Saturday :: Nov 26, 2005

Are We To Be Thankful For THIS???


by pessimist

The happy talk coming out over the media is incredible in its positivity. One would think that nothing was amiss in the Land of the Free Traitor (sic - live with it!) and the Home of the Brave World Conqueror.

But digging deep, one can find out that things aren't necessarily as the headlines and sound bites would otherwise indicate.

For example, one sees and hears indications that there are more people working, but as a veteran of holiday shopping retailing, I can attest that this bump is only temporary. I have evidence to back me up.

During a time when more people SHOULD be able to get work, even if only as a holiday temp, this came out:

US jobless numbers were higher than expected 'partly due to claims following job losses caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita'. Yet, in a report dated Sept. 29, 2005, the opposite claim was made:

The number of Americans filing first- time claims for jobless benefits last week fell 79,000, a sign that many workers idled by Hurricane Katrina completed their applications for benefits after the disaster. "This suggests the bulk of the Katrina distortion is behind us," said Rick MacDonald, research director at Action Economics LLC in Los Angeles, before the report.

So which is it? Read on.

GM is laying off 30,000, Ford is laying off thousands, the information technology industry is laying off thousands, and yet the reports continue about how well George's job creation economy is doing.

One has to wonder, especially when recently laid-off workers are invited to come close down the plant where they used to work at no pay:

The spouse of a laid-off worker told the Union-Eagle that a call went out to laid-off employees that they could help do some work that had to be completed at the plant but that they would not be paid.

Some of the people who were laid off last week provided information for this story, but declined to give their names. One of the former employees explained that they worried that if they gave their name they would not get rehired if a job should become available.

And for every front line job like GM or Ford that is lost, there is a 'ripple effect' as jobs are lost at suppliers of these companies.

That doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in this so-called booming economy, which prompts one commentator to ask the pertinent question:

President Bush's beloved tax cuts have neither grown the economy nor created new jobs. So why should we extend them?
The Bush tax cuts did not produce new jobs. In 2003, the President's Council on Economic Advisers promised 5.5 million new jobs by 2004, but only 2.6 million jobs were actually created. The jobs created failed to even match the 4.1 million new jobs expected in a normally functioning economy, let alone one supposedly supercharged by tax cuts.
Yet that hasn't stopped conservative forecasters from chanting the "tax cuts create jobs" mantra in 2005.
The quality of jobs, measured by income, health insurance and retirement benefits, has also declined appreciably since the 2001 tax cuts. Between 2000 and 2004, inflation-adjusted family income declined, and the number of U.S. workers covered by employer-provided retirement benefits and health insurance contracted.

But that doesn't matter much, does it? Instead of human quality-of-life issues, government is supposed to only concern itself with itself with corporate 'quality-of-life' issues, the benefits of which only trickle down to the shareholders. To do anything else would smack of socialism - and we were all propagandized - er, edjimikatid in skule that SOCIALISM [GASP!] is a BAD thing!!

How is a company supposed to be profitable when it gives its products away to poor people?

That doesn't seem to matter much to populist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is discounting 8 million gallons of Venezuelan-owned Citgo heating oil to the poor and jobless of the South Bronx, which in and of itself has to be more than they have gotten - besides lip servicing, that is - from Bu$hCo.

That might explain why King George's reaction was less than gracious!

In addition, Chavez and Citgo will supply more than 12 million gallons of heating oil over the next four months at 40 percent below market prices to low-income home owners in Massachusetts.

Take THAT, Mitt Romney!

Compassionate conservatism, indeed! As one critic puts it:

Joe Kennedy, the chairman of Citizens Energy, one of the organisations that will distribute the oil, said the deal highlighted the failure of oil companies in the US and the Government to step in to help.
"Our government has made billions of dollars just this year on the royalty payments the oil companies pay to the Government," he said. But when it is a question of poor Americans, "what do we hear from Washington? Sorry boys. There's no money in the till."

Of course not, silly! It all went into paying for a war to take more oil away from those un-Christian Muslims who won't admit that American WASP SUV owners are superior to them in every way that counts money!

Counting the money is what some Bu$hCo critics are doing right now as they look at the economic devastation that is coming down the pike if we don't change his profligate spending ways:

Bush's personal political problems are nothing compared to the problems that now face our country, problems brought on by a reckless administration that seems to have little regard for the country's future. In a word, it's scandalous.
Both conservative and liberal economic experts are starting to sound the alarm. We can't keep spending on everything from an incredibly expensive war to a Medicare drug program that mainly benefits insurance companies and cut taxes by hundreds of billions at the same time.
"We face a demographic tsunami," insists David Walker, the U.S. comptroller general. He compares the United States to Rome before the fall of the empire. The country faces deficits in its budget, its balance of payments, its savings and its leadership, he told USA Today.

What's for sure is that we simply cannot keep on the path we've been following the past five years.

There's going to come a time - perhaps earlier than we realize - that foreign lenders are going to stop funding that deficit we keep growing. A front page of USA Today last week showed it all in graphic detail. If we continue on the same track we are today, our annual $319 billion deficit will be more than $4 trillion in 2050, when our grandkids are nearing retirement.

The problem is that people don't want to hear the bad news that they are going to have to make changes in their lifestyles due to the repayment of the debts run up during our National Animal House-style frat party. Only a few are willing to look at this:

As Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget told USA Today:
"I want to see a presidential election where the candidates are talking about what taxes they'll raise and what spending they'll cut."

Maybe we could start on trimming the military. What if our strict constructionist wrong-winger friends were truly serious, wouldn't they insist upon pulling US forces back to the realistic positions necessary to truly defend our nation and not 'legislate democracy' through the use of invasionary military power? Think of the money we could save! It would be so much, they could keep all of their tax cuts and we progressives wouldn't care!

The amount involved is great. Bu$hCo has increased their FY 2006 allocation 5 percent above the FY 2005 allocation. [Voluminous details here] Does the US really need to spend over $430 BILLION a year when the #2 (who really is trying harder - and appears to be successful at it) only spends $30 billion? Even if US claims that China's military budget is triple this are correct, the US still outspends China 5-to-1.

Maybe by redefining what our 'strategic interests' are, we wouldn't need so much of our capital wasted on the military, especially when the 'American Way of Life' that Bu$h claims to be defending is being butchered in its own defense?

Color me skeptical, but that lame excuse of King George's sounds just like that infamous statement from a US officer in Vietnam who claimed 'we had to destroy the village in order to save it'.

Oh, when will we ever learn?

I hope it's soon. We can't afford much more.

Is it really necessary to destroy America in order to save it? What if by doing so, what we had left wasn't worth the cost of the saving? What if, should Bu$hCo be able to truly claim victory someday, there was no 'American Way of Life' anymore?

Ask yourself that question! Then add your comment.


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pessimist :: 8:31 AM :: Comments (13) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!