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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

October 21, 2007


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Thank you. -NG

More on the Economy

Five-hundred and seventy-five billion dollars and counting. That's what the Budget deficit is nearly up to as I write this article. The trade deficit is the difference in the dollar amount of goods which US producers export globally as compared to the dollar amount of good imported. At this rate, in no time at all, the trade deficit will hit the trillion dollar mark and all we'll be able to do is watch it rise.

And with the fall of the dollar and the rise of all (and I do mean ALL) other competing currencies around the globe, all of these goods which were supposed to save us working stiffs money is now costing us more. For example, for the first time ever, the Canadian dollar is actually worth more than the American dollar. And where that might be good news for those Canadians living near the American border, who can drive across and save a few loonies, it doesn't fare well for us.

As a result of our falling dollar, trade deficit and the decline of real wages, which have fallen steadily since President Bush's "base" of "haves and have mores" became the "have even mores", the American people have not only lost buying power and their disposable income, they have lost the ability to purchase the staples of life. Wages aren't keeping up with the rise in the CPI (Consumer Price Index, a.k.a. inflation), which is historically low, as a whole. But when one examines those numbers more closely, one will see that the rise in those staples have risen drastically as compared to the reported CPI numbers in general. Things like milk to feed our children and gas to get us to work have so outpaced any rise in wages that many of us have to decide on what service or good, which we used to consider required, to remove from our daily routine rather than what luxury we can do without. Let's face it, the American Middle-Class, the backbone of our economic well-being, no longer has that extra cash necessary to keep many of our businesses going.

And where some industries do benefit from our falling dollar, such as international tourism, that only benefits a small number of Americans. The rest of us not working in New York City's midtown hotels and restaurants aren't seeing those dollars

And all the while this is happening, the White House is telling us our economy is on good shape. They insist that our "recovery" is real and t just give it some more time to allow this rising tide to raise the rest of our small boats. But it isn't a rising tide at all; it's a giant rouge wave that destroys the smaller fishing boats while allowing the larger boats the better of the bounty.

The Bush administration talks about how well their tax cuts are working for American families. They note that many Americans who paid taxes before are no longer paying taxes now. Of course, those Americans they speak of were paying about eight dollars a week, and while it's true that these people may be saving a little, the Bush "base" is having a field day using these cuts to avoid paying their fair share. The tax system, after all, was designed to allow us all to keep what we need to provide shelter and feed our families first. Those if us on the lower scale of the economic ladder know almost to the penny what our monthly "nut" is. Those on the upper rungs were supposed to supplement the poor. The Bush administration has changed that idea and has made the middle class, those of us working for a living, bear the brunt of keeping our economy going.

All one has to do is take a look at how taxes are paid. Those who earn their livings working - the middle class, for example - are paying upwards of thirty percent of their incomes to the federal government to keep it going. Those who "earn" - and I use the word "Earn" here for lack of a better term - their living from stocks and such are paying at a fraction of what the rest of us pay for. fifteen percent. And President Bush wants to eliminate that tax in its entirety!

The Bushies claim that big, global business profits benefit us all is incorrect. With staples such as health care costing twenty cents out of every GDP dollar (the Gross Domestic Product), where and how is this helping us? Some of us remember how Ronald Reagan's trickle down plan worked in the end: Instead of the very rich taking their spoils and purchasing more so the rest of us could have good jobs, good benefits and extra money to spend in the economy, it just ended up making the rich richer. Let's face it, Reagan helped create the Bush "base" of "haves and have mores" and none of us middle or lower wage earners are reaping the benefits promised.
George Bush's Trickle Down is even worse and he can't, or won't see it.

As the trade deficit grows, we'll continue to see the loss of American jobs (yes, even "the jobs Americans won't do", as the Bushies say); we'll continue to see our dollar fall; we'll continue to see the rise of gas, home heating fuel, health care insurance and all of the other staples of middle class American life. And we'll see and hear the Bush spin telling us everything's okay, just be patient.

And at the end of the day, there will be more Americans who can't afford what they had at the beginning of that day.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg