Econ-Recon: June 2008: Archives

June 6, 2008

The Bush Legacy: A Bad Case Of "ED" Or A Royal Screwing? genre: Econ-Recon & Just Jihad & Polispeak


Today, President Bush, in the following video clip, tells us that we face "turbulence in the housing market and slow growth for our overall economy". At the same time, the number of U.S. homeowners in foreclosure or delinquent on their mortgage payments is nearly nine percent, unemployment jumped a full half percent to 5.5%...the largest increase in over two decades, oil jumped by over ten dollars a barrel today...after rising five dollars on Thursday, and the stock market lost nearly 400 points.

Perhaps I don't understand economics, but I have a hunch that the president's use of the words "turbulence" and "slow growth" are inadequate descriptors of what we are experiencing. Unfortunately, the indicators suggest the worst is yet to come. So what is the president's solution? He chose to admonish the Democrats for not making his tax cuts permanent (that would be the same ones that were enacted to fix a sluggish economy) and he called on Congress to pass legislation that would allow more oil exploration (now that we're nearing the end of eight years of a non-existent energy for Dick Cheney's secret meetings with oil execs).

As George Bush nears the end of his second term, it looks safe to say that he'll exit the White House with a legacy of starting an endless war with little more than a slew of suspect rhetoric and granting the wealthiest Americans one of the largest tax cuts in recent history. But there's more. His policies will leave the rest of the public facing unprecedented gas prices, staggering debt, rising unemployment, and millions of jobs lost or outsourced to foreign countries.

I know, you're thinking I'm being too pessimistic. Not to worry. George Bush, once he chose to admit the economy was in the midst of a "rough patch" (that's code for a deep recession) also gave millions of Americans a paltry stimulus check that might allow them to pay off some of the credit card debt they've amassed in order to survive the "fundamentally strong economy" the president insisted existed despite evidence to the contrary.

As I looked for the words to describe the president's anemic performance in dealing with the economy, I couldn't help but think about the highly touted stimulus package. Unfortunately, my mind chose to rearrange the words to better explain the reality of the president's embarrassing performance...a performance that should have culminated in an admission that we're dealing with a fully flaccid economy.

With a healthy sprinkling of sarcasm, and an abundance of antipathy, I think this administration has exhibited all the signs of a serious case of "ED"..which is rather surprising since its leader spent most of his eight years prancing around like the biggest cock in the barnyard. In my opinion, the last thing America needed was a president obsessed with puffing his feathers and stimulating his own package. Then again, once George Bush exits the White House, I suspect one would be hard pressed to identify many Americans who didn't feel violated.

Tagged as: Deficit, Dick Cheney, Dow Jones, Economy, Energy Policy, Foreclosures, George W. Bush, Iraq, Oil Dependency, Outsourcing, Recession, Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis, Tax Cuts, Unemployment

Daniel DiRito | June 6, 2008 | 1:31 PM | link | Comments (1)
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June 5, 2008

Focus On The Family Launches First Attack On Obama genre: Econ-Recon & Hip-Gnosis

When you really study the mindset of religious conservatives, one of their primary motivation is making sure they hold onto their money and that means they rarely ever connect taxation with the notion that the government serves as a safety net for those in need. Rather than step up and fill the void for those in need, groups like Focus On The Family instead make silly videos like the one that follows...videos that suggest that half the country wants to live off the hard work of the other half.

Which leads me to wonder what exactly is the mission of religious organizations like Focus On The Family? Ironically, these are the same groups that are afforded tax exempt status by the government on the premise that they provide some of the services that may otherwise be an additional burden for the government to assume.

Now I could be wrong, but it seems to me that this would include helping the poor (think outreach programs like food banks), helping those who may not be able to afford health care (think hospitals run by religious orders), and providing educational services (think parochial schools). In other words, in exchange for no tax burden, the government can expect these organizations to assist in providing valuable services to the citizenry.

So when I see organizations like Focus On The Family railing against liberalism (translated to mean welfare programs), it seems to me that these people want their cake and eat it too. Which brings me to proselytizing and their efforts to promote legislation that comports with their Biblically based beliefs.

My impression is that these groups are willing to offer assistance in return for an allegiance to their beliefs. Providing services to those who may think differently or not share their same values isn't of interest to them. Hence, when the government elects to spend tax dollars (which means THEIR money) on people without regard for moral imperatives or religious beliefs, they would prefer to shut those programs down.

In the end, one can only conclude that these people see money as the means to impose their beliefs. It's the equivalent of the principle of "he who has the gold, writes the rules". That brings me to hypocrisy. These are the same people who insist that salvation cannot be attained without an acceptance of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I struggle to see how many of these religious organizations and their followers are measurably connected to the principles that Jesus taught.

Yes, they invoke his name as part and parcel of a marketing campaign...but once they get the convert and his or her cash...the buck stops there...right in the pockets of men like James Dobson...until it can be used to promote the theocratic (and autocratic) society they yearn to rule.

Tagged as: Barack Obama, Conservative, Focus On The Family, James Dobson, Liberal, Religion, Tax Exempt, Theocracy, Welfare

Daniel DiRito | June 5, 2008 | 10:30 AM | link | Comments (1)
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