Saturday, August 16, 2008



Huge multinational corporations and wealthy individuals have profited very nicely as a result of Bush administration economic policy between 2001-2008. Under these "Bushonomics" the uppermost 1% of American households saw their annual AFTER TAX earnings rise from $722,000 to $868.000 (an astonishing 20%!) in 2006, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The same cannot be said for the remaining 99% of the country, comprised of the poor, working, middle, and upper middle classes.

Noted economists Emmanuel Saez, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at Stanford University, and Thomas Piketty, a professor at London's Centre for Economic Policy Research, have reviewed income taxes for all economic groups dating back to 1917. They found that, in 2005, the richest 1% of Americans received their largest share of net income since 1928! The gap in income between America's wealthiest and poorest has tremendously widened since 2001, and this trend has no end in sight under current conditions. Economist John Wells has stated that this increased income inequity is largely due to a less progressive tax structure and a severe weakening of labor unions, which has given more bargaining clout to concentrated capital and less to ordinary workers.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2001, the Federal Government had a $128 billion budget surplus, according to U.S. Treasury and Bureau of Economic Analysis figures. A combination of massive tax cuts pushed for by the Bush administration and passed by the neoconservative Republican-controlled Congress in succeeding years, coupled with giant increases in expenditures for the Iraq War, turned that comfortable budget surplus into a $168 billion DEFICIT by 2007. And that is just the FEDERAL deficit. Many states and local governments are operating in the red now, too. George W. Bush was the first President in the nation's entire history to run an expensive overseas war and simultaneously push for and pass tax cuts. The most alarming thing of all is that, as a result of these misguided Bushonomics, our national debt has been increased by a staggering $1.7 TRILLION! That's right, folks: Our government is in debt to its people, and to foreign countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and others, an unbelievable and unsustainable $9.6 TRILLION AND RISING!!! In numbers easier to relate to, that is roughly $11,500 FOR EVERY CITIZEN OF THIS COUNTRY! As you can see, our apparent and seeming prosperity is resting on a VERY WEAK foundation! In fact, we're in debt way over our heads! It is long past time to do some thinking here. The time has come to REVERSE these disastrous economic policies! But there's even more...

Bush and his pro-business, anti-labor neoconservative Republican allies (and even some Democrats) have also long promoted "free trade" economic policies. "Free Trade" means business between countries should be conducted with no government control or regulation, no tariffs and no quotas (or greatly, greatly reduced ones), and basically no interference at all. It is policies like these (NAFTA, CAFTA, and many others passed during Bill Clinton's and George W. Bush's terms in office), which have led to thousands and thousands of good paying American jobs being shipped overseas to cheap foreign slave labor markets in China, India, Mexico, and elsewhere. It has also led to the establishment of giant new plants and factories in foreign countries, and gigantic increases in pollution in China and Mexico. China has now become a major producer, exporter, and economic giant. In 2006, for every dollar China spent on one pf OUR products, we spent $6 on THEIRS. This trend has been going on for many years and is continuing. According to long time Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, we shelled out $700 BILLION to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia, and other countries last year for foreign oil. This oil went into our cars, trucks, buses, and planes, and was burned up. The money is gone forever, out of OUR pockets and now in THEIR pocketbokks! It is no wonder the Chinese economy is growing at a very healthy rate of 8% while ours struggles to grow between 1 and 2%. WE are fueling THEIR, and the oil producing nations', economies OURSELVES through short-sighted stupidity!

Bush's tax cuts DID stimulate our economy. Gross Domestic Product posted gains, and American workers' productivity rose by a whopping 19% during the Bush years. But American workers did not reap the benefits of this increased productivity. Instead, their wage rates stagnated or even fell, and their buying power shrunk tremendously, even with the influx of cheaper imports which the free traders assurred us would increase our standard of living. THINK ABOUT IT: In the past 8 years, has YOUR income and YOUR buying power gone up to the point where you can say you're better off today than you were 8 years ago? I seriously doubt it. I fyou can honestly answer "yes" to that question, you are most definitely in the minority of the population!

At a time where wage rates are staying the same or falling, where large numbers of high paying new jobs are NOT being created in this country, where high paying jobs and even entire plants are STILL being shipped overseas, where uneven tax and wage policies have realistically transferred wealth to the rich from the poor and middle class, and where one-sided trade policies are transferring wealth from our country overseas at a record rate, there are still large numbers of Bushonomics proponents in today's Republican Party. John McCain himself has stated repeatedly he will extend and expand Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy if he is elected. He is also dedicated to pursuing more free trade deals. In fact, one of his major economic advisors is former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, a huge proponent of deregulation, free trade, and tax cuts. Gramm was the one responsible for the "Enron loophole" which ended regulation on energy speculators and enabled them to drive the price of gasoline up to all-time highs well over $3 and $4 per gallon. Gramm was also responsible for bank deregulation which caused the subprime mortgage crisis and brought about the bankruptcies and forecllosures of millions of Americans. This would strongly suggest that, unless John McCain does a massive revision of his proposed economic policies, a defacto continuation of Bushonomics, he is a DANGEROUS and UNSUITABLE man to elect as President!

It is abundantly clear to this writer that Bushonomics must come to a screeching halt and be replaced by something FAR more fair and beneficial to the vast majority of this country! We cannot afford any more reckless one-sided trade deals or uneven tax breaks for the wealthy! Bushonomics must END JANUARY 20, 2009!!!

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