Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Grandpa Fred thinks you should quit whining

Continuing the meme started by former Texas Senator and John McCain economic adviser Phil Gramm, that America is a nation of whiners undergoing a recession of the mind, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson (R-Law & Order) tonight addressed the Republican National Convention and added his two cents to that line of thinking. That's right, I watch this stuff so you don't have to. And tonight, it's all sunshine and roses from Fred Thompson.
We do so while taking a different view of our country than that of the other party.

Listening to them you'd think that we were in the middle of a great depression; that we are down, disrespected and incapable of prevailing against challenges facing us.
Guess what Grandpa Fred? As usual, we're right and you're wrong. Let's look at the facts:
• Current Administration will leave the nation with largest deficit in history — The Administration’s 2009 budget will leave the country with a $482 billion deficit, trumping its previous $413 billion record set in 2004.

• Debt balloons under Administration policies — Since the President took office in 2001, the debt held by the public has swelled by $2.0 trillion, an increase of 59 percent – with most of it financed by foreign investors.

• Economic growth is anemic — GDP grew just 1.9 percent in the second quarter of 2008 – mainly because of the economic stimulus Congress passed. This follows growth of just 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 2008 and revised negative growth (a contraction) of -0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2007, fueling the argument that we are already in a recession.

• Thousands of jobs lost — Private payrolls have lost 578,000 jobs since December. To date, this Administration has created just 58,000 new jobs per month on average compared with 237,000 per month under President Clinton.

• Household incomes have fallen — Real median household income has decreased by almost $1,000 under President Bush. During the Clinton Administration, real median household income rose by $6,000, or 14.0 percent.

• The President’s fiscal policies impose heavy debt burden on America’s families — The $2.0 trillion added to the public debt under this Administration equates to $26,000 in additional federal debt for every family of four in the U.S. – far more than most families have received in tax cuts.
That's not to mention that George W. Bush and John McCain have presided over the weakest economy since World War II, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
Rather, examination of a broad range of key economic indicators indicates that the economic expansion that began in 2001 was on balance, weaker than average. In fact, with respect to GDP, consumption, investment, wage and salary, and employment growth, the 2001-2007 expansion was either the weakest or among the weakest since World War II.

Moreover, the economy's performance between 2001 and 2007 was weaker, overall, than its performance in the equivalent years of the 1990s, years following significant tax increases. GDP growth was somewhat weaker than in the 1990s, and job creation, investment and wage and salary growth all were substantially weaker.
In fact, according to the same study, the only economic indicator that has grown, and grown rapidly, in the past 8 years is corporate profits. Is anyone surprised by this?

So Senator Thompson, unless you're a corporate fat cat or one of the richest, most privileged people in the country, economic times are bad. That's not some Hollywood script that you're used to reading, nor is it the little boy crying wolf, as you'd like to paint Barack Obama. That's the truth, and in the words of one of your fellow thespians, "You can't handle the truth."


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