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ECONOMICS -
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Bush bankrupts America

Posted in the database on Sunday, February 19th, 2006 @ 17:19:40 MST (1105 views)
by Jerry Mazza    Online Journal  

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Under George W. Bush’s $2.77 trillion budget for fiscal 2007, federal spending would top revenue by $354 billion, following a six-year string of staggering deficits -- 2005’s was $429 billion. And that’s just for openers. Step right up, it’s the greatest rip on earth!

Bush’s 2007 budget also includes $120 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, total since 9-11 attacks about $440 billion. That’s apart from the defense budget upped 7 percent from last year to $439.3 billion. While spending on war like crazy, tax cuts to the rich so far weigh in $880 billion. Bush recommends making them permanent, his Rx for disaster.

The red ink will wash like blood across the total federal debt to almost $9.3 trillion. It's dragging interest charges will make it even harder to deal with future fiscal problems. Consumer and corporate interest rates will be higher, making it harder to expand business, more difficult to live.

Additionally, while planning cuts in Medicare and Social Security, the president snuck some $700 billion for privatization in his budget (as of 2010) to be paid out over the first seven years, which revenues ironically would come from Social Security tax revenues. This is the same privatization plan Congress dumped with a thud last time it was presented.

But like the good Duce he is, he won't go away fast, at least not until he breaks the economy and he gets busted himself for his various illegalities: lying about Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction; killing Iraq citizens and American soldiers; outing a CIA operative whose husband, Joe Wilson, caught him lying about yellow-cake uranium from Niger; okaying NSA spying on US Citizens; torturing Abu Ghraib prisoners against the Geneva Conventions; not to mention the ever-widening, well-documented case that the administration participated in and engineered 9-11. Quite a rap sheet. And that’s just a paragraph.

Borrowing More and More

While the warring and tax-cutting sap us dry, the US trade deficit ballooned to a record $726 billion in 2005, swollen by a tsunami of imports from China, along with soaring energy prices. Remember who was and is the oil business’s little helper. In December, the US imported overall $65.7 billion more than it exported, up from $64.5 billion in November. The only things moving up for real in the Bush economy are debt, spending and tax cuts, all acida.

In fact, two of Bush Group’s heftiest imports are oil and money. China facilitates our debt by lending us even more, in return for US Bonds (those “worthless i.o.u.’s,” pieces of paper in the Social Security Trust). Foreign oil dependency is courtesy in part of our non-productive high-profit, home-grown energy companies, who get it out of the ground and refined cheaper they say “over there,” not far from where all the boys are dying.

Any rise in the GDP is coming from the housing bubble, where homeowners (mainly on the coasts) are converting their homes' soaring values into equity, that is, loans on the bubble prices. When the inflated wealth bursts, it will leave a lot of hurt people. For sure, it will be an ugly day on Wall Street in the securities and bond markets.

Losing Far More Jobs than Created

Job growth over the last five years is the lowest ever. We (the US economy) were 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth. Anyone for immigration control? Add to that, US manufacturing lost 2.9 million jobs in the last five years, close to 17 percent of its workforce, across the board. Remember when we were the manufacturing envy of the world? Them days be long gone, boss.

Forty-three percent of communication equipment’s workforce is gone; 37 percent of semiconductors and electronics components’ workforce gone; 30 percent of computers and electronic products’ workforce gone; 25 percent of electrical equipment and appliances workforce gone; 12 percent of automobile and parts’ workforce gone; 17 percent of furniture and related products’ workforce gone; almost 50 percent of apparel manufacturers’ workforce gone; 43 percent of textile mills’ workforce gone; 20 percent of paper and paper products’ workforce gone; 7 percent of beverages and tobacco products’ workforce gone. Want more? Why not? Slash, slash, slash, for cash.

So-called smart jobs: 17 percent of the information sector gone. 25 percent of telecommunications’ workforce gone. Wholesale and retail jobs gone. Four percent of bookkeeping jobs gone. Nine percent in computer systems design gone. Two hundred-nine mangers' and supervisors’ jobs gone. What’s up, Doc?

In five years, the economy created a measly 70,000 jobs in architecture and engineering, mostly clerical. Engineering enrollments are sliding, no gigs for grads. Several hundred thousand engineers out of work for years. One of them, Walter M., writes to me in a pure red hot rage every now and then. What can I tell the guy that he doesn’t know better than I do? These guys can’t even work at China-Mart because they’re told they’re overeducated. They might try to start a union, or compute the real value of hours put in and not paid for.

Are we screwed or are we screwed? There’s more.

Outsourcing and Offshore Production

The two words in the subhead have left the highly educated, once-employed up the creek without a paddle, and often with a PhD. And this doesn’t include people who have quietly given up. There is no recovery in sight that would pull people back like it did in the old days after a recession.

There’s so much permanent unemployment it’s not even reported anymore. Job types and industries have been buried by arbitrage gravediggers as the Corpos replace Americans with foreigners working not quite as well but certainly cheaper. The long range effects of their less than equal competence will be paid for by the consumer. Yes, those were the wheels that flew off your Chebby, baby.

Economists who are not rewriting government press releases rate US unemployment at between 7 percent and 8.5 percent. They say there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who won’t get back their investment in a college or university schooling. Apples anyone, nice, red, juicy? In fact, these sources say we’re experiencing a depression in jobs. Thank you, globalization. You’re an equal opportunity un-employer.

Our Free Marketers, working with Bush & Company, have sold us out; sold us into a kind of skin of the teeth making it slavery. It should happen to them, with my blessings!

Cutting More for War

Bush will look for more money by taking it now and in the future from health care, education, the environment (more about that in a minute), safety and veterans programs. Helluva guy. Even though spending on elementary and secondary education goes up in fiscal 2007, it peaks then down, down, down. Same goes for National Institutes of Health, Mine Safety and Health Administration, the federal nutrition program for women and children, homeless assistance, US marshals service and other programs.

US Forests For Sale

Yup, as of Feb. 11, the LA Times tells us Bushy would like to sell more than $1 billion in public lands over 10 years. This includes 85,000 acres of national forest in California. Is this land this piker’s to sell? I thought this land was your land; this land was my land. Or is Pete Seeger been putting us on all these years? The land proceeds would pay for roads and rural schools to make up for the federal subsidy cut from Bush’s 2007 budget. Get how nice it works?

Of course, Congress must rubber stamp, excuse me, approve this plan or he’ll have them shot. Not, just sent to the back of the class to stare at the wall with a dummy’s hat on. See, this is the largest land sale of its kind since President Teddy Roosevelt created the US Forest Service in 1905 and our modern national forest system. Professor of Enviromental History at Houston’s Trinity University, Char Miller, called it “ . . . A fire sale of public lands . . . utterly unprecedented. It signals that the lands and the agency that manages them are in deep trouble. For the American people, it is an awful way to understand that it no longer controls its public land.”

And, in a second proposal stuck into the 2007 budget, White House goons ordered the US Bureau of Land Management to sell off at least $350 million in public land, the money to go directly to their pockets, excuse me, the general treasury. Believe it. It’s happening.

And Now the Good News

As of this writing (February13) there are only 341 shopping days until Christmas, during which you can get yourself a little deeper in debt with your credit cards. Forget the stats. They’re too depressing. You suffered enough. But maybe (if you have one) you’ll want to sell your house in Malibu for big bucks (Sam, are you listening) and buy a piece of Yellowstone and live there as a bear. Sam’s a screenwriter friend of mine, and it could work for him, if anyone. Or I could sell my pad in New York before the bubble bursts. I could go and hide in a cave with the Berkshire bears and a laptop of course. Hey, yeah.

You can, too, particularly if you’re Chinese-American, move to China, and grab some of that American Cash via some multinational pie-maker. Or if you're Sino-American try Japan for some mulitnational sushi. Or, you might want to get yourself a Sari and some tanning lotion and take off for India. "Hi, my name is Cindy, can I have your mother’s birthday, please." How bout it?

You might even want to bone up on your Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath) and see how the folks back then in the 30s dealt with the dust bowl depression days. Or, or what? You just might want to tell that sonofabush in DC what you think of him. Like what a sceeve (New York street for the Italian, schifezza: disgusting, dreadful, rubbish) he is, for taking down a beautiful country like this. And maybe one day, one way, life will return the favor. Right, George. We love you a bunch, baby, especially the way you say "nucular."

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer residing in Manhattan. Reach him at gvmaz@verizon.net.



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