Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Road to Weimar--Revisited

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has released figures showing that in the last six years of the Bush regime, the national debt has increased by $2.3 trillion including $633 billion in interest payments. Foreign investors financed 78% of the deficit. The trade deficit for 2006 is projected to be a record $750 billion. Trade deficits have exceeded 5% of the GDP since 2004, a condition most economists consider unsustainable in the long term. Most of the growth in the imbalance is caused by foreign oil imports. I wonder how much gas mileage an Abrams tank gives?

Just so you know its not only me, here is a quote from Chris Hedges, Harvard Divinity graduate and former Pulitzer Prize winning journalist:

There has been, along with the creation of an American oligarchy, the steady Weimarization of the American working class. The top one percent of American households have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. This figure alone should terrify all who care about our democracy.

The decline in middle class socioeconomic status has occurred during both Democratic and Republican administrations, but Democratic presidential candidates bear more of a burden in demonstrating their allegiance to American working families rather than perpetuating the privileges of plutocrats. Most Americans know by now that the GOP represents the rich regardless of misleading rhetoric like "compassionate conservatism". NAFTA, passed during the Clinton administration, has proved to be a drain on manufacturing jobs in this country. Outsourcing jobs to cheaper labor markets has continued apace. Its early in the campaigns, but only John Edwards has consistently talked about adjusting economic disadvantages of the middle and poor classes. Increasing the minimum wage (assuming no presidential veto) is a modest start, but only that. The Iraq War is not only a foreign policy issue. It is an issue of what kind of America we want to live in for the future.