringe with embarrassment for myself and my fellow Americans as he struts around the world stage.
Bush owes a big debt to his supporters in the oil, motorcar, mineral and forestry business. It's payback time.
Priorities should begin at home.
Peter Bolton, UK in US
From an Australian point of view, one of Mr Bush's achievements could be the bi-lateral trade agreement with the United States our Prime Minister John Howard is pushing for
Bush needs to know that the middle east problems are not going to go away and that he has inherited one of the most difficult tasks one being the arab-israel relationship that could rock his chair and the other Saddam Hussein, both intertwined could set the "bushes" on fire and be his downfall.
President Bush should focus more on rejuvenating the economy by tax cuts for the middle income group. Education should be also the one he needs to look after.
Traditionally Republicans are more focussed on Defence and less on Public service, but as a proponent of compassionate conservatism, I think he should try to balance the two!
Er, to coin a phrase: It's the economy, stupid!
Stuff that up, and the rest of the world suffers with the US (and I wouldn't then rate his chances for s second term).
Michael Russell, USA
Bush should continue the work of Clinton, and realise that we now live in a world where co-operation with others is more important than ever.
Bush needs to deal with the energy crisis which is having drastic repercussions on the whole US economy, not just California. The beloved of the left wing Clinton did absolutely nothing to deal with this. Perhaps Bush can allow for more exploration and drilling of oil and gas reserves, and the lessening of regulations on the building of new power plants. The left wing may not want to believe it but these things can be done without destroying the environment.
Indeed, Britain's Health care system and economy are not comparable to the US. Despite taking in far more immigrants, the US continues to lead the world. In science, health care, and democracy there is no comparison. It is amusing to read about how we need to become more like Britain. Are you hoping we can increase unemployment? Perhaps we can reduce innovation and create longer waits for health care services? Are you afraid of an American leader with integrity? Perhaps Europe will have to take responsibility for its region and stop relying on its big brother.
I think that Bush should keep the tax rates the same to spend more on public services. Each election a party always says we'll cut the taxes and every time the public services suffer. In the UK the high taxes have led to the biggest budget ever. That budget every year could solve everything.
John B. Fanning , UK
Ignorance may be bliss for a private citizen; knowledge and mastery of detail is power for a political leader. Mr Bush knows not he knows not; if he learns to know he knows not, that will be achievement enough!