Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Voodoo economics, redux

As Bruce Hornsby's song "The Way it Is" plays at work for the umpteenth time, I thought to myself about the homeless guy that opens his song, and how that applies to today
Republicans all praise Bush's economic policies as sound, that continued tax cuts will fix everything. It doesn't, especially when they are aimed wrong. The president and his party proclaim that dogged individualism will lead to success, but his policies only reach a small percentage of the economy.
The guy who lost his job in the Bush recession, lost his house and car, and now works at Wal-Mart is going to be scraping by. He's not going to be able to save, let alone afford health care or a car or a house. He'll be renting a low-income apartment, just getting along week to week. Those tax cuts aren't going to help his situation.
The rationale behind the cuts was that small business could go ahead and hire more employees and stimulate the economy. We've failed to see this happen, though. Small business is folding in many places. The main growth sector is big box retail, and an economy that becomes a boutique is a house of cards.
I first wrote about this over 18 months ago. Our main threat to national security is our economic situation. The Republican Party has aided and abetted the president in committing the largest economic treason since Warren Harding. By giving away manufacturing jobs, raw materials jobs, and technical jobs to nations overseas, by placing our debt in the hands of nations that are a potential future threat or are a current destabilizing influence on the world, they have done more to endanger our security than terrorists ever could.
But, you say, the President doesn't run these companies. It's not his fault.

Yes, it is.

The President could've given these companies incentives to not offshore. Instead of personal wealth tax breaks to CEO's, he could've rewarded small businesses who created jobs here. He could've rewarded companies who resisted offers of cheap labor overseas and kept jobs here. He could've at least, with these moves, slowed down the flood of jobs to India and China.

But he didn't.

Bad decisions seem to be the Decider's forte. Osama and Tora Bora, Iraq undermanned, continued tax cuts when our deficits are squeezing the economy into oblivion, Katrina reaction, sending overworked Guard troops to the Mexican border. I seriously cannot think of a president who has been this bad since at least Hoover.

We are heading for the late 70's and late 80's in terms of economic standing. An L.A. Times article today focuses on how those who plan to work longer to save more are getting forced early retirements, costing them much in pension benefits. This wasn't the case eight, ten years ago. It's a byproduct of the Bush economy, where no CEO gets left behind, and most Americans get run over.