Tuesday, August 21, 2007



One of the many media lies repeated ad infinitum as though someone were trying to make it part of conventional wisdom, usually comes framed as a question or complaint. I heard it a day or two ago on a talk show. Some numbingly stupid right wing propagandist (a creep like Larry Kudlow) was whining about how Bush doesn't get credit for the "great economy." What great economy? The one in China? OK, Bush and Mitch McConnell certainly deserve lots of credit for the great growth of the Chinese economy; no one has done more to enrich China, a country his father has billions of dollars in business in, than Bush (and very much at our expense, and with the help of another person grown fabulously wealthy of the China trade, McConnell). But that isn't what they ever mean. They mean the economy here, the one in the U.S.

Now, to be fair, to the Bush family, their retainers and campaign contributors, and to multimillionaires, the economy is indeed a godsend. But what about for the rest of us? According to today's NY Times... not so much.
Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money than at the peak of the last economic expansion, new government data shows.
While incomes have been on the rise since 2002, the average income in 2005 was $55,238, still nearly 1 percent less than the $55,714 in 2000, after adjusting for inflation, analysis of new tax statistics show.

What a coincidence! 2000? Wasn't that the year the Supreme Court elected Bush president and his rogue regime grabbed power and let corporations start writing laws? Cause as badly as regular folks have faired under Bush, those corporations have just been raking in the dough, which has been very nice for corporate upper management (AKA, the Bush aristocracy).

And Bush has managed to achieve what no other contemporary president has, not even his feeble father. While income for, ordinary Americans has dropped every single year that Bush has been in power, "total income listed on tax returns grew every year after World War II, with a single one-year exception, until 2001, making the five-year period of lower average incomes and four years of lower total incomes a new experience for the majority of Americans born since 1945."

So who has been benefiting from this "roaring economy" Bush apologists and propaganda agents are always whining about. Well, out of the 134 million American taxpayers, 11,433 got a whopping 28% of all the tax savings from Bush's tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy program. That's nearly $2 million each. I bet they're happy he was elected appointed, even if he's leaving the country in ruin.
The growth in total incomes was concentrated among those making more than $1 million. The number of such taxpayers grew by more than 26 percent, to 303,817 in 2005, from 239,685 in 2000.

These individuals, who constitute less than a quarter of 1 percent of all taxpayers, reaped almost 47 percent of the total income gains in 2005, compared with 2000.
People with incomes of more than a million dollars also received 62 percent of the savings from the reduced tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends that President Bush signed into law in 2003, according to a separate analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, a group that points out policies that it says favor the rich.

... The nearly 90 percent of Americans who make less than $100,000 a year saved on average $318 each on their investments. They collected 5.3 percent of the total savings from reduced tax rates on investment income.

About half of all Americans make less than $30,000 a year and about 2/3 of all Americans make under $50,000 annually. That's tough, especially with government services withering away (think Grover Norquist and his bath tub) and with corporations running roughshod over consumers and workers with no government protection. Most Americans know that regardless of what they say inside the Beltway, inflation is very real and a huge factor in everyone's lives for which small price increases matter a great deal.

And that's where the disconnect is between the whiners who say Bush doesn't get enough credit for the great economy and... reality, at least the reality for the vast, vast majority of ordinary Americans. "The fact that average incomes remained lower in 2005 than five years earlier helps explain why so many Americans report feeling economic stress despite overall growth in the economy. Many Americans are also paying a larger share of their health care costs and have had their retirement benefits reduced, adding to their out-of-pocket costs."

Bush's economic and social policies, like all of his other policies, are utter failures and a catastrophe for the hopes and dreams of tens of millions of ordinary Americans. Trickle down economics has never worked before and it has worked worse under Bush than under any previous dishonest  purveyors of what his father, in one of his last moments of good sense, called "Voodoo Economics."

And while Bush's Regime has been busy with an upward redistribution of wealth-- a reverse Robin Hood Regime-- they are constantly fighting to do all they can to make the lives of ordinary Americans less and less livable. I hope you saw yesterday's story in the Times about how they are working overtime to scuttle the plan Congress passed to expand health care for children. "The Bush administration," writes Robert Pear, "continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families... After learning of the new policy, some state officials said today that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children by imposing standards that could not be met." And that, of course, is the idea. And anyone voting for any Republican for any office anywhere at any time-- or for a Bush Democrat like Chris Carney (PA), John Barrow (GA), Jim Costa (CA), Dan Lipinski (IL), Melissa Bean (IL), Leonard Boswell (IA), Al Wynn (MD), Jim Cooper (TN), or Mike Ross (AR), to name a few-- is voting for exactly this. As my old school teacher used to say, to be forewarned or to be forearmed. If you're feeling armed today, take a look at our Blue America page. You can absolutely close your eyes and point and you'll hit someone who wants to restore a proper balance between the unbridled power of Big Business and ordinary people, who have, in the past, been protected by their government. If you want my suggestions, though-- there are tough primaries in the offing for proven progressives like Darcy Burner (WA), Steve Cohen (TN), Donna Edwards (MD), John Laesch (IL), Rick Noriega (TX), Angie Paccione (CO), and Victoria Wulsin (OH). If you were to donate $20 and hit the button that says share equally between those candidates, each of them would get $2.86. It's on contributions like that that Blue America raised $545,000 last year and helped win seats for 13 new members of Congress. It's a good investment, Forego Starbucks for a day.

Labels: , , , ,


At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Children's Health Plan. There are some options. Congress can override the veto and states can appeal the policy to the courts. I think both should happen. It's time for sane people to stand up to this president.


Post a Comment

<< Home