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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

April 5, 2008


Bad Job Numbers, Again

Of course this new was released Friday afternoon. It seems as if any and all news coming out of the Bush administration (a.k.a. the Administration of Diminished Responsibility) is being released Friday afternoons nowadays. And all news appears to be bead lately, whether it comes from the Fed, the Treasury Department, Iraq or just about anywhere else.

Not that one can set aside the increase of American fatalities coming out of Iraq this past weekend where today, rocket attacks killed three and wounded thirty-one US soldiers inside the "safe" Green Zone. Already this month, five US soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq and we are averaging over one US military death each and every day over there.

And that isn't even the number one issue with Americans any more. That (dis)honor falls to the economy and the news coming from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics tells just about the whole story.

80,000 jobs have been lost in just the month of March 2008. 232,000 jobs have been lost since the beginning of this year. And although President Bush is still claiming that the "economy is strong", no matter what the numbers show, the economic news couldn't have been worse. Nearly a quarter of a million jobs lost in such a short period of time rivals the worst numbers we have seen since the last time such numbers have shown their ugly faces - the first four years of the Bush administration.

but in real true Bush administration fashion the news isn't all bad:

"Although the unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent, it remains below the averages for the past three decades,"
-The opening sentence from the White House's web site's economic statement this weekend

See? It's all how you look at things. If you believe President Bush they have been doing just a bang-up job on the economy. It doesn't matter that the way in which we look at unemployment have changed over the past decade. And it certainly doesn't seem to matter to President Bush - or that ever-diminishing group who support his economic policies - a group which include the likes of Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain, who insists that the Bush tax cuts are "working" - that there are fewer American workers employed today (62.6 percent) than there were when during the second Clinton administration (a 65.9 percent average).

To borrow a phrase from the Bush White House, here's a fact from my fact sheet: If President Bush were able to keep his predecessor's numbers, over four million additional Americans would be employed today.

And the White House web site continues:

"Nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 80,000 jobs. While these numbers are disappointing, they are not entirely unexpected,"

Was there anywhere in any of President Bush's speeches over the past few years where he warned of an economic collapse such as the one we see today? Did President bush come out during his re-election run in 2004 telling us all that "hard times are coming"?

I must have missed that one.

Just who inside the Bush administration "expected" a downturn in jobs like we have seen in just these past few months?

The President continues to tout the economic stimulus package as some sort of cure-all for his failing economy. Putting money into the hands of the American middle class is a great idea, but it's an idea that's coming too little, too late. It certainly won't help to the extent which the Bushies say it will, but they have one thing to look forward to: They have nowhere to go but up. And when the numbers do improve, whether that improvement happens before January 21, m2009, or sometime in the next decade, George W. Bush will be there to claim that it was his plans put in some time before that made the improvement.

And that chest-pounding won't come on a Friday afternoon.

The Bush economy is so bad and so painful for the vast majority of us regular Americans that it's hard to conceive that it can get worse. And then we get numbers like this month's job numbers to see that rock-bottom might still be a few floors beneath us.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg