Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How About That Bush Economy!!!

Pundits keep saying that the Iraq war will be the big issue in the '08 campaign.

I wonder if it won't actually be the economy:

The nation's economy will be so sluggish well into next year that any major hiccup could tip it into recession, UCLA's latest economic forecast predicts.

The end of easy credit and a further decline in home construction are sending the economy into a "near-recession," with growth hovering at just above 1% through the first three months of 2008, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast to be released today.

The forecast presents a gloomier outlook for jobs and the housing market. The nation's unemployment rate will rise to 5.2% by mid-2008, up from the current 4.6%.

And home values will fall 10% to 15% from their peaks, the forecast says, meaning that sliding prices have yet to hit bottom.

"The small recent minimal declines represent not the end, but rather the beginning of what will be a very painful decline," David Shulman, author of the forecast, said in the report, referring to home prices.

It'll be fun to see the GOP candidates and the eventual GOP nominee have to defend the Bush economy.

The Bush economy has already brought us one recession.

It has brought an expansion of people living under the poverty level.

It has brought a few million more people without health insurance.

It has brought an explosion of household and public debt (American credit card debt is currently equal to 100% of GDP; total credit market debt is near 350% of GDP.)

It has brought no real wage gains for working and middle class Americans after inflation adjustment.

It has brought job insecurity and outsourcing.

It has caused nearly all of America to have to work longer and harder to take home less after inflation.

Most Americans are feeling very, very anxious about their economic futures.

Don't take my word for it - take a look at this Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll from just last month:

WASHINGTON -- Americans are feeling decidedly sour about the economy and those in charge of it, fueling Democratic efforts to target business interests in the 2008 election campaign.

More than two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. economy is either in recession now or will be in the next year, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows. That assessment comes despite the fact the economy has experienced sustained growth with low inflation and unemployment and generally rising stock values ever since the recession that ended early in President Bush's tenure.

In addition, the poll shows a lack of confidence in economic leaders. That includes not just Mr. Bush and Congress, both of whom have the approval of fewer than one-third of all Americans, but the financial industry, large corporations in general and energy, drug and insurance companies in particular.

Some other measures of Americans' economic attitudes, such as the Conference Board's consumer-confidence measure, have risen lately, and the Journal/NBC poll reflected some mixed feelings about the economy. Yet growth in consumer spending has slowed, and concerns about health costs, job security and the gap between the rich and poor have left Americans downbeat about the road ahead.

Want to know why Americans are so decidedly gloomy about their economic futures dsepite, as the shills at the WSJ put it, "the economy has experienced sustained growth with low inflation and unemployment and generally rising stock values ever since the recession that ended early in President Bush's tenure"?

1. Because the low inflation numbers are horse hockey - they don't calculate inflation the way they used to back in the 1970's or even in the 1990's. If inflation was calculated the same way it was back in the 70's, it would be near double digits.

2. Because the low unemployment numbers are also horse hockey - they don't calculate unemployment honestly either. They've dropped millions of people who stopped looking for work because they cannot get any from the calculations and have what's called a birth/death model that manipulates the stats as well. If they were honestly calculating unemployment, we'd see the figure closer to 6%.

3. Because rising stock prices don't help ordinary Americans. The investor class makes money every year off the market, but the majority of working and middle class Americans who have retirement stock aren't enjoying any income gains from rising stock prices. Perhaps they will by the time they retire, but with the fees their 401(k) managers take for "investing" the money, even those "gains" will be dubious.

4. Because the jobs that have been created during the Bush economy have been low-paying and crappy. The good jobs get outsourced and are replaced with spots at Walmart.

For a long time, the meme in the press has been how "good" the economy became once the recession ended, but the fact of the matter is, the economy has only been good for a small segment of the population - namely the top 5% - who have enjoyed the rising stock market, the Bush tax cuts, and higher wage gains. Everybody else has barely kept pace with inflation or fallen behind.

Next year, if the economy falls into recession again, George W. will become the first president to have presided over two economic recessions as well as at least two unsuccessful wars.

It will be fun to see Rudy or Romney or Fred have to defend that record.

The WSJ and other media outlets will do their bests to shill for Bushie.

But Americans know the truth no matter what the administration, its shills in the media or the manipulated stats the government issues say.

Comments: least two unsuccessful wars.

It's the 'at least' that's scary.

Bush I wasn't my favorite president. But he did have the good sense not to go into Baghdad. And it took real guts to go back on his 'read my lips' pledge for the good of the country.

But Bush II cooked the books for his invasion of Iraq, and he never saw a tax cut he didn't like. How can the old man watch his dunce of a son make two huge blunders like that and not kick his ass?
Good points, Abi - but for Bush I, family ALWAYS trumps everything else.

Even the nation.

Plus, Barbara would kick his ass if daddy said anything nasty about baby George in public.

And she's got quite a left hook.

That's what you hear, anyway.
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