overhaul / undertow

Thursday, January 02, 2003


From the LA Times:

CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush said today he will unveil an economic-stimulus package next week, promising a plan that will benefit all Americans and rejecting criticism that his policies are tailored to help the wealthy.

Mr. Bush, so far all your actions seem to follow the classic principles of "trickle-down economics," practices that reached their height during the Reagan administration and continued largely unfettered thereafter, prompting national economic policy that loosened regulations and constraints on large companies, precipitating today's horrendous financial scandals and abuses of corporate power. Are you sure trickle-down economics still works? One day of one of these exec's salaries would pay off all my student loans, all my credit debt, and all my medical bills. Instead I'm struggling day-to-day. Aren't you concerned about my needs, Mr. Bush?

"I'm concerned about all people," Bush told reporters after a lengthy tour of his Texas ranch. "I understand the politics of economic stimulus-- some people want to turn it into class warfare."

Golly, sir, it kinda IS class warfare--waged against the poor, when all your policies are designed to deliver the very same breaks and relaxing of restrictions that could do so much good for the poor--to the rich instead. I'd say you've turned it into class warfare. How am I supposed to feel? I NEVER have any hope of being as well-off as the people you're catering to, EVER. The American Dream of rising up thru the muck of society, the myth of the poor immigrant who becomes a capitalist billionaire, is dead. It doesn't work. We are living in a hegemony. Thanks for making it even harder.

Aides have said in recent days that the president has not yet approved any new economic stimulus plan, and Bush gave few clues about what the package will contain. He made plain, though, that its primary focus will be to create jobs.

"What I'm worried about is job creation, and I'm worried about those who are unemployed," he said.

Riiiight. Hmm. Isn't there an...election coming up? Now's a good time to begin paying lip service to the little people, I guess.

Aides say the package probably will include acceleration of some tax cuts and breaks he won from Congress in 2001 as well as new benefits for shareholders' dividends. There also may be new tax breaks for investors and additional depreciation breaks for businesses.

To avoid a political backlash, advisers say they are likely to recommend that Bush no longer consider speeding up tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Hmm. Good idea.

"Next week when I talk about an economic stimulus package I will talk about how to create jobs, how best to create jobs as well as how to take care of those who don't have a job," Bush said. "I'm concerned about all people."

Keep harping on that populist point, there, Bush. You're on thin ice with the economy as it is right now.

Bush said investors should take heart in the new year, given that the economy is still growing-- albeit slowly-- despite a recession, terrorist attack and rash of corporate scandals.
"And yet the economy still grows," he said. "That's very positive. I recognize there are some uncertainties."

Yeah, like all those reports about how our anemic economy will dip further if we start a war. Maybe you should quit the sabre-rattling, there, dude.

The Labor Department reported that the number of newly laid-off Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits rose by 13,000 last week after declining for two consecutive weeks.

That's 'cos people don't file claims during the holidays, folks. Claims rise right before and dip at holidays; then they go back up afterwards. It's good they've got the Office of Homeland Security monitoring me constantly--even if I am broke, I feel less...alone.


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