Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bush’s World Clashes with Reality

As the President speaks rosily of the American economy, the key savings rate statistic remained negative for all of 2006. It sunk to its lowest level since the Great Depression. In a speech yesterday on Wall Street Bush said:

"Workers are making more money. Their paychecks are going further. Consumers are confident. Investors are optimistic"

Later he blamed people’s failure to notice the good news, as they fail to utilize V.P. Cheney’s obvious "glass half full" mentality.

"I'm not surprised that some of the good economic news is overshadowed by the difficult news out of Iraq," Bush later told Fox News that same day.

Maybe people are reporting from their own pocketbook, Mr. President. The Commerce Department shared the savings rate for 2006 was a negative one percent. This means people spent more than they earned either by dipping into savings or taking on additional debt.

America had a negative savings rate in only 4 years since the statistic has been gathered. Two of those years were during the Great Depression, 1932 & 1933 while the other two occurred under the Bush administration, 2005 & 2006.

Are workers making more money? The Census Bureau’s median household income went up 1.1% between 2004 and 2005, the first increase since 1999.

What about the President’s greater buying power assertion? If their paychecks are going further why do people need to dip into savings? Is it to help Exxon/Mobil reach their astronomical profit figures? Or are they covering medical debt, the number one cause of bankruptcies (unaddressed in the Republican bankruptcy bill)?

Someone may figure out the answers to these questions, but I’m confident it won’t be President Bush. While Dick Cheney sees the glass half full on Iraq, most people see a half empty pint of blood. While George Bush sees the economy chugging along, many folks hear the glug, glug of their savings account emptying down the drain.

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